Rep.-Elect Ilhan Omar wants to change the rules about religious headwear in Congress
Rep.-Elect Ilhan Omar is ready to challenge a 181-year-old ban on religious headwear on the floor of the House of Representatives.
While conservatives whisper that Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, [D-Minn.], is secretly plotting to enslave the white man, the Somali-American, who is set to become one of the first Muslim women in Congress, said Sunday that she’s ready to challenge a 181-year-old ban on religious headwear on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Come January 2019, Omar will become the first Muslim woman – along with Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib – to enter Congress. Democrats last week announced plans to change a House rule that prohibits members from wearing hats on the chamber floor, according to The HuffPost. The rule could include a ban on headscarves, which is the religious attire that Omar wears.
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The Washington Post notes that the proposed rule would allow all religious headwear on the House floor. The congresswoman (elect) posted a screenshot of a news article related to the centuries-old ban on Instagram Sunday.
“No one puts a scarf on my head but me,” wrote Omar, who came to the U.S. at the age of 12 as a Somali refugee. “It’s my choice ― one protected by the First Amendment.”
“I hope this will also help our Muslim schoolgirls who feel challenged or harassed when they wear a headscarf.”
The first Somali-American congresswoman @IlhanMN, is campaigning for a change in the law to allow the wearing of religious headwear in Congress. ?? pic.twitter.com/2qPAf7PDcI
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) November 30, 2018
She also said in a new interview that her election represents a rejection of “religious bigotry.”
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“In a time where there is a lot of religious bigotry, it’s almost perfect to have this counterbalance. My sister Rashida and I are from the heartland of America,” Omar said in an interview with Roll Call. “To be elected to Congress is a real rejection of that message,” she added.
Omar will succeed Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and serve the people of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. She has already teamed with multiple lawmakers in an effort to reverse the ban on religious headwear on the House floor.
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Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) ― have reportedly co-authored a proposal asking the House to change the policy.