Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

'Ramadan Mubarak to all': Muslim members of Congress break fast

The breaking of the Ramadan fast was a historic first for the legislature

US congresswoman Ilhan Omar shared Iftar with colleagues on Monday at the Capitol building in Washington. AP
US congresswoman Ilhan Omar shared Iftar with colleagues on Monday at the Capitol building in Washington. AP

Muslim members of US Congress shared Iftar and their faith with colleagues on Monday night at the Capitol building in Washington.

Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson invited some 100 guests to the meal, including other politicians and Muslim activists.

Ms Omar, a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota, tweeted: "Ramadan Mubarak to all! It was wonderful to break bread with friends and colleagues last night at the Capitol's Iftar."

The breaking of fast was a historic first for the governing body. Controlled by a Democratic majority, the Congress has made other changes to represent and include all members of its diversifying body.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi enacted a rules change in January, permitting head coverings on the floor of Congress for the first time in 181 years, which allowed Ms Omar to wear her hijab. The original law was meant to prevent hats from being worn.

Ms Omar and her fellow Muslim congresswoman Ms Tlaib, the two first Muslim-American women to serve in the US House of Representatives, have been targeted for their far-left political views and critical comments about Israel.

Ms Omar has received death threats. Some have labelled the two women as anti-Semites.

Most Democrats have stood behind Ms Tlaib and Ms Omar, calling for apologies to the congresswomen.

Updated: May 22, 2019 05:09 PM

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