Muslim-American Congresswomen Prompt Saudi Alarm

VOA FILE – This combination of 2018 photos shows then-Representatives-elect Ilhan Omar, left, and Rashida Tlaib, in Washington. Omar and Tlaib have drawn political attacks from Saudi Arabia for allegedly representing views not in line with those of the kingdom. AFP

WASHINGTON (VOA News) – Saudi Arabia may learn to regret the political attacks launched from the kingdom on two American Muslim women who won seats for the Democrats in Congress in the U.S. midterm elections. One of them, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, has secured a seat on a House panel that has the power to disrupt U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Omar, a Somali-American who won a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, and her fellow congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have attracted disapproving Saudi attention with the oil-rich kingdom’s government-controlled media outlets, as well as academics and commentators known to reflect the views of the ruling royal family, dubbing them secret Islamists who are in league with the Muslim Brotherhood.

On securing a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar said she is determined to “rein in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia.”

The attacks on the two lawmakers, who dub themselves democratic socialists, have not diminished since their mid-term wins when they became the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. Both are among several politically progressive congressional newcomers who have pledged to shake up the U.S. Congress and their own Democratic Party.

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