Sunday, 16 December, 2018

First two Muslim women elected to US Congress

Rashida Tlaib Modal Trigger Rashida Tlaib AP
Melinda Barton | 09 November, 2018, 10:43

In the historic mid-term elections of the United States, voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress, which was eventually won by the Democratic Party, while Donald Trump's Republican party retained control of the senate.

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

Minnesota made history by electing the first refugee and Somali-American woman to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday.

Her parents were Palestinian immigrants from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

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

And I have a feeling this is just a drop in the bucket of an even bigger progressive, young, woman, Muslim wave to come.

"And one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress", she declared to a cheering crowd in her victory speech.

Two Muslim women emerged victorious as Democrats took over the USA house of representatives at the midterm elections on Tuesday.

Joining Ms Tlaib in Congress will be Ilhan.

Ilhan Omar - a member of the Democrat-affiliated "Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party" (DFL) - also joined Tlaib as the first female Middle Eastern Congress member.

Omar arrived in the United States, aged 14, after fleeing civil war in Somalia. Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress. Her campaign website says she became interested in politics at age 14, when she would interpret for her grandfather at local caucuses.

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.

A Somali-American and a former refugee, she served as the first Somali-American legislator in the US when she won a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016.

Democrats took control of the lower house of Congress, but the U.S. president escaped a feared "blue wave" as his Republicans bolstered their Senate majority.