House Democrats push to end floor ban on hi­jab and other re­li­gious head­wear as first Mus­lim women en­ter Congress

The Miracle - - National & Int. -

In­com­ing Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Il­han Omar and oth­ers are look­ing to change the rules about re­li­gious head­wear on the US House floor. The newly elected crop of Dem­crat US House mem­bers are look­ing make an im­pact as soon as they ar­rive - by seek­ing to change the dress code rules to al­low the wear­ing re­li­gious head­wear, like hi­jabs, on the floor of the cham­ber.The so-called ‘hat ban’ has ex­isted since the 1830s, when it was seen as a “harm­less but in­deco­rous” prac­tice ac­cord­ing to one mem­ber at the time. How­ever, the vic­tory of Con­gress­wom­an­elect Il­han Omar of Min­nesota, who wears a hi­jab, has de­cided that the rue is not fit for prac­tice. Ms Omar wrote on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram: “No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice -- one pro­tected by the first amend­ment”.She and Con­gress­wom­an­elect Rashida Tlaib of Michi­gan are the first Mus­lim women to be elected to Congress. Rules changes will be sub­mit­ted in Jan­uary by the new Congress to make an ex­cep­tion for mem­bers on re­li­gious grounds, but also for those want­ing to wear a head cov­er­ing if suf­fer­ing from an ill­ness.Nancy Pelosi, the cur­rent House mi­nor­ity leader and likely next Speaker of the House, said in a state­ment to NBC News: “Democrats know that our strength lies in our di­ver­sity, re­gard­less of race, gen­der, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or re­li­gion. Af­ter vot­ers elected the most di­verse Congress in his­tory, clar­i­fy­ing the an­ti­quated rule ban­ning head­wear will fur­ther show the re­mark­able progress we have made as a na­tion.While the ma­jor­ity of the US House iden­ti­fies as Chris­tian, re­li­gion has played an in­ter­est­ing role in con­duct on the floor. It is up to the Speaker of the House to en­force the rules, but putting the ex­emp­tion into the rules will make it harder for fu­ture Speak­ers to re­scind the pro­vi­sion, whether on po­lit­i­cal grounds or oth­er­wise.

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