Omar Felt More Accepted in Kenyan Refugee Camp Than in U.S.

The notorious freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives plays the victim card.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the controversial freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives who has a habit of indulging in anti-Semitic stereotypes, complains about feeling marginalized in a land of white privilege. In an interview with Vogue Arabia, Rep. Omar, a refugee originally from Somalia who became a U.S. citizen nearly 20 years ago, waxed nostalgic about her days in a Kenyan refugee camp. She spent four years there as a child before resettling in the United States. At the refugee camp, Omar said, she could express her full identity. She felt free to be herself, living amongst like-minded people who looked and believed as she did. “When you’re a kid and you’re raised in an all-black, all- Muslim environment, nobody really talks to you about your identity,” Omar said. “You just are. There is freedom in knowing that you are accepted as your full self. So the notion that there is a conflict with your identity in society was hard at the age of 12.”

Omar is a perfect example of the entitled individual always willing to play the victim card. She and her family had been living in what one Somalian inhabitant of a refugee camp in Kenya called an "open prison." It was too dangerous for Omar and her family to return to war-torn Somalia. At the same time, Kenya, Omar’s host country as a child, had no interest in integrating Somalian refugees like herself into Kenyan society. It was the United States that rescued Omar from the desperate conditions and hopelessness she was facing in her refugee camp. It was the United States that allowed her family to seek asylum to live in the United States. Her family eventually moved to Minneapolis and lived amongst a large Somali-American population.

After Omar was elected to serve in the United States Congress at the relatively young age of 37, she ran into the civil rights icon Representative John Lewis (D-Georgia). She gushed, according to her own account of the encounter, “Sir, I read about you in middle school, and you’re here in the flesh, and I get to be your colleague. There are moments — every single minute — that I’ve been here where I almost want to pinch myself.” Omar’s request for a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee was granted. She has retained the seat despite her repeated anti-Semitic outbursts.

In short, Omar is anything but marginalized. To the contrary, America laid out a welcome mat for her, which it had no legal or moral obligation to do. She rose to become a full-fledged member of the American “People’s House,” as the House of Representatives is sometimes called. Omar should be grateful for the opportunities afforded her since she arrived in the United States. Instead, she acts like a spiteful child.

Omar has accused American Jews who support Israel of foreign allegiances and dual loyalties, when in fact she is the one to be concerned about. Omar has cozied up to Somalian President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as “Farmaajo”), who was elected in 2017 in an election process beset by rampant corruption. Omar did not lavish praise on the Somalian president to help the beleaguered Somalian people whom she had left behind for a better life in America. Shortly after Omar served as a keynote speaker at a community event in Minneapolis celebrating Farmaajo's election, her brother in law, Mohamed Keynan, just happened to secure an appointment as permanent secretary to Hassan Ali Khayre, whom Farmaajo had handpicked to serve as Somalia’s prime minister. With such a high-level family connection within the Somali government, it is fair to ask whether Ilhan Omar will have dual loyalties and foreign allegiances of her own that might prompt her to use her access to classified information as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to illicitly help the Somali government.

According to Attorney Sean M. Bigley, partner at Bigley Ranish LLP, a firm specializing in federal security clearance defense, “High-level familial connections in the Somali government would be an almost guaranteed ticket to the unemployment line for any government employee who required security clearance as a condition of employment. Members of Congress don't need a security clearance to view classified information, but that perhaps makes this all the more alarming and a potentially serious national security risk. There are a lot of unanswered questions here. I think Americans ought to rightfully be concerned.”

While complaining that life in America under President Trump “is an everyday assault,” Omar ignores the real assaults on civilians in Somalia perpetrated by the security forces of the government for which her brother in law has been working. “Security forces unlawfully killed and wounded civilians during infighting over land, control of roadblocks, and disarmament operations, particularly in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle,” Human Rights Watch said in its 2019 World Report. “In December 2017, security forces demolished dozens of informal settlements, including humanitarian infrastructure, without sufficient warning or providing residents with alternative settlements, leaving around 30,000 people homeless.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Even Omar’s own brother in law at least appears troubled. On March 4, he tweeted: “Road to 2020/21 and national issues in #Somalia - current political agreement (4.5) is decaying, yet main governance systems/structures are not in place: constitution is incomplete, justice system poor, security absent, political parties not there...what gives?!”

Ilhan Omar is not standing up for her own people in Somalia, who continue to be ruled by a corrupt government of which her brother in law has been a part. Yet this hypocrite attacks her adopted country the United States, as well as Israel, with abandon. If she misses her refugee camp in Kenya so much, perhaps she could do more for humanity by going back to Kenya and helping those still languishing in open prisons there. Or she could return to her homeland of Somalia and join her brother in law in its government. Omar is a squanderer of the privilege she was given to come to the United States in the first place and a potential security risk to this country at that.

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Photo by Lorie Shaull

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