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Illinois GOP group shares, then deletes post calling Omar, congresswomen 'Jihad Squad'

Updated: July 22, 2019 06:45 PM

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is caught up in a controversy after a social media post from a Republican Party group in Illinois was put up and then taken down.

The Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is condemning a post on the Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen's Association.

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It showed representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib of (D-MI) with weapons and the title, "The Jihad Squad."

The post was later taken down and an apology was given.

"It's one of those things where, we're not sorry we said it, we're sorry we got caught," said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR Chicago. "I think that they probably believe that they can get away with it."

Rehab said it has become common practice to see these types of posts on social media belonging to Republican Party officials across the country. And, they are taking what he describes as President Donald Trump's misguided leadership.

"But the fact remains there is a cultural problem that allows these types of problematic, Islamophobic, racist imagery to continue to come out regularly on those Facebook and Twitter and Instagram pages," said Rehab.

On Monday at the White House, President Trump said there is no racial tension.

"Look, I had my best numbers recently and it's because of the economy and what I've done for the African American. When you look at the African Americans are doing better than they've ever done in our country."

The president pointed to poverty and unemployment numbers.

"We have fantastic relationships with the African American community; I think you'll see that. Certainly you'll see that in 2020 I believe," he said.

When asked by a reporter if he was escalating the feud with the four congresswomen he calls "the squad," President Trump said no.

"I think they're very bad for our country. I really think they must hate our country," he said.

Rehab believes President Trump's attacks on the lawmakers are wrong.

"And this to us is a cop-out, it's cowardly, it's un-American. It takes us down a dark abyss that goes against the very grain of what makes this country special. Making America great again is not making America hate again," said Rehab. 

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS contacted Rep. Omar's office for a response and was told they have not released a statement at this time.

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