by Sheri Urban
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar has been meeting behind the scenes with Islamic groups that have ties to terrorism to help with fundraising.
The meetings have been deliberately closed off from the press and hidden from public view to avoid scrutiny, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The content of these speeches, given to predominately Muslim audiences, remains unknown, prompting some of Omar’s critics to express concern about the type of rhetoric she is using before these paying audiences, particularly in light of the lawmaker’s repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes in public.
Omar recently spoke in Florida at a private event hosted by Islamic Relief, a charity organization long said to have deep ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Israel. Over the weekend, she will appear at another private event in California that is hosted by CAIR-CA PAC, a political action committee affiliated with the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR a group that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive terror-funding incident.
Omar’s appearance at these closed-door forums is raising eyebrows in the pro-Israel world due to her repeated and unapologetic public use of anti-Semitic stereotypes accusing Jewish people of controlling foreign policy and politics. With Omar’s popularity skyrocketing on the anti-Israel left, it appears her rhetoric is translating into fundraising prowess.
It remains unclear what Omar has told these audiences in her private talks. Washington Free Beacon attempts to obtain video of past events were unsuccessful, and multiple local news and television outlets in the Tampa, Fla., area, where Omar spoke to Islamic Relief last month, confirmed they were unable to gain access to the closed door event.
Islamic Relief has come under congressional investigation for what lawmakers have described as its efforts to provide assistance to terrorist group such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The charity has been banned by some countries as a result of these ties.
In 2017, Congress sought to ban taxpayer funds from reaching the charity due to these terror links.
A representative from Islamic Relief declined to provide the Free Beacon with any material related to Omar’s appearance.
“The event was closed to the media. No materials are available,” the official said.
On Sunday, Omar will hold another meet and greet in Irvine, Calif., for CAIR-CA PAC. Those wishing to hear Omar speak are being asked to donate anywhere from $50 to $250 dollars, according to a flyer for the event.
The CAIR event also appears closed to the press. Free Beacon attempts to contact the organizer and obtain access were unsuccessful. Requests for comment on the nature of the speeches sent to Omar’s congressional office also were not returned.
“I just wonder what is Rep. Omar saying to a group of Islamic supporters that she feels is so secretive that she cannot say it to the American people, as a whole?” Sarah Stern, founder of president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, said.
“What is so secretive that it has to be off the record and closed to reporters? Will she say the same things in public to her Jewish voters in Minnesota that she says to her Islamic friends? What does this tell us about her openness, her honesty and her integrity?” she said.
“Rep. Omar’s presence as a keynote speaker to raise funds for Islamic Relief USA, whose parent organization and chapters have documented ties to terrorist organizations, demonstrates that she has learned next to nothing over the last few weeks when she was reprimanded by your office and by other Democrats for posting ugly, anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and their organizations,” Pro-Israel groups said in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elliott Engel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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