WASHINGTON: Two Muslim women made history on Thursday after becoming the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress.
The women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were sworn in as a member of the Congress.
Rashida Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and Ilhan Omar is a onetime Somali refugee.
Both the women are from the Democratic party. Omar is 37 years old while Tlaib is aged 42 years. Coming from the Midwest, they are outspoken advocates of minority communities’ rights in the face of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
To mark the occasion, Tlaib wore a traditional Palestinian thobe, an ankle-length garment.Tlaib was sworn in on the Holy Quran that used to belong to Thomas Jefferson, the third President and one of America’s founders. It was originally translated in 1734 and is kept in the library of Congress.
Tlaib had run unopposed in a congressional district that stretchuiues from Detroit to Dearborn, Michigan. She was the first woman to serve in the Michigan state legislature in 2008.
In August, she emerged as the winner of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health.
On the other hand, Omar was sworn in wearing a headscarf on the floor of the House. There had been a 181-year ban on headwear of any type in the chamber.
No one puts a scarf on my head but me,” she tweeted last November. “It’s my choice – one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift.”
Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.