Ilhan Omar, a Muslim refugee from Somalia who came to the US at the age of 14 was elected to the US House of Representatives at the mid-Term election held on Tuesday 6 November 2018.
Ilhan, whose mother passed away when she was a child, arrived US in 1994 after fleeing war torn Somalia with her father, grandfather in 1991 and then spending the next four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
She attended Edison High School, and then graduated from North Dakota State University with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.
On 5 June 2018, Ilhan decided to run as Representative from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district after Representative Keith Ellison announced that he would not seek reelection and was endorsed by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party and won on Tuesday 6 November 2018.
Ilhan Omar and former Michigan state representative Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to the United States Congress.
Ilhan lives lives in the Cedar-Riverside a suburb Minneapolis with her husband Ahmed Hirsi and three children.
She has openly called President Trump a racist and has been very critical of him for creating a climate of fear and hate in her country. She accused him of demonising people like her being a woman, Muslim, refugee and black.
Ilhan has called Israel, the apartheid state, asserting that it has “hypnotized the world” to overlook the aerial bombardment of civilians, which she characterized as “evil doings,” recommending that the University of Minnesota divest from Israel bonds, and criticizing a law intended to prohibit the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
She has been accused of antisemitism by supporters of Israel but has responded that her criticism of some of the Israeli government’s actions in no way implies hatred of Jewish people:
“These accusations are without merit,” she said. “They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.”