Somalia Speech Lands Ilhan Omar In Controversy

( – Several Republicans are criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after translated remarks from a speech she gave were shared on social media, in which she appears to say that Somalis will go after their “missing territories.”

Rep. Omar was born and spent most of her childhood in Somali, but moved to the United States when she was 13 and became a U.S. citizen at 17 years old. She is the first Somali American member of Congress and considered part of a group of four progressive Democrat women in the House of Representatives, informally known as “The Squad.” Omar is also one of two Muslim women in Congress.

Tom Emmer (R-MN), the House Majority Whip, called upon Omar to resign after her comments, which he claims suggest she supports Somali over America, calling her remarks a “slap in the face” to her constituents in Minnesota as well as a violation of the oath she swore when she took office. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida shared her comments on social media, adding that he believes she should be removed from Congress, stripped of her citizenship, and deported. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested Omar is a hypocrite for being defensive of Somali’s borders while voting against strengthening the southern American border from the unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants.

It wasn’t just Republicans that had criticism for Omar, as Ambassador Rhoda J. Elmi, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Somaliland, called Omar’s language “regrettably unbecoming” as well as “ethno-racist rhetoric.” The remarks Omar made were in reference to the Republic of Somaliland, which is a disputed territory between Somalia and Ethiopia. Somaliland calls itself an independent state, but it is not recognized by other nations.

Omar pushed back on criticisms, suggesting that the translation of her remarks was “completely off,” but added that she wasn’t surprised that “propagandists” would do that. She claims a more accurate translation is that she vowed to protect Somali borders as long as she’s in Congress.

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