Ilhan Omar asked God to forgive Donald Trump for attacking her just hours after the arrest of a Trump supporter who threatened to kill the Democratic congresswoman.
A man from New York was arrested on Friday after the FBI said he phoned up Ms Omar’s office and told a staff member: “Why are you working for her, she’s a f***ing terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her f***ing skull.”
He later told bureau investigators he “loves the president and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.
Shortly after his arrest, Mr Trump mocked Ms Omar at a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Las Vegas. Pretending to thank the congresswoman for supporting Israel, he said: “Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota. Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.”
Ms Omar responded late on Saturday, tweeting in both English and Arabic, “My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know”; a phrase echoing Jesus’ last words in the Gospel of Luke: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
She faced widespread criticism for suggesting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) was buying influence for pro-Israel policies. Republicans and Democrats alike said the tweets stoked antisemitic tropes about Jews and money.
The 37-year-old mother-of-three, who is the first Somali-American, the first African-born American, and one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in the US congress, later apologised for the comments.
Mr Trump’s attack against Ms Omar was part of a wide-ranging speech, which saw him tout his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.