Republican prays for Trump then insists everyone bow to Jesus just before state's first Muslim woman sworn in

'I knew I was going to receive some discrimination because of my religion,' Movita Johnson-Harrell says

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 27 March 2019 10:31
Comments
Republican prays for Trump and Jesus before swearing in of Muslim congresswoman

A Republican state congresswoman has prompted complaints after launching into a prayer thanking Donald Trump and calling on people to bow to Jesus shortly before Pennsylvania’s first black Muslim congresswoman was sworn in.

Stephanie Borowicz began the day’s session on Monday with an emotional invocation thanking her Christian god for Mr Trump “standing beside Israel unequivocally”.

Appearing almost in tears, Ms Borowicz sermonised about “overcoming evil” in the name of Jesus – who she mentioned 13 times – and said “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess” in the name of him.

In footage of the incident, one lawmaker can be heard shouting, “Objection!” before a colleague gently ushers her away from the microphone.

Movita Johnson-Harrell was sworn into Pennsylvania’s state legislator later that day.

The Democrat from Philadelphia, who was elected earlier his month in a special election, said: “I knew I was going to receive some discrimination because of my religion, because I’m a hijabi woman, and I am the first, but I did not think it would come on the actual day of my swearing in.”

Democratic leader Frank Dermody called Ms Borowicz’s invocation “beneath the dignity of this House” and asked that a group be set up to review the procedure.

Ms Borowicz represents a Clinton County district and insists she did nothing wrong.

Republican House speaker Mike Turzai is currently appealing a federal judge’s decision that stopped his policy of preventing nonbelievers from giving the invocations.

Additional reporting by AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in