WASHINGTON: In a historic result on couple of seats in the US midterm polls, Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Somali-American Ilhan Omar have become the first Muslim women elected to US Congress.
Tlaib took Michigan’s 13th congressional district in a race in which she was the sole major party candidate. The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s nominee, Omar, won fifth congressional district, replacing the first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, who vacated his seat to run in the state’s attorney general race.
Omar said President Trump’s “politics of fear” motivated her to get in the race.
Who are Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar?
Tlaib, 42, was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.
She made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to do so.
Her campaign platform included pledges to secure a $15 minimum wage, preventing cuts to welfare programmes, such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as stopping tax relief to large corporations.
Ilhan Omar, whose platform included support for Medicare for All, criminal justice reform and the increase of minimum wage, won the seat over Republican Jennifer Zielinski. Along with being one of the first Muslim women in Congress, Omar is the first Somali-American elected to the post.
Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the U.S.
Omar and Talib are among 100 or more Muslims who ran for office in 2018, an unprecedented surge in political engagement for a community targeted by policies intended to keep them on the sidelines.