President Donald Trump suggested Rep. Ilhan Omar was ‘married to her brother’
Reignited an explosive rumor that first emerged during Omar’s 2016 campaign
Omar has failed to fully disprove the claims of bigamy and fraternal marriage
This article first appeared in The Spectator USA on June 24, 2019
‘I’m not legally married to two people, but I am legally married to one and culturally married to another.’ That’s how Ilhan Omar’s campaign spokesman Ben Goldfarb summarized Omar’s conjugal arrangements in an email in August 2016, when Omar was running for Congress and her advisers were trying to stifle allegations of double marriage — with a man alleged to be her brother.
Omar supplied this email to the Minnesota Campaign and Public Disclosure Board’s investigation into her campaign financing. That investigation concluded on June 6 by ordering Omar to refund $3,500 in misused campaign funds, and to pay a $500 fine. It also revealed that in 2014 and 2015, Omar may have broken federal and state law by filing a joint tax return with her husband Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi — when she was married to another man.
When conservative journalists in Minnesota raised the bigamy allegations in 2016, Omar issued a statement calling the allegations ‘baseless, absurd rumors’ and issued a statement accusing the journalists of ‘Islamophobia’. Her statement was taken verbatim from Goldfarb’s email. That same email appears to admit that the allegations are not without basis. Goldfarb describes how he tried to construct a denial based on ‘real background information’, but found it ‘impossible’:
…we are probably in a position where giving real background information is helpful in tying this up. That said, having no tried to write a statement multiple times that says, ‘I’m not legally married to two people but I am legally married to one and culturally married to another’, I think it’s impossible without making it even more confusing.’
Here’s the real background information about Omar’s ‘confusing’ marital history, in her own words. In 2016, Omar told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that she had married Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (Husband 1) in their Muslim ‘faith tradition’ in 2002, and that after having two children, they divorced in their ‘faith tradition’ in 2008. No marriage certificate was issued, and there is no documentary evidence for the divorce.
In 2009, Omar married a Somali immigrant to Britain named Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (Husband 2) in a wedding in an unglamorous suburban state registry. The officiator was a Christian minister named Wilecia Harris, now a pastor at the Great and Mighty Works Ministries in Richfield, Minn.
Omar refuses to answer questions as to when and how she happened to meet a British subject, or why she married him so soon after separating from the father of her children. Then again, she didn’t separate that much from Husband 1. Documents released on Monday seem to show that she and Husband 1 were living together in Minneapolis at the time of her marriage to Husband 2. And when Omar and Husband 2 went to college in Fargo at North Dakota State University, Husband 1 came too. That must have made for some awkward silences at the breakfast table.
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