Americans created history on Tuesday when they elected two Muslim women – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – to Congress.
Although Muslim men have been elected to Congress before, Ilhan and Rashida are the first Muslim women to represent Americans in the US House of Representatives.
Ilhan, 37, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 4, 1981. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali-American legislator elected to a public office in the United States.
A hijab wearing mother of three, Ilhan is married to a Somali-American Ahmed Hirsi. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics from North Dakota State University and has also studied public affairs.
She won the Democratic primary on August 14, 2018 and contested the election on a party ticket.
Technically, Palestinian-American Rashida Harbi Tlaib is the first American Muslim woman to be elected to Congress. Although her election was officially announced on Tuesday, she was elected unopposed as no one came forward to challenge Rashida in another deeply Democratic district.
Rashida, who is associated with a socialist group within the Democratic Party, is also very popular in this constituency.