Ilhan Omar faces challenge from Arab Muslim woman
A crowded race is brewing in the 5th Congressional District in Minnesota that will be interesting to watch. First term incumbent Democrat Ilhan Omar has four challengers in the Democratic primary and there are six Republicans in the GOP primary. One of the Republicans is an Arab Iraqi Muslim woman, Dalia Al-Aqidi, who is raising issues about how significant is Omar’s Arab and Muslim base.
By Ray Hanania
Ilhan Omar, the Somali American Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota’s 5th District has been the focus of much criticism over the years. Some of it justified and some of it purely partisan politics. But, what’s new in American politics?
The question is, is Omar vulnerable given her personal issues – accused of having an affair by the wife of her campaign consultant and then filing divorce from her own husband?
Dali Al-Aqidi, a writer with Al-Arabiya news, has thrown her hat into the ring running in the Republican Primary election. Omar is a Democrat and Al-Aqidi has an uphill fight and must defeat five other Republicans to win the party nomination before being able to challenge Omar, who face three challengers in the Democratic primary.
Al-Aqidi, a former al-Arabiyya Op-Ed writer, joined a crowded field of candidate’s seeking to win the Republican Party nomination on August 11, 2020 and challenge incumbent Democrat Omar in the November 3 General Election. In the United States, the Democratic and Republican Parties must vote to select their nominees to run in the General election.
A Democrat, Omar, 37 is favored to win her party’s nomination. Omar took office in January 2019 after soundly defeating Republican challenger Jennifer Zielinski in the November 2018 election by a vote of 267,703 to 74,440.
But, like all elections in today’s divisive and emotional America, the public is solidly divided with very few standing in the center. America suffers from a deep polarization driven by emotion and anger. Emotion is the food that fuels anger.
So the answer is clouded by these deep divisions, especially in the mainstream news media.
Here’s my column profiling Al-Aqidi that appeared in the Arab News Newspaper this week. Congresswoman Omar suffers from the Middle East disease of being angry with anyone who dares to explore alternatives she opposes. Just writing about Al-Aqidi has upset Omar and she refuses to be interviewed in the context of this story or to provide any comments whatsoever. Omar prefers to allow her bully pulpit to yell and scream about Al-Aqidi using the same smears that she claims are being used against here.
Here is the link to the column that was published this week in the Arab News, the leading English language newspaper in the Arab World based Riyadh and Dubai.
The problem in the Arab American community is that many Arabs live in America physically but they are mentally back home in Palestine, Jordan, Syria or Iraq. They can’t break from the harsh environment that they fled. So they bring with them the same kind of self-destructive emotions and anger that pushed them to leave seeking more “freedom of thought” and expression in America, things denied to them in their Arab homelands. But sadly, when they come here, many revert to their Arab cultural habits of angrily attacking anyone with whom they disagree with. It’s a sad sickness that has weakened the Arab American community.