Not one, but six Muslim women just scored historic victories in local and state elections across the United States, pushing forward a new, diversified era in American politics.
The record wins come in spite of Donald Trump’s Twitter tirade against Congress members Rashida Tleib and Ilhan Omar who happen to be Muslim women of colour, a predictable target of a president who put a Muslim ban in place upon his election.
Ghazala Hashmi, who is Muslim and hails from India, scored the elections’ biggest win, flipping the Senate to a Democratic majority. Hashmi beat a Republican incumbent to represent a district in Virginia, marking a major shift in a state that’s historically Republican. Hashmi is the first Muslim woman to serve in the State Senate, and the first to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.
“Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted,” wrote Hashmi on Twitter following the election results. “This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly,” she continued.
Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted. Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be apart of the change to come for Virginia.
— Ghazala Hashmi (@SenatorHashmi) November 6, 2019
Hashmi won’t be the only name cemented in history books. At just 24-years-old, Abrar Omeish (who proudly sports a hijab) took one of three spots in a Virginia school board, becoming the youngest person to ever hold elected office in the state. Along with Hashmi, she’s also the first Muslim, and the first Libyan-American elected to public office in the nation.
Nadia Mohamad is further proof that minority youth are rising up. Mohamad, who is just 23-years-old, became the first Somali-American elected to city council in St. Louis Park in Minnesota. She’s joined by Safiya Khalid, who is also a 23 year-old Somali, by making history with her win in Lewiston City Council in Maine.
Lisa Zargarpur, who converted to Islam more than two decades ago was also amongst the winners, scoring a seat in a Virginia school board. Buta Biberaj, too, made Muslim history, becoming a Virginia county’s top prosecutor after being elected the commonwealth’s attorney.