Rashida Tlaib is first Muslim woman elected to U.S. Congress

Cheryl Sanders
November 7, 2018

Tlaib, a Detroit Democrat, will be the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a Detroit native, became the first Muslim elected to the chamber in 2007 and, along with Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indiana, is one of two Muslims now serving in the U.S. House.

The 42-year-old Tlaib is a Palestinian-American.

Omar, who arrived in the USA at the age of 14 after fleeing civil war in Somalia and lived in Kenya's Dadaab camp, campaigned on a platform which called for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.

Omar won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.


Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

She opposes Trump's restrictive immigration policies, supports a universal health care system, and wants to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which has conducted deportation raids.

She was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit and is the eldest of 14 children.

The Democrat lived at the Daad refugee camp in Kenya for four years and could not even speak English at the time she relocated to the US.


US Muslim civil rights groups say a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric comes from the media, as well as the country's political establishment.

"I've never been one to stand on the sidelines".

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

A Muslim woman from Detroit has won the congressional seat long held by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who stepped down amid sexual harassment claims by former staffers. She has a bachelor's degree in politics from North Dakota State University and has also studied public affairs.


The Palestinian-American won the Democrat primary for the seat in August with around a third of the total vote share.

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