‘Your Pain is Mine’ – Muslim journalist looking to oust Ihan Omar makes solidarity visit to Israel

Dalia Al-Aqidi, Republican candidate for Congress trying to replace Ilhan Omar, visits Israel to show support, and shares her personal story as an Iraqi-born Muslim. 

By Mindy Rubenstein, World Israel News

During recent interviews conducted while in Israel, Dalia Al-Aqidi expressed her commitment to fighting against terrorism, supporting Israel, and replacing Ilhan Oman, a progressive Democratic congresswoman who has been repeatedly accused of fomenting antisemitism.

A former journalist and media adviser to the US Department of Defense in Iraq, Al Aqidi lives in Minnesota and flew to Israel ealier this week.

“I’m telling you, Hamas is a terrorist group, and whoever supports these terrorists doesn’t belong to the United States of America, the land of the free,” Al-Aqidi said during the interview with The Media Line.

She called her opponent, incumbent congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the “No. 1 antisemitic lawmaker in the United States.”

Al-Aqidi, an Iraqi-born Muslim immigrant to the United States and a Republican, is currently running for the Republican nomination to challenge Congresswoman Omar for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District seat.

Al-Aqidi said she believes that their district is a hotbed for antisemitism, largely fueled by rhetoric form Rep. Omar, whom she accuses of harboring resentment towards America.

“She does not represent the good people of Minnesota. Minnesotans and Americans, they are not [for] antisemitism,” Al-Aqidi said. Omar’s narrative is that the state and country are anti-Jewish and they are pro-Hamas.

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“Somebody has to say no. Somebody has to correct the records,” said Al-Aqidi, who fled Iraq to escape the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime, adding that her experiences have instilled in her a profound sense of responsibility to recognize and prevent terrorism in the United States, as well as in Israel.

“I decided to come here to show solidarity with the Israelis, with the Jewish people, to tell the Jewish people that you’re not alone,” she said. “This is not your fight by yourself.”

She told Fox News that Omar’s district has become “ground zero for antisemitism” under her leadership. “We are not like her (Omar). We support the Jewish people, and we are fighting the same fight,”

She met with displaced Jews from the south of Israel and donned the Star of David as a Sunni Muslim to show her solidarity until all hostages are returned.

“It’s not about religion. It’s about being a human being,” she said.

“I’m with you. I feel you. Your pain is mine.”

If Al-Aqidi does win the Republican nomination, she will face an uphill battle against Omar.

Minnesota’s 5th congressional district is considered a Democratic stronghold, having backed Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 80% to 17% in 2020.

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Omar won by narrower, though still comfortable margins in 2018, 2020, and 2022, with 78%, 64%, and 74% of the votes respectively.