First Muslim women take oath for US Congress

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The first ever Muslim women elected to the United States Congress took their oath on Thursday, making history with a strong cultural dress code on the floors of the House.

Rashida Tlaib, daughter of Palestine immigrants, and Ilhan Omar, a onetime Somali refugee, are Democrats from the Midwest.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Tlaib said she would be swearing on the Holy Quran that belonged to America’s third president but later told the paper she would use a family Quran.

“My swearing in on the Koran is about me showing that the American people are made up of diverse backgrounds and we all have love of justice and freedom”.

Tlaib had run unopposed in a congressional district that stretches from Detroit to Dearborn, Michigan. She blazed through Michigan politics, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan state legislature in 2008.

Taking to Instagram, she shared a picture of a traditional Palestinian garment, called a thobe, she was planning to wear at the ceremony.

She said the thobe was made by her mother who came to the US from the West Bank when she was 20 years old.


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Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress. #PalestinianThobe #ForMyYama

A post shared by Rashida Tlaib (@rashidatlaib) on

On the other hand, Ilhan also made a congressional history, wearing a headscarf to the ceremony.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chamber had held a 181-year-old ban on headwear of any type on the floors of the House.

Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, taking Keith Ellison’s spot who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.