Ilhan Omar becomes first person to wear hijab in Congress
After being a part of the record-breaking number of women headed for Congress, Ilhan Omar continues to make history.
Omar, one of two Muslim women elected to the House of Representatives, became the first person to wear a hijab in Congress as she was sworn in on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Minnesota legislature is also the country’s first Somali-American lawmaker.
Newly-elected Democrats will let lawmakers wear religious head wear, such as a hijab or kippah — changing a 181-year-old rule against hats in the House chamber.
Related Story: Detroit congresswoman uses Koran for swearing-in ceremony
Omar took to Twitter the night before being sworn in to commemorate her historic appointment.
“23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC,” she wrote. “Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress.”
Omar was subject to hateful criticism after Conservative pastor commentator E.W. Jackson went on an anti-Islamic rant in December 2018.
“The floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic. We are a Judeo-Christian country. We are a nation rooted and grounded in Christianity and that’s that,” Jackson said. “And anybody that doesn’t like that, go live somewhere else. It’s very simple. Just go live somewhere else. Don’t try to change our country into some sort of Islamic republic or try to base our country on Sharia law.”
The Congresswoman poignantly responded to the remarks, saying, “Well sir, the floor of Congress is going to look like America… And you’re gonna have to just deal.”
The new 116th Congress became the most racially and ethnically diverse in history.
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