Democrat Rashida Tlaib, a former Michigan state lawmaker, will now be one of the first Muslim women in Congress in November. She ran unopposed in a largely blue House district previously held by Rep. John Conyers — who resigned earlier this year in the wake of sexual harassment allegations — so she was expected to sail to victory.
Tlaib is a Detroit native who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and she ran on an unabashedly progressive campaign in the Democratic primary. She’s part of a wave of about 100 Muslim Americans who filed to run for Congress this year, a surge that one study has tied to growing pushback against rising Islamophobia during the Trump administration.
A strong grassroots campaign propelled Tlaib to victory in the primary, where she edged out Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Conyers’s great-nephew, state Sen. Ian Conyers. And she’s not the only Muslim woman who has made history this year — Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Somali immigrant who lived in a refugee camp before moving to the US, won the House seat formerly held by Keith Ellison in Minnesota.