Politics

ilhan omar is on her way to be the first muslim woman in the u.s. congress

August 15, 2018
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As dire as things may look now, it’s still comforting to know that the fight is not over. Minorities are looking at the world and deciding to get into the political ring in hopes of making substantial change. One of these heroes is Progressive state legislature Ilhan Omar, who just won the Democratic primary in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. In 2016, Omar became the first Somali-American, Muslim legislator in the United States and if she wins in November, she’ll be the first Somali-American muslim to serve on Congress. Omar is likely to be joined by another game-changer, fellow Democrat and Palistinean-American Rashida Tlaib, who won the Democratic primary in Michigan last week and is running unopposed in her heavily Democratic district in November.

“Our campaign staff, our volunteers, and the people of the Fifth Congressional District are the inspiration we need to get up every day and fight for a democracy that guarantees a more just and equitable society.” – Al Jazeera

Omar and her family fled the civil war in Somalia when she was 8, ending up in a refugee camp in Mombasa Kenya for four years. She arrived in America at age 12, eventually settling in Minneapolis and learning English by watching American TV. The legislator is now a mother of three and has been in the States for over two decades. Her interest in politics began at 14 when she would interpret DFL caucuses for her grandfather. “Watching neighbors come together to advocate for change at the grassroots level made Ilhan fall in love with the democratic process,” per Omar’s website.

“In my last race, I talked about what my win would have meant for that 8-year-old girl in that refugee camp,” Omar said in her victory speech. “And today, I still think about her and I think about the kind of hope and optimism all of those 8-year-olds around the country and around the world get from seeing your beautiful faces elect and believe in someone like me.” – The Cut

It’s too early to detect whether the tide is changing the success of Omar – a Somalian-American former refugee – speaks volumes about the grass-roots approach also utilized by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who backed Omar during the race. According to CNN, Omar ran on a platform that advocates for “Medicare for all”, abolishing ICE, protecting DACA, tuition free college and debt forgiveness as well as raising minimum wage to $15 an hour. According to Al Jazeera, Omar has gone on record to say that she would fight Trump as she would have been affected by racist policies like his Muslim ban and repealing DACA.

“In my last race, I talked about what my win would have meant for that 8-year-old girl in that refugee camp,” Omar said in her victory speech. “And today, I still think about her and I think about the kind of hope and optimism all of those 8-year-olds around the country and around the world get from seeing your beautiful faces elect and believe in someone like me.” – The Cut

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride the slight of what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. ~ Theodore Roosevelt #quotes

A post shared by Ilhan Omar for Congress (@ilhanmn) on Jul 29, 2018 at 10:45am PDT

Omar will be one of at least 90 Muslims running for political office in the November midterm elections. She told Huffington Post that she hopes her candidacy would encourage people who don’t fit a certain demographic to seek office. “To believe in the good will of the people to select someone they believe shares their vision and not necessarily their identity.”

Get out there are make-sure you’re registered to vote in November!

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