For much of the short time that Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been an active political figure, she’s been dogged by the rumor that a man she married many years ago was her brother, and that the “marriage” was both a sham and an act of immigration fraud.
There’s never been much in the way of hard evidence indicating that such a serious charge is true, but it’s been repeated many times, including by President Trump this week, per The Inquisitr. Omar is one of four Democratic women in Congress whom the president said this week should leave the country, and “send her back” chants at the president’s rally in North Carolina Wednesday drew widespread criticism across the political spectrum.
The Daily Beast, this week, looked into the Omar-married-her-brother rumor and found it a baseless smear that has migrated, in a short time, from a Somali-American community message board in Minneapolis to the mouth of the president of the United States.
Per the article, Rep. Omar has both presented evidence that disproves the allegation, and “the completely unproven idea that she married her brother is based entirely on a single, anonymous, unsourced allegation initially made on an obscure internet forum.”
The rumor started in August 2016, when Omar was running for the Minnesota state legislature against a 40-year incumbent. A simple post to a community forum called Somali Spot alleged that Omar’s former husband, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, was secretly her brother. The person who posted the rumor is described as “notorious on the site as a troll known for making up claims to rile up the site’s other members.”
Conservative blogs based in Minnesota and then nationally picked up on the rumor, and it was later alleged again in the documentary produced by conservative trolls Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer earlier this year, per The Inquisitr. National conservative blogs began pursuing the story following Omar’s election to Congress.
Ilhan Omar did not marry her brother. https://t.co/C8EWdDgVgk
— M.S.Gelbart (@MSGelbart1) July 19, 2019
However, per The Daily Beast, while Omar and Elmi did marry in 2009, “there has been absolutely no evidence produced to show he is her brother.” Omar has denied the allegations all along, at one point showing a newspaper immigration documents listing the names of her siblings, which did not include Elmi’s name. It’s also been pointed out that if Elmi had been Omar’s brother, they may likely have had the same immigration status anyway, and if he was, she could have sponsored him as his sister, making a “marriage’ unnecessary.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune report earlier this summer “raised questions” about Omar and Elmi’s marriage, but did not present any evidence indicating that the two are siblings.