Ilhan Omar

Somali-American Lawmaker Threatened by Islamophobic D.C. Cabbie

Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Rep.-elect says she was threatened and harassed by a cab driver in Washington over her gender and faith

by #teamEBONY, December 8, 2016

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Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar, center, applauds during a rally at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. AP /Jim Mone, File

The nation’s first elected Somali-American lawmaker, Ilhan Omar says she was harassed and called “ISIS” by a taxicab driver in Washington, D.C.

The Minnesota Rep.-elect detailed the incident on her Facebook page on Wednesday. She said the cab driver called her ISIS, lobbed sexist taunts and threatened to remove her hijab during a brief ride on Tuesday after a White House meeting on criminal justice reform. She did not provide information about the driver.



Omar, 34,  said that she plans to file a report when she returns home, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, but did not feel safe enough to speak further.

Last month, Omar was elected to represent Minnesota’s Legislative District 60B in the state house, part of a wave of Black women and women of color who won elected office across the country. She says she is troubled by growing animosity toward Muslim people. Her campaign staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Omar immigrated to the United States after spending part of her childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp. Before she won the Minnesota House seat, she was Director of Policy Initiatives at an organization called Women Organizing Women. She will be sworn into office Jan. 3.


This story originally appeared on JETMag.com.

With AP





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