Who Is Rashida Tlaib? Democrat Likely To Be First Female Muslim Elected To U.S. House
Democrat Rashida Tlaib is likely to become the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress after winning the Democratic primary on Wednesday for Michigan’s 13th District.
Andy Goddeeris, Tlaib’s campaign manager, said that the winner of the primary will win the election. “No doubt about it,” he added. Tlaib won’t even face a Republican opponent in November’s midterm election as the district is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Tlaib, the eldest daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is one of more than 90 American Muslims running for office this year. In 2008, she became the first Muslim woman ever to serve in Michigan’s state legislature. She has engaged voters from traditionally marginalized backgrounds — calling voter interactions her “comfort zone,” where she feels most free to rail against “corporate PAC money,” the New York Times reported.
“I want people across the country to know that you don’t need to sell out,” Tlaib said early Wednesday morning. “You don’t have to change who you are to run for office — and that is what this country is about.
“It’s not about just being out there and flaunting your faith,” Tlaib told CNN last month. “I always tell people that I’m exposing Islam in such a pivotal way, an impactful way, through public service . . . A lot of my strength comes from being Palestinian,” she added.
Tlaib has been critical of President Donald Trump, calling his election as the “bat signal” that encouraged many women to run for office. In 2016, she was arrested for disrupting a Trump speech in Detroit, where she shouted at him, “our kids deserve better.”
“I will fight back against every racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled,” Tlaib said. “You deserve better than what we have today with our president.”