The words “God bless America” are frequently used in many high profile services and the signing in of President’s, but what God are they praying to? It seems that the present Congress is happy to accept the God of the Koran, as one of the first female Muslim members of Congress took her seat wearing the hijab on Thursday.
Democrat Ilhan Omar (pictured right with her hand on the Koran) made history as she become one of the first two Muslim women to enter Congress - and did so with her head covered and holding the Koran.
The 37-year-old who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somali represents the fifth district of Minnesota, which includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.
Democrats were to formally end the ban on religious head coverings on the House floor on Thursday afternoon as part of a package of rules to govern the House. That package changes the ban on head coverings to exclude 'non-religious headdress.' This act leaves it open to a flood of further
That means Omar will be allowed to don her hijab when she's on the House floor to vote and give speeches during normal sessions.
The Somali-American was later ceremonially sworn in on the Koran by Nancy Pelosi, while holding Islamic prayer beads.
While regular hats - such as baseball caps and cowboy hats - will continue to be banned, religious gear will be permitted in the 116th Congress.
Omar had been vocal about her desire to wear her head scarf when she is sworn into office on Thursday.
'No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It's my choice—one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I'm going to work to lift,' she tweeted in November after she was elected.
Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Incoming House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern backed Omar in her request and included it in the rules package they released late Tuesday night.
Posted by Amanda Hopkins
Extract from www.telegraph.co.uk