Minnesota, Michigan send first Muslim women to US Congress

Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman elected to Congress

A Somali-American refugee from Minnesota and a Palestinian-American activist from MI made history on Tuesday as the first two Muslim women elected to the United States House of Representatives.

Ilhan's father, Nur Omar Mohamed, is a teacher trainer.

Tlaib, who served in the Michigan House from 2009 until 2014, defeated five other candidates in the August primary election to win the nomination to run for a full term representing the heavily Democratic district, which covers much of Detroit and some of its suburbs.

The 2018 US midterms, widely billed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump, saw voters make history by electing Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar on the Democratic ballots as part of the wave of opposition that saw huge numbers of women running for public office.

Ilhan Omar, a 36-year-old Somali refugee, who immigrated to the United States as a teenager, beat Republican Jennifer Zielinski to take Ellison's seat.

Omar's family fled Somalia in 1991 due to civil war.

She shared: "We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible".

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, ran essentially unopposed in Michigan's 13th Congressional District, which includes Detroit.

With no Republican challenger in the race, Tlaib's election on Tuesday became a formality.

"My success is not only for me but for every Somali, Muslim and minority group, particularly the young girls in the Dadaab refugee camp, where I lived before coming to the US", Ms Omar declared.

Ocasio-Cortez easily won election in her district which spans parts of the NY boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. Tlaib said at a summit celebrating women of color in politics.

"It just shows how incredibly wonderful our country can be", she said.

Tlaib has advocated for universal health care, a $15 national minimum wage, union protections, and tuition-free college education.

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