Michigan Elects Likely First Muslim Woman to Congress

(MNM) - Former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib has won the Democratic nomination to run for the House seat long held by  former Rep. John Conyers and likely will become the first Muslim female elected to Congress. 

Tlaib won Tuesday's primary election defeating five other candidates. There is no Republican or Independent candidate opposing Tlaib, making her win in the November general election likely. She would be the first American Muslim woman elected to Congress. 

The 42-year-old Tlaib, daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was born and raised in Detroit, and made history in 2008 by winning her race for State Representative, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature. She served three terms.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, yesterday congratulated Rashida Tlaib on winning the primary elections in Michigan’s 13th District.

“We offer congratulations to Rashida Tlaib, whose primary election victory demonstrates the strength of our political system and the growing positive role of American Muslims in our society,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Her victory once again reminds American Muslim children growing up across our nation that they can achieve anything in this country.”  

More than 90 American Muslims are running for office at the local, state and national level, including Deedra Abboud in Arizona and Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar, who is running to replace outgoing Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

The other two Muslims currently in Congress are Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).

The heavily Democratic 13th District covers much of Detroit and some of its suburbs. The 89-year-old Conyers was first elected to the House in 1964 and served in Congress for more than 50 years. He is the sixth-longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history and the longest serving African American member of Congress ever.