Somalian refugee Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) gave a speech to the Somali community in Minnesota on Saturday and it is quickly going viral as she says she represents Somali in Congress.
I wasn’t even aware that our Congress had Somali representatives. I thought they were all supposed to be Americans. Silly me.
Omar also said she is a Somali first and a Muslim second. How far down the list is American? I’m betting just below terrorist sympathizers.
The speech also sparked controversy over Omar’s remarks about Somali ethno-nationalism and her expressing a desire to reclaim land from neighboring countries and issues with Somaliland.
Omar posted a response to the criticism on Sunday:
“It’s not only slanted but completely off, but I wouldn’t expect more from these propagandists. I pray for them and for their sanity. No nation state can survive if its states start to get involved in land lease negotiations with other countries without the consent of the federal government. Somalis in Somalia and in the diaspora are united in that effort and I stand in solidarity with them. No amount of harassment and lies will ever change that.”
It’s not only slanted but completely off, but I wouldn’t expect more from these propagandists. I pray for them and for their sanity. No nation state can survive if its states start to get involved in land lease negotiations with other countries without the consent of the federal… https://t.co/bmdEAN6aUH
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 28, 2024
YouTube transcript of an excerpt of the speech (lightly edited for formatting):
A lot of people call me asking: Ilhan You should talk to the US gov. What will the US gov do? My answer was the US gov will do what we tell it to do. We should have that confidence as Somalis. We live in this country We pay its taxes. It is the country where your own daughter is a congresswoman. As long as I am in the congress, others will not take Somalia’s territorial waters. The US gov will not support others to take what’s ours. So don’t worry about that dear Minnesota. You got your lady in the congress. She is well aware and feel what you’re feeling. As for President Hassan Sheikh (of Somalia) I’m saying: we are very happy because of you. Because of the great work you did. You have showed Somalis and others that no matter how much problems we have as Somalis, we are capable people. We are people who know their country. People that never in their history….(inaudible) people that their country can never be put in danger. So want to congratulate the people of Minnesota and Somalis everywhere for sticking together (like my uncle said). And also how all of you stood by our President Because he needs all of us to stand by him.
Somalia is for Somali people. Somalia is one. We are all brothers and sisters. Our land cannot be divided. There are other lands that we are missing which we’ll seek insha allah one day. But for the land we got now it will not be divided. So thank you all for honoring me and welcoming me always.
In a remarkable clip, the Somalian American congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been caught off-guard telling Somalian Americans in Minnesota, that her number one job is to protect the interest of Somalia. She continued to say, we are doing this job right from inside the American… pic.twitter.com/JkU5HDSSaZ
— HAGGOOGANE (Hawd & Reserve area) SST (@HAGGOOGANE) January 28, 2024
Reaction by interested parties from Somaliland:
“While speaking to Somalian crowd, US congresswoman Ilhan Omar said, “As Somalis, one day we will go after our missing territories” in reference to somali inhibited regions in Kenya and Ethiopia. Please note Ilhan’s father was a military officer in Siyad barre army who used her same Somali irredentism ideology as a justification for committing the Isaaq Genocide. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Ethiopian and Kenyan soldiers are helping Somalia to fight Al-Shabaab which Somalia cannot fight even with billions of US tax money.”
Somaliland Foreign Ministry:
“We were profoundly surprised, even shocked on discovering the remarks made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D) of Minnesota in a recent public forum, widely circulated on most social media platforms and attached below for your reference. The language she employed was regrettably unbecoming of both the office she holds and the constituents she represents. Her expressions were lacking in common decency and revealed a significant lack of understanding of basic facts. Specifically troubling, were her endeavors to revive the once-violent and dangerous ideology of Greater Somalia or Somali Weyn, which caused so much death, destruction and conflict in the Horn of Africa. Furthermore, her use of ethno-racist rhetoric didn’t escape attention and left many, with a deep sense of disappointment. This was particularly bewildering for those who recall similar racist attacks she endured not long ago, of being ”not American enough” and was baffling to see her take a similar approach and accuse the entire #Somaliland nation of “falsely claiming Somali identity.” Moreover, her ignorance of #US – #Somaliland cooperation in the fight against terror and piracy in the Gulf of Aden & Gulf Of Berbera was shocking to say the least. We hope the house leadership and her caucus will take note of her public conduct, unbecoming a United States Congresswoman nor representative of the august house she serves in.”