Anthony Trollope titled the first of his series of Palliser novels Can You Forgive Her? In Minneapolis “The curious case of Ilhan Omar” raises a similar question. Will she have to talk?
Early voting in Minnesota has been underway since September 23. Yet our local media have done roughly nothing to answer the question whether the young lady about to be elected the first state representative from Minnesota’s Somali community is married…to her brother.
On August 17 Omar issued a brief written statement purporting to clarify her marital history. Obviously written with the help of a professional who had been airlifted into Omar’s campaign for a day or two, the statement contained three references to Omar’s “faith tradition.”
It looks like mystification, but we get it. Omar is Muslim. Enough said. Further questions would be, ah, disrespectful.
Since issuing her written statement, Omar has declined all interview requests. KMSP 9’s Tom Lyden captured Omar on camera turning him down twice. Omar offered up as her brief written statement as the last word on the matter.
I met off-the-record with a local reporter who had sought interviews with Omar and husband number one (the “love of her life,” according to her statement, and the father of her children). I chided the reporter for failing to report further on the story or draw inferences from Omar’s silence and other circumstantial anomalies.
“She’s going to have to talk,” the reporter assured me.
“Before election day?” I asked.
“She’s going to have to talk,” the reporter responded.
Well, here we are. As I point out in the City Journal column linked above, Alpha News reporter Preya Samsundar has eaten the lunch of the local media. She has tracked down and corresponded with Omar’s apparent husband — husband number 2, the guy she legally married, not “the love of her life.” (I say “apparent” husband because if he is her brother, the marriage would be void under Minnesota law.) Samsundar has concluded that Omar’s apparent husband is her brother.
As for Omar, she’s not talking, and neither are the rest of the Minnesota media.