2 Muslim women elected to House
Americans for the first time sent a Muslim woman to Congress — actually two: Palestinian American Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, and Somali American Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota.
Tlaib won Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and Omar won Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, replacing the first Muslim member of Congress, Keith Ellison, who on Tuesday became the state’s attorney general.
The women show a bit of the diversity of Muslims in the United States, one of the country’s most diverse groups. No single racial or ethnic group accounts for a majority among Muslim immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center. Omar is reportedly the first refugee elected to Congress.
Tlaib is a 42-year-old Detroit native. Her campaign platform included pledges to secure a $15 minimum wage, preventing cuts to welfare programs such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as stopping tax relief to large corporations, according to Al Jazeera.
Omar, who came to the United States at age 14, is also a progressive, and she focused on universal health care and tuition-free colleges.
Both women have served as state lawmakers.