There was a very small segment of the nation in early 2019 who were exercised about newly elected members of Congress taking their oath of office on the Quran. It was bigotry in every sense of the word.
Rashida Tlaib, an American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent, was sworn in with her left hand on her own copy of the Quran, though it was reported that she had considered using a 1734 English translation that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. I ask, how awesome would that have been?
There was also Ilhan Omar, who arrived on these shores roughly 25 years ago as a refugee fleeing Somalia’s war. She too placed her hand on the Quran, her copy being the one used by her late grandfather. That was most meaningful and touching to learn about on the news.
The diversity they bring to the floor of Congress allows it to better reflect the nation as a whole. That is a good thing, indeed. But the gutter rhetoric by a segment of the conservative base against Islam and these women was truly disgusting.
The reason these elected officials come to mind is the topic of seating members of the British Parliament in 1858 required an act to be passed so to allow a man of the Jewish faith to serve his constituency. The same backward sentiment from some in this nation in 2019 was on full display in London in the mid-19th century.
From One Hot Summer Rosemary Ashton writes the following.
The last line reads, The awkward compromise allowed Rothschild to take his seat in the Commons on 26 July by swearing on the Old Testament alone.
It should be noted that in the US newly elected members of Congress are not required to take their oaths on any religious text. In fact, they need not swear on anything at all.
Rants against those who profess their faith and live accordingly, such as Tlaib and Omar, who were called into question for their loyalty to the country based on their religion, are absurd.
History proves the point.