REPORT: Minnesota imam says Rep. Ilhan Omar improperly raised cash from his charity
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Shortly after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued a “stay-at home” order on March 25, local Imam Tawakal Ismail partnered with 115-year-old charity GMCC to deliver meals to seniors and disabled individuals in immediate risk of hunger.
On April 9, GMCC’s website announced the meal program’s partners and major donors. The list included the imam’s charitable organization Darul Hadiith, and GMCC’s Minnesota FoodShare program.
The article goes on to state the following:
This was intentional. Responding to questions via phone and email, Imam Tawakal states that the project is strictly “charity work,” and that he has been explicitly rejecting political partnerships and forbidding campaign photo or video opportunities.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar — and all other elected officials or candidates — are therefore excluded from partnering with the program. Yet Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted a fundraising appeal on May 5 that said:
“As Minnesotans struggle with hunger, I am partnering with MNFoodShare and other local groups that pack and deliver meals to students and families. Chip in $5 today to power their efforts to keep our communities fed!”
The tweet gave the appearance of a political partnership. It referenced “@IlhanMN”, Rep. Omar’s campaign account, and the fundraiser the tweet linked to was hosted by Democrat/progressive donation platform ActBlue. The graphic in the tweet read “PAID FOR BY ILHAN FOR CONGRESS.”
GMCC’s executive director posted a denial of their partnership, writing (emphasis added):
“I am the executive director of GMCC- Minnesota. FoodShare is our program. Ilhan Omar had nothing to do with this project. I do not know where this money is going to.￼”
Furthermore, Imam Tawakal says Rep. Omar’s tweet was not simply a mistake.
“She knew,” he says, citing an in-person conversation he had with one of Omar’s staffers at Safari restaurant, where he was coordinating his program’s meal distribution on May 3. Omar’s campaign was also at the restaurant for a separate event.
He said the campaign asked the restaurant staff if they could video the program, without his knowledge, and that he and Ali Isse “Ganey”, an influential member of Omar’s campaign and congressional staff, had an argument about it.
He “expressly told them ‘no'” and explained that the charity wanted no pictures to be taken by anyone, including politicians.
According to the imam, Ganey defied his instructions saying, “Anything that happens in this district comes under her regardless of who is doing it.￼”
“Soliciting charitable contributions under false pretenses is, of course, a crime,” the Blaze points out in their report. “Federal and state election law further governs the act if committed by a political campaign.”
BIG @IlhanMN update:
For only the second time in four years, a MN resident steps forward to go on-record with evidence of a crime by Ilhan Omar.
— David Steinberg (@realDSteinberg) May 19, 2020
“Soliciting charitable contributions under false pretenses is, of course, a crime. Federal and state election law further governs the act if committed by a political campaign.”#Election2020#WalkAway#Blexit https://t.co/hQuZEt0YJT
— Ϯஐ รครรคfгครร Ϯஐ (@SassafrasSassy) May 19, 2020
Nothing to see hear that matters …👇👇👇👇 https://t.co/WDpjOtX1rA
— TRN (@ToddN007) May 20, 2020
Crooked crooked crooked https://t.co/Ypxm2nhKB0
— David Newsom Senior (@NewsomSenior) May 20, 2020
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