First 2 Muslim Women elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

First 2 Muslim Women elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

Ilhan Omar, candidate for the district 60B State Representative in Minnesota, will hold an electoral speech on 8 November 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Omar, a refugee from Somalia, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold a public office. (Image credits: STEPHEN MATUREN / AFP / Getty Images)

Ilhan Omar, candidate for the district 60B State Representative in Minnesota, will hold an electoral speech on 8 November 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Omar, a refugee from Somalia, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to hold a public office. (Image credits: STEPHEN MATUREN / AFP / Getty Images)

A Midwestern district couple will bring Muslim women to the US Congress for the first time, CNN predicts.

Michigan Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the candidate of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, will secure their seats in highly democratic districts after primary victories earlier this year that have effectively decided their races.

Tlaib is supported by the Democratic Socialists of America, a burgeoning left-wing group that also includes New York's Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Omar is not only one of the first Muslim women in Congress, but also the first Somali-American member. She came to the United States more than two decades ago as a refugee. Tlaib had already campaigned with Omar before the first race of the year.

Omar had also supported Ocasio-Cortez in her primary race, and she will come to the congress for openly criticizing how the Israeli government treats Palestinians.

Omar will take the place freed by Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison leaves Congress as he seeks to become Attorney General in Minnesota.

Tlaib will occupy the seat of former Michigan Democratic Party member John Conyers, who left office last year on charges of sexual misconduct. After her first victory, she ran without restriction in the general election.

Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and became the first Muslim female MP in Michigan a decade ago. A self proclaimed Progressive, Tlaib is a vociferous critic of President Donald Trump and was arrested two years ago for breaking a Trump speech in Detroit.

Only two other Muslims have been elected to Congress, and both are currently men in office: Ellison and Democratic MP of Indiana, Andre Carson.

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