By David Futrelle
Right-wingers on Twitter stopped their incessant attacks on congresswoman Ilhan Omar long enough to notice that Notre Dame was on fire, apparently (according to police) because of a construction accident. And then they started tweeting again, with many of them simply incorporating the devastating fire into their attacks on the congreswoman and Muslims in general.
More than a few have used her now famous remarks about 9/11, taken out of context and distorted by right-wing media and MAGA trolls, as a sort of joke template, imagining her reacting with indifference of not joy to the monumental disaster.
I wonder how many MAGAs will end up believing that these fake quotes are real?
The “some people” tweeters aren’t the only ones convinced that Omar, and Muslins generally, are celebrating the fire en masse.
Others are suggesting that Omar herself is somehow connected to the fire.
A few tweeted their accusations directly at Omar, with some adding ominous, if deliberately vague, threats. These people definitely aren’t joking.
It’s still early. As the hours and days go by, I’m sure it will get uglier. The memes will spread; the YouTube videos will go up; the accusations will become more lurid and the conspiracy theories will become more baroque. Regardless of what any investigations of this fire find, there will be many on the right — if not most of them — who will not only blame Muslim terrorists for this historic tragedy but will hold Omar herself personally responsible.
I can only imagine how ugly it will get on Fox News tonight, to say nothing of the reactions on right-wing forums and the chans. We live in hateful times.
EDITED TO ADD: Here’s some of the ugliness from Fox in the wake of the fire.
And here’s Glenn Beck with his own conspiracy theory:
EDITED TO ADD PART TWO: Talia Lavin takes a broader look at the anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, citing among other things this post.
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