With the impending 2020 election and the upcoming centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment, the topic of women in politics is more relevant than ever. Ilhan Omar is a Representative elected to the 2018 United States House of Representatives and is one member of the “squad,” a group of four women of color under the age of 50 who identify as part of the left wing of the Democratic Party. Ilhan Omar has been the focus of many liberal and conservative media outlets. In this research I focus on the tropes of Islamophobia that Omar faces to examine how political discourse and media coverage have represented the Congressperson this way. I examine this discourse and media representation that ultimately influences public opinion and perception of this Congressperson. This qualitative approach will use feminist media analysis that builds from three main bodies of knowledge: institutionalized barriers and structures that people of color in politics face, the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim American women in politics, and media representation of women of color in politics. I examine media coverage, public responses, and the intersectional factors that are at play in Omar’s case. I will analyze the case of Ilhan Omar to demonstrate how political discourse frames media coverage of women in politics.


Maria Bevacqua

Committee Member

Laura Harrison

Committee Member

Jameel Haque

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Arts and Humanities



Rights Statement

In Copyright