a woman is always to blame harassment irony alert Islamophobia misogyny none dare call it conspiracy racism twitter

Right-wingers are using the Notre Dame fire as an excuse to attack Ilhan Omar

By David Futrelle

Right-wingers on Twitter stopped their incessant attacks on congresswoman Ilhan Omar long enough to notice that Notre Dame was on fire, apparently (according to police) because of a construction accident. And then they started tweeting again, with many of them simply incorporating the devastating fire into their attacks on the congreswoman and Muslims in general.

More than a few have used her now famous remarks about 9/11, taken out of context and distorted by right-wing media and MAGA trolls, as a sort of joke template, imagining her reacting with indifference of not joy to the monumental disaster.

I wonder how many MAGAs will end up believing that these fake quotes are real?

The “some people” tweeters aren’t the only ones convinced that Omar, and Muslins generally, are celebrating the fire en masse.

Others are suggesting that Omar herself is somehow connected to the fire.

A few tweeted their accusations directly at Omar, with some adding ominous, if deliberately vague, threats. These people definitely aren’t joking.

Follow Follow @Mike35033639
Replying to @Ilhan
How much were you involved in the burning of the cathedral at Notre Dame ?????
Dreg of Society
 22m22 minutes ago
Replying to @Ilhan
Which one of your family members started the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral?
You will be removed from the USA,one way or another, you choose.
Follow Follow @MagalySlim
Replying to @Ilhan
My sources told me that you and your brotherhood of terrorists are the ones that provoked the fire in the Cathedral of Notre Dame! You were planted in Congress by your America haters ungrateful people (?)! (I doubt u r human)You want to start a war!

It’s still early. As the hours and days go by, I’m sure it will get uglier. The memes will spread; the YouTube videos will go up; the accusations will become more lurid and the conspiracy theories will become more baroque. Regardless of what any investigations of this fire find, there will be many on the right — if not most of them — who will not only blame Muslim terrorists for this historic tragedy but will hold Omar herself personally responsible.

I can only imagine how ugly it will get on Fox News tonight, to say nothing of the reactions on right-wing forums and the chans. We live in hateful times.

EDITED TO ADD: Here’s some of the ugliness from Fox in the wake of the fire.

And here’s Glenn Beck with his own conspiracy theory:

EDITED TO ADD PART TWO: Talia Lavin takes a broader look at the anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, citing among other things this post.

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86 replies on “Right-wingers are using the Notre Dame fire as an excuse to attack Ilhan Omar”


“why don’t you closely monitor my ballsack, you hate-baiting goons” might be the most NY thing I’ve read in a very long time.

That was my favorite, too. I’m still laughing.

About blaming black metal, probably not, though Varg Vikernes has been living in France for a while now. He seems to be keeping his nose clean, aside from being convicted of “inciting racial hatred” a few years back. I do wonder if he inspired that dipshit metalhead arsonist in Louisiana who burned the three churches.

I’ve shared a couple “Brocialist Dan” stories around here about my quasi-socialist gamerbro co-worker. Welp, got another one. I told him about the Notre Dame fire and the first thing he said was “Heh, I guess now the Muslims can build a victory mosque on top of it.”

Upon informing him that it was theorized to be a construction accident, he meekly played it off as “I was just kidding.” I was tempted to tell him that I had already seen right-wing tweets not joking about that, but my sanity and ability to work requires minimum interaction with him.

Because Dan’s not kidding. Being of Iranian descent, he’s told me on multiple occasions how much contempt he holds for Islam due to the current Iranian regime. So of course he believes that the Muslim population of Paris would not view the fire with the same horror that we all did.

It’s the same sense of “they’re not really like us” underpinning the Ilhan Omar histrionics. Watching these fucknuts jerk themselves raw over 9/11 all over again is particularly obnoxious as plenty of craven right-wingers invoked 9/11 glibly, with Rudy “Noun, Verb, 9/11” Giuliani leading the way. But the Muslim congresswoman in the hijab addressing CAIR regarding the very real backlash against American Muslims, she only gets to talk about it in the most reverent terms–if at all–because it was them attacking us.

As for the fire itself, I lined up my thoughts on Twitter last night. Despite the terrifying nature of the imagery, from all current reports, the cathedral has escaped the worst of it intact. I’ve visited my fair share of churches both young and as old as (if not older than) Notre Dame that were destroyed and rebuilt and they don’t lack for grandeur. Heck, I come from a pretty flammable city judging from the number of times its been razed (1813, 1849, 1904). Notre Dame made out better than St. James did in Toronto’s first Great Fire.

Might take a few years, but they’ll build a new roof and a new spire. It’s a minor miracle that nobody was hurt in such a blaze.

There’s seemingly been a spate of church arsons in France recently. Might be sensible for the cops to check up on Varg’s disciples there.

It’s wild watching a bunch of evangelical Christians suddenly claim Notre Dame as their own somehow when every evangelical Christian I’ve ever met hates Catholics almost as much as they hate Muslims.


It’s a minor miracle that nobody was hurt in such a blaze.

Not quite. One of the firemen was hurt trying to control the blaze in one of the towers, although his injuries aren’t serious and he’s going to be fine.


Just wanted to jump in with a belated thank-you for dealing with the thing about Omar’ “antisemitism”. Explaining this stuff to (ex-)Christians is exhausting and I’m glad for those times I don’t have to do it myself.

There’s also two policemen if I recall correctly.

Still the most important thing, human lives, were saved. And the fire was devastating, but a lot of thing survived it nonetheless.


Great. Another killer incel.


There’s a great irony in the Omar “antisemitism” thing that has somehow gone unmentioned, which is that the very people accusing Omar of demanding a special, lower, more lenient standard for herself … are always demanding a special, lower, more lenient standard for Israel, which is exactly the sort of thing that Omar points out that leads to them incorrectly accusing her of being “antisemitic”.


It’s not just that, it’s also that the Omar haters are themselves constant sources of antisemitic dogwhistles, and sometimes more than dogwhistles. But Christendom lets them get away with it because they’re Israel hawks, and Israel == The Jews, right? (Let’s just ignore that the Israeli government is an increasingly ethnonationalist nightmare concoction that more and more American Jews are disgusted with.)

So, Steve King and his ilk ranting about Globalists and , which everyone knows means The Jews? George Soros conspiracy theories? Oven jokes from Trump supporters? Absolutely fine! Ha ha only kidding, it’s cool bro!

But Ilhan Omar calling out Israel’s govt for actual specific horrors that they have been openly perpetrating for decades, nooooo. Antisemitism, bad, shame!

The US mainstream’s collective inability to understand context and dogwhistles is just… ugh.

I guess next up is the incel bonkeyheads blaming the women who didn’t want to go out with him for that child’s death, right, Mish? It’s always women’s fault with that crowd.

Regarding Notre Dame, this is reminding me of why some people flock to the conspiracy theories re JFK, because they don’t want to believe that one person’s actions could have such a devastating effect. How could a simple construction accident ruin a world treasure?

(Well, as the engineer mother of a friend might say, “Accidents don’t just happen. They are CAUSED.” And there are other factors that came into play, like the difficulties in starting the reconstruction before things got to this point. But that’s not a conspiracy. That’s Murphy’s Law.)

I agree with the ethnonationalist nightmare, and I am of the opinion that Israel is sort of the last western colony, as in it’s the last country to not have been decolonized.

At the beginning, Israel is a bunch of european and americain declaring a country to be their on only slightly more real premises than South Africa or Algeria or whatnot. They created a state that really isn’t that far from an european country, apart from the fact it’s built on top of a (not exterminated) native country.

While I would not ascribe as much atrocities to the Israeli governement as to, say, the Belgian Congo, I do think the situation is going gradually worse with years, and I think the root cause isn’t as much muslim-jews tensions than the fact Israel behave very much like France did in Algeria.

I tend to keep thoses opinions relatively quiet because, well, what happen to Ilhan Omar show the kind of fortitude you need for that. Also because I don’t really see a solution to the problem. It’s not like we can relocate one or both of thoses two country to the moon.

On the other hand, I do fear that at some point there will be a war and the middle east will be unhabitable for thousands of years after it.

While we’re on this topic: how transparent is AIPAC’s source of funding? It hasn’t escaped my notice that:

* It was founded in 1990.
* It, combined with the “neocon” strain of politicians in DC, is largely in control of American Middle East policy since not long after that.
* 1990 is right about when the big defense contractors stopped being able to rely on a steady stream of Cold War contracts.
* Shortly afterward, the US not only began to sell huge amounts of arms to both Israel and Saudi Arabia, but it became involved in a string of armed conflicts in the region directly: in Iraq, in Afghanistan, then in Iraq again, now in Syria and Yemen …
* As a result, the big defense contractors have seen the continuation of their gravy train right through the fall of the Berlin Wall and up to the present, an amazing consistency of demand for their products considering the circumstances!

That’s an awful lot of coincidences … unless AIPAC’s main funding is, after suitable laundering, coming from Northrup-Grummann.

It’s a sure bet that at the top echelons of the big defense industry players are a bunch of super-privileged brats (nearly all white, male, and not in the least bit Jewish) who would scheme, connive, and most certainly kill to keep their privilege. And with the Cold War ending, because the one part of the equation they didn’t control was what choices the Soviet side made, it’s a sure bet they’d have come up with some scheme to keep themselves swimming in money. And wouldn’t you know it, suddenly the US develops an extremely aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East!

Oh, I’m sure there are some added complications. Propping up the petro-dollar system would be another chunk of motive for this aggressive posture in the region, for without the petro-dollar system artificially sustaining demand for treasuries, the US would no longer have a “get out of hyperinflation free” card for situations where they want to print a whole lot of money (such as to bail out the big banks in ’08). But I think Eisenhower’s warning regarding the military-industrial complex really should have gotten more attention …

Heck, the Cold War wasn’t even “what padded their wallets before they had to scheme”, it was the previous scheme … necessitated because World War II had ended but their shareholders demanded continued growth.

As long as the defense industry is politically powerful, the Cold War will never truly end. The target will just change, from Russia to some vaguely defined thing like “terror” to China to whoever-else … and the accompanying risk of some idiot pushing the nuclear button will persist along with it.


It’s wild watching a bunch of evangelical Christians suddenly claim Notre Dame as their own somehow when every evangelical Christian I’ve ever met hates Catholics almost as much as they hate Muslims.

You’re assuming they knew it was Catholic. For a lot of this crowd, their knowledge probably didn’t go beyond “that hunchback place”. Speaking of which: hey Disney, how about contributing some money to the reconstruction?

@Victorious Parasol:
Best guess I’ve heard is that there were welding torches in use for some of the metal parts of scaffolding and supports, a spark or hot fragment of metal got into a crack in the wood, old oak doesn’t burn quickly so it may have sat there smoldering for hours before somebody noticed because everybody was finished in that part of the building, and by the time anybody noticed the fire was already well-established in unreachable parts of the wooden support structures.

In many ways the biggest problem wasn’t that a fire happened (fires during major renovations are hardly unheard of) so much as nobody had set up any advance counter-measures in case a fire happened. And that comes down to politics and the already-numerous delays in getting the renovations started.

This is NOT about Ilhan Omar per se. This is about the Trump 2020 re-election campaign: the effort to brand the Democrats as enablers of Islamic terrorism, promoters of socialism (verging on Communism), and collaborators in George Soros’s plan to use caravans of Cenral American refugees to attack and conquer the US. The effort to brand Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as a wild-eyed socialistic economic illiterate and general ignoramus is another part of the campaign. Be very afraid, folks — they’re coming for you. (The branding of the refugees as “invaders” of New Europe is particularly ironic since they are mostly descendants of Native Americans who lived here for millennia before the European colonizers arrived.)

It is natural for American Jews to have a somewhat pro-Israel bias just as it is natural for American Muslims to have a somewhat pro-Palestinian bias. The other part of the Ilhan Omar hoax is that it is being used to promote something called “jexodus”. The Jewish vote tends to go to the Democrats by about a 70/30 margin, and the various attempts to portray Soros (who is of course Jewish and a Holocaust survivor) as an evil global mastermind and the “fine people” who chanted “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville are not going to help the RepubliCons convince Jews to vote for them. But that’s not what they really want, since Jews are a significant voting bloc in only a few states which are strongly blue (except Florida). One of the dirty little secrets of US politics is that among the relatively few rich people who lean left, a disproportionate share are Jewish. This makes the Democratic Party fairly dependent on Jewish donors, which is how AIPAC and similar pro-Israel groups have disproportionate influence in the Democratic Party. This is what Ilhan Omar was talking about when she famously said “It’s all about the Benjamins” — a remark that was certainly less antisemitic than the constant right-wing attacks on Soros and “globalist” Jewish bankers, despite claims that she was employing tropes about globalist Jewish bankers. The RepubliCons hope they can use Ilhan Omar to convince wealthy Jews not to contribute to the Democrats. That’s the real game here. But Jews are not as easy to fool as Trump’s base, and the actions of the Netanyahu cabal seem to be repelling a lot of American Jews, particularly younger ones.

>>>>>I agree with the ethnonationalist nightmare, and I am of the opinion that Israel is sort of the last western colony, as in it’s the last country to not have been decolonized.

First, not quite. So is the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and to name just a few nations with a European population far outside Europe. So, when are you de-colonizing *your* home in the USA and moving back where you came from?

Second, to claim that it’s not antisemitic to be anti-zionist and want the illegitimate Jewish state destroyed, is the equivalent of saying that you just want to destroy *France*, but that doesn’t mean you have anything against individual *Frenchmen* (God forbid).

Third, I am told, “Jew! Get out of Palestine! Go back to Europe!”. Alas, my grandfather was told, in Germany, “Jew! Get out of Europe! Go back to Palestine!”. The excuses change; the conclusion — the evil Jew doesn’t belong here, he should go back where he came from — remains the same.

@Jenora Feuer:

In many ways the biggest problem wasn’t that a fire happened (fires during major renovations are hardly unheard of) so much as nobody had set up any advance counter-measures in case a fire happened. And that comes down to politics and the already-numerous delays in getting the renovations started.

I don’t see how politics and delays are any excuse there. Nobody could spare ten minutes to drive over to the nearest Home Depot and return with an armload of battery-operated smoke detectors to stick up in the rafters above the areas where welding was being done?

The other part of the Ilhan Omar hoax is that it is being used to promote something called “jexodus”.

Because just calling it “Exodus” would be too subtle for conservative Christian audiences?

@Surplus to Requirements:
Didn’t say it was an excuse. Just that people feeling under pressure and in a hurry are more likely to cut corners, especially on that safety stuff that looks like it’s being wasted because nobody’s had an accident yet

Well, yes. Conservative Christians tend to be rather selective on when they remember that their faith (and the first half of the Bible) technically grew out of Jewish history. Of course, it’s not as if most of them are any more familiar with actual Christian history anyway…

Kevin “Varg” you mean Vikernes? True, I read some and he seems to be an antichristian – anticatholic wing of antisemites, so it wouldn’t be more absurd or that far going to attribute it to those people, if any, than to muslims (radical islamists, actually), as usual.
Yeah, about the “not like us” “they are secretly smiling”, that’s so far deep on the rabbit hole of inquisitive paranoid* thought, how about showing them how many cheered the varios islamophobic white nationalist assault on mosques? Much many more than the reverse. By that logic we could safely assumed they cheer at the idea of mass muslim slaughter and given what they post we’d be much closer to truth for many of those holding similar thoughts. I’m aware that not all take it to these extremes, but seems like a sliding stair of which they stay at different steps of logical implication and by not calling out the extreme, they are accomplice and contiguity should be assumed by association, by their same logic.
Sorry for the purple prose. Seems still projection at work, for the most part, because so many feminist groups including these ones are quite quick to callout essentialist claim against men as a gender or transphobic terf.
Some people here, in past, astroturfed as a black or jew person, in order, in their mind, to make “sjw’s” stumble in contraddiction, because in their distorted strawman, for liberals, if you have enough “oppression points” in what they call oppression olympics, you have a pass in racism and bigotry.
I’m still curious about one thing, but if they have it against “cultural marxism”, why are they against global neoliberalism, as that’s been pushed by Reagan and the left adopted it under pressur to adapt to what was deemed to be the inevitable future.

*If ableist, I’m sorry and I apologize in advance, of course that’s not meant to accuse people whose mental illness might lead to paranoid thoughts, but not bigot ones. I was also in doubt if using “deranged”, for Varg’s movemen vs Isis attribution comparison above.

I may be mistaken, but I don’t think Ile de la Cite, or the 4th arrondissement are a ‘Muslim neighborhood’.

@David on the tweet

“You realize there was another church fire set in France in March? Do you have to be alt-right to question whether the fire was intentional? How did it start?
7 risposte 1 Retweet 51 Mi piace
Talia Lavin
‏Account verificato @chick_in_kiev
4 h4 ore fa

probably something to do with SEVEN HUNDRED YEAR OLD DRY WOOD SURROUNDED BY WELDERS you absolute DIPSHIT

I’m curious, is Talia in her response to this insinuating conspiracionist commenter, referring to these other fires set? I mean those church fires has be result of voluntary arson? Not that it would prove jack about Notre Dame.

Of course they called her insecure for having insulted him/her, for their “totally honest and good faith inquiry”

P.S. Ok I read it was Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris, which caught fire in march 17, still for accidental causes, but of course hateful conspiracionism and people blowing and dog whistling on them abound.

@Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation

AIPAC was founded in 1951 and incorporated in 1963.

Seems to me that some of the hate-tweeters haven’t quite grasped that it’s about a cathedral in France, not the college football club in America.

Re: Muslims not caring about Nôtre-Dame:

If the media would only take the trouble to look around and ask them, they’d probably find them already coming together and raising funds for the reconstruction of the church. And if they asked why, they’d probably receive a response they hadn’t expected: namely, that as fellow “people of the book”, Christians (who share a number of prophets with Islam) deserve compassion and support when one of their holy sites is devastated. And that in so doing unto others, they’re just being proper Muslims.

Of course, I don’t expect any right-wing donkey-bonkers and dead-horse-floggers to inquire terribly deeply into THAT — nay, inquire into it AT ALL. Anything which doesn’t support their fuckheaded fascist conspiracy theories will be studiously ignored.

It’s the associated “American Israel Education Foundation” that was founded in 1990. And …

The American Israel Education Foundation is a “sister organization” of AIPAC,[68] that handles “educational” work, rather than lobbying. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization that conducts educational programs, including sponsoring U.S. legislators on educational trips to Israel.[69]

AIEF trips for U.S. Congressmen occur every two years, becoming “the top spender on Congressional travel” in those years.[70] In the summer of 2011, the foundation sponsored week-long trips by 81 U.S. Congressmen: 55 Republicans and 26 Democrats. They traveled to Israel and the West Bank and visited with Shimon Peres and Binyamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister of Israel) and Mahmoud Abbas (President of the Palestinian Authority).[71][72] Critics have complained that the trips are propaganda rather than education and do not tell the Palestinian “side of the story”.[73] Other educational activities include regular seminars for Congressional staff.[74]

It’s a spinoff of AIPAC.

Sure looks like there was a jump in activity designed to promote and maintain an aggressive foreign-policy posture in the Middle East around 1990. Right when the end of the track for the defense industry’s Cold War gravy train was coming into view. I doubt that is coincidence.

Those who call for peace, justice, and the destruction of Israel remind me of that species of aliens in Douglas Adams'”Hitchhiker” series, who declare they want love, beauty, and the elimination of all other life forms.

@anonymous : I disagree a lot with what you say, but you indeed prove why one need a lot of fortitude to remind people that Israel and Palestine are problematic. To cite a few :
* the countries you cite have thoroughly epured their nation to the point where native are all but non existing. Israel is in the process of doing that. It’s the difference between holding a country accountable for its past crime, and saying a country is doing a crime.
* you confuse jews and inhabitants of Israel, which is the usual fare of people conflating antisionisme and antisemitisme. You also willfully ignore that I said that there is 0 good solutions right now. You even ignore the fact that I put moving the Israeli at the exact same level as moving the palestinian to act like I even said to make jews go to other countries.
* you don’t address the real problem, which are A – palestinians are getting epured from their country and B – if a war start, there are every element for it to destroy the entire middle east.

Now, if Gauls spring back to life and want the territory of the France, we would have a problem. I hope that hypothetical problem won’t be solved by putting them in refugees camps and giving them land then trying to evict them from it by so-called “colonies” ; and it’s not like we could relocate frenchs, gauls or both of to the moon.

As an aside, I know quite well a couple of “pied noirs”, which are the descendants of french who were forcibly moved from Algeria to France when the decolonization of Algeria was done.The trauma is still here for their grandchildren who weren’t even born in Algeria. I take that both as a clue of how horrible relocating the Israelis would be, and as a clue about how big the pain is on the expulsed palestinians.

Funny thing, “American Patroit(sic),” I figured people like you reacted to the Notre Dame fire that way, because you saw it as a golden opportunity to paint all Muslims as terrorists even though the fire has been conclusively shown to be an accident. Not that you or your vile bigot cohorts care. You people can’t even stub your toes on a rock without claiming a Muslim put the rock in your path.


Nazis typically don’t like Catholicism

That’s an understatement.

In my home province, there’s a tiny little town where the nazis settled in the 60s or something. Catholic people dug tunnels from their back yards to the grocery store, schools, etc, because it wasn’t physically safe for them to walk in the streets.

But of course, white Catholics are still far better than black people to a nazi, so obviously they’ll pretend to care if it gives them an excuse to stir up racist violence.


Talking like those against the occupation want “the destruction of Israel” is incredibly simplistic and disingenuous, and I think you know it. That is the kind of reactionary dogwhistle statement I have come to loathe in many a Kiddush lunch.

— American Patroit (@JoelRabon) April 15, 2019

If you are going to claim to be a patriot, you should at least know how to spell the word. Remember: you can’t be a patriot without “r-i-o-t”.

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