Ilhan Omar became the first Somali to be elected to a state legislature when she defeated 44-year incumbent–and Jewish–Phyllis Kahn in 2016. Since that time, both local and national media have spared no effort in raising her profile while conveniently ignoring her history of extremism.
Recently Omar was called out by a fellow legislator, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, for violating Minnesota House ethics rules by taking honorariums for speeches given to colleges for which she has oversight responsibilities by virtue of serving on the Minnesota House Higher Education committee. That story was broken by me. Within hours of his press conference, where one media outlet asked if the matter was being raised because of anti-Muslim prejudice on the part of Drazkowski, Omar issued a statement claiming the matter was inadvertent and promising to return the monies to the educational institutions at which she spoke.
Minnesota media are staunchly opposed to reporting anything less than flattering about Omar unless forced by events. The Star Tribune, the Twin Cities’ largest newspaper, refers to her in their opinion newsletter as a “rock star.” Minnesota Public Radio carries virtually no stories critical of her or of the problems caused by the forced migration of Somalis into Minnesota. Other outlets follow suit, varying only by degree in their lauding of a community that has brought to the state female genital mutilation, support for terrorism and terrorism itself, as well as daycare fraud.
Earlier this year I unearthed an old tweet by Omar, which got some traction, domestically and abroad. Said the rock star, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” When I confronted her, she called me “a hateful sad man” and insisted that being critical of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic. Omar has neither apologized for nor retracted the tweet. Minnesota media ignored the controversy. Responding to others on Twitter, Omar said about me,
“He writes hateful stuff every time there is news about me. I am sure envy is a sin in all faiths and beyond. I might send him some purifying holy water to cleanse his heart.”
I write factually about her for Alpha News, which Omar confuses with hate. That she thinks I envy her is baffling. For example, on July Fourth she showed little gratitude on Twitter for being in America purely by luck: “We shouldn’t revise history. We’re a country built on stolen land and the backs of slaves. Independence Day allows us to reflect on how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to do. Leveraging our voice to fight for justice is as American as it gets. Happy 4th of July”
Last year she was one of only two no votes in the Minnesota House that would allow life insurance companies to deny payouts to the beneficiaries of terrorists who die in violent attacks on Americans. Nothing that I have ever written about Omar has shown to be factually incorrect. With her, there’s no need for exaggeration or falsehoods, the simple truth about who she is tells the tale. Which is why Minnesota media goes to great lengths to prevent it from becoming widely known.
Omar is friends with the vile Linda Sarsour but Minnesotans wouldn’t know it from their media because there has been a complete blackout on her. Not a single story about who Sarsour is, what she has said and what she has done has appeared in any Twin Cities media outlet.
This is by design because to cover Sarsour would lead to Omar’s association with her. Sarsour has called on Muslims not to assimilate and to wage jihad against President Trump. She is an unapologetic advocate for sharia law. Putting the lie to Muslim integration in the West, Sarsour is on record saying, “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community, it is not to assimilate and please any other people and authority.”
In 2011 she infamously tweeted of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel “She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.” Sarsour later deleted the tweet and denied it had ever come from her account.
Omar palled around with Sarsour late last year, posting pictures of the two of them when they were attending a M.O.V. E conference in November in Dearborn, Michigan, designed to “empower” Arab-Americans. Omar said “In Michigan with Linda Sarsour and other leaders for the “M.O.V.E. conference powered by ACCESS” to inspire Arab/Muslim to be unapologetic leaders.”
On top of all this is Omar’s questionable past family relationships, with a strong argument to be made that she defrauded immigration authorities by marrying her brother. Omar has denied this and Minnesota media are only too happy to take her at her word and not investigate further.
Not so Scott Johnson of Powerline and Preya Samsundar, my former colleague at Alpha News. Johnson laid out the case and controversy in a crisply written piece for City Journal “The Curious Case of Ilhan Omar.” Johnson cites Samsundar’s original reporting which found that soon after Omar’s marital history became public she purged her social media accounts. She told Johnson of Omar’s purported marriage “I think social media prove without a doubt that there is a familial relationship that is not that of a husband and wife.”
Omar is running to replace Keith Ellison in Congress. Curiously, when announcing his decision to retire from representing Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional district, he did not endorse anyone. This may have been a shrewd decision on his part to avoid hindering Omar in the upcoming Democratic primary. Omar can be the happy face of the Islamist agenda. Ellison, meanwhile, is running to become Minnesota’s next Attorney General, with an explicit promise to weaponize the office against those he sees as his enemies. Republicans, not for the first time, seem asleep at the wheel in their efforts to defeat him.
The primary is August 14 and Omar is widely seen to be the front-runner. There is some doubt, however, that her manufactured celebrity in a small legislative state district will be sufficient for her to win. Her campaign is executing a well thought out plan to harvest votes from the Somali community through early and absentee voting, setting records in Hennepin County, Minnesota’s most populous. The Congressional district tilts so heavily Democrat that the winner of the primary is essentially the winner in the general election.
An Omar victory would lead to another round of celebrity coverage for a woman whose rise to Minnesota prominence has been aided and abetted by a media uninterested in finding out who she truly is. Once on the national stage, there is little doubt that the rest of the American media would follow suit.