Judge sides with Ilhan Omar in case of discrimination by D.C. cab driver

Ilhan Omar speaks to the crowd.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, speaks on the steps of the state Capitol at the Women's March in St. Paul in January.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

The Washington, D.C., cab driver who threatened to remove the hijab of state Rep. Ilhan Omar and called her "filthy" and "ISIS" was found guilty of discrimination and offensive language, according to a Minnesota House spokesperson.

A judge suspended Uka Onuma's cab driver's license for 45 days, fined him $1,000 and ordered him to take anger-management and cultural-sensitivity classes.

"I believe in restorative justice so I am pleased that the judge's ruling includes classes on cultural sensitivity for Mr. Onuma," Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a statement. "Bigotry is a product of ignorance and by educating people, we can move toward respect and understanding."

The incident happened last December — just a few weeks after Omar won a Minnesota House seat, making her the nation's first Somali-American legislator.

Omar and her sister were both in the cab while they were visiting Washington.

At the time, Omar described the incident as an act of Islamaphobic hate.

Thursday's ruling came from District Court Judge Claudia Crichlow of the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.