Nation’s First Female Somali-American Muslim Lawmaker Takes Oath on Koran

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Somali-American woman who identifies as a Muslim recently took her oath of office on the Koran instead of the Bible.

Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November, beating her Republican opponent, Abdimalik Askar, by 61 percent. Her election marked the first female Somali-American selected to serve as a legislator.

“We will never stop fighting for a democracy that works for all of us—for a prosperous and equitable Minnesota that we can all be proud of,” Omar, 34, declared in her victory speech. “I will never give up fighting for you, and I hope you never give up fighting for me.”

On Jan. 3, she took the oath of office at the Minnesota State Capitol building with her hand placed on a large, commemorative copy of the Koran.

“Congratulations. Welcome to the House of Representatives,” she was greeted following the oath, as a number of her supporters who were present stood to their feet and cheered.

“I think it says a lot about the ethos of America,” Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota told Voice of America. “That [constituents] can embrace a Somali-American, hijab-clad Muslim woman as their representative, as the most qualified person to speak for them in the state capitol.”

According to reports, Omar moved to America when she was 12 after spending four years in an African refugee camp due to the ravages of the Somali Civil War.

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“The war started when I was 8,” she told the Siasat Daily. “One night, militia tried to break into our home, and the exterior was riddled with bullets. My family left our neighborhood, passing through dead bodies and debris.”

“I no longer had a bed of my own, the privacy of a shower in my own bathroom—we were essentially homeless,” Omar recalled. “I would fetch water, and my family would reward me with a shilling at the end of the day, so I would go see a movie in the village next door in a makeshift theater: a hut.”

She says that her election makes a statement of countering “bigotry” in the nation.

“My election win offers a counter-narrative to the bigotry in the world,” she remarked. “This is a land of immigrants, and most come here for opportunity, a second chance. It’s our time to fight for the America we know we can have.”

While being the first female Somali-American elected to American government, she is not the first lawmaker to take the oath of office on a book other than the Bible. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, also of Minnesota, reportedly used Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Koran during his individual ceremonial oath in 2007.

As previously reported, in 2012, Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii took her oath on the Bhagavad Gita. Gabbard, a Hindu, follows the Vaishnavism sect of the religion, which believes in a supreme being named Vishnu and his “10 incarnations.”


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  • Amos Moses

    scripture says we are not to take oaths ….. and the first act of any politician is to then violate that ….. sad commentary ………. she swore on the Koran ….. who cares ………

    • Amos Moses

      5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
      5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
      5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
      5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
      5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      I (surprisingly) agree with you that no one should care what holy book a person swears their oath of office on.

      However, why should a non-Christian care whether Christian scripture says not to take oaths?

  • james blue

    Keith Ellison DID NOT take his oath of office using a Koran. While they may have one with them NO US senator or congressman officially takes their oath on any book. Members are sworn in en masse .

    Religious books are used in the photo op Ceremonial reenactment AFTER they are officially sworn in and it was at the recreation that Ellison had a Koran.

  • Vince

    Wow, that’s impressive. Swear by the book that commands Muslims to kill all infidels.

    So, that’s millions of Americans that would be dead. Nice lady.

    • Upsetti Spaghetti

      Deuteronomy 17
      If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

    • Upsetti Spaghetti

      Deuteronomy 17
      If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

  • Michael C

    This sounds like a true American story reflecting our values as a nation.

    My personal feelings about the religion of Islam are irrelevant. If you’re fond of the U.S. Constitution, you appreciate the fact that there is no religious test required to serve “We the People.” The only thing of importance is how this woman chooses to represent her constituents and the laws of our great nation.

    • David Stoneslinger

      Hey, you wanna kiss up to the religion that kills homosexuals, go for it.
      If you think that will save you from them, you’re pretty dense.
      Just remember, they don’t just hate Christians – they hate you too.

      • Michael C

        Judaism also calls for the execution of gay people. This doesn’t mean that modern day Jews want our secular government to criminalize homosexuality.

        If the State representative in question believes that our government should be an arm of her religious beliefs, she’ll find out soon enough that she’s in the wrong job.

        • David Stoneslinger

          Um, Muslims kill gays NOW, in the 21st century. Do gays ever watch the news? You get all wadded up over a wedding cake, but you don’t know about Muslims killing gays?

          You people are hopeless.

          • Michael C

            Um, Muslims kill gays NOW, in the 21st century. Do gays ever watch the news?

            David Stoneslinger, There are Jewish people now who advocate for the death penalty for gay people. There are Jewish terrorists now that try to kill gay people.

            ..but that’s not relevant to the conversation. Today, we’re talking about Ilhan Omar.

            “I was humbled and honored to be part of our state’s historic victories for marriage equality in 2012 and 2013. However, there is still a great deal of work to do in the struggle for LGBT inclusion. Many LGBT community members have endured bullying, homelessness, lack of opportunity, and discrimination. I realize that these struggles are the same struggles many new immigrants face. I understand civil rights issues are human rights issues. Discrimination is harmful no matter who you are; all people deserve respect and equity under the law. I will be a steadfast advocate for all underrepresented communities at the Capitol. It is not our job to judge one another, but to welcome and serve everyone.” -Ilhan Omar, endorsed by OutFront Minnesota Action and Stonewall DFL.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        There is nothing that “they” believe. Every Muslim is an individual. Your holy book says to kill gays too, as well as witches. Does that mean you agree?

        • David Stoneslinger

          Sure, dude. Muslims are harmless. They never kill anyone.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Not only did I not say that, I didn’t even say anything resembling that.

        • David Stoneslinger

          You idiots can’t even grasp the difference between past and present. Must be all the drugs that homosexuals use, they can’t think rationally.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that I’m gay, because I’m not. Or that I use drugs, which I don’t (in fact, I don’t even drink alcohol). So I’ll accept your apologies in advance for making assumptions about me.

            Now, what in the world do you mean that I can’t distinguish between past and present? And what does that have to do with the issue of whether or not we know anything about how criminally a person will behave based on their religion?

    • NCOriolesFan

      Re-read her life background and where she came from before judging her.

      • Michael C

        Right. She fled her native, war-torn country to immigrate to the United States and become a full citizen. As a first generation immigrant she has decided to dedicate her life to serving the country that opened it’s arms to her and has given her so many opportunities.

        What’s more “American” than that?

        Perhaps you know something about her story that I don’t (?)

  • Weary Warrior

    Another supporter of Sharia over the Constitution? Little by little, step by step …

    • Ambulance Chaser

      What evidence do you have that she supports Sharia over the Constitution?

  • james blue

    Ellison did not swear the oath of office on a Koran, it was used in the photo op Ceremonial reenactment (this is not a swearing in) after congress was officially sworn in en masse. There is no book, religious or otherwise used in the swearing in of the US congress.

  • NCOriolesFan

    Don’t forget she beat a GOP Muslim – no pun intended.

  • Croquet_Player

    If swearing on particular texts bore any relationship to the subsequent ethical behavior of the person taking the oath, this would be meaningful. As with every other elected representative, this is simply a nice little photo op, and one just has to hope they do a good job.

    • Ralph Jones

      That’s what he said.

  • David Stoneslinger

    What could possibly go wrong, right? She’s probably a law-abiding US citizen, just like Major Nidal Hasan.

    Oh, wait,…

  • She should have sworn on a telephone book.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Telephone books are meaningless. Everyone has doctrines to believe in and act on. Secularists are the only species that are boneless. We can be thankful for the average Muslims who are not tamed by the Sodomic Western culture. Some measure of decency will be there.

      • Don’t be so hard on telephone books. It’s not as if they set out to deceive and teach doctrines of devils. Your average Muslims might be pillars of decency, but those that more closely follow their pedophile prophet are like him.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          If the West did not pursue nudism and Sodomy like madmen but raise their children properly, none of this problem would have happened.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Koran orders total subdue or destruction of all Non-Muslims. Will she keep that in the USA? How? Mankind needs the Holy Bible for the truth, holiness, human rights, freedom, equality, justice, and civility. Powerful Muslims will slow down the insane sodomization of rich secular nations. Anything is better than Sodom’s monopoly on earth. God uses foreign forces to punish once-good nations that’s gone bad. USA has become too immoral thus self-destructive. European men and American men used to protect their women and children, but playboys protect no one. The West should realize they are not wise or superior when they do not follow the Lord anymore. Each man to protect his own family.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Rule of the laws is simply a terror to mankind on Planet Earth when the laws are not based on the Ten Commandments in the Holy Bible. Judeo-Christian values alone provide everyone human rights, literacy, freedom, and safety. All others oppress innocent humans and make the mass victims of oppressions. Wisdom is not America; wisdom is the Word of God. Humanism kills babies. Americans were good and superior only because of the good religion, Christianity.

  • Ralph Jones

    So it begins………

  • James Wentz

    Shoot the bitch! We don’t need any more Som-moolies in the USA!

  • Bacchus

    She promises (according to the koran) to murder ALL Christians and Jews.

  • How?

    CLUE: There were no openly practicing Muslims, no Mosques, no Sharia, and no Islamic terrorism in 17th-century Colonial America whose governments of, by, and for God were established upon Yahweh’s moral law, beginning with the First Commandment:

    “…Religious Freedom and Christian Liberty are not the same thing. They are, in fact, hostile to each other. The former is born of the First Amendment. The latter is born of the First Commandment. In 1789, the First Commandment and Christian Liberty were formally sacrificed on the altar of the First Amendment and Religious Freedom.

    “When the 18th-century founders replaced the First Commandment (found intact in some 17th-century Colonial Constitutions) with the First Amendment, America was transformed from a predominantly monotheistic Christian nation (a united nation under one God, Yahweh) into arguably the most polytheistic nation to exist (a divided nation under many gods, including Islam’s Allah).

    “It’s one thing to allow for individual freedom of conscience and private choice of gods, something impossible to legislate for or against. It’s another matter altogether for government to enable any and all religions to proliferate through the land and evangelize our posterity to false gods. This is what the First Amendment legitimizes. It is an unequivocal violation of the First Commandment and the polar opposite of the following First Commandment statute:

    ‘[Y]e shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves. For thou shall worship no other god: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou … go a whoring after their gods….’ (Exodus 34:13-15)….”

    For more, see blog article “National Religious Freedom Day* aka Celebrating the Founders’ Violation of the First Commandment.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Blog and search on title.

    National Religious Freedom Day was celebrated again in America last Monday, on January 16.