DEAN OBEIDALLAH ~~(CNN) To say that the Muslim and Arab-American communities were overjoyed by Rashida Tlaib’s victory in Michigan’s Democratic congressional primary on Tuesday is an understatement. My email inbox and my Facebook newsfeed were overflowing with both Muslim and Arab American organizations cheering her stunning win.
And since Tlaib is running without a Republican opponent in this November’s general election, she’s expected to become the first Muslim woman ever elected to Congress. (To date, there have been two Muslim men in Congress, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.))
But Tlaib, who is Muslim and the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, didn’t just score a win for the Muslim and Arab communities on Tuesday. In fact, less than 5% of her congressional district identifies as Arab American. Tlaib’s triumph was a victory for the America I choose to believe in. In a time in which Donald Trump openly demonizes minorities and gins up hate of those who look or pray differently, this was a victory for the American ideals of tolerance and pluralism.