First Two Muslim Congresswoman Elected In Same Night – Your Black World

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By: Ryan Velez

If you were to say that the eyes of the world were on America lately, your first instinct would be to say that this is probably in a negative context. However, many other countries worldwide are reporting on the midterm elections. For example, Pakistani publication The News recently put out an article on the fact that on Tuesday, the first two Muslim women ever were elected to Congress.

Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in Minnesota. Notably, she will be the successor to Keith Ellison, a fellow Muslim who has opted to run for state office. However, recent allegations of domestic violence threaten to impact his campaign. The other winner, Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was running unopposed in Michigan’s 13th District, but had to fight off a write-in challenge at the last minute from a woman she beat in the primaries.

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In talking with a local news outlet, Tlaib said, “The first thing I think about when somebody says you’re going to be the first Muslim is celebrate this moment. We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible. And that if you just believe in the possibility of someone like me,” Talib added.

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Tlaib notably is a trailblazer in other areas, being the first Muslim woman to win a seat of the Michigan Legislature. Campaign points for her were a $15 minimum wage, stopping cuts to welfare programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as preventing tax relief to large corporations. Omar first fled to this country from Somalia at the age of 14, and says that her start in politics came with attending local Democratic Farmer Labor party caucuses with her grandfather after arriving in the US. She also had similar progressive points as a part of her platform, like universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.

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