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Ilhan Omar Refused to Support Historic Bill Condemning Armenian Genocide – Here's Why 

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN (PHOTO: Patrick Robertson/CBN News)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) refused to support a historic House resolution recognizing the Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenian people during World War I. 

Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the non-binding resolution 405-11 on Tuesday, but Omar was one of three legislators to vote "present."

Omar said in a statement explaining her decision that recognizing genocide "should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight" but "should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics."

Omar further justified her decision by claiming that the measure should have included a condemnation of the "transatlantic slave trade" and "Native American Genocide."

Omar's refusal to back the resolution drew sharp criticism. 

Political analyst Zaid Jilani pointed out that the US has already condemned the slave trade and mistreatment of Native Americans. 

"There's nothing wrong with asking that the US government acknowledge human rights abuses here before we acknowledge them overseas," Jilani said on Twitter. "The issue is, the US government already did acknowledge the ones Omar is asking it to acknowledge. Didn't acknowledge the Armenian genocide at behest of Turkey."

Michigan state representative Mari Manoogian, who is an Armenian-American herself, said Omar's statement is "totally unacceptable."

"I am deeply disappointed and, frankly, disgusted by this statement issued by @IlhanMN today regarding H.Res. 296," Manoogian said on Twitter. "The whataboutism is from the textbook of denial that the Turkish government has engaged in for more than a century. Totally unacceptable."

Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter also slammed the freshman congresswoman. 

Kanter, who is Turkish, tweeted: "What an absolute disappointment and shame that the only democrat who did NOT support the Turkish bill aiming to stop the killing of innocent people is @IlhanMN who seems like on #DictatorErdogan 's payroll working for his interests, but not for the American people and democracy!"

Reporter Jordan Schachtel claimed that Omar refused to condemn the Armenian genocide because of her "respect" for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Ilhan Omar's failure to vote for the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution has everything to do with her respect for Erdogan and his regime's close ties with her native Somalia. See my article from March to make sense of it," he said. 

Omar met with Erdogan in New York City in 2017, while she was a Minnesota state representative.

Omar is an avid supporter of the anti-Israel Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) Movement. However, she does not support sanctions against Turkey, Iran, Venezuela, and other human rights abusers because she believes sanctions against those countries will hurt innocent people. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified Rep. Manoogian as a Minnesota State Representative. She is a Michigan State Representative for the Michigan 40th District.

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