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After 181 Years of No Hats, Hijab to be Allowed in US Congress

After 181 Years of No Hats, Hijab to be Allowed in US Congress
Member-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will be the first member of congress to wear a hijab. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
  • Hats have been banned from the House chamber of the Capitol for nearly two centuries — 181 years, to be exact. 
  • Under a new proposal from Democrats, the rule would be relaxed to allow religious headwear, like hijab or kippah
  • Ilham Omar will become the first federal legislator to wear a religious headscarf

WASHINGTON, DC – Democrats in Congress are looking to roll back a 181-year-old rule banning head coverings under the Capitol dome, allowing Muslim hijabs and Jewish skullcaps to be worn by legislators, Roll Call reported.

“No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift,” Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Saturday.

Hats of any kind have been banned from the House floor since 1837, this is 181 years ago.

“During the session of the House, a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not wear a hat or remain by the Clerk’s desk during the call of the roll or the counting of ballots,” the section reads.

“A person on the floor of the House may not smoke or use a mobile electronic device that impairs decorum. The Sergeant-at-Arms is charged with the strict enforcement of this clause.”

After the election of Omar, who will be sworn in next year, she will become the first federal legislator to wear a religious hijab.

The Minnesota Democrat will be the first Somali-American in Congress and the first woman of color to represent her state in Washington.

She’ll be joined by fellow Midwestern Democrat, Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, as the first two Muslim women in Congress.

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