First Muslim woman elected to House of Representatives

First Muslim woman elected to House of Representatives

A onetime Somali refugee and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants shared the historic distinction Tuesday of becoming the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.

Self-described Democratic Socialist Ilhan Omar won Minnesota's 5th District race, where she easily defeated Republican activist Jennifer Zielinski on a platform that includes health care for all and a $15 minimum wage.

She also recognized Michigan's Rashida Tlaib who is also Muslim for winning.

Democratic U.S. congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib celebrates with family, left and Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar reacts after appearing at her midterm election night party.

Omar fled Somalia's civil war with her parents at the age of eight and spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya.

And regardless of who wins in Arizona's competitive Senate race, the state will elect either Republican Martha McSally or Democrat Kyrsten Sinema as the state's first woman to serve in the chamber.

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.




Since leaving the Legislature, Tlaib has worked as an attorney for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice.

"We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible". This seat has been held by Democrats since 1963.

Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the US, for which she was featured in Firsts, TIME's multimedia project on trailblazing women have broken glass ceilings in their respective fields.

Ocasio-Cortez easily won election in her district which spans parts of the NY boroughs of Queens and the Bronx.

While Omar campaigned on a similarly progressive platform, which calls for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.

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

"It just shows how incredibly wonderful our country can be", she said.

Related Articles