Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar win re-election

Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar win re-election
Minnesota's Ilhan Omar and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib comfortably beat their Republican opponents.
3 min read
04 November, 2020
lhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have been reelected [Getty]
Muslim Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib secured a second term in Congress on Tuesday, in a big win for the Democrats so-called "The Squad".

US media called races for Minnesota's Ilhan Omar and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib, with Tlaib beating her Republican opponent by a wide margin.

Palestinian-American Tlaib and Somali-American Omar were the first Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018. 

The woman are part of a quartet of like-minded congresswoman known as "The Squad" who are admired on the Left for challenging the status quo in Washington.

Squad members Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York also retained their seats. 

"Our sisterhood is resilient," Omar tweeted alongside pictures of all four women as she celebrated her victory.

"We are building a movement that sees my struggle as inherently tied to your struggle, and sees a world where all workers can be uplifted," Omar also tweeted.

"Together. Today's vote - the results of this election - are not the end. This is just the beginning."

Ocasio-Cortez in particular has been the target of near-constant Republican ire - while also endorsing leftists who take on members of the Democratic party's old guard.

The former organiser for Bernie Sanders, the long time Democratic socialist senator from Vermont, rose to prominence thanks to her informal social media personality and willingness to shake things up on Capitol Hill.

'Racist attack'

Ilhan Omar has on several occasions been the recipient of verbal attacks by the conservative elite in the US.

US President Donald Trump launched a "racist attack" against the congresswoman over her Somali background in September.

The US president attended a rally in Moon Township, Pittsburgh where he accused the Somali-American politician of trying to run the country, in what is seen by critics as a racist attack.

"How about Omar of Minnesota?" he told the crowd.

"We're going to win the state of Minnesota because of her, they say. She's telling us how to run our country. How did you do where you came from? How's your country doing? She's going to tell us - she's telling us how to run our country," he said.

During a rally in Minnesota the same month, Trump called Omar an "extremist" and accused the Democrats of wanting to allow Somali and Yemeni refugees who he said were coming from "Jihadist regions".

He also called Somali nationals he deported "hardened criminals" who are "back in their country where they can do all the complaining they want".

Ilhan Omar is no fan of the US president. During one lengthy interview, she referred to Trump as a "racist", and said comments he has made about her fuels further racist attacks.

"I happen to embody multiple marginal identities. I'm a woman, I'm black, I'm a refugee, an immigrant, a Muslim and I wear a hijab. And all of those are identities that have been vilified by the right... and weaponised by Donald Trump," the 37-year-old told The Independent at the time.

"For me, that understanding allows me to be resolved in the ways in which I unapologetically show up, advocate for policies that make our country a more equitable society."

Agencies contributed to this report.

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