Republican Lawmaker Prays for Forgiveness as Pennsylvania State House Swears in First Muslim Woman

As Pennsylvania made history on Monday, swearing in the first Muslim woman elected to the state House, one Republican lawmaker prayed to Jesus for forgiveness.


State Representative Stephanic Borowicz, a newly-elected state representative who opposes abortion and loves Donald Trump, kicked off the Pennsylvania House session’s opening prayer by asking God to watch over fellow Republican leaders, including the president. “Lord thank you that he stands behind Israel, unequivocally.”

She continued in a 100-second display of pure Islamophobia: “God forgive us. Jesus, we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us.”

She went on to say:

We ask that we not be overcome by evil, and that we overcome evil with good in this land once again. I claim all these things in the powerful, mighty name of Jesus. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that you Jesus are lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell, who made history as the state’s firs Muslim woman representative, told the Pennsylvania Capital-Star
that Borowicz’s prayer was “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.” Johnson-Harrell brought 55 guests to the hearing, 32 of whom are Muslim.

“It blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people,” she told the paper. “I came to the Capitol to help build bipartisanship and collaborations regardless of race or religion to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.”


Rep. Kevin Boyle, a Democrat, walked out in protest. He called the “fire and brimstone Evangelical prayer” the epitome of “religious intolerance.”


When asked about the backlash, Borowicz defended herself. “That’s how I pray every day,” she said. “I don’t apologize ever for praying.” That sounds about right.

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.



In addition to how obviously Islamaphobic and xenophobic this is, it is also just such a mean-spirited and petty way to deliberately ruin what should have been a wonderful day for Rep Johnson-Harrell. I mean, she was there with her whole beautiful family, happy and excited and proud to get sworn in, and then this shit was done just to ruin her experience. Just because she is Muslim.