(RNS) — After Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives today, one of their first agenda items is to change an 1837 rule banning hats on the House floor, in deference to a new Muslim congresswoman who wears religious headwear known as hijab.
You might think that as a scholar who has studied Muslim women’s sartorial choices for more than a decade I’d be excited by this news. But I find myself disappointed and uneasy.
Disappointed because Democrats think they need to change a 182-year-old rule in order to accommodate Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s headscarf, a bit of attire that should be automatically protected by the First Amendment.
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