“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar has quickly achieved Democratic stardom since last year becoming one of the first of two Muslim women elected to Congress.
But before that, she lobbied for leniency for nine men from her home state of Minnesota who had attempted to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, according to a Fox News report.
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“I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food” admitted Abdirahman Yasin Daud, one of the accused men. “I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.”
Omar, who was a member of Minnesota’s House of Representatives at the time, wrote in 2016 to presiding Judge Michael Davis to ask that the men be given light sentences.
“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,” she said.
“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to effect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”
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Many liberals have hailed the election of Omar ― along with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others in the new class of Democratic lawmakers ― as progress toward a government that better reflects a diverse and changing America. However, conservatives have pointed to Omar’s recently resurfaced letter as proof that Democrats increasingly hold views far outside the mainstream.
Most of the men on trial received lengthy sentences. Daud is serving 30 years in prison after being convicted of trying to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to commit murder overseas.
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