Rashida Tlaib Could Become First Muslim Congresswomen

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Rashida Tlaib is the eldest of 14 siblings and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and could soon be the first Muslim woman in Congress.

“I’m going to push back against everything that’s so un-American that’s coming out of this administration,” Tlaib told the audience Wednesday morning. “My grandmother told me never to let a bully tell me, “can I do this?” or “you can’t do this.”

Tlaib “narrowly defeated Brenda Jones, Detroit’s City Council president, in a Democratic primary race to succeed longtime Representative John Conyers Jr. in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District,” ensuring that she will run unopposed in Nov. On Dec. 5, 2017, Conyers resigned from his seat after sexual abuse allegations from several women surfaced. Conyers held his position for 52 years.




“A lot of my strength comes from being Palestinian,” she said at one point as her mother draped her in the Palestinian flag. In 2008, Tlaib became the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature, where she served three terms.

Out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, only two are held by Muslim Americans. Rep. Andre Carson serves district 7 of Indiana and Keith Ellison hold district 5 of Minnesota. According to Jetpack, more than 90 Muslim Americans have entered races for public office for 2018, and Tlaib is close to succeeding. In 2017, the Pew Research Center estimated that 3.45 Muslims live in the U.S.


This season’s elections have proved to be the year of the woman, with at least 182 females running for the House of Representatives and 11 for governors. In Kansas, 38-year-old Sharice Davids – a gay ex-mixed martial arts fighter – won her primary and could become the first Native-American woman elected to Congress. She would also be the first openly LGBT candidate to represent Kansas at the state or federal level.


Elizabeth Nouryeh

Writer for Hers Magazine. Poet. Lover of words. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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