Saturday night, TV personality and former judge, Jeanine Pirro took issue with Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar’s hijab (which Pirro pronounces “he-jab,” as if it were two words, most likely in a attempt to sound “down home,” like her illiterate viewers). Pirro’s statements were so harshly criticized, even Fox News condemned them.
Representative Omar is a naturalized American citizen, born in Somalia. She is the first naturalized citizen to be elected to the U.S. Congress and chooses to honor her faith by wearing hijab. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is working to move the Democratic party and platforms in more progressive directions.
Fox News’ condemnation came too late for many Americans, who support all people’s right to worship, or not, as they please. One such American was Mansoor Shams, known online as the founder of Muslim Marine. Shams took extreme exception to Pirro’s assertion that expressing your religious faith is inherently un-American, saying:
‘I think she should be fired! You fire an individual like this, who is constantly dividing America. And I think America has to really sort of decide which path, which direction it wants to go in. Do you want to listen to people like her, who are dividing us and destroying the fabric of this nation?’
Shams served our country honorably, yet he is still treated as if he were a threat to our “way of life,” simply because of his faith. He founded Muslim Marine in an effort to educate his fellow Americans about the First Amendment and why it applies to everyone, not just Christians.
Pirro and her ilk want to equate being American with being White, Conservative, and Christian. However, that simply is not true, nor has it ever been. While White, Christian men have kept the reins or power out of the hands of those they considered “less than” for centuries, the people of the United States, the ordinary working citizens, have come from all over the world, some in search of a better life, others because they were kidnapped and forced into slavery.
Omar, Shams, and other progressive Americans are working hard to make this way of thought as extinct as the dodo, so all Americans can enjoy the freedoms Pirro and her peers want to keep for themselves.
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