Chelsea Clinton was forced to apologize after a Muslim activist ambushed her at a public vigil for New Zealand mosque attack victims, accusing her of stoking anti-Muslim violence with her criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Clinton was attending a vigil for the victims of the massacre at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand that left 49 people dead and over 40 injured. So far, an Australian man named Brenton Tarrant has been charged with murder and three other people remain in police custody. It is alleged that Tarrant was motivated by neo-fascist, white supremacist beliefs he laid out in an extensive manifesto published several weeks before the attack.
A video of the verbal fight that broke out shortly after Clinton arrived at the vigil shows a visibly agitated Muslim activist calling Hillary Clinton’s daughter out for her past remarks towards the freshman Minnesota Rep.
Clinton, apparently taken aback by the accusations flung at her, can be seen apologizing profusely for what she argues was an unintended offense.
“It certainly was never my intention, I do believe words matter, I believe we have to show solidarity,” Clinton says.
“This, right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world!” the activist says, adding that she wants Clinton to “feel deep inside” her guilt in what had happened to the victims.
“Forty-nine people are dead because of the rhetoric that you put out there,” she charged.
The video of the argument was posted by a friend of the activist on Twitter, who then deleted the footage and most of her tweets.
The activist who faced off with Clinton took to Twitter herself, saying that the invitation to the vigil extended to Clinton made her “viscerally angry” and she was not going to apologize for her outburst.
Before the incident, she took aim at the “caucasity” of the fact that Clinton was invited, accusing her of “stoking Islamophobia and racism surrounding Ilhan Omar.”
After the very public row with Clinton began making headlines, the activist said that she was receiving “death threats” for “calling a hypocritical white woman out.”
Clinton was among establishment Democrats who tore into Omar for her suggestion that the wealthy Israeli lobby has an overbearing influence in US politics. The Somali-American congresswoman, one of the two Muslim Americans in the federal legislature, was accused of invoking an anti-Semitic trope and implying that American Jews might have dual allegiance.
READ MORE: New Zealand mosque attacks: How Christchurch massacre unfolded
Back in February, Clinton interjected in a heated debate between Omar and Orthodox Jewish journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon over the role of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Asked by Ungar-Sargon, who was paying American politicians to think pro-Israel, Omar responded: “AIPAC.”
Omar, who invited Clinton to talk about the issue. “I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you,” she added.
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