Ilhan Omar declines comment

Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar is becoming a political celebrity. She’s a Somali refugee. She’s young. She’s attractive. She’s a Democrat. Did I forget to say she’s a Muslim? She’s a Muslim. She toes the Democratic Party line on every issue great and small, purporting to speak up for womyn and homosexuals and all the rest. A star is born.

The Star Tribune profiles Omar in her new role in “Omar navigates rising political celebrity as she adjusts to life in Minn. Legislature.” The Star Tribune has two reporters on the story and they still fail to get her to say anything of interest about her marriage to the man who may be her brother, now safely removed to London:

Days after winning her primary last summer, Omar faced scrutiny over a report that she had married her brother for immigration reasons. She denied he was her brother, calling the insinuations “absurd and offensive.”

Omar is not legally married to Ahmed Hirsi, who is the father of her three children. She said they’d had an Islamic marriage that ended in 2008 when they reached “an impasse in our life together.” She later met and married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen and the man alleged to be her brother, in 2009 in Hennepin County. After that relationship ended, Omar said she reconciled with Hirsi and remarried in their faith.

She said she’s still in the process of divorcing Elmi and declined further comment.

Having raised the issue on Power Line, I found Omar’s initial response to be a classic of the nondeniai denial genre. Omar found me guilty of “Donald Trump-style misogyny, racism, anti-immigration rhetoric, and Islamophobic division.”

Omar’s campaign airlifted a public relations professional to improve on the nondeniai for a day or two before moving on. On Omar’s behalf he offered a denial that Hirsi is her brother. Omar herself wasn’t talking.

I was called for comment by Star Tribune political reporter Patrick Coolican on the spokesman’s denial. I asked Coolican: Who do they say Hirsi is? “They won’t tell me,” he responded.

Omar spoke with City Pages about that divorce that is now “in process” this past November. At that time it was all just too complicated. “There are particular challenges to getting a legal divorce,” she said. “One of those is getting the cooperation and presence of the other person who you are divorcing.”

Actually, no. Not true at all. Indeed, utterly false.

Say what you will about Omar, at least she’s consistent. And in the world according to the Star Tribune, her silence is good enough.

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