Friday, January 4, 2019

Ilhan Omar becomes the first person to wear the hijab in the US Congress

History was on Ilhan Omar’s mind as she arrived in Washington DC this week.

The 36-year-old Democrat from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional district became the first Somali-American, one of two Muslim women, among the unprecedented number of women lawmakers, and part of the largest congressional black caucus elected to the US House of Representatives.

But during the swearing-in on Thursday (Jan. 3), one more notable feature distinguished her from other members on the floor of the House: the hijab. Accompanied by her father, husband, and three children, Ilhan came to the chamber wearing a red and orange-dyed traditional Somali turban and was later sworn in donning a black one. Putting on the religious covering required the removal of a 181-year-old rule, which banned any type of headwear on the floor.