In a time where Muslims are under constant attack, history-making U.S. Representative-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota continues to take pride in her faith.
On Tuesday, in addition to becoming the first Somali-American elected to the United States Congress, Omar joined Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib in becoming the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, reports the Star-Tribune. The 36-year-old replaced outgoing Rep. Keith Ellison as the new representative of the 5th Congressional District.
Omar and Tlaib’s elections are all the more significant given the Trump administration’s notorious Islamophobic rhetoric. Omar’s victory speech was a comforting slap in the face to the administration’s prejudices.
Omar opened her acceptance speech with "As-salam Alaikum,” an Arabic greeting which means "peace be upon you." She then followed with “Alhamdulillah,” which means "praise be to Allah" in front of a crowd of supporters.
When she was a teenager, Omar came to America as a Somalian refugee. She later became the first Somali-American to serve in a state legislature.
Later in her speech, Omar said she plans on fighting for Native Americans who “are living in tents like refugees in their own lands.”
“It is time for all people to take part of the political process,” she added.
Omar will dedicate her time in Congress to infrastructure, health care and education.
The newly elected congresswoman said she also plans to serve as a “true check and balance.”
“I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name,” she declared.
Congresswoman-elect @IlhanMN, who will be the first Somali-American to win a seat in Congress, discusses the discrimination she faced: "Once we are in positions to have conversations with people, it makes it hard for them to hate us up close." https://t.co/Vb06yo6qbQ pic.twitter.com/MdOlHxcgNE— The View (@TheView) November 8, 2018
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