Democrat Muslim Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is under fire for suggesting lenient sentences for ISIS sympathizers.
Embattled congressional freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., once asked a judge to show leniency toward a group of Minnesota men accused of trying to join the Islamic State terror group.
“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” she wrote at the time. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to effect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”
The nine Minnesota men were facing decades in prison after being accused in 2015 of making plans, including buying fake passports, in an effort to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, which was at its peak level of activity and held territory in Syria and Iraq.
Omar, who was then a Minnesota state representative, was part of a group that sent letters to Judge Michael Davis urging him to give shorter sentences, arguing that harsher penalties would only lead to more people joining the terror group.
“Incarcerating 20-year-old men for 30 or 40 years is essentially a life sentence. Society will have no expectations of the to-be 50- or 60-year-old released prisoners; it will view them with distrust and revulsion,” read Omar’s letter to the judge, as obtained by FOX 9 of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
“Such punitive measures not only lack efficacy, they inevitably create an environment in which extremism can flourish, aligning with the presupposition of terrorist recruitment,” she added.
She said this even after one of the men charged said that “I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food. I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.”
But Omar argued “A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure of criminality and addresses it.”
Rep. Omar Called for Lighter Sentence for Men Who Tried to Join ISIS https://t.co/xfJIkxteoI
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 25, 2019
Omar's letter in part states: "A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty." So joining ISIS is how @IlhanMN defines "combatting direct marginalization"? https://t.co/QEOQL3mMxQ
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) January 25, 2019
Defending ISIS terrorists in any manner should should barr anyone from holding public office, especially this anti-Semite. But yet, the Left LOVES her…. https://t.co/EqcbJtFw7O
— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@iheartmindy) January 26, 2019
— RJC (@RJC) January 25, 2019
Ilhan Omar asks the judge to give an ISIS recruit a lenient sentence | https://t.co/gFxPxpMbfS
— Mike (@Doranimated) January 24, 2019