America’s First Female Muslim Lawmaker About To Be Elected

Report Date: August 12, 2016

Watchers Notes

Will she and those to who follow in her footsteps follow the example of Mohammad which is to: “Settle. Seek power through politics. Once power is achieved, impose Islamic law.”


The state that has imported the most Somali Muslims over the past 25 years has reached a historic milestone that may be a harbinger of things to come.

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Minnesota House of Representatives, Ilhan Omar, a hijab-wearing Somali woman, defeated 44-year incumbent Phyllis Kahn and will likely become the first female Muslim legislator in U.S. history in November. The district is made up mostly of college students and immigrants, offering zero chance for her Republican challenger in November.

Omar escaped perpetual war in Somalia as a child and lived with her family for four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before being resettled by the United Nations and U.S. State Department in Minnesota. Now 33, she works as a community organizer, serving as director of policy initiatives at Women Organizing Women, “where she empowers East African women to take civic leadership roles in their community,” according to her website.

Among the six accomplishments Omar lists on her website is lobbying for passage of a city council resolution honoring Muslims in Minneapolis:

“Passing a Minneapolis city ordinance (the first of its kind) to allow businesses to extend their hours 35 days a year to honor, respect and accommodate Muslims celebrating Ramadan.”

In an interview with Knight Errant, Omar says she learned about politics mostly from her grandfather’s example and by “meeting with people from marginalized, predominantly immigrant communities.