First Palestinian Congresswoman Sworn in on Koran, Curses Trump, Erases Israel

January 6, 2019

3 min read

A newly sworn-in congresswoman has already made waves, using foul language to threaten to impeach the president and reversing her campaign platform to the dismay of her Jewish supporters. This should come as no surprise since Rashida Tlaib is the country’s first Palestinian to sit in the House of Representatives.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian Congresswoman representing Michigan’s 13th Congressional district, was sworn in on Thursday but has already made several controversial moves. Tlaib was sworn in on an English-language Koran, a 1734 English translation that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Talib claimed that her choice was intended to illustrate how Islam was integral to the founding of the U.S. An article in the Forward ironically noted that the Jefferson Koran was created to aid in missionizing Muslims.

“While the translator George Sale wasn’t in favor of forced conversion, he did view Islam as foreign, and his introduction is often read as an example of the religious fear, misunderstanding and intolerance of the era,” the Forward noted.

The introduction to the Jefferson Koran reads: “Whatever use an impartial version of the Korân may be of in other respects, it is absolutely necessary to undeceive those who, from the ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained too favorable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually to expose the imposture.”

At an event held by the MoveOn organization a few hours later, Tlaib said of Trump: “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf****r.”

Tlaib campaigned on a platform of pushing for the impeachment of the president and wrote an op-ed saying she would do so as soon as possible.  Her statements were supported by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was somewhat critical of Talib’s statements.

“I know that if I was a man it might have been differently,” she said Friday in an interview with CNN affiliate WDIV in Detroit. “I know that, for me, I’ve always been this way. I mean, I think no one expects me to be anything but myself, the girl from southwest Detroit with a little sass and attitude.”

Trump was critical of the rookie congresswoman’s statements.

“I thought her comments were disgraceful,” Trump said to reporters in the Rose Garden on Friday. “This is a person that I don’t know. I assume she’s new. I think she dishonored herself, and I think she dishonored her family using language like that. … I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”

The same day she was sworn in, Tlaib arrived to her office to find that a guest, comedian Mohammed “Mo” Amer had altered the world map hanging on the wall, indicating that the area is currently the State of Israel should be labeled Palestine.

Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and supports universal Medicare and the abolition of the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

She opposes any U.S. aid to Israel and called for funding to be channeled into Palestinian peace initiatives. She caused a furor when she drastically changed her stance on the Middle East peace process. While campaigning, she openly advocated for a two-state solution which would create a Palestinian state in land conquered by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. She was endorsed by J-Street and other left-wing Jewish organizations on the basis of this platform. After winning the Democratic primary, she announced a change in her platform, calling for Israel to open its borders to descendants of Palestinian refugees. She also announced her rejection of a two-state solution and changed her platform to a one-state solution. As a result, the left-wing Jewish organizations withdrew their support for Talib in the general elections.

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