On Thursday, Congress went back to work by swearing in 101 new representatives which includes the most racially diverse and most female group of representatives ever elected to the House. The makeup also includes the first Native American congresswoman and the first two Muslim women to be elected to the Congress.
Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib was to be sworn in to Congress using Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Koran, which created quite a stir among conservative Christians. Conservative pastor and radio commentator E.W. Jackson expressed his rage that a Muslim woman was going to be serving in Congress.
‘The floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic. We are a Judeo-Christian country. We are a nation rooted and grounded in Christianity and that’s that. And anybody that doesn’t like that, go live somewhere else. It’s very simple. Just go live somewhere else. Don’t try to change our country into some sort of Islamic republic or try to base our country on Sharia law.’
According to The Detroit Free Press:
‘Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat who was elected to the seat formerly held by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, said she’s unfazed by comments such as Jackson’s and expects that the objections will extend well beyond her being sworn into office the first week of January, even though she says she’s far more concerned with economic and environmental help for her constituents than pushing any religious agenda.’
‘My mere existence, that I’m even of Muslim faith, is going to be a problem for them with or without me swearing in on any Koran.’
Tlaib finally decided she wanted to use her own copy of the Koran, saying:
‘I’m going to use my own.’
According to USA Today:
‘The Detroit Free Press had earlier reported on Tlaib considering using the Jefferson text, a 1734 translation of the Koran into English that resides in the Library of Congress. But Tlaib said her earlier decision was never meant to be final and that she changed her mind some time ago.’
‘Why uplift someone else? It’s starting a new era in social justice. … It just occurred to me: Why am I not using my own?’
Considering the use the Jefferson’s Koran though, she remarked:
‘It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history. Muslims were there at the beginning. … Some of our founding fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress now.’
For her swearing in, Tlaib who is Palestinian-American, wore a traditional Palestinian thobe, or dress, which her mother was there for the swearing in – made for her as she was sworn in. Tlaib said:
‘For my mom, it honors her in so many ways.’
Trump-loving conservative Christians also expressed their opinions on Twitter:
Other Twitter users were quick to explain the Constitution to the crazed fundamentalists:
Tlaib voiced her enthusiasm for the new role, saying:
‘Just being here. you have to think, “Is it really happening?” I can’t wait to spoil my constituents.’
The new congresswoman’s seat was formerly held by U.S. Rep. John Conyers.
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube