Rep: Ilhan Omar: ‘The Two Loudest Muslim Women in the Country’ Are Now in Congress

By Patrick Goodenough | May 21, 2019 | 4:25am EDT
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is offered a date during a congressional iftar event at the U.S. Capitol on Monday night. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

( – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Monday recalled a comment then presidential candidate Donald Trump made in 2016 about Muslim women not being allowed to speak, and joked that she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) – “the two loudest Muslim women in the country” – are now in Congress.

Omar was speaking at an iftar on Capitol Hill, where guests included Khizr Khan, a Muslim Gold Star father who, together with his wife, took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to criticize Trump.

In provocative comments afterwards criticizing the couple, Trump wondered why Khan’s wife, Ghazala, had not spoken, and mused that “maybe she wasn’t allowed” to speak.

“I remember Mr. Khan giving his speech,” Omar said. “And I remember the occupant of the White House mocking his wife and saying ‘I don’t know if Muslim women are allowed to speak.’”

“Little did they know they were going to get the two loudest Muslim women in the country, in Congress, with the biggest mike.”

She encouraged the iftar attendees to “rejoice in knowing that they are mortified [at] the fact that they have awakened these Muslim women to fight for their space here in Congress.”

Omar, a Somali-American, and Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, are the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.

Both have been embroiled in controversies, including some sparked by remarks and social media postings viewed as anti-Semitic. Supporters say they are being targeted for their religion, gender, and ethnicity.

Omar, Tlaib, and fellow Muslim Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) co-hosted the iftar – the Ramadan end-of-fast evening meal – together with Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization.

Other lawmakers attending included House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been expected to attend, but was reportedly kept away by leadership meetings dealing with calls to impeach the president.

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