The Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, was among a delegation of Christian leaders who delivered a welcome message to the first Muslim-American Congresswomen, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), today at Longworth House Office Building.
Led by an online Christian organizing group called Faithful America, this message was signed by 7,400 Christians nationwide, and given to the congresswomen’s staffs after their swearing in this afternoon.
Faithful America as well as other organizations and individuals that signed the letter saw it as a necessary action because of the Islamophobic rhetoric exhibited by some far right Christians, including far-right pastors like E.W. Jackson, who was recorded saying that, “the floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic. We are a Judeo-Christian country. We are a nation rooted and grounded in Christianity and that’s that. … Don’t try to change our country into some sort of Islamic republic or try to base our country on Sharia law,” on his radio program last month.
“The assumption should be that Christian Americans, along with Americans of all faiths and backgrounds, would of course welcome new members of Congress regardless of their religious affiliations,” said Dr. Catherine Orsborn, campaign director at Shoulder to Shoulder, an interfaith organization working to end anti-Muslim sentiment. She helped deliver the welcome message to Omar and Tlaib.
“By being themselves and doing their best in their elected capacities, these incredible women will live out what it means to be American and Muslim without any contradiction,” Orsborn said.