The marriage and divorce of Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (I refer to him as husband number 2) and Ilhan Omar was integral to the Minnesota campaign finance board investigation of Omar over the past year. As I note in part 2 of this series, the Star Tribune and other mainstream media outlets continue to take the Omar campaign’s minimalistic statements as the last word on her marital history.
To this day the Star Tribune reiterates the assertions in Omar’s statements as the settled facts of the case. According to Omar, she married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002 in her “faith tradition” and subsequently divorced Hirsi in 2008 in her “faith tradition” So far as I know, no reporter has ever identified those who presided over the proceedings, but Omar’s “faith tradition” nevertheless looms large in her story.
How about Omar’s wedding and marriage to husband number 2? Here I believe we have something of a mystery. Omar and Elmi are said to have married in 2009. Omar was 26 and Elmi 23 at the time.
Thanks to the campaign finance board investigation, we know that Omar was still married to Elmi when she filed joint tax returns with Hirsi in 2014 and 2015. Omar herself seems to have treated her marriage to husband number 2 as a sham. While still married to Elmi, she had a third child with Hirsi.
What “faith tradition” did Omar and Elmi invoke for their 2009 wedding and marriage? I have posted a screenshot of an image of the marriage certificate below. It is signed by “Wilecia Harris, minister.” I don’t purport to know what the story is. However, I am unaware of female imams in Omar’s “faith tradition” or of clerics in Omar’s “faith tradition” who refer to themselves as “ministers.” Relevant again in light of the Minnesota campaign finance board investigation, this is just one more mixed-up file in the mixed-up files of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Credit: Image of marriage certificate courtesy of Preya Samsundar.