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Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman elected to Congress

Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman elected to Congress

The seat Omar won, Minnesota's 5th district, was formerly held by Rep. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim to take a seat in Congress. Ellison did not run for re-election as he sought the state attorney generalship.

Rashida Tlaib has become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.

She spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the United States at age 12.

A Somali-American and a former refugee, she served as the first Somali-American legislator in the USA when she won a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016.

The Palestinian-American Muslim ran under the Democratic Party, having previously served six years in the state legislature.

Omar, in addition to being one of the first Muslim women in Congress, will also be the first Somali-American member.




"I'm Muslim and black", the hijab-wearing Omar said in a recent magazine interview.

Tlaib's win comes after the 2016 election of Trump spurred a record number of women to put their names on the ballot.

Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the USA, for which she was featured in Firsts, TIME's multimedia project on trailblazing women have broken glass ceilings in their respective fields. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.

Tlaib will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office a year ago amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

Omar said President Trump's "politics of fear" motivated her to get in the race.

The seat she won is in a predominantly African American congressional district with few Muslim voters.

The Minneapolis woman campaigned on policies embraced by the Democratic Party's most liberal wing: universal healthcare, free college tuition and robust public housing. Her real victory came when she won the Democratic primary.