Leila Shukri Adan, a Somali-American Democrat, plans to announce a campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar in the coming days for the DFL nomination in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.
“It is with dismay that I read the article describing our congressional representative as the anti-Semite of the year. She brings unwanted attention and shame to the Fifth District by her views. Those of us in the Somali community see her words and deeds as a disgrace. She has put us on the map in all the wrong ways,” Adan writes in her article.
According to Powerline’s Scott Johnson, Adan is expected to announce her candidacy “shortly” and wants it to be known “that Omar does not speak for the Fifth District’s Somali community.”
“What mainstream media outlets do not know is that Omar is not representative of our community. She does not speak for us,” Adan continues, noting that Minneapolis’ Somali community includes “Somalis who claim Jewish ancestry.”
“Somalis are not anti-Semitic and we continue to see the path Omar is on as a danger to our community. We are a peace loving people who are grateful for all that has been done for us by the United States. We seek to understand whose agenda she is advancing. It is not ours. We would like to disassociate ourselves from her,” Adan writes.
Adan believes that Omar has forgotten about the issues that are “important to the Fifth District” and said her “anti-Semitism is not organic to our community.”
“The Democratic Party bears responsibility for letting Omar continue on her disgraceful path without speaking up,” Adan concludes her article. “We are committed to restoring the relations between us and the Jewish community that Omar has done so much to damage. We will will not let her tarnish us; we will speak up to refute her.”
She later discussed her candidacy with a Chicago morning show, where she said that the Somali community expected Omar to be a “unity candidate.”
“I’m running because one, first of all, I’m a patriot of the United States and when I took my oath of citizenship I took it literally like many other immigrants and refugees who come to this country,” she said. “It became something of a disgrace for the Somali community because whatever Ilhan did represented us, and that’s not who we are. So this Ilhan that you have in Washington is not representative of the community.”
Adan revealed that she knows Omar and was “very good friends” with her ex-husband, Ahmed Hirsi, who was a “formidable organizer” for Omar’s congressional campaign.
“Because many of us have put down families and roots in the United States, we feel that her representation—her misrepresentation—of the Somali community is going to have dire consequences for ourselves and our children in the future,” she added. “So we needed a course correction.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Leila Shukri Adan” by Leila Shukri Adan. Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Ilhan Omar.