Rashida Tlaib Could Be The First Palestinian-American Congresswoman

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While the former Michigan state legislator could be one of the first Muslim women in Congress, she will be the first ever Palestinian-American woman in Congress.

This is history in the making.

Former Michigan state legislator Rashida Tlaib has won Democratic nomination for U.S. House in state's 13th congressional district.

She was competing with five other Democratic candidates, hoping to succeed Rep. John Conyers, who resigned from his position following allegations of sexual harassment from former female staffers.

In November, she is expected to win a seat in Congress as she will run unopposed in a district that is historically a Democratic stronghold.

Tlaib could be one of the first Muslim women in Congress, but it's important to note that she will also be the first ever Palestinian-American woman in Congress. She is the eldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit.

While her ethnicity and religion have captured media spotlight, it is Tlaib's passionate progressive politics, including support of Medicare-for-all, $15 per hour minimum wage and special focus on civil rights, which makes her stand out from other Democratic candidates.

While she has more or less avoided discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so far, in an interview to The New Arab, she drew parallels between Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the African-American community in Detroit.

"Detroit has been neglected for so long. For me, it's a calling to serve, and a calling to protect. I think that comes from my Palestinian roots," Tlaib stated.

"A cornerstone of Rashida's historic campaign for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 13th District has been the effort to give residents and communities across this diverse working-class district equal access to opportunity. With this in mind, Rashida announced the framework for an innovative and groundbreaking Justice For All Civil Rights Act for America," states her official website.

In addition, Tlaib has already made history in 2008 when she became the first American Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature.

"Justice Democrats," the progressive political group that supported Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York in her remarkable upset victory in June, has also backed Tlaib.

Just like several other progressive candidates running in 2018, she also looks forward to opposing the Trump administration's bigoted policies.

"I'm the daughter of immigrants to this country, and I want those who come to our borders seeking a better life to have the same opportunities I've had," her website reads. "We must provide a clear pathway to citizenship for all undocumented Americans, we must dismantle our deportation machine and detention centers, and we must enhance access to justice for immigrants availing themselves of our legal system. We must protect DREAMers and welcome asylum-seekers. We must be guided by empathy, not fear, and we cannot compromise in our fight to upload and respect the human rights of people seeking shelter inside our borders."

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Rashida For Congress (YouTube Screengrab)

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