Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why Are We Concerned About Rep. Keith Ellison?

Newly elected Representative Keith Ellison is being watched closely, not for his Muslim religion, but for the combination of his religion with activities that might indicate a certain sympathy for various forms of jihad, from imposing the Sharia to terrorism. When enough Canadian-Muslims got themselves into positions of leadership to try to push through the adoption of Sharia law, a province in Canada narrowly escaped coming under its rule. Sharia law, of course, is Muslim religious law, with harsh justice that is administered by imams and not by our civil courts. We Americans have some difficult and hard choices to make: we wish to protect the civil rights of all Americans regardless of their religion, but common sense tells us that if enough Muslims gain political office, our country may be doomed to constantly fighting off attempts to impose Sharia and to a weakening of our resolve against Islamic terrorists.

Christopher Hitchens in Slate reports: (Excerpt)

“It was quite witty of Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to short-circuit the hostility of those who criticized him for taking his oath on the Quran and to ask the Library of Congress for the loan of Thomas Jefferson's copy of that holy book. But the irony of this, which certainly made his stupid Christian fundamentalist critics look even stupider, ought to be partly at his own expense as well.

In the first place, concern over Ellison's political and religious background has little to do with his formal adherence to Islam. In his student days and subsequently, he was a supporter of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, a racist and crackpot cult organization that is in schism with the Muslim faith and even with the Sunni orthodoxy now preached by the son of the NOI's popularizer Elijah Muhammad.

Farrakhan's sect explicitly describes a large part of the human species—the so-called white part—as an invention of the devil and has issued tirades against the Jews that exceed what even the most fanatical Islamists have said. Farrakhan himself has boasted of the "punishment" meted out to Malcolm X by armed gangsters of the NOI (see the brilliant documentary Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X, which catches him in the act of doing this). If Ellison now wants to use his faith to justify an appeal to pluralism and inclusiveness and diversity, he needs to repudiate the Nation of Islam, and in much more unambivalent terms than any I have yet heard from him….” Christopher Hitchens


And from PowerLine
September 30, 2006
Keith Ellison for dummies

After he unexpectedly won the endorsement of the DFL nominating convention for Minnesota's Fifth District congressional seat on May 6, Keith Ellison faced a serious problem. The problem was how to deal with his well-known involvement with the Nation of Islam. Had Ellison not managed to dispose of the problem, his candidacy would likely have been irreparably weakened in the competitive DFL primary field.

Ellison chose to deal with the problem by writing an audacious letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council on May 28. In the letter, Ellison staked his campaign on three assertions: That his involvement with the Nation of Islam was limited to a period of 18 months around the time of the Million Man March in 1995, that he was unaware of the Nation of Islam's anti-Semitism and that he terminated his involvement with the Nation of Islam when he became aware of it.

Instead of undertaking any investigation of these assertions, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has simply reported the assertions and repeated them as facts ever since. Yet each of these assertions is demonstrably false. Their falsehood is easily established by newspaper accounts documenting Ellison's activities, speeches and beliefs over the relevant period of time.

Moreover, Ellison's long commitment to and advocacy of the Nation of Islam is reflected in the various aliases he used over a period of ten years: Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. The Star Tribune has not only failed to connect these aliases to Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam, it has erroneously reported that Ellison used these aliases during his student days at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam includes his support of "the truth" of Joanne Jackson's condemnation of Jews in 1997 as "the most racist white people." In his May 28 letter to the JCRC, Ellison went out of his way to state that, unlike others, he did not come to the defense of the statement that created the controversy that engulfed Joanne Jackson. Rather, according to Ellison, he only called for dialogue. This too is demonstrably false.

Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam is not the most offensive of his public associations and commitments. That distinction must belong to Ellison's work with Minneapolis gang leader and murderer Sharif Willis following the 1992 murder of Minneapolis Police Officer Jerry Haaf.

Ellison's February 2000 speech on behalf of domestic terrorist Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson picked up this reprehensible aspect of Ellison's career and united it with his missionary work on behalf of the Nation of Islam. In that speech Ellison called for the release of Soliah/Olson and spoke favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur. The Star Tribune has never gotten around to reporting what Ellison said on that occasion either.

The new issue of the Weekly Standard carries my article summarizing the most notable aspects of Keith Ellison's public career: "Louis Farrakhan's First Congressman." As Power Line readers might guess, my preferred title for the article was "Who is Keith Ellison?" Thanks to Standard online editor Jonathan Last for making it accessible this morning and to Standard managing editor Claudia Anderson for her work on the piece.

Given the Star Tribune's disinclination to examine Ellison's public record, or to get straight what little it has let come to the surface, we thought we might set out a Keith Ellison timeline and post copies of some key articles as a companion to the Standard piece:

1987--Ellison enrolls in University of Minnesota Law School

1989--Ellison publishes the first of two articles in the University of Minnesota Daily under the alias "Keith Hakim." In the first such article, Ellison speaks up for the Nation of Islam.

1990--Ellison participates in the sponsorship of the anti-Semitic speech by Kwame Ture given at the University of Minnesota Law School ("Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?"). Ellison rejects the appeal of Jewish law students to withdraw sponsorship of the lecture. Ellison graduates from University of Minnesota Law School.

1992--Ellison appears as speaker at demonstration against Minneapolis police with Vice Lords leader Sharif Willis following the murder of Officer Haaf by four Vice Lords gangsters in September.

1993--Ellison leads demonstration chanting "We don't get no justice, you don't get no peace" in support of Vice Lords defendant on trial for the murder of Officer Haaf. Ellison attends Gang Summit in Kansas City with Willis.

1995--Ellison supports Million Man March, appears at organizing rally with former Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Muhammed at University of Minnesota. Ellison acts as local Nation of Islam leader in march at office of U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis protesting indictment of Qubilah Shabazz for conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan. Ellison charges FBI with conspiring to murder Farrakhan. Ellison writes article under alias "Keith X Ellison" attacking Star Tribune for criticizing Louis Farrakhan.

1997--Ellison appears under alias "Keith Ellison-Muhammad" at Minnesota Initiative Against Racism hearing in support of Joanne Jackson. Ellison defends "the truth" of Jackson's statement that "Jews are the most racist white people."

1998--Ellison first runs for DFL endorsement for state representative. Ellison identifies himself as member of Nation of Islam in Insight News article on his candidacy. Ellison runs for endorsement under alias "Keith Ellison-Muhammad."

2000--Ellison gives speech supporting Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson at National Lawyers Guild fundraiser. Demands Soliah/Olson's release. Asks audience to recall time when "Qubilah Shabazz was prosecuted in retribution against Minister Farrakhan." Speaks favorably of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur.

May 2006--Ellison writes letter to JCRC asserting involvement with Nation of Islam limited to 18 months supporting Million Man March.

August 2006--Ellison appears at unpublicizied fundraiser with CAIR executive director and Hamas supporter Nihad Awad among featured guests.

What are we to make of this? Take a look at Ellison’s May 28 letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council; it has served as the keystone of his campaign. That letter to the contrary notwithstanding, the documents posted above nevertheless by themselves establish that 1) Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam exceeded any 18-month period, 2) Ellison's involvement with the Nation of Islam extended far beyond the promotion of the Million Man March, and 3) that Ellison himself, far from being ignorant of the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitism, actively supported it.

The steadfast refusal of the local Minnesota media to examine Ellison’s public record in the course of his congressional campaign represents a striking case of nonfeasance, incompetence and willfully averted eyes that is a story unto itself.



N.C. lawsuit seeking use of Quran for courtroom oaths gets green light
Gary D. Robertson / Associated Press
January 16, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A lawsuit filed by the ACLU and a Muslim woman seeking the use of the Quran or other non-Christian texts in addition to the Bible for courtroom oaths should be allowed to go forward, the state Court of Appeals ruled today.

A trial court dismissed the lawsuit in December 2005, saying there was no controversy that warranted litigation. The three-judge appeals panel disagreed, but did not comment on the merits of the case.

The lawsuit, filed in July 2005, claims the state law that says witnesses must take an oath on the Bible is unconstitutional because it favors Christianity over other religions. State law allows witnesses preparing to testify in court to take their oath either by laying a hand over a "Holy Scripture," or by saying "so help me God" without the use of a religious book.

Plaintiff Sydiah Mateen claims she had a request to place her hand on the Quran denied in 2003. Several Jewish members of the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union also have said they would prefer to swear upon the Old Testament, one of the religious texts of their faith, Chief Judge John Martin wrote in the appeal panel's unanimous decision.

"The government cannot favor one set of religious values over another and must allow all individuals of faith to be sworn in on the holy text that is in accordance with their faith," said Jennifer Rudinger, director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The issue surfaced after Muslims from the Al-Ummil Ummat Islamic Center in Greensboro tried to donate copies of the Quran to Guilford County's two courthouses. Two Guilford judges declined to accept the texts, saying an oath on the Quran is not a legal oath under state law.

The Attorney General's Office is reviewing the ruling but hasn't decided whether to appeal, spokeswoman Noelle Talley said.

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At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that this is a wake-up call for all Americans, but I also believe that he's being watched very carefully by both the CIA and FBI. These two organizations can't be that oblivious to Ellison's past. If we know about him, they have to know, also.


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