WND, by Leo Hohmann, April 21, 2017:
She burst on the scene last August when she upset a 44-year incumbent Democrat in the Minnesota state primary elections to become the nation’s first female Muslim state legislator.
Ilhan Omar, the 34-year-old community organizer who came to America as a refugee from Somalia, was touted by Democrats as a model success story.
“From a refugee camp to the State Capitol with intelligence and insight,” beamed former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who endorsed Omar. “This is a wonderful story to tell as Americans, and a great source of pride for the state of Minnesota’s open arms.”
But on Thursday Omar made her mark in another way.
She was one of only two members of the Minnesota State House to vote against a bill that would allow life insurance companies to deny payouts to the beneficiaries of terrorists who die in violent attacks on Americans.
The House voted 127-2 to pass the bill, which now moves on to a vote in the State Senate.
Omar, who represents the heavily immigrant Cedar Riverside area of Minneapolis, was joined by fellow Democratic Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul in voting against the bill.
Omar’s vote sticks out because at least 42 Somali refugees have been confirmed by the FBI to have left the U.S. to join overseas terrorist organizations, including al-Shabab, the al-Qaida affiliate in Somalia, and ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Dozens of other Somali-Americans have been tried and/or convicted of providing material support to overseas terrorists.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is home to the nation’s largest Somali refugee community, with other significant Somali communities in St. Cloud, Willmar, Owatonna, and Austin, Minnesota. Somali refugees are also concentrated in Columbus, Ohio; Seattle; Atlanta; San Diego; Fargo, North Dakota; and in smaller cities across Colorado, Maine, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Texas.
Omar is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights, abortion rights and a champion of environmental justice.
Before she was elected she was an activist who often lobbied the Minneapolis City Council on progressive issues.
Since her election as a legislator she:
- Opposed a bill to limit mass protests designed to disrupt streets, train service and airport access.
- Has been given her own Muslim Barbie icon, the “Hijarbie.”
- Visited her native Somalia to push for women’s leadership, raising the question of why Somali “refugees” are still pouring into the U.S. and other Western countries if the country is safe enough for former refugees to return and lobby the government for pet causes.
- Traveled to Washington, D.C., in December for a reported White House visit when she made a Facebook post complaining about a cab driver who taunted her with “sexist and Islamophobic” comments. She said he threatened to pull off her hijab and called her “ISIS,” yet she never filed a police report. In response to an inquiry on her Facebook page, Omar said she planned to file a report once she returned to Minneapolis, adding that she did not feel safe enough to say anything at the moment. The reply did not say whether the report would be with police, the cabdriver’s employer or possibly a civil rights organization.
The Minnesota insurance bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, in response to Syed Farook’s jihadist rampage in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015 in which he shot and killed 14 people and injured 22 at an office Christmas party. Farook made sure his life insurance policies worth $275,000 were valid before conducting the deadly shooting with help from his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
After Farook died in a shootout with police, his mother fought to remain the beneficiary of the life insurance policies. The insurance company balked and the case has gone to court.
Democratic Rep. Debra Hilstrom said the goal of the Minnesota bill “is to make certain that folks don’t benefit [from terrorism] and this limits the beneficiary to the premiums that were paid in. It limits the exposure for the insurance company when someone is committing an act of terrorism.”
Debra Anderson, leader of the ACT For America chapter in Minnesota, praised the legislators who voted for the bill Thursday.
“U.S. life insurance policies that pay out to the families of terrorists reminds me of Muslim regions, such as Palestine, that also make ‘life insurance’ payments to the families of jihadists who kill in the name of Allah.”
Anderson said Omar’s vote was reprehensible and shows where her allegiances lie.
“Rep. Ilan Omar’s vote today clearly demonstrated her allegiance to the best interests of the jihadists’ families, like in Palestine, rather than acting on the behalf of the victims of terrorists,” she said. “Disturbing to say the least.”
Anderson said the bill should have been a no-brainer for any freedom-loving American.
“This incident also clearly demonstrated the legitimate concerns of freedom-loving Americans regarding increased political access by Muslims who exhibit an obvious allegiance to Muslims and Shariah law rather than all Americans and the U.S. Constitution.
“I am very grateful for the astute, courageous legislators who are looking out for the best interests of all Minnesotans.”
If passed by the Senate and signed into law by Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, the law would apply to all current and future life insurance contracts.
WND reported last August on Omar’s political agenda and background.
Omar gave two victory speeches that night, one in English and the other in Somali. She has lived for nearly two decades in the Cedar Riverside community, a section of Minneapolis often referred to as “Little Mogadishu.” It has the highest concentration of Somali refugees of any area in the country. They have been placed there by the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program and its taxpayer-funded contractors since at least 1994 and the arrivals continue to this day.
Somalis have been arriving in America at a rate of 500 to 700 a month ever since, distributed by federal resettlement contractors like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services into more than 200 cities and towns for permanent resettlement.
More than 95 percent of refugees sent to America are selected by the United Nations.
Rep. Joe Hoppe, the bill’s sponsor, said terrorists “should not benefit” from taking out a life insurance policy.
“You should not be able to provide for your heirs or whoever you want by increasing your life insurance policy.”
Democratic Rep. Laurie Halverson said it was “unfortunate” these bills have to be passed but added that this safeguard will help keep insurance rates down.
“I’m very proud of Minnesota state Sen. Warren Limmer and his House counterpart, Rep. Hoppe,” former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told WND.
“They bravely took on Minnesota’s politically correct critics who flinch at preventing beneficiaries from benefiting from terror-inspired life insurance purchases.”
Bachmann said Minnesota media have long insisted that Minnesotans should never criticize anything having to do with Islam.
“This is a refreshing move and sends a strong signal. Now the question is whether Dem Governor Mark Dayton will veto the bill.”