Rep. Ilhan Omar Calls Notre Dame Cathedral 'Art and Architecture'

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) called the Notre Dame Cathedral “art and architecture” in a tweet Monday, without referencing its name or significance to the Catholic religion.

“Art and architecture have a unique ability to help us connect across our differences and bring people together in important ways. Thinking of the people of Paris and praying for every first responder trying to save this wonder,” she tweeted.

The tweet sparked immediate criticism from those who noted that the historical Catholic cathedral was more than just “art and architecture.”

Others noted that she did not call the Notre Dame Cathedral by its name.

Others filled in the history and significance of Notre Dame.

One Twitter user suggested that when she inevitably receives criticism for the tweet, she should “take it on the chin and not play victim”:

The tweet follows controversy over Omar’s recent remarks when she described the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something.” Her supporters claimed that critics of her remarks were trying to harm her safety.

On Monday, a fire engulfed the ancient cathedral, destroying its timber roof, and bringing down the central spire. People all around the world watched in horror and prayed that the cathedral would be saved, and residents in Paris sang hymns and held a vigil.

The Vatican sent out a message of mourning on Monday, saying, “With shock and sadness, the Holy See received the news of the terrible fire that devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and the world.”

“We extend our closeness to French Catholics and to the people of Paris and ensure our prayers for the firefighters and those who are doing all they can to deal with this tragic situation,” the Vatican said.

The cathedral is in the process of restoration and recently had sixteen bronze statues removed from the roof area to facilitate work. The fire appears to have started near the roof where work was taking place.

Although no suspicion of foul play has been reported, France has recently suffered an intense period of attacks on its Christian monuments, according to a recent report by the Christian Broadcasting Network.