MTG Aims To Force Vote On Censuring Ilhan Omar

( – On January 27, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) gave a speech in front of her Somani-American constituents at a hotel in Minneapolis. The legislator is a Somali refugee who earned citizenship in the United States and became the first Somani-American member of Congress. She delivered her speech in Somali, which was reportedly mistranslated, causing another representative to call for her censure in the House.

On February 1, controversial Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a resolution to censure the Minnesota lawmaker for her speech. The Georgia legislator said Omar violated her oath of allegiance to the US, calling her unpatriotic and a risk to national security. Greene claimed that Omar said in her speech that she put Somali interests over those of the United States.

The Georgia rep asserted that her colleague said, “The US government will only do what Somalis in the US tell them to do,” before telling the audience to “sleep in comfort knowing” she was there to protect their interests from within the US. Greene said Omar “needs to be censured,” calling her a “foreign agent.”

Politifact reached out to Ohio State University professor of Somali Jibril Mohamed to look at the translation circling the internet and riling up Greene and others around the country. He said Omar did not say her first priority was Somalia, and the translations posted on social media were not part of the speech. Mohamed found several other inaccuracies in the translation. He said Omar didn’t push “Somalia-first” rhetoric but told her constituents they were “people who know they are Somalis and Muslims who” help each other. His professional translation matched that of a former Somali government official, Abdirashid Hashi, who posted on social media. Omar also responded to the inaccurate translation Greene was basing her censure on, stating it was “completely off” and lies spread by “propagandists.”

The House will likely vote on the resolution within two days.

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