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Ilhan Omar Promotes Smear Of Famed Anti-Iranian Regime Journalist. Journalist Issues Stunning Response.
Journalist Masih Alinejad speaks onstage at My Stealthy Freedom during Tina Brown's 7th Annual Women In The World Summit at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 7, 2016 in New York City.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

On Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) promoted an article attempting to smear famed journalist Masih Alinejad, an outspoken opponent of the theocratic and despotic Iranian regime. That prompted a withering ten-tweet blast from Alinejad, who pointed out Omar’s silence while others were suffering at the hands of the Iranian regime.

Omar tweeted:

Iranian writers and actors slammed Omar: Iranian-Canadian writer/editor Maryam Nayeb Yazdi tweeted, “Masih Alinejad is receiving death threats. Rape threats. Her brother’s being held hostage by the IRGC. Is it suspicious to work for VOA? Negar Mortazavi (the Rania Khalek for Iran) who you support worked for VOA. How could you ever explain this tweet, Ilhan? My heart’s crying.”

Actress Nazanin Boniadiechoed, “This piece is a defamatory hit job against @AlinejadMasih, a journalist who is already facing death and rape threats and whose brother has been taken hostage by the IRI to silence her. Why is a member of the U.S. Congress — a female member at that — endorsing it?”

But the most powerful rejoinder came from Alinejad herself, who wrote:

Earlier this week, Rep Ilhan Omar shared a defamatory article about me on social media by a Koch-Brothers funded “think tank” co-founded by a known sympathizer of the Iranian regime.

Here’s my response to @IlhanMN

Ilhan Omar, when my innocent brother was recently taken hostage by the regime, solely due to my advocacy of civil rights for Iran, I reached out to you, expecting solidarity from you. However, you were silent. You gave no reaction.When women like Saba Kordafshari, Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi and Mojgan Keshavarz were arrested for protesting against compulsory hijab in Iran and were sentenced to a total of 95 years in prison, you were silent.

When my 70-year-old mother was interrogated for my activities by the Revolutionary Guards, I asked for your help, but you were silent yet again.

You’re silent even now as 176 people have been killed onboard a Ukraine Airlines plane under suspicious circumstances in Iran. After months of silence, you instead chose to amplify a smear campaign against me, a fellow woman of color. Your only comments to all these human rights abuses is to repeat Islamic Republic propaganda against me.

As a journalist, I am an independent contractor for a number of media outlets, including the Persian-language service of Voice of America, which was created to counter the propaganda of authoritarian adversaries like the Soviet Union. This was evident to all who know my work, including millions of voiceless Iranians. Is this what you’re bullying me for?

By bullying a freelance journalist like me, you are empowering the Revolutionary Guards to put more pressure on my family. Those of us who hail from countries ruled by tyrants are capable of denouncing both the cruel policies of Trump & dictators in our native lands. I’ve openly condemned Trump’s travel ban—which separated me from my son in the UK—and his threats of attacking cultural sites in Iran.

I’ve also condemned the Islamic Republic’s ban on Iranian dissidents that prevented people like me from going home. I have loudly protested a potential war against Iran years before you entered the Congress.

Yet, when I divulge the repression of the Islamic Republic, attacks against me proliferate by the regime & their supporters in the West. I’d have never imagined that one day a member of Congress, a fellow woman of colour, would join with my oppressors in trying to defame me.

H/T Twitchy

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