America is known as a melting pot where people can practice freedom of religion. Conservative minister E.W. Jackson, however, appears to believe that not every religion should be represented in Congress.
After reports that Democrats were attempting to reverse a 181-year-old ban on headwear on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jackson made a comment on his radio show, calling out Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who wears a hijab.
“The floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic,” Jackson said, according to the Hill. “We are a Judeo-Christian country.” He continued, “We are a nation rooted and grounded in Christianity and that’s that. And anybody that doesn’t like that, go live somewhere else. It’s very simple. Just go live somewhere else. Don’t try to change our country into some sort of Islamic republic or try to base our country on Sharia law.”
Omar and Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., will be the first Muslim women in Congress.
Omar responded to Jackson on Friday through Twitter.
Well sir, the floor of Congress is going to look like America…
And you’re gonna have to just deal 😂 https://t.co/mHQzj34ZTn
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 7, 2018
According to the Pew Research Center, there were an estimated 3.45 million Muslim Americans in the United States in 2017. It projected that by 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the country’s second-largest religious group after Christians.
People on Twitter were not shy about expressing their support for Omar — or calling out Jackson.
I wonder if they would be yelling if a habit wearing nun was a member of Congress?
— AltNSA (@AltNatSecAgency) December 7, 2018
Exactly. The diversity of Congress is a beautiful sight to see.
— Dr. G. (@Nevada_Dem) December 7, 2018
It's almost like they don't actually want a representative democracy or to respect the first amendment when it's not for their direct benefit 🤔
— Wizard of Odds (@donsheldon) December 7, 2018
Take it from me: there’s nothing “Pastor” or “Christian” about his comment. We welcome you 🌹
— Lil’ Poundcake (@TheLilPoundcake) December 7, 2018
Rev. Chuck Currie was quick to voice support for Omar as well.
As a #Christian minister, let me say to U.S. Rep.-elect @IlhanMN that your victory is a victory for #pluralism and #religiousfreedom. Bigotry is not a faithful response to God. My prayers are with you as you join #Congress. Congratulations! https://t.co/KG816f2hOP
— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) December 7, 2018
Jackson went on to say that he was not Islamophobic, but his comments seem to speak for themselves: “The fact that we’re electing these people to Congress and electing them to office is just beyond the pale,” he said. “Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in the 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. Me, personally, I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it. Period. I’m not doing it.”
He added, “The threat to humanity is not merely radical Islam. The threat to humanity is Islam, period. That’s right, I said it and I mean it.”
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