Ilhan Omar and her Alleged Marriage to her ‘Brother’. Fact or Fiction?

Irrespective of its authenticity, the constituents of the district deserved “a clear nonpolitical answer,” regarding the rumours—a request Omar has yet to indulge.


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Even after two years on the job as Minnesota’s first Somali-American legislator, a 2016 inquiry into Ilhan Omar’s alleged immigration fraud has stood the test of time, remaining open while ultimately questioning the validity of her candidacy as the Congresswoman of District B60.

Reportedly, she partook in a bigamous union with her second husband and alleged ‘brother,’ Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she attended North Dakota State University with from 2009 to 2012, and later filed for a still-pending divorce back in 2011.

He then returned home to the United Kingdom, as a British national, upon graduation.

Following the allegations of immigration fraud, which has yet to be substantiated, it was found that her marriage to her first husband and father to her three children, Ahmed Hirsi, was never done through the state—meaning there are no records of her union to him, which she claims was a “traditional” or “community” marriage.

However, what was genuinely bizarre regarding the controversy was that Hirsi was listed as her husband in campaign pamphlets ahead of the 2016 60B primary, despite never legally divorcing her second husband—whom she married through the state back in 2009.

As one peels back at the layers of this seemingly nothing-burger, one finds that there may be more to this kerfuffle than meets the eye. Indeed, some may be wondering as to whether or not the now-Minnesota legislator was covering up this scandalous union, which, if proven, would be grounds to rescind her eligibility to assume office in any capacity.

Perhaps this was indeed a fake news story—a hit piece done by a right-wing tabloid that lacked both the credibility and proof to substantiate such a “serious accusation”?

However, Powerline, the conservative outlet responsible for pushing the “she married her brother” narrative, was responsible for covering a scandal involving George W. Bush and a series of forged documents surrounding his tenure with the Texas Air National Guard that has since been proven.

Therefore, claiming Powerline to be a tabloid-style paper in an attempt to divert the mere curiosity of the reporters, does nothing to assuage said curiosity. They were well within their in reporting on this by her marriage licenses, or lack thereof, alone.

Thus, Omar had a bit of a PR problem on her hands, which ultimately proved inconsequential in her eventual election victory back in late-2016.

On top of that, her then-Republican opponent for the House District 60B seat openly stated that irrespective of the authenticity of this “serious accusation,” the constituents of the district deserved “a clear nonpolitical answer,”—a request they have yet to indulge.

Initially, Omar refused to comment on the matter, then, to the chagrin of those pursuing this story, she ended up calling the attacks both “false” and “absurd” without providing any verifiable evidence to assuage the ‘conspiracies’ of the journalists through legal marriage licenses with the state of Minnesota.

In laymen’s terms, the way Omar went about deflecting the allegations was bizarre. Sure, issues associated with one’s marriage are private and should stay private out of respect for the individual, but given that Omar’s second marriage was a potential crime, then the separation between private and public spheres become null and void.

Then, it becomes a matter of great importance to the public, especially to those in her district—a sentiment that was echoed by her then-Republican counterpart Abdimalik Askar.

According to the state of Minnesota, the crime of bigamy is defined as “knowingly having a prior marriage that is not dissolved while also contracting a marriage in this state,” which is punishable through a fine of up to $10,000 or a maximum five-year prison sentence.

However, then again, perhaps this was indeed a conspiracy theory of the Alex Jones’ variety?

Again, I digress.

Moreover, what makes this seemingly tabloid-esque story worthy of further investigation, was articulated through a live-segment yesterday on Tucker Carlson Tonight at 8:30 pm EST, where Scott Johnson of Powerline recapped much of what was mentioned prior, even expanding upon specific ‘facts’, as outlined in the clip “Scandal dogs Minnesota primary winners.”

Political leanings aside, whether or not this allegation is an attempted cover-up or a mere conspiracy theory, may forever remain a mystery.

While some remain intrigued by this story, some, on the other hand, believe the likes of Fox9, Star Tribune and Powerline were stoking the flames of bigotry in pushing a ‘fake news’ story that revealed “[Donald] Trump-style misogyny, racism…and Islamophobic [divisiveness].” However, that too remains unproven and will probably remain so, pending any further developments in the ‘case.’


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Alexander Singh Dhaliwal

A journalist with interests in identity politics and 19th-20th Century Western History, whose belief in putting family before government stands bar none. Alex is entering his fourth of five years as a political science-history major at the University of Calgary, where he advocates on behalf of classical liberalism and the expanded role of youth in politics.

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