Sources told me a month ago that Ilhan Omar had essentially abandoned her family in Minneapolis and wanted her current legal husband — husband number 1, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her children — to seek a divorce from her. I understood that Omar doesn’t want to be seen by the local Somali community as seeking a divorce, either under Islamic custom or American law.
Getting into Omar’s personal life is not my thing, so I held off on reporting the story, but today the Daily Mail breaks it in Martin Gould’s report datelined Minneapolis: “EXCLUSIVE: Ilhan Omar SPLITS with her husband and moves into luxury penthouse as she heads for SECOND divorce with father of her three children.” The Daily Mail story is lavishly illustrated with local photographs.
Gould asserts as a fact that Omar was divorced from Hirsi under Islamic practice in 2008 and is therefore headed for a second divorce from him now. I highly doubt the allegation that this is the second time around for them. Gould’s account of a prior divorce derives solely from the statement crafted for Omar by third-parties to serve Omar’s public relations needs. It should not be taken at face value. Apart from Omar’s say-so, there is no reason to believe that Omar and Hirsi divorced under Islamic custom before Omar entered into a sham marriage with Elmi in 2009. Omar, of course, refuses to talk about her curious case.
Social media evidence, I should add, suggests that Elmi is Omar’s brother, although we don’t know that yet for a fact. We do know that Omar and Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 even though Omar and Hirsi weren’t legally married and Elmi was still legally married to Omar. (Omar won’t talk about that either.) Omar didn’t get around to divorcing Elmi until 2017 or marrying Hirsi under Minnesota law until last year, when Omar was obviously tying up the loose ends of her personal life for political purposes.
Gould reports that Omar and Hirsi are “heading for divorce.” Sources tell me that Omar and Hirsi have already been divorced under Islamic law. Hirsi and the children have moved out of the house they shared with Omar. Omar is now off on her own in the apartment identified in the Daily Mail story. Omar still isn’t talking; neither Omar nor Hirsi would talk to the Daily Mail.
There is an element of humor to the Daily Mail story. They are “heading for divorce” (and divorced under Islamic practice, according to my sources), even though Omar just got around to marrying the guy.
Oh, what a tangled web…
JOHN adds: It is striking how often British newspapers break stories that U.S. papers prefer not to cover.