US Midterm Elections: Muslims Fare Better, Some Create History

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Bangladesh-origin Nabilah Islam and Palestine-origin are the first Muslim women, who have been elected to the legislature in Georgia

Team Clarion

WASHINGTON – In the United States (US)’s midterm elections, out of a total of 145 Muslims who contested the local, state and federal elections, several candidates created history by getting elected as the first Muslim man or women in their respective states and constituency.

Bangladesh-origin Nabilah Islam and Palestine-origin are the first Muslim women, who have been elected to the legislature in Georgia. Islam  will become the state senator for District 7 and will represent District 97 in the House of Representatives while  Romman, who is Palestinian and was born in Jordan, tweeted she is also the first Palestinian elected to any public office in Georgia.

23-year-old Nabeela Syed, a Muslim Indian-American state legislature candidate in Illinois, is the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly. She along with Palestinian-American Abdelnasser Rashid will be the first Muslims to serve in the Illinois state legislature.

Suleman Lalani and Salman Bhojani Texas are the first Muslim state legislators elected in Texas.

Maine also made history by sending the first two Somali Americans to the state capital. Mana Abdi, whose Republican opponent once posted that Muslims “should not be allowed to hold public office”, ran unopposed after her opponent withdrew.

In Minnesota, Somalia-origin Zaynab Mohamed won to become the first Muslim woman, the first Somali woman and one of the first black women serve in the state’s senate.

In Ohio, Another Somali American Munira Abdullahi is the first Muslim woman in her state legislature.

Reacting to her victory, Abdullahi tweeted, “Alx! We made it guys. Thank you to all who worked tirelessly for this campaign and put everything on the line. We made history indeed! The 1st Muslim woman elected in Ohio. But, along w/this win there were so many devastating losses. Strap on! It’s gonna be a bumpy ride folks”.

On the other hand, at the federal level, all three Muslim-American incumbents in the House of Representatives — Andre Carson, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — won their re-election bids.

The first Muslim elected to US Congress, Keith Ellison, kept his current seat as Minnesota’s attorney general.

Of the 29 state-level Muslim incumbents, many candidates were the first Muslims elected to their state’s legislature and are keeping their seats. These include Madinah Wilson-Anton, a Delaware state representative, Iman Jodeh, a Colorado state representative, and Saud Anwar, a Colorado state senator.

Reacting to the results, Jetpac Resource Center, which trains American Muslims and allies to run for public office, called the developments “historic wins”.

“I’m inspired by the historic wins we are seeing in local and state elections across the country. It shows that the Muslim community is building solid infrastructure for sustained electoral success,” Jetpac Resource Center executive director Mohammed Missouri was quoted by Middle East Eye as saying.

“Policy decisions on education, housing, climate, and civil rights are shaped by state legislatures and it is critical that our voice is represented in the policymaking process,” he added.

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