Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar embody a new era for Muslim women
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 3: Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) votes for Speaker-designate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) along with her kids during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol January 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Under the cloud of a partial federal government shutdown, Pelosi will reclaim her former title as Speaker of the House and her fellow Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives for the second time in eight years. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
By Rafia Zakaria
(CNN)As a Muslim-American woman living in what feels like, based on growing hate crimes and bigoted political rhetoric, an increasingly Islamophobic America, I get few chances to feel victorious and hopeful. But this Thursday promises just that.
On January 3, 2019, not one but twoMuslim American women will be sworn into Congress. Taking the oath on a Quran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will become the first Muslim-American women to serve in the House of Representatives.
Their swearing in will be a historic milestone for the country, but it will be so much more than that for me. A black Somali-American woman who wears a headscarf and pokes fun at Islamophobes on Twitter, Omar crushes stereotypes of what a Muslim woman in a headscarf represents. As an unveiled Muslim American woman, Rashida Tlaib — who will wear a Palestinian gown to her swearing in — also dismantles the myth that all “real” Muslim women wear the headscarf.