After Winning Democratic Nomination, Rashida Tlaib Set To Become The First Muslim Woman In US Congress
- IWB Post
- August 9, 2018
On 8th August, Rashida Tlaib, a 42-year-old former social worker and a mother of two, became the first Muslim woman in US Congress after she won a Democratic primary in Detroit safe seat.
“Thank you so much for making this unbelievable moment possible. I am at a loss for words,” she Tweeted. “I cannot wait to serve you in Congress.”
Apart from being the first Muslim woman in Congress, she would also be the first Palestinian-American woman elected to the House. Currently, representative Andre Carson from Indiana, is the only other Muslim currently in Congress.
“They’re glued to the TV. My grandmother, my aunts, my uncles in Palestine are sitting by and watching their granddaughter,” Tlaib said. “Me being elected is a big message to the whole country that we are part of the government. We are part of society and that we want to give back just like anyone else.”
“Clear out the room boys, let’s put some women there… Let’s deal with all these crises that we have in our country. It’s about time that maybe we get an opportunity to take a stab at it,” she added.
Tlaib had interrupted a Trump address in Detroit in August 2016 and told him “our children deserve better.” She requested him to read the US Constitution after which she was apprehended by guards and ejected from the hall.
“My mother, so upset, ‘you got arrested on national TV’,” Tlaib said. “I got detained. It’s fine. It was the most American thing I could ever do.” For her Trump’s election is a “bat signal” for all women. She describes her run as being motivated by her sons’ anxiety about being Muslims because of the increasing Islamophobia in America. She has always taken a stand for equal pay for women, tuition-free college, public healthcare, LGBTQ rights, overturning Trump’s travel ban, environmental protections, and immigration reforms.
She was also the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan state assembly, from 2009-14. She also holds a law degree and worked as an attorney for social justice. Tlaib has been described as a “tough, capable and hard-working” and “very charismatic.” by Sally Howell, director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. “She cares about people, about the community she grew up in,” Howell said.
Tlaib’s two-year congressional term is due to start in January next year and will be replacing 89-year-old John Conyers, who, following sexual harassment accusations, resigned after 52 years in the House.