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. Mainstream media outlets continue to take Omar’s minimalistic account of her marital history history at face value, yet it obviously doesn’t add up.
In her account Omar adverts repeatedly to her “faith tradition.” She married husband number 1 in her “faith tradition” in 2002; after having two children with him, she divorced husband number 1 in her “faith tradition” in 2008.
When Omar legally married husband number 2 — Ahmed Nur Said Elmi — in 2009, however, the officiant was minister Wilecia Harris. I posted a screenshot of the marriage certificate in part 3 of my series on Omar’s mixed-up files.
Omar’s “faith tradition” nevertheless reemerged in 2011, when Omar and Elmi ended their relationship. According to Omar, they divorced in their “faith tradition.”
In her 2016 statement (below), Omar alleged that she reconciled with husband number 1 in 2012 and was “happy to say” that they “married in [their] faith tradition” yet again (and had a third child). They married legally only last year.
Spectator USA’s pseudonymous Cockburn has cast a gimlet eye on this history. Cockburn observes that Omar’s “faith tradition” is a clock that strikes 13:
It’s possible that Wilecia Harris might have performed only a civil ceremony, which would suffice under Minnesota law. It’s possible that Omar and Elmi didn’t know the officiant was a Christian minister. Still, given that Omar was and is a proponent of her ‘faith tradition’, it’s strange that she seems not to have consecrated her second marriage according to Islamic law or Somali tradition. The full certificate also shows that, despite Omar’s ‘faith tradition’, the couple seem to have been cohabiting before their marriage[.]
Cockburn also notes: “According to Omar, Husband 2 went back to London in 2011 after a ‘faith-based’ divorce.” That would be a “faith-based divorce” after a civil marriage performed by a Christian minister.
The loose threads here are many and long, yet one forms the irresistible impression that someone is playing her audience for chumps.