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Then the democratic rep. Ilhan Omar from Minnesota wraps their comments on the crowd at a Ramadan collection on Capitol Hill late Monday, she saw a well-known face in the front row.
It was Khizr Khan, the Gold Star Father who became famous for her candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 race. Omar told the audience that she remembered how Trump had defeated Khan's wife by saying he was not sure Muslim women were allowed to speak.
"Little did they know that they should get the two highest Muslim women in the country in Congress!" Omar said to draw bowl from the largely Muslim audience.
Hannah Allam / NPR / NPR
Omar and Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, is certainly known for their words. Overwhelming outbreaks, tone-deaf tweets, historical musings, whiteboards – whatever the purpose, almost everything they say turns into right-wing media depicting them as dangerously anti-American.
In the relentless noise around Tlaib and omar, the meeting on Monday night stood beside the quiet.
The two were in the Capitol for an invitation-only iftar, the meal that breaks the fast at sunset every day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, traditionally a time for introspection and goodwill. Apart from brief remarks, both women remained away from the microphone. They hugged friends and exchanged seasonal greetings, "Ramadan mubarak."
At one point, Omar bowed his head and seemed to reconcile the world as if she were not staring at by a beautiful fan, who all wanted selfies with her. After an imam recited the Islamic call to the prayer, it was time to break the fast, Omar picked a date from a bowl at his table and took a bite. The camera's shutters clicked as paparazzi on a Hollywood red carpet.
The tiny expressions of faith that create Omar and Tlaib curiosities on the hill are what makes them confidential and intriguing to the dozens of Muslim followers who clamored around them. Several offered prayers and encouragement. "Be strong!" a man told Omar.
Hannah Allam / NPR
In speeches from the podium and in conversations over ice cream, Muslim guests were repeated two main themes: pride in having their faith reflected in the congress and the dismay of the criticism of the Muslim representatives.
Everything they say is picked apart, 10 times more every day, no matter what, "said Haval Salih, who works in the medical field and was invited to a friend by a friend." how strong they are. They are still here, they are still on their way to change, they still give us hope. "
Iftar was organized by the nonprofit Muslim lawyers in consultation with the offices of Tlaib, Omar and the third Muslim in Congress, the long-serving democratic rep. Andre Carson from Indiana Several other Democrats attended, including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
The event filled a void on Muslim social calendars in Washington political class The White House was once the highest profile invitation for the season, but it has changed since President Barack Obama's left office.
Trump, who repeatedly based Islam and Muslims, issued a Ramadan greeting this year calling for work against "a more harmonious and respectful society. "The White House iftar's guest list, however, has narrowed to mainly diplomats. No more invitations to Muslim community leaders – a relief to many who privately say they would boycott anyway because of the travel bid and Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Four years or five years ago, we would never have imagined the door to the White House would be closed for a night, "Ocasio-Cortez said on the sidelines of the dinner." But four or five years ago we could never imagine celebrate and break fast with the first hijabi woman and the first Palestinian woman to serve in the congress. "Muslim lawyers had invited some Republican members; the organizers said they did not see anyone at the event.
Carson said that he was not surprised that his Republican counterparts did not show, he suggested that they were not willing to risk the political stigma attached to Islam in the GOP.  "You have many good Republicans who understand our global Muslim community, which because of political constraints is probably not as brave as they should be," Carson said.
Another non-show was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., A headliner who bent at the last minute due to an unspecified emergency. The organizers were disappointed, but for this crowd the sign was never Pelosi.
"I had my fangirl moment because I went to take a selfie with Rashida Tlaib and she said she had heard about me and she gave me a hug, said Sadaf Jaffer, the mayor of Montgomery Township, New Jersey.
As mayor, Jaffer says she swears in the volunteer firefighters and throws the first pitch on local baseball games, holding council building meetings on building projects.
And even at municipal level, she has felt the sting of anti-Muslim political Jaffer said that when she first drove to the local township committee in 2017, opponents sent thousands of mailers to the voters, ignored her and called her extreme and dangerous.
Jaffer won the election, but the episode gave her a glimpse of what Omar and Tlaib are doing much more at every moment.
"It's scary because people are just waiting to take things out of context, just to confuse what someone is saying," Jaffer said.
She said that change negative stereotypes about Muslims will take years of deeper Muslim public engagement, especially in politics.
"It only happens when we have so many people elected to the office that we do not hold one or two of them to be the absolute representation," said Jaffer. "Because it's too much of a burden to bear."