Representative-Elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wears a hijab. Some truely beatuiful ones too, based on her photos. But the House of Representatives has an outdated rule from the 1800’s about headwear–no one is allowed to wear it for any reason.
Now, based the History of House, the rule against headwear came out of some fairly contentious debate. There is an endearing story about why the hat ban was put in place: that in England members of Parliment wore hats to set themselves apart from the king and for the people, America had no king so no need for hats in the Houses of Congress. Cue panic. Please let it be remembered that when push came to shove MEN were concerned about their fashionable clothes in the House. So vain. In the modern day, this applies to all headwear from scarves to yarmulkes to hijabs. You can see where this can start to get messy with freedom of religion.
Sehkmet aspect Representative Pelosi, has moved to change the rule to allow religious headwear as well as hats or scarves to cover hair loss (which when you think about how many members of Congress have or have had cancer, it becomes a matter of dignity). This rule change adds visible representation, and will inspire more people with diverse faiths to run for Congress; which is only a good thing.
Will the religious freedom loving Republicans be on board?
Rank Islamaphobia is a hallmark of Republicanism. While they write think pieces about how Muslims percieve religious freedom, they refuse to acknowledge their inexorable march to Gilead.
Covering your hair isn’t just for Muslim women who wear a hijab or a chador. Dedicants to Hestia wear veils. Orthodox Jewish women wear scarves. Hindu and Jain women wear a ghoonghat. Catholic nuns wear veils, and the Ammish and the Mennonites cover their heads as well.
Seeing a woman with her hair covered isn’t the end of the world, and may encourage other women who cover their hair to do the same.
Nor is wearing a head covering going to impinge on anyone’s freedom of religion, as much as the White Evangelical men may cry.
Even though Republicans love touting religious freedom, I doubt they’ll be on board.
Republicans LOVE to scream about how Sharia law is coming to America, with out taking into consideration how their own religious beliefs have a heavy influence on our law making process.