World News

Muslim women make history with wins in Michigan, Minnesota

Muslim women make history with wins in Michigan, Minnesota

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have become the first Muslim women elected to Congress after both Democrats won their congressional midterm 2018 races.

Ilhan Omar, a mother of three, was elected to the House for Minnesota.

It was a night of firsts in the midterm elections as USA voters elected two Muslim women, two Native American women and their first openly gay governor.

Tlaib ran unopposed, but fended off a late write-in challenge from the woman she defeated in the primaries.

Born in Detroit to Palestinian-American parents, Tlaib served in Michigan's state legislature from 2008 to 2014.

Zielinski, a clinical specialist for Allina Health, had hoped to flip a seat that's been held by Democrats since the early 1960s - most recently by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who opted to run for state attorney general this year.

Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the U.S. She spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya.

More news: Five arrested over video of burning Grenfell effigy on bonfire

Tlaib, Omar join other women of colour who won big on Tuesday night; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley became the first black congresswoman in MA.

"I ran because of injustices and because of my boys, who are questioning their (Muslim) identity and whether they belong", Tlaib said in an United States television interview in August. Tlaib won that race.

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

Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland also broke new ground, becoming the first Native American women elected to Congress, US networks projected.

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

Omar campaigned on a similarly progressive platform, which calls for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television. She also has been mindful of the historic nature of her candidacy. "It just shows how incredibly wonderful our country can be", she said.