Former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib is on track to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress, after winning the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District this week. The race has yet to be officially called, but she’s leading with all precincts reporting.
The 13th District, which includes part of Detroit and suburbs near the city, was previously held by former Rep. John Conyers, who resigned earlier this year in the wake of a slew of sexual harassment allegations. Since there were no Republican candidates vying for the seat, Tlaib is currently running unopposed and expected to easily take the general election in the heavily Democratic district.
Tlaib’s election to the House would be a groundbreaking milestone for Congress, which currently has just two lawmakers who identify as Muslim, according to a Pew Research Center report. Per Pew, the proportion of Congress that identifies as Christian (more than 90 percent) hasn’t changed much since the 1960s, although there is more religious diversity on the Democratic side. As a point of comparison, only 0.4 percent of Congress is Muslim, while 1.1 percent of Americans are.