Not one but two Muslim American women were sworn into Congress for the first time on January 3. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib took oath on a Quran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson making history as the first Muslim-American women to serve in the House of Representatives.
Omar is not only one of the first Muslim women to serve Congress but the first member to wear the hijab. Tlaib took the oath in a traditional Palestinian thobe to honor her ancestry. She told reporters the use of the founding father’s holy book was intentional to connect Islam and our country’s history.
“It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history,” Tlaib told the Detroit Free Press.
“Muslims were there at the beginning. … Some of our founding fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress now.”
Omar and Tlaib are two of the record-breaking numbers of women who were sworn in, including New York’s 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is officially the youngest woman to serve in Congress.