More than 1,000 bodegas and delis owned by Yemeni-Americans in New York represent an important portion of the newspaper’s market. Bodega owners backed by thousands of Yemeni-Americans and supporters last flexed their political muscle two years ago when they closed up shop and hit the streets to protest President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims.
This time YAMA is taking action to protest the Post’s front page Thursday that featured a photo of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center with an isolated quote from a recent speech by Omar saying that “some people did something” while discussing the aftermath of 9/11.
The implication was that Omar was dismissing the importance of 9/11. In reality, she had been talking in the speech about widespread discrimination that all Muslims in America faced following an action by terrorists.
A YAMA statement said the front page “provoked hatred,” fueled “threats,” and “aims to harm Omar,” who has been the target of death threats during her time in Congress.
“This rhetoric threatens the safety and wellbeing of Omar, Muslim leaders, and the larger Muslim American community at a time when Islamophobia is at an all-time high,” the statement added.
The group said it was calling on “all Yemeni American bodega and deli owners” as well as “our community and allies across New York City” to boycott the Post.
On Friday Trump fell in line behind the Post tweeting a video juxtaposing the same words from Omar with horrifying scenes of the terror attack. Trump added the message: “We will never forget!”
It wasn’t immediately clear how long the boycott will last. “It’s not the first time that the New York Post basically spreads hate and fear in their newspapers,” Ayyad Algabyali, the group’s director of advocacy, told The Guardian. “This might be for good.”
The Post could not immediately be reached for comment.
People stepped up to support the boycott on Twitter and also called for a consumer boycott of the newspaper.
Here’s a bit on the history of YAMA, which was formed after the 2017 bodega strike: