Controversial Rep Ilhan Omar Asked For Leniency for ISIS Fighters

 In Politics

While Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was in the Minnesota State legislature, she sent a letter to the judge on the case of 9 men accused of attempting to join ISIS and asked for leniency. She thinks that “inclusion and rehabilitation” is how to combat the radical Islamist group.

“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to effect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.” Ilhan Omar

There’s that liberal buzzword: “inclusion.” The problem with this approach to extremist behavior is that it simply creates more. Without serious consequences, is there any deterrent value? Why wouldn’t more extremists say to themselves, ‘they won’t do anything to me,’ and ‘they are weak.’

The nine men were accused of buying fake passports and planning to go to Syria in 2015 to fight for ISIS. Six of them pleaded guilty, the other three went to trial.

“I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food. I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.” Defendant Abdirahman Yasin Daud

Three of the men, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, Guled Omar, Mohamed Farah were sentenced by Judge Davis to decades in prison. Omar was the leader of the group and received the longest sentence- 35 years.

MPR news reported at the time,

 “I have traveled the world trying to figure out what to do with this jihadist behavior,” Davis said. “There’s nothing in our criminal justice system that can even come close to try to rehabilitate someone who has extreme jihadist ideology … Terrorists and their supporters should be incapacitated for a long period of time…

…This community needs to understand there is a jihadist cell in this community. Its tentacles spread out. Young people went to Syria and died,” the judge said. “You might want to publicize these are just young kids that are misguided. This court is thankful there was a trial so all the evidence could come out … The lies you told should be published so there’s no doubt of what’s happening here.” 

Do you think that the “restorative” approach to jihadists is an effective idea? The judge in that case did not seem to think so. Here is the full letter Ilhan Omar wrote to the judge in November 2016 via Fox9:

Honorable Judge Davis,

As you undoubtedly deliberate with great caution the sentencing of nine recently convicted Somali-American men, I bring to your attention the ramifications of sentencing young men who made a consequential mistake to decades in federal prison. Incarcerating 20-year-old men for 30 or 40 years is essentially a life sentence. Society will have no expectations of the to be 50 or 60-year-old released prisoners; it will view them with distrust and revulsion. Such punitive measures not only lack efficacy, they inevitably create an environment in which extremism can flourish, aligning with the presupposition of terrorist recruitment: “Americans do not accept you and continue to trivialize your value. Instead of being a nobody, be a martyr.”

The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation. A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure of criminality and addresses it.

The desire to commit violence is not inherent to people — it is the consequences of systematic alienation; people seek violent solutions when the process established for enacting change is inaccessible to them. Fueled by disaffection turned to malice, if the guilty were willing to kill and be killed fighting perceived injustice, imagine the consequence of them hearing, “I believe you can be rehabilitated. I want you to become part of my community, and together we will thrive.” We use this form of distributive justice for patients with chemical dependencies; treatment and societal reintegration. The most effective penance is making these men ambassadors of reform.

The restorative approach provides a long-term solution – though the self-declared Islamic State may soon suffer defeat, their radical approach to change-making will continue as it has throughout history – by criminalizing the undergirding construct rather than its predisposed victims. Therein, this ruling can set a precedent and has the potential to be a landmark case in addressing extremism.

Thank you for your careful attention,

Ilhan Omar
State Representative-Elect – MN 60B

Featured photo: Official photo for Rep Omar- via Wikimedia commons

Showing 8 comments
  • Roger Peters

    Would she have written that letter if the men being sentenced were white males?

  • Haskel Meadows

    Killers will be killers no matter what you do to deter them !

  • Sheila

    Public hanging like in their country. The terrorist loving dems voted her in and should be hung along side them.

  • L. Henkel

    Muslims lie because they believe under islamic rules it is ok to do so and she is no exception. They play the martyr and use our laws against us. That is part of their 5 step plan to conque america. They pretend to be our friends but look out. We have way too many Somalie in minnesota anyway and Keith Ellison is going to be importing more now he is AG. That is why he is so against voter ID.

  • Ruth Mccorkle

    She is a terrorist within our Congress and Ibelieve she is just 1 of many! Very sad and disturbing to true patriotic Americans!

  • Mike Mullins

    She’s a terrorists supporter herself, we aloud them to come here for a better life and they just wanted to kill US soldiers. Screw that bitch and throw her lying ass out of this country. Something needs to happen

  • Robert

    America is o different then Canada, except the following
    (1) you have a president who has the balls to say AMERICA FIRST, all Americans should be proud of.
    Canada has a TWATWAFFEL as a priminsiter who has giving millions to ISIS terrorists and is allowing them back into Canada without 1 inch of care for us Canadians. He loves Muslim extremists and wants to kill Canada as a peaceful loving country and let these terrorists run free.
    (2) the Democrats dont care about any American or the safety of its people.. I hope Trump.gets re elected for another 4 yrs, time to eradicate all ISIS sympathizers. I’m not a hateful person or a racist, I just dont believe Canada or the USA should allow them in our countries and Should NEVER EVER allow them to run for office

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