Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and André Carson, three Muslim members of the US Congress, hosted a historic iftar meal in the US Capitol. It was the first time the celebration which breaks the Ramadan fast was hosted by Congress’ own Muslim members, reports Haaretz.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was set to address the event, which would also have been a historic first, but she had to bow out at the last minute “because of an unspecified emergency.”
“It’s important to take a moment to recognize how historic this iftar is,” Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib said in a statement.
This event lifts an entire community that has felt unseen for far too long. We have been unjustly targeted to ignite fear and promote an agenda of hate. Tonight, we recommit to being rooted in justice, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also attended the event. Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who was mocked by then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race was also in attendance.
Omar addressed the gathering, which was co-hosted by the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, and said she remembered how Trump had criticized Khan’s wife by saying he wasn’t sure if Muslim women were allowed to speak. “Little did they know they were going to get the two loudest Muslim women in the country in Congress!” Omar said to loud applause.
“Four years or five years ago we never would’ve imagined the door of the White House would be closed to an iftar,” Ocasio-Cortez reportedly said during the dinner.
But four or five years ago we also never imagined celebrating and breaking fast with the first hijabi woman and the first Palestinian woman to serve in Congress.