MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has relished the attention attached to becoming one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, eagerly engaging…
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has relished the attention attached to becoming one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, eagerly engaging with supporters and critics on social media.
But Omar’s quick thumbs also have caused problems for herself and Democratic leadership. On Sunday, she suggested on Twitter that members of Congress are being paid to support Israel – a comment that drew swift criticism on social media as being anti-Semitic and led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to condemn the statement and demand an apology.
Omar apologized, saying she is “Listening and learning, but standing strong.” She then reaffirmed what she called “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”
She and Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib won November elections to become the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar also is the first to wear a hijab in the House chamber, after floor rules were changed to allow the head scarf.
Omar’s family fled Somalia when she was just 8 as civil war tore the country apart. They spent four years in a Mombasa, Kenya, camp with tens of thousands of other refugees. At age 12, the family was sponsored to move to the United States, eventually settling in Minnesota.
Her interest in politics was sparked by her grandfather, and she used his Quran for her swearing-in ceremony.

Continue reading...