Muslim women make USA history with congressional wins

Share

Omar, another Democrat, is a Somali-American who came to the USA over two decades ago as a refugee.

The Palestinian-American made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to achieve this.

She floored her, earlier perceived stronger, opponents with one being a prominent female politician, while two others were long-term servicemen in Minnesota's legislature.

"We believe that together - together we can organize around the politics of hope and make sure that not only do we have the America we believe in, but the America we deserve", Omar said at her victory party in August, according to the Star-Tribune. Her parents were both born in Palestine. In an interview with CBS Wednesday, the newly elected congresswoman said she plans on embracing refugees. She spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya.

The high-profile midterm cycle that produced a record number of women contenders and candidates of color meant several winners will take office as trailblazers, marking firsts for their race and gender.

Tlaib's relatives in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fauqa greeted the news of her election with a mixture of pride and hope that she would be able to take on a United States administration widely seen as hostile to Muslims and the Palestinian cause.

Omar will fill the seat of Rep. Keith Ellison (D), who is running for the state attorney general and is also a Muslim.

Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib was another Muslim woman elected to the US Congress.

She cut her teeth working as a volunteer for John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004 - making endless cold calls to rally Native Americans to vote. She ran for lieutenant governor and served one term as the state party chair.

"We have people in Congress right now who. don't know what it's like" to be without food or proper health care, she said.

No Republicans were on the ballot in the heavily Democratic district, which represents parts of Detroit and some suburbs.

Share