Ilhan Omar is no stranger to faux passes, from saying “some people did something” in a vain attempt to whitewash 9/11 to saying concentration camps are camps because “people are being concentrated.”
But now, she fully revealed just how much knowledge she lacked in history of her adopted nation.
“The South Carolina flag has a crescent because many of its slaves were Muslim,” Omar claimed, as she tried to understand the origins of her religion in America. The crescent, along with a star, is a symbol of Islam and is featured on many Muslim-majority nations.
Yes, Omar is right that many slaves were Muslim, but that’s about it. The crescent on the flag was actually designed by Colonel William Moultrie for South Carolina’s troops during the Revolutionary War. In fact, it was only recently in the 20th century that the crescent (and star combination) became associated with Islam and that it was on the flags of Muslim-majority nations.
So how can South Carolina’s crescent symbolize Muslim slaves when Muslims back then didn’t even use the crescent to symbolize themselves? Omar’s faux pas shows not only how clueless she is about America, but also about the history of the religion she defends so dearly.
Just as embarrassing is her falsely claiming that the flag’s “palm tree was inspired by trees from the Saharan Desert and Saudi Arabia.”
This is an oversimplification since it’s not the same type of palm tree. South Carolina’s flag features a palmetto palm tree, which is native to the southern United States. Meanwhile, the date palm tree is native to North Africa and the Middle East, which includes the Sahara and Saudi Arabia respectively. Saudi Arabia does feature the date palm on its coat of arms.
Considering how little cultural influence the Islamic world had on the United States, why would Omar even think that South Carolina’s flag would feature the exact sub-species of a tree from the other side of the world? It doesn’t even take an expert on palm trees to at least suspect the difference.
But to Omar, the facts aren’t facts. Instead, she doubled down and accused South Carolina of “using a symbol Muslims holds dearly while enslaving the same believers away from their home continent.”
“It’s probably the most long-standing and insulting case of cultural appropriation in American history,” she said.