On August 7, 2019, radio host Sara Carter interviewed former Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, about the backlash, including death threats, that she faced after posting online a photograph with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, at the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant. Because of the backlash over this photo, Sarah Idan’s family was forced to flee Iraq.
During this interview, Idan described how she had been taught as a child that Americans and Israelis were “evil” and how this inculcation was reversed by her witnessing the virtuous behavior of American soldiers in Iraq.
Idan explained how she later served as an interpreter for the American military, risking her life and ostracizing from her community. She not only helped U.S. soldiers navigate the difficult terrain of the jihadi insurgency but inspired her own family to understand the importance of fighting against it.
Over time, Idan also gained a great respect for Israel, leading her to recently address the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 41st Session where she denounced the human rights violations of Hamas, the antisemitism taught in Islamic nations, and biased media that enables both.
During her interview, Idan stated that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) “does not represent me as a Muslim and does not represent millions of Muslims in the Middle East…in Arab countries we call her the Muslim Brotherhood.” This statement precipitated an ongoing battle between Idan and Omar on Twitter which aptly illustrates the difference between these two American Muslim women.
Idan exemplified that difference when she tweeted a response to Omar stating: “When you @IlhanMN come to my State, My City, My zip code right here in CA & accept an award from CAIR [the Council on American Islamic Relations], a Muslim brotherhood affiliated organization, IT IS my business!” She added, “First was the Middle East, then Europe & now the USA. I fled from the same ideology you’re trying to export here.”
Why would Sarah Idan want people to know that Omar doesn’t “represent” her? Why would she call out Omar for fundraising for CAIR? And, what exactly is the ideology that she fled?
On a subsequent media interview on i24 News, Idan described what she fled as “the ideology of trying to push Islam to make it the ruling system in the country.”
Of the Muslim Brotherhood, Idan stated, “…they’re jihadis, and they have this ideology that they want to control the world.”
Perhaps Idan is aware of the overwhelming evidence pointing toward CAIR’s activities as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and the designated terrorist organization Hamas.
Still, though, what about Ilhan Omar would lead the former Miss Iraq to have such a strong disdain for her behavior? Here are just a few examples:
- Speaking at a CAIR event, Omar downplayed the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and called upon American Muslims to “make people uncomfortable.”
- In a media interview, Omar mocked Americans for their anxiety about Al-Qaeda, referring to the terrorist organization that has killed thousands of Americans.
- Omar traveled internationally to meet with the anti-Israel, anti-American socialist organization “Witness for Peace.”
- Omar traveled to New York in 2017 to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the very same day that he gathered with senior leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood
- As a state legislator, Omar advocated for lenient sentences for 9 men accused of trying to join ISIS. (One of these men, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, even stated “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.”)
- In an interview conducted shortly after the 2013 terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, Omar described terrorism as “byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”
“When I grew up in Iraq I always felt alone and felt misunderstood and I couldn’t talk about many issues but here you have freedom…,” Idan said on her interview with Sara Carter.
The question now is whether other Muslims in America will join Idan in pointing out the worrisome anti-Semitic and anti-American behavior of Omar, or will they will remain silent and leave Idan with the same loneliness she faced in Iraq? Will they side with Omar, CAIR, and others who she says possess “the ideology of trying to push Islam to make it the ruling system in the country?”
The answer will have implications for more than just the former Miss Iraq.