First two Muslim women elected to US Congress

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

Rashida Tlaib ran unopposed for Rep. John Conyers old seat

Rashida Tlaib, a 42-year-old Michigan Democrat, became the first Muslim woman elected to Congress on Tuesday.

Ilhan Omar, a mother of three, was elected to the House for Minnesota. Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2006.

Tlaib won Michigan's 13th district, running unopposed.

Their stories trace a similar trail-blazing rise through local politics. She spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya. Eventually, she learnt the language by watching television. Omar, a refugee from Somalia, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold public office.

Tlaib linked her campaign to the surge of female political activism in the United States following Trump's stunning 2016 victory, alluding to the millions of women that took to the streets of Washington and major cities across the country after his inauguration.

She chose to run for Congress after Ellison, who is also black, made a decision to give up his seat after 12 years in Congress to run for attorney general of Minnesota. She supports free college education, housing for all, and criminal justice reform.

Omar, 36, is a vocal advocate for single-payer health care, tighter gun restrictions and more expansive immigration policies.

American voters have made history by sending two Muslim women to Congress for the first time.

"I ran because of injustices and because of my boys, who are questioning their (Muslim) identity and whether they belong", Tlaib said in an USA television interview in August. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.

In August, she emerged as the victor of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health. Tlaib won that race.

She also faced Islamophobic attacks during her campaign from some conservative media outlets.

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