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Ilhan Omar Speech on Representing Somalia in Congress Goes Viral With Calls to Expel Her From the House

Somalian refugee Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) gave a speech to the Somali community in Minnesota on Saturday that has gone viral thanks to English translation subtitles. The translations have Omar saying she and her fellow Somalis are Somali first and Muslim second–with no mention of being American. Omar also said she represents Somalia in Congress and told the audience that they control the U.S. government’s Somalia policy.

Outraged Americans called for Omar’s expulsion from the House of Representatives.

Reporting on the speech is sketchy as to the location, however a banner can be seen in the video with a partial date and location of “(Janua)ary 27, 2024…(Ho)tel Minneapolis”, indicating the speech was given in Minneapolis on Saturday; and Omar repeatedly addressing Minnesotans in her speech.

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.”

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.

Another version of the speech with English translation subtitles was posted to X Twitter:

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.”

Americans aren’t too happy either. Chaya Raichik: “Ilhan Omar hates America”

Attorney Marina Medvin, “Ilhan Omar, an American congresswoman, tells Somalians that she is Somalian first, Muslim second, and… [no, American wasn’t even mentioned]. Oh, and she says that her primary job in Congress is to protect Somali interests.”

Journalist Alessandra Bocchi, “Amazing speech by Ilhan Omar. She’s proudly claiming Somalia is for Somalians, that their brotherhood is tied by blood, that Somalia comes first, that Muslims come second, and that she is using the US to protect her nation’s interests. Besides the blood and soil rhetoric which is virtually indistinguishable from the “white supremacists” she rallies against in the country where she was elected, she’s openly admitting to unethical conduct in US office that is tantamount to treason.

Good question: “.@SpeakerJohnson when will Republicans hold a vote to expell (sic) Ilhan Omar from Congress? She’s a traitor to America. Santos was expelled for less.”

Laura Loomer: “.@SpeakerJohnson How is it that you guys expelled @MrSantosNY George Santos from Congress, but you won’t expel this jihadist from Congress? She just admitted on video to working for another country, that is controlled by jihadists, from “inside the US System”. This is TREASON.”

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