First Muslim woman elected to House of Representatives

07 November, 2018, 09:55 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman elected to Congress

Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat, will be the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a Detroit native, became the first Muslim elected to the chamber in 2007 and, along with Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indiana, is one of two Muslims now serving in the U.S. House.

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

On January 1, 2009, Rashida became the first Muslim American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any USA state legislature.

Self-described Democratic Socialist Ilhan Omar won Minnesota's 5th District race, where she easily defeated Republican activist Jennifer Zielinski on a platform that includes health care for all and a $15 minimum wage.

Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, said in recent interviews that she favors a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as opposed to a two-state solution that would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

She spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the United States at age 12.

Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. That may force her to resign from Detroit City Council to do so.


She was joined shortly after on Tuesday night by Omar, who ran for the Democrats in Minnesota's fifth district. Tlaib said at a summit celebrating women of color in politics.

"I've never been one to stand on the sidelines".

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.

Tlaib's win comes after the 2016 election of Trump spurred a record number of women to put their names on the ballot.

She is also openly lesbian, in a state that is traditionally conservative.

Ms Omar did not know English when she went to the U.S. at the age 12.

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