FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 28, 2019:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Ilham Omar will sponsor a bill that will allow siblings to marry, at least for the purpose of immigrating to the United States as a married couple or becoming a U.S. citizen. Current U.S. law does not allow siblings to marry because it is considered incest. It’s important topic for Omar and Somalis in Minneapolis because research into her marriage records show that the man she was married to was her biological brother.
Although this may be shocking, it's not for immigration officials dealing with Somalis in Minnesota. It is common for Somali siblings and other relatives to pose as a married couples to make it easier to immigrate into the United States.
As for Omar, investigations into her social media accounts, news reports and legal documents support the allegation that she married her brother in 2009. Now divorced from her brother, she was involved with two different men at the same time - her legal husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and her cultural husband and the father or her children, Ahmed Hirsi.
According to Alpha News, a news site in Minneapolis, Omar wrote an op-ed for the Twin Cities Daily Planet, she celebrated the creation of a new state within Somalia called Jubaland. The Jubaland Foundation, located in Minneapolis, is a cultural extension of Somalia culture there. The foundation wrote a letter to officials in Somalia expressing their support for the formation of Jubaland.
A number of the people who signed the letter in support are related to Omar, including Mohamed Keynan, Omar’s brother-in-law via marriage to Omar’s sister, Sahra Noor. They married in December of 2008. Omar’s father, Nur Said Elmi Mohamed is also listed. Omar’s father uses multiple names: his legal name is Nur Said Elmi Mohamed.
In Facebook posts, Nur Said Elmi Mohamed is referred to as Nur Mohamed as well as Nur Said and Nur Mohamed. It gets even more complicated. Omar’s brother, the one she was married to, was identified as Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.
Here is how naming people works in the Somali community, as reported in Alpha News:
“Somali children are usually given a three-part name. The first name is a chosen name. The middle name traditionally is the first name of the child’s father. The last name is the child’s paternal grandfather’s first name. Women usually do not change their last name when they marry, so married parents will often have different last names [Ahmed Abdi – SCTimes Reporter].”
This would seem to make it easy for Somalis attempting to immigrate to the U.S. to confound officials for the simple reason that they likely would trust families to be truthful about their family tree. In other words, since they have different last names, they or people who know them would be the only people who would be able to reveal that they might be brother and sister.
This is likely what happened: Omar and her brother show up at the courthouse to get married. They don’t tell court officials anything different than what they assume, that they are unrelated because they have different last names.
In fact, both were enrolled in St. Paul Public Schools at Arlighton Senior High School. Ahmed N. Elmi was enrolled as a senior in the class of 2003. The enrollment record states he was born on April 4, 1985, the same date that he claims as his birth date in the 2017 divorce proceedings. Are we to believe that there is another man named Ahmed N. Elmi living in Minnesota with the exact same birth date who divorced Omar?
Classmates of Omar and Elmi also confirm that the two were living in the same house with the same father, who they both said was Nur Said Elmi Mohamed. Why wouldn’t they? They did not care that their last names were dissimilar until they hatched the plan to lie about their relation to each other.
It’s no surprise that Omar’s district is in Minneapolis, an area that is full of Somali immigrants. The area was chosen as an immigration city for Somalians after they immigrated to the United States, most of which happened after civil war broke out in Somalia 1991. Since then, Somalis living in Minnesota lobby in favor of more Somalis coming to the city. Now there are in excess of 70,000 Somalis in the Minneapolis area, the largest concentration in the U.S.
Some of the information from this article was compiled from pj media - https://pjmedia.com/davidsteinberg/official-school-records-support-claims-that-rep-ilhan-omar-d-mn-married-her-brother/.
Other news was compiled from Alpha News, which covers Minneapolis politics: https://alphanewsmn.com/brother-ilhan-omar-married-send-email/.
© 2019 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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