By Ali Abo Rezeg and Menna Ahmed
Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib made history on Tuesday, becoming the first Muslim woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
In Tuesday’s hard-fought U.S. mid-term elections, Tlaib clinched the seat for Michigan’s 13th congressional district after incumbent representative John Conyers stepped down amid sexual harassment allegations.
In the absence of any Republican opponent, Tlaib, 42, managed to defeat both the Green Party’s Etta Wilcoxon and the Working Class Party’s Sam Johnson, reportedly winning 88.7 percent of votes cast.
Tlaib ran as a Democratic candidate, having previously served six years for the party in Michigan’s state legislature.
The Palestinian-American entered U.S. politics in 2008, when she won a seat for the Democrats in Michigan’s State Senate.
In an interview last week with CBS News, Tlaib described the prospect of becoming the first Muslim congresswoman as “changing the course of history”.
She has 14 brothers and sisters, all of whom were born to parents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to statements made on her social media accounts.
She is affiliated with the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which calls for full health care, a $15 minimum wage, environmental protection and affordable university tuition fees.
Tlaib was one of 100 Muslim Americans who vied for congressional seats in Tuesday’s mid-term polls.