By now, you’ve heard plenty of rumors that Ilhan Omar married her brother. Even for staunch conservatives who would love to see her out of Congress, this has been a circumstantial accusation at best.
A couple of people said a few things that are questionable, but that’s not enough to levy fraud accusations against a member of the House. We would expect more evidence before convicting one of our own, so we should be consistent when we deal with Omar.
Well, there’s a lot of new evidence now, and we can say pretty comfortably that Omar really did marry her brother.
The Old News
The allegations that Omar married her brother aren’t new, and we have to assume they’re based on something. Before we get into that, we have to disentangle the web of Omar’s marriage. Originally, she married a man in Islamic tradition, but never legally. They had kids. She split from that man (in the faith and not legally) to marry Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. This is the man alleged to be her brother.
He’s originally from Somalia, but he was a British resident when he married Omar. After their marriage, he immigrated to the U.S.
There are two initial sources of suspicion that led people down the rabbit hole. The first is that Said Elmi repeatedly referred to one of Omar’s daughters as his niece. That’s weird since she would be his step-daughter.
The other issue is that he lived with Leila Elmi while he was married to Omar. He and Leila claimed to be brother and sister, and it seems pretty believable. The suspicious part is that Omar and Leila have claimed to be sisters on multiple occasions. This is corroborated by their other sister, and the third sister is the only sibling Omar legally claims in court documentation.
Are you confused yet? It gets weirder.
The New Bombshell
The conspiracy theories got new tailwind a few days ago when someone uncovered an old tweet from Omar’s account. In 2013, she wished a happy Father’s Day to her dad “aabo Nur Said.”
There are two things to note. First, this is different from the name she claims is her father’s, but she’s addressing the same man. Second, according to Islamic tradition, Said would be the “surname” that is passed down to his children. You might notice that this is the same surname as the man Omar married. That’s pretty weird.
Omar’s spokesperson made an official statement. Supposedly, “Nur Said” is a nickname that means “happy light.” That’s why Omar called him that, and the tweet was deleted because Omar’s life is endangered by people sharing her tweets. It’s all pretty stupid.
Let’s pause for a moment and discuss the nickname excuse. First, it would be weird to marry someone with the same name as your father (unless you’re trying to commit immigration fraud).
Second, Nur Said is clearly a legal name that exists in Somalia, and Islamic tradition suggests that a man with this name would have a father with a very similar name.
The Evidence Mounts
Still, a deleted tweet isn’t enough to rest the case. The final nail in the coffin against Omar is a marriage certificate from 1997. On this legal document, Leila Elmi listed her father as “Nur Said Elmi.” Compare that name to Omar’s ex-husband. There’s no doubt that Leila and Omar’s ex-husband have the same dad.
Add to that the fact that Omar, Leila and the third sister have all corroborated the claim that they’re related to Leila, and you have a slam dunk. Ilhan Omar married her brother.
There’s also the mountain of evidence that Omar and Elmi’s marriage was a sham the whole time, but that’s a convoluted can of worms in its own right.
The last thing we need to explain is why. The common claim is that she did it to get him a visa to the U.S., but she wouldn’t have to marry him to do that. A sister can sponsor a brother for immigration.
The problem is that sibling sponsorship can take up to 10 years to process. Spouses, on the other hand, are fast-tracked through immigration and can get approved in a matter of months. So, Omar didn’t marry her brother to get him a green card. She did it to expedite the process.
Remember; all of this could be cleared up pretty easily. There are any number of documents that should be able to prove that they aren’t brother and sister. Beyond that, you can bet that Omar could get supporters (or even Republicans for that matter) to pay for a DNA test.
If her life was really in danger from these stories, why wouldn’t she want to provide irrefutable proof that the rumor is false? You know why, and it’s the reason we need to prove her fraud and get her out of office.