Muslim Americans fare well in midterm elections 2022

In all, 145 Muslim Americans ran for local, state and federal positions

Muslim Americans such as Munira Abdullahi, the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Ohio state legislature, did well in the midterms. AP
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Mehmet Oz, the first Muslim to be nominated by a major party for the US Senate, was defeated by Democrat John Fetterman in Pennsylvania during the midterms, but elsewhere, Muslim Americans fared better.

In all, 145 Muslim Americans ran for local, state and federal positions, with some winning and snagging titles of “first”.

At the federal level, all three Muslim-American incumbents in the House of Representatives — Andre Carson, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib — won their re-election bids.

The first Muslim elected to US Congress, Keith Ellison, kept his current seat as Minnesota's attorney general by a narrow margin of 0.84 per cent.

Of the 29 state-level Muslim incumbents, many were the first Muslims elected to their state’s legislature and are keeping their seats. These include Madinah Wilson-Anton, a Delaware state representative, Iman Jodeh, a Colorado state representative, and Saud Anwar, a Colorado state senator.

In Georgia, incumbent state senator Sheikh Rahman will no longer be the only Muslim in the legislature, as two Muslim women won by flipping Republican-held seats.

Nabilah Islam will become the state senator for District 7 and Ruwa Romman will represent District 97 in the House of Representatives. Ms Romman, who is Palestinian and was born in Jordan, tweeted she is also the first Palestinian elected to any public office in Georgia.

Nabeela Syed, a Muslim Indian-American state legislature candidate in Illinois, also beat out a Republican incumbent. At 23, she will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly. She and Palestinian-American Abdelnasser Rashid will be the first Muslims to serve in the Illinois state legislature.

Another young politician to flip a Republican district is Sami Scheetz in Iowa.

“I am incredibly proud to be heading to the Iowa State House,” tweeted the representative-elect. “When I get there, I'll be one of Iowa's youngest legislators and one of only a handful of Arab Americans to serve in elected office, nationwide.”

Texas has elected its first Muslim state legislators, Suleman Lalani and Salman Bhojani. Mr Bhojani flipped his district from Republican control.

Maine is also making history, sending the first two Somali Americans to the state capital. Mana Abdi, whose Republican opponent once posted that Muslims “should not be allowed to hold public office”, ran unopposed after her opponent withdrew.

The 2022 midterms proved a big year for Somali Americans, as Zaynab Mohamed won in Minnesota to become the first Muslim woman, the first Somali woman and one of the first black women serve in the state's senate.

Another Somali American to become the first Muslim woman in her state legislature is 26-year-old Munira Abdullahi in Ohio.

“Thank you to all who worked tirelessly for this campaign and put everything on the line,” she tweeted. “We made history indeed!”

Updated: November 22, 2022, 9:12 PM