In December 2018, a text-based meme claiming that three ‘Muslim congresswomen’ had refused to take their oath of office to uphold the constitution started to circulate on Facebook:
This text did not relay any factual information:
WAKE UP AMERICA LOOK HOW MANY ARE IN YOUR GOVERNMENT!
How can this be? We are electing people that vow our countries destruction and way of life … To do away with the constitution and install SHARA LAW. They refuse to pledge allegiance to America!
3 Muslim Congress Women Just Refused
For starters, Congressional lawmakers simply can’t refuse to take the oath of office, as it is a mandatory requirement stated in Article VI of the United States Constitution:
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Furthermore, the swearing-in process for newly elected members of Congress hadn’t even taken place when this meme started circulating in December 2018, as the 116th Congress wasn’t scheduled to be sworn in until 3 January 2019.
The meme also claimed that “3 Muslim women” refused to take the oath of office and uphold the constitution. However, only two Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, will take the oath of office as members of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2019. On top of that, Omar, previously participated in a swearing-in ceremony when she became a member of the Minnesota state House of Representatives since 2017. Contrary to what this meme would have readers believe, Omar did not refuse to uphold the state constitution during that event.