In a historic first, two Muslim women, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both Democrats get elected to US Congress on Tuesday, where anti-Muslim sentiment is swelling across the country.
While Ilhan Omar is a Somali refugee, Rashida Tlaib is a social worker. One must not let anyone define their limits and this is exactly what these two women have done.
According to the AFP report, Omar fled the civil war along with her parents at the age of 8 and spent 4 years at a refugee camp in Kenya. She who won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota- will succeed Keith Ellison, himself the first Muslim elected to Congress.
In a magazine interview, this hijab-clad woman said that “I am Muslim and black” and “I decided to run because I was one of many people I knew who really wanted to demonstrate what representative democracies are supposed to be.”
Born to Palestinian immigrant parents in Detroit, Tlaib is the eldest of 14 siblings. In a television interview, she said, “I ran because of injustices and because of my boys, who are questioning their (Muslim) identity and whether they belong.”
She won a House seat in a district where she ran unopposed by a Republican candidate. The two politicians are likely to increase the total number of Muslims in the House to three.
Also, a Muslim and African American, Congressman Andre Carson won re-election in his safely-Democratic district in the state of Indiana.
Even though the historic nature of the candidacy is praised across the globe, a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) mentioned that a 21 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the first six months of 2018.