Ilhan Omar has released a statement about the questions about her, at first and second and third glance, unusual marital history.
Faith: I’m going to add bits and pieces of emphasis to Omar’s statement:
In 2002, when I was 19 years old, Ahmed Hirsi (whose name before he received citizenship was Ahmed Aden), the father of my children and love of my life, and I, applied for a marriage license, but we never finalized the application and thus were never legally married. In 2008, we decided to end our relationship in our faith tradition after reaching an impasse in our life together.
I entered into a relationship with a British citizen, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and married him legally in 2009. Our relationship ended in 2011 and we divorced in our faith tradition. After that, he moved home to England. I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so. Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive.
Since 2011, I am happy to say that I have reconciled with Ahmed Hirsi, we have married in our faith tradition and are raising our family together. Like all families, we have had our ups and downs but we are proud to have come through it together.
That’s multiple references to marriage and divorce in Islam’s “faith tradition”.
On the one hand, it could be just a way of saying “it’s a Muslim thing, all you khufar wouldn’t understand”. Could be.
On the other hand? As a militant Christian who, should he ever remarry, will not get a government marriage license, I can completely agree with the concept that one’s marriage is none of goverment’s damn business!
Of course, coming from a “progressive” DFLer – the party that believes government is your real mother – one might fairly wonder how genuine it is, but what the heck; on principle, that settles things, doesn’t it?
The Law: Well no – no more than claiming religious strictures forbid you from paying taxes.
Scott Johnson, who dragged the mainstream media to this story last week, talked with an immigration attorney; the attorney has some questions:
1. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition marriage in 2002?
2. Is there written documentation of this?
3. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition divorce in 2008?
4. Is there written documentation of this?
5. How was custody handled for the children after her faith tradition divorce in 2008?
6. Was there documentation of this?
7. How did she meet her legal husband?
8. Did she sponsor her legal husband for a green card?
9. Did he use his green card status to receive financial assistance to attend university in the US?
10. Is her legal husband a US citizen now as he has now been married to a US citizen (Ms. Omar) for 6 years? (Query – Are there voter registration or other documents that could be checked to substantiate this? The UK does allow dual citizenship.)
11. If Ms. Omar did sponsor her legal husband for a green card, then she was required to complete an I-864 affidavit of support documenting financial sponsorship of the husband. At the time in 2009 I believe she was a student and had 3 children so she would not likely have had the financial means to meet the I-864 obligations at the time and would therefore need a joint financial sponsor. Who was that joint financial sponsor? It would need to be a US citizen or green card holder with appropriate income or assets.
12. It has been reported that her legal husband was living in government subsidized housing in Minneapolis. This is likely inconsistent with the requirements of I-864 financial sponsorship. Does Hennepin County do anything to verify financial sponsorship before providing government assistance and subsidies for housing? Does Hennepin County now have a claim for reimbursement against Ms. Omar and/or the joint financial sponsor?
13. She is now remarried to her cultural husband according to her statement. Who was the faith leader who presided over this remarriage? Is there written documentation of this?
14. What Islamic doctrine was used to allow Ms. Omar to divorce a man, then marry someone else, and then remarry the first man?
15. There is no dispute based on her statement that she is currently in a cultural/faith tradition marriage with one man while still being legally married to another man. What Islamic doctrine permits this? I am familiar with certain Muslim traditions that allow a man to have more than one wife but I have never heard of a doctrine that permits a wife to have more than one husband which is without dispute what she is saying her situation is now.
Muslims who immigrate to this country should follow the same laws the rest of us do (or lobby to change them, like some of the rest of us do).
Especially elected officials.
Conclusion: What, you think I have a conclusion?
Part of me wants to root for Omar on pure libertarian principle.
Part of me sees the DFL telling the citizenry “Let Me Explain: Shut Up”.
I have a hunch we’re not completely done with this.