America’s first Muslim congressman is a man you should know about.
“[…] if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” -Virgil Goode (R-VA)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress. He has been in Congress since 2010. Some Americans have taken Ellison’s religious beliefs to mean that he’s less American. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. He’s not an immigrant; he’s a product of the United States, and we should be proud of that.
Keith Ellison was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1963. His grandfather was a member of the NAACP in Louisiana; fighting for the disenfranchised is in his blood.
Raised Catholic, Ellison converted to Sunni Islam while attending Wayne State University. Ellison went on to attend University of Minnesota Law School. While in law school, Ellison wrote several articles in favor of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam is the famously hateful organization that created Malcolm X and killed him when he exposed their hypocrisy. Ellison later disavowed their brand of hatred and bigotry (namely, anti-semitism).
Personally, I can understand what draws a young black Muslim to an organization that preaches his power and importance over all others. Thankfully, he grew up and moved on. Now, he’s a United States congressman.
Some of Ellison’s political positions:
Voted ‘Yes’ on various stimulus packages
Voted ‘Yes’ on Violence Against Women Act
Voted ‘Yes’ on prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual identity/preference
Voted ‘Yes’ on recognizing 40th anniversary of Stonewall
Voted ‘No’ on more funding for Mexico to fight drug war
Voted ‘Yes’ on additional $10.2B for public education
Voted ‘Yes’ on pretty much all expansions of healthcare availability
Why You Should Know About Him: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) proudly took an unpopular stance based on personal convictions not political safety. He swore his (ceremonial) oath of office on a translation of the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson. Taking a stand representing a group of people who have been discriminated against is noteworthy. Doing it with so much to lose is noble.
Photo— Flickr/Keith Ellison
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