Hatred is not patriotism

A disturbing news story came from the Associated Press on Friday. The FBI has arrested a western New York man who is facing federal charges of threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Democrat who represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

Rep. Omar, elected this past year, is one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. She wears a hijab, a head scarf, and has drawn criticism for comments that went beyond anti-Israeli comments into anti-semitic tropes about Jews using money to control the world, and demanding allegiance to Israel.

Bu that doesn’t give anyone the right to call up her office in Washington, call her a terrorist and threaten to kill her. That’s what Patrick W. Carlineo, 55, of Addison, NY, was charge with doing. In a discussion with one of her staff on March 21, he allegedly said, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s an (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”

After tracking him through the contact information he provided during the call, the FBI questioned Carlineo March 29, who reportedly told the agents he is a patriot, that he loves President Donald Trump and hates radical Muslims in government, the complaint stated.

“If our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head,” he told the agents, according to federal court documents.

The historical verity of that last statement is certainly questionable. But let’s be clear — hatred is not patriotism. Threatening someone because their religion is different from yours won’t make America great again. President Trump doesn’t need this kind of supporter.