Two Muslim Women Elected to Congress Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar Make History
Two districts in the Midwest introduce Muslim women to the US Congress for the first time in the history of the United States. Michigan Democrat, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s nominee, will claim their seats after winning their respective midterm elections. Tlaib is supported by the Democratic Socialists of America, a left-leaning group that also supports New York Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Omar will not only be the first Muslim women elected to Congress, she will be the first Somali-American to hold a seat as well. She immigrated to the United States 1995 and has risen the political ranks to congresswoman. Tlaib and Omar hosted joint campaign events prior to their elections. Ocasio-Cortez was a huge supporter of Omar in her congressional race, and Omar looks forward to addressing conflicts that she has a personal connection to, such as Israeli treatment of the neighboring Palestinians. With both women being backed by a socialist party, we can see obvious polarization between Democrats and Republicans and this issue is now on the center stage with these women winning seats in Congress. The Democratic Socialists of America are gaining ground in Congress.
Omar will replace Minnesota Senator Keith Ellison, the first Muslim Man elected to Congress. Ellison vacated his seat in order to run for Attorney General of Minnesota.
Tlaib will replace former Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left his post due to allegations of sexual misconduct. She ran unopposed on the general election ballot after her win in the primary election.
Tlaib’s parents immigrated from Palestine and she later became the first Muslim female member of Michigan’s state legislature. An original progressive, Tlaib is strongly opposed to President Donald Trump and was arrested two years ago for causing a disturbance at one of Trump’s rallies in Detroit.
These events are a sign of progress in the United States. As our nation becomes more and more accepting of all people, those who previously felt as if running for office was an impossible task now have the confidence and the support to do so. And as these people are elected into office, state and federal government will become more diverse and will be exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. There is much excitement for what these women will do while they are in office.