Why Ilhan Omar was expelled from key committee role
US domestic politics and its developments are of no interest to the global public. Internationally, it does not matter which American governor succeeded in a particular project or that a city mayor failed his constituents. Intercontinental newsrooms around the globe are not interested in covering an American local election — their audiences may never even have heard of Nebraska, Montana or New Mexico.
However, in the past week, a global newsflash was the exclusion of a US member of Congress representing a small Minnesotan district from a congressional committee. The news of the expulsion of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Republican-led House Foreign Affairs Committee attracted the attention of the international media, most of which views Omar through the aura she has drawn for herself.
The rejection of her sitting on this committee came after a series of antisemitic statements made by the progressive congresswoman. At one point, she described US lawmakers’ support for Israel as being “all about the Benjamins” — a well-known phrase referring to money, which was strongly condemned globally and considered to be trafficking in antisemitic tropes.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Omar could freely serve on other committees. He said: “It would be best if the Democrats didn’t put her in the position of Foreign Affairs. If they do, she will not serve on Foreign Affairs. They can choose another committee for her.”
To study the strategy of a political figure, a deep look into their previous positions is needed. And, in a decent world, past statements or stances are supposed to serve their constituents and the country they represent. They cannot be erased.
The strong presence of political Islamism in the US and its success in monopolizing the moderate and secular Muslim voices paved the path for radical ideology groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood to be pushed into the US political system.
The American people are kind and loving and frequently admire immigrants who follow the American dream. When they saw a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, claiming to be a refugee, oppressed and a victim, many sympathized with her and continue to do so.
Electing a person based on a certain identity made voters feel good about themselves. They wanted to prove they were not racist, bigots or Islamophobic, which is the way the far left described it. That is precisely what happened in Minnesota’s 5th District, which sent Omar to Washington. Unfortunately, Omar only succeeded in playing the victim every time she needed an escape from an embarrassing situation.
Her positions on specific foreign policies or governments have raised concerns and adverse reactions in Washington.
Her positions on specific foreign policies or governments have raised concerns and adverse reactions in Washington. She ignored all the sacrifices of the US men and women in military uniform by expressing anger at the 2020 assassination of an Iranian commander. Qassem Soleimani commanded the Quds Force — a dangerous branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a brutal foreign terrorist responsible for hundreds of American deaths and thousands of other victims in the Middle East region. “We are outraged that the president would assassinate a foreign official, possibly setting off another war without congressional authorization, and has zero plan to deal with the consequences,” Omar posted on Twitter. The congresswoman did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings in Tehran.
This so-called Muslim freedom fighter was not appalled by the hostilities of the Iranian regime against its own people. The kidnappings, torture, rapes and murders of Iranian women apparently do not deserve her outrage or a firm stance.
Not an expert in foreign affairs, Omar was fond of the Turkish president, who also had sympathies for the Muslim Brotherhood. Her admiration or loyalty explained her decision to vote against a 2019 congressional resolution condemning the US decision to stop intervening in Turkiye’s military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria. However, Congress still passed the resolution.
Despite all the historical evidence, the far-left lawmaker also declined to vote for a resolution recognizing the mass killing of Armenians committed by the Ottoman Turks as genocide.
These critical issues exemplify the reasons behind her expulsion from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Meanwhile, her Minnesota constituents were kept in the dark, with no idea of what she was doing in Washington or whose interests she was protecting.
A controversial lawmaker with questionable agendas should not be allowed to meddle in the internal political affairs of foreign countries or make ill-informed remarks on a global level.
A large percentage of the US population from different backgrounds and political affiliations did not shed a tear over her removal. They had the lyrics of the famous Ray Charles song “Hit the Road Jack” on the tip of their tongue.
The bipartisan House Foreign Affairs Committee has always been and will always be capable of making rational decisions without the presence of Omar.
• Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy.