Rashida Tlaib is first Muslim woman elected to U.S. Congress
07 November, 2018, 09:55 | Author: Sheila Harris
Tlaib ran unopposed, but fended off a late write-in challenge from the woman she defeated in the primaries.
Since leaving the Legislature, Tlaib has worked as an attorney for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice.
A former Daadab refugee, Ilhan Omar has become the first Somali woman to be elected to the US Congress and only the second Muslim to win a congress seat.
When the new Congress convenes in January 2019, for the first time it will have at least one Muslim woman among its ranks.
Omar arrived in the U.S., aged 14, after fleeing civil war in Somalia.
Republicans, who charge that the Democratic Party has departed from its pro-Israel bona fides point to Tlaib and Omar as proof.
Omar also had the backing of Ocasio-Cortez in her primary race, and she will come to Congress having been an open critic of the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians. That may force her to resign from Detroit City Council to do so.
She will also be one of the first Muslim women in Congress, along with Ilhan Omar, who is expected to win in Minnesota. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.
The Palestinian-American made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to achieve this.
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.
Omar, 36, fled her homeland of Somalia at the age of eight and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating with family to the United States.
The seat she won is in a predominantly African American congressional district with few Muslim voters.
Tlaib has advocated for universal health care, a $15 national minimum wage, union protections, and tuition-free college education.
Ms Omar did not know English when she went to the United States at the age 12.
She also faced Islamophobic attacks during her campaign from some conservative media outlets. "It just shows how incredibly wonderful our country can be", she said.
Democrats won half of the seats they needed to claim House control with dozens additional competitive contests remaining. All 435 seats in the House , 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 of the 50 state governorships were up for grabs.
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