Son of 9/11 Victim Responds to Ilhan Omar After She Defends Her Remarks: ‘Let’s Place the Victim Card Where It Belongs’

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

Nicholas Haros Jr., the son of a 9/11 terror attacks victim, has responded to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) after she defended her “some people did something” remarks in a recent interview.

Haros Jr., who lost his mother during the deadly attacks, delivered pointed criticism at the freshman congresswoman while reading victim names during the Sept. 11 memorial service in New York for her trivialization of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.

Omar subsequently responded to Haros Jr.’s criticism during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sept. 15, reiterating that Sept. 11 was “an attack on all Americans.”

“It was an attack on all of us, and I certainly could not understand the weight of the pain that the victims of the families of 9/11 must feel. But I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not forgetting the aftermath of what happened after 9/11,” Omar said when asked about her “some people did something” comments.

“Many Americans found themselves now having their civil rights stripped from them; and so what I was speaking to was the fact that, as a Muslim—not only was I suffering as an American who was attacked on that day—but the next day I woke up as my fellow Americans were now treating me as a suspect,” she added.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks at a press conference on the Capitol on July 15, 2019. (Holly Kellum/NTD)

During an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Sept. 16, Haros Jr. shared his reaction to Omar’s comments.

“Well, I thought about it and what I heard her say the second time was that she cannot feel pain for the families and that we should just remember and never forget not the day but the aftermath—and I think that doesn’t quite hit the mark,” Haros Jr. said, but added that his faith requires him to forgive.

“I don’t personally need an apology but I do think you need to apologize to the American peoples and I would also like to say that I think you are at a political cross[roads],” he said. “You can continue to support a fringe group of Muslims. I called out no such message. My message was specific to your remarks and 19 specific terrorists.”

“As you go forward, as a representative of the United States, I suggest that you draw your own line on what side do you want to be. Do you want to be on the side with peace-loving Muslims, as I am? Or do you want to continue to represent the fringe element?” he continued.

MacCallum then asked him what he thought when Omar said she felt alienated as a Muslim after the terrorist attacks.

“All I would suggest, perhaps, that let’s place the victim card where it belongs and that’s on the families,” he said.

Controversial Remarks

Earlier in the year, Omar received widespread condemnation after part of a speech she made at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser—during which she said the radical Muslim group was founded after the terrorist attacks—surfaced on social media.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said, according to the video that circulated online.

Omar immediately received backlash for the comments from politicians, congressional candidates, first responders, and from the president.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” with an accompanying video compilation of footage from the terrorist attacks in response to Omar’s comments. The video ends with the text, “September 11, 2001, We Remember.”

On Sept. 11 this year, Haros Jr. called out Omar for making the remarks, without mentioning her by name, and explained to her about the pain Americans felt on that day.

Epoch Times Photo
Nick Haros from Ocean County, New Jersey, who lost his mother Francis Haros in World Trade Center, reading 911 victims’ names makes comments referencing U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) during ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the 911 Memorial in lower Manhattan in New York on Sept. 11, 2019. (REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid)

“‘Some people did something’ said a freshman congresswoman in Minnesota to support the creation of CAIR,” Haros Jr. said. “Today I’m here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom.”

“Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” he continued. “On that day 19 Islamic terrorists, members of al Qaeda, killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear? But as to whom, I was attacked. Your relatives and friends were attacked. Our constitutional freedoms were attacked and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles did. That’s what ‘some people’ did.”

“Got that now?” he added.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.