Opinion: The Real Reason Why Ilhan Omar was Booed off the Stage

Jax Hudur

Congresswoman Ilhan OmarLeopaltik1242\ Wikimedia Commons

When Congresswoman Ilhan Omar came on stage at a Somali concert attended by ten thousand Somali Americans, she was booed off the stage. While most politicians can stomach such incidents, it was certainly traumatizing for her to be booed by the young Somalis of her district whom she represents. 

The humiliating scene has drawn different opinions from the Somalis on Twitter. Naturally, some welcomed the heckling, while others felt sorry for the congresswoman despite agreeing that she no longer represented their community’s values.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar booed

The congresswoman is undeniably a determined woman. She is visibly a Muslim immigrant who wears the hijab; she is also a black woman at a time when American politics was most intolerant. However, the congresswoman made colossal mistakes. For one, she involved herself in her former country’s deeply polarising Somali politics as Somalis are divided along clan lines. She opposed the former president of Somalia, Abdullahi Farmajo, who spearheaded a one-man, one-vote initiative, the first of its kind in the last thirty years. Her involvement angered many of the Somali diasporas who wanted democracy for their native home country.

It’s understandable why Americans might dislike the congresswoman’s politics. After all, she has made hateful comments about the Jewish community and picked up a fight against the most powerful man in the world at the time, President Trump. But if you think the congresswoman was booed because of her comments, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Ilhan Omar talk's about her new marriage

Ilhan Omar’s popularity within Minnesota's Somali community soured because the community felt the congresswoman undermined their values. In addition, she married outside of the community and partook in pride marches.

As a result, many Somalis use social media to protest the congresswoman’s actions. In addition, many parents believe that she is not the most suitable role model for the millions of Somali girls who look up to her.

While the congresswoman has apologized for her previous hateful comments toward the communities she offended, she is far from the ideal role model that captured the people’s admiration when she was first elected. 

Apology to the Jewish communityIlhan Omar

Besides the politics, as the first Somali congresswoman, she is in a privileged position to mend bridges and reach out to the communities her politics offended. But unfortunately, she is losing the support of her constituency.

As a politician who is active on social media, why she couldn’t gauge her standing with the Somali community baffles me. Still, like most politicians, I hope the congresswoman hasn’t lost touch with all the American communities that have put their trust in her.

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I write about history, politics, and true crime. Not to mention anything else that takes my fancy or is newsworthy.


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