Ilhan Omar shuts down right-wing pastor who says Congress is becoming ‘Islamic republic’

Elham Khatami

Elham Khatami Associate Editor, ThinkProgress

Conservative pastor E.W. Jackson went on a six-minute Islamophobic rant on his radio show Wednesday, telling listeners that Muslims are “going to turn Congress into an institution of Sharia law.”

Jackson was speaking specifically about Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who, along with Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), are set to become the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

“Folks, I’m still trying to get over this whole issue of Nancy Pelosi allowing these women — these Muslim women — and apparently other women in Congress are now going to start, if this movement takes root, are going to start wearing the hijab on the floor of Congress,” said Jackson, according to Right Wing Watch, which first reported the story.

He went on.

“So what are we now gonna do? We’re going to turn Congress into an institution of Sharia law? I mean, folks, this stuff is just crazy … Lord help us,” he said. “Floor of Congress is now going to look like a, it’s going to look like an Islamic republic.”


Late Thursday evening, Omar clapped back, tweeting that Jackson is “gonna have to just deal.”

“Well sir,” she said, “the floor of Congress is going to look like America…”

Ilhan Omar@IlhanMN

Well sir, the floor of Congress is going to look like America...

And you’re gonna have to just deal

The Hill@thehill

Conservative pastor: "The floor of Congress is going to look like an Islamic republic" 

30.2K people are talking about this

And she’s right. The 116th Congress is the most diverse in U.S. history, with more than 120 women elected to office after a record 272 ran for the general election. More than 110 people of color were elected to Congress and a record 219 were nominated.

But only three representatives — Omar, Tlaib, and Andre Carson (D-IN) — of the 116th Congress are Muslim, which, when considering the fact that Muslims make up approximately 1.1 percent of the U.S. population, is actually low in terms of accurately representing U.S. demographics.  

As ThinkProgress’ Diana Ofuso reported, “people of color, and particularly women of color, over-performed in House races, though made just marginal net gains in representation.” Meanwhile, the Senate has hardly changed in terms of demographics.

Omar will be the first and only member of Congress who wears a hijab. House Democrats are seeking to overturn a ban on headware in the chamber, which would help Omar as well as other religious minorities who wear hijabs, kippas, or turbans.

Despite the demographic discrepancy between the general population and elected officials, people like Jackson continue to perpetuate the Islamophobic myth that Muslims are taking over.

“The fact that we’re electing these people to Congress … it’s beyond the pale,” he said. “I believe in freedom of religion, I believe in the First Amendment, but I’ll tell you what, I’m not voting for a Muslim to serve in any office … I’m not doing it.”

Sure, buddy. But you’re going to have to get used to it.

This story has been updated to include Right Wing Watch as the source for the audio.


Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Members of Local 7798 achieve major goal with workplace violence policy

From the USW

Workers at Copper Country Mental Health Services in Houghton, Mich., obtained wage increases and pension improvements in their contract ratified earlier this year, but the benefit Local 7798 members were most proud of bargaining was language regarding workplace violence.

The contract committed the employer to appoint a committee, including two members of the local, to draft a workplace violence policy. Work quickly began on the policy, and just last week, the committee drafted and released its first clinical guideline focusing on responding to consumer aggression toward staff.

“We are so excited to have this go into effect,” said Unit Chair Rachelle Rodriguez of Local 7798. “This was a direct result of our last negotiating session.”

The guideline includes the definition of aggression and an outline of procedures, all of which will be reviewed yearly. And though this is just a first step in reducing the incident rates and harm of workplace violence in their workplace, it still is a big one for the local, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a collective bargaining agreement.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work