By Hena Tahir
On Saturday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar was unconstitutional. Her basis? The fact that Ilhan wears a hijab, also known as a head-covering, which is a practice in not only Islam, but also Christianity and Judaism. So according to Pirro, Omar, and presumably any other individual who wears a veil, is anti-American.
After Omar made statements about Israel that sparked controversy, Pirro made the false assumption that she is anti-Israel and that her hijab indicated she believes in Sharia Law.
“Think about it, Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia Law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
Irrespective of the religion, the main purpose of the head covering is to enjoin privacy as well as recommend decorum and dignified behavior. As far as the Sharia Law is concerned, “There is no compulsion in religion” (ch. 2, v. 257). This cannot be simplified more than it already is. Unequivocally, there is no force or coercion permitted with regards to one’s faith. If you adhere to Sharia Law, you are following the universal teachings of the Qur’an which aim to nurture and cultivate a society of peace and harmony, regardless of religion and race, as do the teachings of the Bible.
“To truly love God and Islam requires a person to love his nation. It is quite clear, therefore, that there can be no conflict of interest between a person’s love for God, and love for his country,” claims His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He goes on to say, “It is essential for the citizen of any country to establish a relationship of genuine loyalty and faithfulness to his nation … it does not matter whether he is a born citizen, or whether he gains citizenship later in life.”
So, adhering to Sharia Law, or in other words, adhering to the teachings of the Qur’an which promote human rights and human values and afford humankind dignity and honor, is undeniably not antithetical to the United States Constitution.
From a logical standpoint, would an individual not be grateful and devoted to a nation which granted them refuge and safety? Would an individual not be even more loving and loyal towards that nation than their faith requires? Omar was born in Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya until she came to the United States at the age of 12. As a gesture of her gratefulness to her new country, she made the decision to serve in Congress.
To answer Pirro’s initial question, yes, in Omar’s adherence to the Islamic doctrine she seeks to adhere to Sharia law; however, in no way is this antithetical to the United States Constitution.
Hena Tahir is a writer for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.