Virginia State Senate Gets Its First Female Muslim Member

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Ghazala Hashmi made history Tuesday, November 5, after being elected as the first Muslim-American Senator in Virginia, The Hill reported.

“This victory is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make a 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,” Hashmi tweeted Tuesday evening.

The Muslim senator unseated Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R) to represent the state’s 10th Senate District, which includes Powhatan County and parts of Chesterfield County and Richmond.

Earlier, Hashmi immigrated to the US from India as a child and 2019 marked her first campaign for public office.

Hashmi’s campaign hit heavily on issues such as gun violence and education. Moreover, she was a supporter of Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) universal pre-kindergarten proposals.

Winning the race, she intends to proceed with her fight for Virginians’ rights.

The state Democratic Party successfully flipped the balance of power in the legislature after falling short in 2017.

“After flipping the Senate, I’ll have Democrats by my side to fight to protect Virginians from the climate crisis and senseless gun violence and work to expand our access to affordable health care and funding for public education. I can’t wait to work together in the state Senate,” she added.

Success Stories

Previously, many Muslim women have been making achievements in political circles recently.

For example, Zulfat Suara made history in September after becoming the first Muslim elected to a Metro seat in Nashville, despite facing a lot of Islamophobic comments and threats.

Also in 2018, Ilhan Omar was elected as the first Somali-American (and hijab-wearing!) Congresswoman in the US.

Moreover, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Congresswoman, was also elected to represent the 13th congressional district of Michigan.

Movita Johnson-Harrell made history last March after winning the contested special election for the 190th District seat, becoming the first Muslim woman to be elected as a state representative in Pennsylvania.

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