Historic vote for Muslim women in USA elections

08 November, 2018, 05:07 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are set to become the first Muslim women elected to the US Congress

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.

The other, Democrat Rashida Tlaib, easily won a race for Michigan's 13th District on Tuesday in which she did not have a Republican challenger.

Tlaib celebrated her congressional victory not with an American flag, but with a Palestinian flag.

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 U.S. state legislature. That was won by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who's poised to serve as a congresswoman for the rest of the year, though she may have to resign from the Detroit position to do so.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor.

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Tlaib is the oldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants, and is the second Palestinian American elected to Congress after Michigan Republican Justin Amash, BuzzFeed reported.

In the video, Tlaib delivered a victory speech in which she acknowledged her family watching from overseas in the Palestinian Authority-administered West Bank. She arrived in the U.S., aged 14, after fleeing civil war in Somalia.

"When I was coming to this country, I heard about it's promises", she said. "We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible".

Her campaign platform included pledges to secure a $15 (KSh 1,528) minimum wage, preventing cuts to welfare programmes, as well as stopping tax relief to large corporations. She said she admires Pelosi for her "wonderful work ethic" and looks forward to conversations within the Democratic caucus about electing a leader "that will help us implement the bold, progressive policies that we ran on".

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