by Scott Johnson
Somali American Ilhan Omar defeated 22-term incumbent Phyllis Kahn for the nomination of the DFL to serve as the representative of House District 60B in the state legislature. Omar came in first in a three-way primary race for the nomination in Tuesday’s primary. When elected, Omar will be the first Somali American to serve in the Minnesota legislature.
The Star Tribune hailed Omar’s victory as “historic” in a celebratory day-after story. How did Omar do it? They’re pretty excited about it over at the Star Tribune, as they were when Keith Ellison secured the DFL nomination to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District after a contentious four-way primary in 2006.
A reader has written us to point out that the Somali website Somalispot posted information last week suggesting Omar’s involvement in marriage and immigration fraud. The post notes that Omar married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002. Hirsi is the father of Omar’s three children. Omar is depicted with Hirsi and their children on Omar’s campaign website here.
The post further notes that Omar married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, implying that the latter marriage assisted his entry into the United States. Her brother was a British citizen. “As soon as Ilhan Omar married him,” the post continues, “he started university at her [a]lma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom where he now lives.”
Let me note here that Omar’s marriage to her brother, if it occurred in fact, is illegal under Minnesota law. I believe it would be void ab initio, as though it never occurred. If it occurred, I infer that it must have taken place for dishonest purposes.
Any such second marriage might be bigamous as well as fraudulent. That is not clear to me. Minnesota law defines bigamy as “knowingly having a prior marriage that is not dissolved” while also “contract[ing] a marriage in this state.” Bigamy is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine up to $10,000. The definition and penalty provisions of the crime of bigamy are set forth in Minn. Stat. § 609.355.
The Somalispot post has been taken down. The item was originally posted here; it is preserved in a Google cache here with accompanying comments. Comments on the Somalispot post suggest that the information is something of an open secret in the Somali community. Inputting the name Ilhan Omar, I have confirmed both marriages as noted in the Somalispot post via the online Minnesota Official Marriage System.
After confirming the marital information online, I reached out to Omar press spokesman Jean Heyer and Omar campaign manager Dan Cox this morning. I left voicemail messages with both of them explaining why I was calling and subsequently sent them the following email message:
I left a voicemail message for you this morning…I write for the website Power Line (powerlineblog.com). This is to request a comment by the close of business today on the information posted on Somalispot last week indicating that Ilhan Omar was married to her brother in 2009 following her marriage to Ahmed Aden (Hirsi) in 2002.
I assume you are familiar with the post. I am inserting the URL to the Google cache of it below my contact information.
I have related questions. Why did she marry her brother? Was the marriage to her first husband legally dissolved? If so, when?
Thank you for your courtesies.
Jean Heyer emailed me late this morning politely thanking me for my email message. Heyer advised me that Omar was out of town and that they would be in touch with me this afternoon. I responded:
Thank you for this timely response. Just fyi, I emailed my message to Dan Cox as well. I would appreciate a written statement[.]
As I think about this, assuming the information I have is correct, it seems to me that the marriage to her brother would be void ab initio and entered into solely for dishonest purposes. I would appreciate your addressing that as well.
This afternoon I received the following email message from Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Jean Brandl on behalf of Omar:
Dear Mr. Johnson:
I have been contacted by the Ilhan Omar campaign. Their response to your email from this morning is as follows:
“There are people who do not want an East African, Muslim woman elected to office and who will follow Donald Trump’s playbook to prevent it. Ilhan Omar’s campaign sees your superfluous contentions as one more in a series of attempts to discredit her candidacy.
Ilhan Omar’s campaign will not be distracted by negative forces and will continue to focus its energy on creating positive engagement with community members to make the district and state more prosperous and equitable for everyone.”
If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please direct them to me in writing so we have a record of any further communications.
The Omar campaign’s shoddy imputations of my motives speak loudly for themselves, but let me add that I find them disgusting. Putting the shoddy imputations to one side, however, I take Brandl’s message to be the confirmation of a major local story with national implications in light of Omar’s “historic” victory.
UPDATE: The cached version of the Somalispot post has also been removed.
JOHN adds: I took screen shots of the cached Somalispot post. I didn’t get all the comments, of which there were a considerable number:
View the cached screen shots at Powerline link above.
The Republican candidate for MN House 60B, Abdimalik Askar, released a statement on Wednesday asking for “more facts” from Omar:
“We all know what has been alleged about Omar illegally marrying her brother to commit immigration fraud. It is a serious accusation and would certainly disqualify her from representing district 60B if true.”
“The truly odd thing about the story is how Omar’s campaign has chosen to respond. Instead of having her brother explain who he married or producing any sort of documentation, Omar released a statement calling the accusations a racist witch-hunt.”
“I’m obviously very much in favor of a Somali being elected in 60B, and my questions about this situation are like everyone’s. The constituents that Omar wishes to represent, myself included, would simply like a clear non-political answer about the allegations. If she can’t provide that, what kind of representative is she going to be?”
We covered the Muslim woman who was involved in a Democratic caucus brawl here. And putting a hijab on the lesbian police chief here.
More importantly, another city is on the road to sharia courtesy of Muslim refugees and mass immigration. Omar should be thanking the Clinton’s (see Black Hawk Down).
The state that has imported the most Somali Muslims over the past 25 years has reached a historic milestone that may be a harbinger of things to come.
In Minnesota’s Democratic primary election Tuesday, Ilhan Omar, a hijab-wearing Somali woman, defeated 44-year incumbent Phyllis Kahn and will likely become the first female Muslim legislator in U.S. history in November. The district is made up mostly of college students and immigrants, offering zero chance for her Republican challenger in November.
Among the six accomplishments Omar lists on her website is lobbying for passage of a city council resolution honoring Muslims in Minneapolis:
“Passing a Minneapolis city ordinance (the first of its kind) to allow businesses to extend their hours 35 days a year to honor, respect and accommodate Muslims celebrating Ramadan.”
In November, Omar will face Republican Abdimalik Askar, a school teacher who political observers in Minnesota say has no chance of winning.
Debra Anderson, the Minnesota chapter coordinator for ACT For America, a watchdog group that opposes Shariah law, said Omar’s election is just the first shoe to fall in what will inevitably be many conquests of Islam in her state as a result of the growing Somali enclaves not only in Minneapolis but in St. Cloud, Willmar, Austin, Owatonna and other cities.
“She believes America is oppressive, classic Islamic worldview,” Anderson said of Omar’s platform as laid out on her website. “Throughout, she uses progressive speak, policies that, if enacted, will ultimately promote the incremental accommodation to Islam.
“She is following the example of Mohammad: Settle. Seek power through politics. Once power is achieved, impose Islamic law.”
“Their extensive co-opting of American ideas and words overwhelm me. I don’t know where to even begin to counter their lies.”
Read it all.