Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim woman lawmaker, on Wednesday (7 December) said that she was verbally attacked for being a Muslim by a cab driver in Washington DC on Tuesday.
The state representative-elect from Minneapolis, who was in the capital for attending policy training at the White House, said she took the taxi to return to her hotel, when the cabbie called her Isis.
She wrote in a post on her Facebook account, “On my way to our hotel, I got in a cab and became subjected to the most hateful, derogatory, Islamophobic, sexist taunts and threats I have ever experienced.”
“The cabdriver called me ISIS and threatened to remove my hijab, I really wasn’t sure how this encounter would end as I attempted to rush out of his cab and retrieve my belongings.
“I am still shaken by this incident and can’t wrap my head around how bold being (sic) are becoming in displaying their hate toward Muslims.
“I pray for his humanity and for all those who harbor hate in their hearts,” the 34-year-old wrote her social media post.
She added that she plans to file a complaint with the police once she goes back to Minneapolis, and said she does not feel safe enough after this incident.
Omar, who came to the United States from a refugee camp in Kenya as a child, made history in November when she became the first elected Somali-American Muslim woman lawmaker, defeating a Republican.
Omar is also the director of policy at Women Organizing Women (WOW) Network, an organisation that empowers East African women and encourages them to participate in civic leadership.