Muslim women win House seats, blazing a new path


Muslim women win House seats, blazing a new path

A Palestinian-American and a Somali ex-refugee become the first female Muslims in Congress.

Two Muslim women from the Midwest were elected to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, making history as the first females of their faith to serve in Congress. The candidates secured their wins by running on a socially progressive platforms.

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, will represent Michigan, and Ilhan Omar, once a Somali refugee in Kenya, will represent Minnesota. Both received an overwhelming majority of the vote in their respective districts on Tuesday and join a surge of Democratic women coming to the new Congress.

The women align with the left wing of the Democratic Party which focused its campaigns on vows to extend Medicare health coverage to all Americans and increase the minimum wage to $15. In 2016, Ms. Tlaib was arrested for disrupting a speech from then-candidate Donald Trump in Detroit, where she shouted at him that “our kids deserve better,” a move that cemented her progressive political credentials for some supporters.

Both Ms. Tlaib, 42, and Ms. Omar, 37, have made comments that are critical of Israel. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not a central campaign issue for either candidate, but their views on the matter could test Democrats in a narrow House majority. The party typically draws widespread support from Jewish voters and donors. Seventy-one percent of American Jews voted for the Democrats, as did 80% of Muslims, according to AP VoteCast, a pre-election and Election Day survey of about 90,000 people who said they voted in the midterms or intended to do so.

Ms. Tlaib has said she would vote against bills that include aid to Israel; Ms. Omar has drawn criticism for a 2012 tweet in which she says that “Israel has hypnotized the world” with its “evil doings.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal


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