Ilhan Omar is a Somali-American politician from Minnesota who was elected a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016. In result, this made her the first Somali-American legislator in the United States. Last night she won the midterm election in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district and will now join the ranks of Rashida Tlaib as the first Muslim American women in Congress.
Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, a single mother, and now a history maker as she was the first Muslim woman to ever be elected into U.S House of Representatives. Tlaib has worked as an attorney at the Sugar Law Center for economic and social justice and last night she pulled in 88.7% of votes while her opponent Sam Johnson came in at 8%.
Earlier this year, in a sit-down interview with Elle magazine Tlaib shared a story during her campaign when a young Muslim woman shared how much she has inspired and encouraged the community. The young woman said, “she had to win, to prove that Muslims belong.”
“That’s when I felt the pressure,” Tlaib said. “That ‘you have to win’ because if you win, our children will know that being themselves, being who they are, that they can succeed. That whatever the President is saying, that whatever the people that support the President are saying, everything that’s happening against Muslims in our country, it is all not going to be this complete darkness. That there is light. And I think for me to win, the success of this campaign… it brought a light in a moment of darkness for many of us.”
Here at NTV Houston, we would like to congratulate both ladies on their barrier-breaking victories, and we wish them the best of luck on their political journey.