Michigans Rashida Tlaib is the first Muslim woman to be elected to the congress

Michigans Rashida Tlaib is the first Muslim woman to be elected to the congress

It is expected to be accompanied on Tuesday by Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who will be the first member of the convention wearing a headscarf.

Written on November 6, 2018 at 20:22. ET

AP Photo / Al Goldis; Lacey Young / Minnesota Public Radio About AP

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

MINNEAPOLIS – Despite the expected result, on Tuesday night there was a sense of history when it became official: a Muslim woman was elected to Congress for the first time.

Michigan's 42-year-old Democrat Rashida Tlaib won her election when she was run by a Republican. It is expected that the 36-year-old Ilhan Omar from Minnesota will win her race later in the evening. The Midwestern Democrats previously served as legislators of the state.

In addition to the "first" she expects to share with Tlaib, Omar is likely to be the first member of the convention to wear a headscarf, as well as the first US legislator from Somalia and the first colored woman, the Minnesota in the Congress.

Their election would be a milestone each year, but it is especially symbolic when President Donald Trump is reprimanded for the fear of Islam and immigrants. Omar and Tlaib are among the 100 or more Muslims who ran for office in 2018. This is an unprecedented increase in political commitment to a community whose goal is politics to keep it on the sidelines.

Mark Vancleave / AP

Omar after her first victory.

The victories echo among the Democrats, who have seen voters excited about progressives like Omar and Tlaib and pushed the party to the left in races across the country. Even before she was elected to the congress, Omar was on the front page of Time and made a cameo in the Maroon 5 video for Girl like you, Tlaib has also appeared in dozens of TV segments and magazine profiles describing her as "fearless" and "groundbreaking." a Politico report called it "the way forward for the left".

"They oppose the idea of ​​what Muslim women should look like, what they should look like and should be, and I think people will be fascinated by them, "said Wa el Alzayat, CEO of Emgage, a nonprofit organization that promotes this supported US Muslim engagement. His political arm donated the campaigns of Tlaib and Omar. "They bring certain perspectives, experiences and views into the congress, which is mostly white men, and that's the whole point when choosing people like them."

The Democratic Republics Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana were the first Muslims to be elected to Congress. Omar and Tlaib will be the first Muslim women to serve. Omar faced Republican challenger Jennifer Zielinski for the deep blue headquarters of the 5th District House, which Ellison had abandoned in his campaign for the Attorney General of Minnesota. Ellison ran on Tuesday under the cloud of abuse claims of an ex-girlfriend who was investigated and denied by his party.

In Michigan, Tlaib won the location of the 13th District House, held for decades by Detroit's legendary former congressman and civil rights activist John Conyers Jr., who resigned last year on multiple sexual misconduct allegations first reported by Buzzfeed News , No Republican ran against Tlaib, even though she was facing an eleventh hour from a Democratic fellow campaigner. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who narrowly lost the primaries to Tlaib, has launched an unsuccessful write-in campaign – a final hurdle on Tlaib's road to Washington.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News before Tuesday's election, Tlaib said she faces more obstacles as she joins a congress in which "half of my colleagues are millionaires," who appear to have little interest in their pet issues: civil rights, general Health care, university debt unions. Tlaib said she was so consumed by the political side that she barely had time to grasp the historical significance of her profit. She said it is sneaking as if she had met an eleven-year-old Palestinian Muslim from America on a visit to California.

"She hugged me and I said," Nice Blazer, "and she said," I wore it to look like you, "Tlaib recalls," and I've realized that this moment is much bigger than we think. "

Still, Tlaib said she did not want to distract the weight from her mission: "I breathe in, exhale and say," Okay, now I really have to run to the floor. "

On the night she won the August pre-election, Tlaib, the eldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants, wept as her mother enveloped her in the characteristic black and white Palestinian scarf. Tlaib's election aides celebrated by dancing with Cardi B and a Palestinian song, saying, "I'll never bow down to anyone."

After securing her first victory, Tlaib and some of her volunteers moved to Minnesota to work for Omar, who swept them over 20,000 votes the following week. After the race was proclaimed, the "Wavin # Flag" campaign was blown up by Somali Canadian rapper K & # 39; naan when Omar, the youngest of seven children, took the stage to hold a victory speech in the After her family's trip from Somali civil war was honored, a refugee camp in Kenya became a rebuilt life in the American Midwest.

After Omar had won her elementary school, Tlaib published a photo of the two on Facebook. There was also a caption on the meaning of their victory: "We have just doubled the number of Muslimas in the US Congress. Yes, just so. The America we know has done that. To hope!"

But this uplifting message has become increasingly difficult to sell in recent months. There was a deadly series of obvious hate crimes, and Omar and Tlaib will hear the President and his right-wing supporters attack virtually every aspect of their identity: wife. Muslim. Democrat. Liberal. Immigrant. And they need to swap the joyful hand of the campaign path quickly for the arm wrestling of Capitol Hill. The progressive positions fueled by Democratic voters-such as Medicare for All, a college-free college with a minimum wage of $ 15-are a contradiction for Congressional and White House Republicans.

And both women have already gotten a sense of the control they are faced with as they take on even more national roles.

Tlaib – the second Palestinian American elected to Congress after US Republican Justin Amash – was shocked by some Palestinian activists who accused her of cuddling with pro-Israel lobbyists and by Jewish activists supporting the movement To boycott Israel was upset with his Palestinian human rights record.

Omar also has Israel accused of being an apartheid regime. She is also being accused of abusing campaign funds as state legislator, and is being persecuted by right-wing media accusations of marrying her brother to help him, the US To obtain citizenship. Omar has repeatedly dismissed the allegations as "disgusting lies."

"I do not think it must be controversy that makes a career," said Alzayat of Emgage. "But you see proof of how difficult it is for minority candidates, much less Muslim candidates to get through. There is always something here. "

Zaki Barzinji, the liaison of the Obama administration to US Muslim communities, said he remembers a chat he had with Omar and some other aspiring Muslim politicians who visited the White House in 2016. It was about the long game you play. You must lay the foundations for a viable business by first building a bond, showing up at local party sessions, learning to give and receiving a state budget – Barzinji calls this stuff "the unpleasant work".

Her rise to the congress was remarkable, above all because of the political background, he said, but her work to get there started long before the Trump era. Tlaib, Barzinji said, had learned for years what she could do as a Michigan lawyer before she made her own run. Likewise, Omar first made a name as an organizer of the community and served as a consultant to a Minneapolis City Council member.

"It's not just what they represent as a Muslim woman, but also that they are the right game book for building political power for every community," Barzinji said. "And I hope our community will learn from it."

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