Muslim women elected to US Congress for the first time

Howard TerryNov 07, 2018

Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday became the first Palestinian-American elected to the US Congress when she won Michigan's 13th district.

He will succeed Democrat John Hickenlooper, who has been in office since 2011.

"We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible".

Rashida Tlaib is the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants - the eldest of 14 children. Along with being one of the first Muslim women in Congress, Omar is the first Somali-American elected to the post.

Ilhan ran from Minnesota's 5th district, a deeply Democratic area previously represented by a fellow Muslim, Keith Ellison, who won six terms from here.

Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Democrat running for the House in Minnesota, could join Tlaib in Congress.

Omar fled Somalia's civil war with her parents at the age of eight and spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya. That may force her to resign from Detroit City Council to do so. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the United States when they still promote that kind of injustice.

Tlaib, 42, also has a history of breaking barriers: In 2008 she became the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature.

In August, she emerged as the victor of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health.

Elsewhere, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis won the governor's race in Colorado, US media projected, making him the first openly gay person to be elected governor in the United States.

While Omar campaigned on a similarly progressive platform, which calls for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television.

She is also openly lesbian, in a state that is traditionally conservative. "It just shows how incredibly wonderful our country can be", she said.

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