Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American lawmaker elected in the U.S., said she was taunted and threatened Tuesday by a cab driver in Washington, D.C., where she was attending a criminal justice reform meeting at the White House.
Omar posted about the incident on Facebook, saying, "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."
Omar said she rushed out of the cab with her belongings in fear of what the cabbie would do. She said she did not plan to report the incident formally until she was back home, because the driver “knows the hotel I am staying at,” the New York Daily News reported.
It was not clear to whom Omar planned to report the incident. It is also unknown which cab company Omar used.
The 34-year-old Somali refugee came to America when she was 8 years old. She was elected to the Minnesota House last month and takes office in January.
Omar made her victory speeches in both English and Somali, and ousted a 44-year incumbent to become the first Somali-American congressperson ever elected in the U.S.
In her social media post, Omar said she is concerned about the recent increase in hateful incidents toward Muslims.
“I pray for his humanity and for all those who harbor hate in their hearts,” she wrote.
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