Min­nesota Dem tells Va.’s Jack­son to ‘just deal’ with hi­jabs

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - NATION & WORLD 2 - By The Wash­ing­ton Post

A Vir­ginia pas­tor and po­lit­i­cal fig­ure be­gan his ra­dio pro­gram Wed­nes­day with an out­raged rant about a rule change that con­gres­sional Democrats are propos­ing that would re­verse a head­wear ban on the floor of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The change would take ef­fect next year, when Democrats re­sume con­trol of the House and wel­come the most racially di­verse and most fe­male fresh­man class in U.S. history, which in­cludes the first two Mus­lim women to serve in Congress. One, Min­nesota Demo­crat Il­han Omar, wears a hi­jab, a form of head cov­er­ing.

“The floor of Congress is now go­ing to look like an Is­lamic repub­lic,” E.W. Jack­son, a so­cially con­ser­va­tive min­is­ter from Ch­e­sa­peake, said on the show.

Omar of­fered a re­sponse on Fri­day. “Well sir, the floor of Congress is go­ing to look like Amer­ica,” she wrote. “And you’re gonna have to just deal.”

The Pew Re­search Cen­ter es­ti­mates that there were 3.45 mil­lion Mus­lim Amer­i­cans liv­ing in the U.S. in 2017, ac­count­ing for about 1.1 per­cent of the over­all pop­u­la­tion.

With her vic­tory last month, Omar claimed mul­ti­ple “first” ti­tles: the first woman of color to rep­re­sent Min­nesota in Congress; and the first Mus­lim refugee, first So­mali Amer­i­can and first hi­jab-wear­ing Mus­lim woman to be elected to Congress.

“We are a Judeo-Chris­tian coun­try,” Jack­son said Wed­nes­day on his ra­dio show. “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.”

The pro­posed amend­ment, co-au­thored by Omar, House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rules Com­mit­tee top Demo­crat Jim McGovern of Mas­sachusetts, is not about sharia law. Rather, it would re­verse a House rule that has been on the books since 1837, writ­ten 80 years be­fore the first woman would serve in Congress and 181 years be­fore the first two Mus­lim women would be elected to the House.

Omar, a So­mali refugee, made history along­side an­other Mid­west Mus­lim Demo­crat, Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib of Michi­gan.

Jack­son is known for his in­cen­di­ary re­marks about nonChris­tians and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity on his ra­dio show “The Awak­en­ing.” A vo­cal critic of for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, he lost a three-way race for the Repub­li­can U.S. Se­nate nom­i­na­tion won by Corey Ste­wart this year. Ste­wart lost to in­cum­bent Sen. Tim Kaine. In 2013, Jack­son won the GOP nom­i­na­tion for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor but was de­feated by then-state Sen. Ralph Northam, now the gov­er­nor.

In an in­ter­view last month, Omar of­fered an op­ti­mistic pro­jec­tion for what her pres­ence and that of Tlaib in Congress means for Amer­ica.

“In a time where there is a lot of re­li­gious big­otry, it’s al­most per­fect to have this coun­ter­bal­ance. My sis­ter Rashida and I are from the heart­land of Amer­ica,” she said. “To be elected to Congress is a real re­jec­tion of that mes­sage.”



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