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Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota first Muslim women elected to Congress


Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have become the first Muslim women elected to Congress in the midterm elections.

Both candidates secured their congressional seats in strongly Democratic districts.

Omar will also be the first Somali-American member. She came to the US more than two decades ago as a refugee.  She will come to Congress having been an open critic of the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians.

Omar will take the seat vacated by Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison is leaving Congress as he vies to become Minnesota attorney general.

Omar tweeted
“Congratulations to my sister @RashidaTlaib on your victory!

I cannot wait to serve with you, inshallah”

Tlaib actually campaigned with Omar ahead of the latter's primary race earlier this year.

Tlaib, 42, was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents.

A decade ago she became the first Muslim female member of Michigan's state legislature.

Ahead of the race, Ms Tlaib told CBS: “The first thing I think about when somebody says you’re going to be the first Muslim is celebrate this moment. We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible. And that if you just believe, believe in the possibility of someone like me.”

Only two other Muslims have been elected to Congress, and both are men currently in office: Ellison and Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson.