Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Hijabs And Kippahs Are Banned In Congress. Ilhan Omar’s Trying To Change That.

The U.S. House has banned hats of any kind for 183 years. Now Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress this year, is set to help change that year.

Omar (D-Minn.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are partnering on proposing legislation to allow lawmakers to wear religious headwear in Congress, Roll Call reported. That would allow Omar, who is an observant Muslim, to wear a head scarf on the House floor, as well as allow members of Congress to wear yarmulkes.

The change, also supported by the incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, (D-Mass.) is part of a larger overhaul of House rules. (The Senate does not have a similar rule.)

In a tweet about the rule change, Omar underscored that wearing the hijab is protected by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The hat rule has been challenged once before, in 2010. The Florida representative Frederica Wilson wanted to be able to show off her collection of sequined cowboy hats. She also called the rule “sexist,” saying that the rule dates to a time when women were expected to wear hats indoors, while men were not.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.