Liberal Minnesota “Squad” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) lit up a new controversy on X over the weekend after conservative users flagged a recent speech in which she claimed to represent the interests of Somalia, her home country, over those of the United States.
The backlash began after Omar delivered remarks for a crowd of Somalians at a Minnesota hotel. According to a translated video, the Squad member spoke passionately about her work in Congress to represent Somalians and push back against formal recognition of Somaliland, an unrecognized state in the Horn of Africa which has struck land deals with neighboring states. Rep. Omar said it is up to the U.S. to ensure that Somaliland does not receive formal recognition and supports the struggle of ethnic Somalians to take back their country from a corrupt government — and even other ethnicities.
“A couple of days ago, we heard some people who call themselves Somalis (Somaliland) or claim to be Somalis have signed a [memorandum of understanding] with Ethiopia on access to the sea… Many Somalians have personally called me to encourage me to speak to the U.S. government and help Somalia,” she said.
“The U.S. government will only do what Somalians in the U.S. tell them to do,” she continued. “They must do what we want and nothing else… The U.S. is a country where one of your daughters (myself) is in Congress to represent your interests.”
“Sleep in comfort, knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the U.S. system… Together we will protect the interests of Somalia.”
Later on in her speech, the Minnesota Democrat repeated a genocidal phrase used by ethnic Somalians calling for the expulsion of ethnic Kenyans and Ethiopians who live inside the country.
“Somalia is for Somalis only, as over 45% of Somalia’s population are not even Ethnic Somalis,” she added.
Omar’s stance drew an immediate rebuke from Somaliland Ambassador Rhoda J Elmi who said her government was “profoundly surprised” by Omar’s etno-racist rant.
“The language she employed was regrettably unbecoming of both the office she holds and the constituents she represents,” Elmi wrote.
“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,” she continued.
As one of two Muslims in the House, Rep. Omar has repeatedly drawn controversy her way by refusing to denounce Hamas’ October 7th attack on Israel which killed over 1,200 and exploded at reporters who asked about justice for Israeli victims. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has introduced a previous resolution censuring Omar’s Squad counterpart, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN), slammed Omar as a “terrorist sympathizer.”
“She flaunts using her position as congresswoman to protect Somalia’s border while our border is invaded by MILLIONS of illegals who are a danger to America,” Greene said in a statement on X.