Ilhan Omar Booed at Minnesota Somali Concert

I guess it would be fair to say that Ilhan Omar is not exactly the most popular person within the US-Somali community.

Far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was booed at a concert in Minneapolis over the weekend in front of a predominantly Somali crowd, with some in the audience telling her to “go home” and “get the f*** out of here.”

The Suldaan Seeraar concert was held at the Target Center late on Saturday night. It was the musician’s first time performing in North America.

As Omar was introduced on stage with her husband, the crowd began to boo loudly.

Some other performers on stage told the audience, “don’t do this,” as they continued to boo Omar.

“Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, we don’t have all night,” Omar said as the crowd kept booing.

Crowd to Omar:

And why don’t they like her? I can assure her, it is not all about the Benjamins; from a 2020 Washington Examiner op-ed:

Over at The Hill, I have written of how frustrated many Somalis were that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Somali-American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, had not used her seat to advance U.S.-Somali ties. Instead, Omar has made the Palestinian issue a cornerstone of her congressional activism, apparently at the urging both of Basim Sabri — her second largest donor and a Palestinian-American real estate tycoon from Minneapolis who donated maximum amounts to Omar’s congressional campaign — as well as his daughter Karmel, a fundraiser for causes in the Gaza Strip. No group or charity can operate in Gaza, however, without cooperating with Hamas, which has ruled the Palestinian territory with an iron fist since 2006.

Basim Sabri is a polarizing figure for Minnesota’s Somali-American community. A convicted felon, Somalis say Sabri is essentially a slum lord or exploits the Somali community. Politicians need donors, but to ally and embrace Sabri, a man Somali-Americans believe exploits them, rubs Omar’s constituents the wrong way.

Omar’s foreign policy partisanship in the broader Middle East has also raised Somali suspicion. Today, the United Arab Emirates invests in Somalilandwhile Turkey and Qatar both back more Islamist causes in Mogadishu and shun the UAE for its Somaliland investment.

Omar’s use of Turkish and Qatari press as a platform, along with her fierce criticism of the UAE and Saudi Arabia from her House Foreign Affairs Committee perch, suggest she continues to internalize the divisions and partisanship which exist in Somalia. This is not to condemn the former and absolve the latter, but rather to recognize that it is hypocritical to condemn the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia without recognizing that Turkey is among the world’s worst offenders in terms of press freedom, and that both Turkey and Qatar are essentially terror sponsors.

Somalilanders further suspect that a partisan approach in the Horn of Africa context leads Omar to ignore, if not seek to undercut, Somaliland’s more liberal democracy in favor of Mogadishu’s government, wherein an appointed parliament of regional and clan elders alone selected a president.

Many Democrats in the United States have embraced Omar because of her progressive social stances, as well as her antagonism toward Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. To see her as a representative of Somalis, however, would be to confuse her ethnicity with ideological diversity. Both Somali-Americans and Somalis remaining in the Horn of Africa judge Omar by other standards and at best see a woman who has diverged from the values and interests of her Somali-American constituents. At worst, they see a figure who has remained destructively provincial in her vision of foreign affairs.

On the point about Omar making the so-called palestinian issue a cornerstone of her congressional activism, you may recall I was once tipped off that she had the Somali government recall its ambassador to UN Human Rights Council after Somalia abstained to vote on a resolution condemning ‘the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights’.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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