A Somali-born U.S. Army veteran has joined the Republican field seeking to challenge Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., calling out her lack of attention to the needs of her constituents as violent crime surges in Minneapolis.
“Minneapolis just saw one of the most violent years on record, falling just one homicide short from the all-time record. The city at that time was coined ‘Murder-apolis,’” the 5th Congressional District candidate Shukri Abdirahman told Fox News Digital.
Abdirahman, a Muslim military veteran and mother of three, announced her campaign Monday.
Her journey began in Somalia under a socialist dictatorship. When the Civil War happened in her home country, she fled to Kenya, staying in the refugee camps in the slums there for three years while waiting for the immigration process to take place to come to America.
Immigrating to the U.S. at 13, Abdirahman joined the military shortly after graduating from high school. During her freshman year of college, she felt compelled to enlist after hearing about the Black Hawk Down incident during the U.S.’s war with Somalia, which left 18 Americans and hundreds of Somalis dead, according to Smithsonian.
Abdirahman now seeks to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, having ripped progressive congresswoman Omar for her handling of the district because “there seems to be no representation at all.”
“After I left the military, I always wanted to be a service-driven person and serve my country in a different capacity – and now more than ever, I realize there’s no more time to wait for it to happen,” she said.
Abdirahman, a practicing Muslim, added that when Omar pushed a bill to defund the police, the city and residents told her that they wanted to keep police intact.
But “their needs have been greatly neglected,” she warned. “They are left in crime-ridden cities.”
“She [Omar] vowed this will be her life’s mission. I mean, she said that. She actually said that it is her life’s mission to make sure the police are defunded,” Abdirahman added.
“That’s kind of scary because, you know, we are in a district where now, because of her, we are terrified to take our children to the park. Because, you know, they might catch a bullet or we’re afraid to drive to the grocery store because we might get carjacked. Kids are staying… at home from school because they don’t feel safe; their parents did not feel that their children will be safe.”
Omar previously blamed police for the rise in crime in Minneapolis, accusing the city’s officers of not fulfilling their oath of office.
“What we must also recognize is that the reduction in policing currently in our city and the lawlessness that is happening is due to two things,” Omar said during a town hall event in Minneapolis.
One of them, she said, is that “the police have chosen to not fulfill their oath of office and to provide the public safety they are owed to the citizens they serve.”
The lawmaker’s comments come after a violent crime has surged in Minnesota over 2021, rising 17% in total while setting records for murders.
Omar’s approach to crime includes backing a Nov. 2 ballot measure to replace the entire Minneapolis police department with a “Department of Public Safety.” The measure would remove the requirement that the city have a minimum number of officers based on the city’s population.
Omar rose to prominence after being a member of the “Squad,” a radical left-wing of the Democratic Party, pushing for a defunding of the police, and criticizing Israel. Omar’s family also fled Somalia during the Somali Civil War and took sanctuary in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years.
Abdirahman, conversely, is a vocal critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, an organization that spearheaded a defunding of the police in the wake of the police-involved murder of George Floyd in 2020.
“I think we need to call this out for what it is: it’s a grift,” Abdirahman told Fox News in regard to Black Lives Matter.
“While there are many good people who associate themselves as BLM activists, the people at the top of the organization couldn’t care less. While the people of Minneapolis, the epicenter of the George Floyd riots, struggle with homelessness, spiking crime, and the nation’s largest achievement gap for Black kids, the people sitting at the top of BLM live in multi-million dollar mansions, it’s sickening.”
Abdirahman went on to say she believes Omar is also “neglecting” business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The district is a greatly diverse district. Many of them are immigrants, they are entrepreneurs and support from her during this pandemic has been nonexistent,” she told Fox News Digital.
“I am running against Ilhan, Omar, who has completely neglected, my community, my district… and we are slowly losing our freedoms,” Abdirahman warned.
“That scares me because I have three little children that I want to raise them in the country that I have come to know, that gave me a safe haven, that made me feel safe as a youngster. And I want to preserve that for my children and American citizens’ children.”
Omar will seek re-election, her campaign announced Monday, according to a report.
“When I first ran for this office there was one thing I kept coming back to. Something I said to myself and to the voters over and over: I believe that a better world is possible. I still believe that,” Omar said in a statement announcing her re-election, WCCO reported.