In what is seen as historic and heroic: Two Muslim women are in the race to be elected to Congress in the US midterm election next week
Ilhan Omar, who migrated to the US as a Somali refugee, is favored to win a seat in the US House of Representatives in a densely-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she is the party’s nominee.
Rashida Tlaib, a social worker born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, is certain to be elected to the House in a district where she is running unopposed.
Omar and Tlaib, who will be the first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, will increase the total number of Muslims in Congress to three.
Congressman Andre Carson, who is Muslim and African American, is liable to win reelection in his safely-Democratic district in the state of Indiana. This comes despite a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that shows a 21-percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the first six months of this year.
The two women are known as polar opposites of President Donald Trump and his Republican Party. They are opposed to Trump’s immigration policies, seek to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and support a universal health care system which Republicans oppose. Being part of a historically diverse crop of candidates – by race, gender, and sexuality – they are challenging Republican incumbents.
US midterm elections take place at the halfway point during each presidential term and usually experience weak turnout due to a lack of enthusiasm. But Trump’s election in 2016, has made Americans more engaged than ever with the polarized political climate. Polls show that Americans’ anger at Trump may help Democrats gain more seats in Congress after the elections in November.