Is Ilhan Omar Losing Somali Community Support?
Is Ilhan Omar Losing Somali Community Support?
Squad member Ilhan Omar continues to tour around as a Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate, but she might be losing support within her own community.
The Daily Mail has now published a new story on Omar’s past relationships, both legal marriages and religious ones, and comes to the conclusion that other investigations have: that there is plenty of evidence that Ilhan Omar committed immigration fraud by marrying her own brother.
Any aware reader of news and the blogosphere knows the story already. Ilhan Omar was married in a religious Muslim ceremony to her first husband, Ahmed Hirsi. That religious marriage was never legalized. Omar and Hirsi went on to have two children at that time. Then Omar married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, in a LEGAL wedding ceremony done by a Christian minister (who refuses to comment about the ceremony) and outside of the Muslim community. Elmi then attends college in the United States. Omar claims that she and Hirsi were “split up” at the time of her marriage to Elmi, but she has a third child with Hirsi in 2012 – and in an Instagram post at the time, Elmi refers to the baby as a “niece.” Elmi and Omar legally divorce in 2017, and Omar and Hirsi marry in a civil ceremony – now completely legal – before she runs for Congress. Of course, the Omar-Hirsi marriage has since fallen apart with her affair, and now Hirsi himself has remarried.
What’s important about the Daily Mail story is that the source of previous stories is finally putting his own name on the record.
Gould’s story follows his trip to Minneapolis last week and his meeting with my original Somali source (who has authorized me to say so). His name is Abdihaikm Osman Nur (Gould gives his name as Abdihakim Osman). I first met him in August 2016 at a public place in downtown Minneapolis. Abdi had called me after the publication of my initial Omar-related Power Line post, “Ilhan Omar: Her back pages.” We were afraid of each other, but we have become good friends as I have continued meeting with him since then and developed other sources with his help.”
Abdi required me to promise confidentiality because he feared for his safety if he were to be identified. He perceives the threats to have intensified over the past two weeks and to have reached a crescendo yesterday in a call from a relative of Omar in which he was told the FBI would be looking for him as a result of his “false claims.” Abdi called me to discuss his concerns about it last night.”
In my first meeting with him I asked Abdi over and over, why are you telling me this? He told me he loves the United States. He immigrated from Somalia by way of Yemen. He emphasized that the first time he was ever treated as a real human being and citizen was the moment when he landed in Chicago and was brought a wheelchair in which he was to be taken from the plane. He loves the United States and does not approve of how Omar has taken advantage of Americans.”
Abdi refuses to be silenced and thinks it is better at this point to be on the record. He is an observant Muslim. This afternoon he told me that he is happy to leave his fate in God’s hands.”
This exchange is very interesting, because it implies that Ilhan Omar might be losing her clout within the Somali community that is the majority of her Congressional district. According to the Daily Mail, Hirsi was quite popular within the community. Could Omar’s affair and divorce have made the Somali community mad enough to let someone like Abdihakim Osmar Nur speak out a little more freely? For a devout Muslim, she sure didn’t seem to mind flouting her adultery with a non-Muslim man.
However, Ilhan Omar is in BIG trouble if any of the current alleged investigations into tax fraud, immigration fraud, and education fraud pan out into actual charges. She’s already been fined once for state campaign finance violations, and given the level of circumstantial evidence about her marriages, she had better be concerned. The Christian minister who married Omar and Elmi is unlikely to refuse to speak to federal investigators if they come knocking at her door.
Omar is now claiming that this is all a big conspiracy against her, perpetrated by… Meghan McCain?
Paying people to generate fake new stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent isn’t a good look.
Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 20, 2020
That is not the slam against McCain that she thinks it is, and it’s not a denial of the Daily Mail story. It is typical for Omar, though – complain and change the subject whenever the press asks questions that get too close to home.
The real test of Ilhan Omar’s support among the Somali community, though, will be in her primary election. Her challengers aren’t well known, and Omar has a lot of campaign funds to spend. If the status quo remains the same and Omar is able to dodge all questions about her personal life, will the Somali community still support her reelection? Will her support waver even with a federal indictment, if that should ever come? This are open questions that are sure to get more interesting as time goes on.
Featured image: Featured photo: Official portrait by Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photography; omar.house.gov, public domain