Muslim Woman First to Lead Prayers for Illinois Legislature

April 9, 2006

Source: State Journal Register

On April 9, 2006 the State Journal Register reported, "Maryam Mostoufi, chaplain to the Islamic Community of Greater Springfield, prayed for state legislators before they began legislative business on a recent day in the Illinois Senate. 'We ask that you (God) open our hearts and minds that we may rededicate our work in the Senate to you,' she invoked. 'That we might see each act, each word, each effort as a form of worship to you.' Mostoufi's prayer is not out of the ordinary. It has been Statehouse tradition to invite spiritual leaders from throughout Illinois to open each legislative chamber's session with a prayer. But the noteworthy aspect about Mostoufi's invitation is that she was the first woman to invoke a Muslim prayer in the Senate, which has no Muslim legislators. There are no Muslim lawmakers in the House, either."