Choose Generosity, Not Exclusion

Somewhere in Minneapolis or Jackson or Baltimore, somewhere in America today, there is a young couple that is feeling vulnerable. … Continued

Somewhere in Minneapolis or Jackson or Baltimore, somewhere in America today, there is a young couple that is feeling vulnerable. Maybe one has been laid off due to outsourcing, and maybe, the other is working for something close to a minimum wage. They probably have no medical benefits. Today real income is lower for the typical family than in 2000, while the incomes of the wealthiest families have grown significantly. Things are tough for working people, but in America, we often turn to our faith in tough times.

When our couple shows up for worship service, probably on a Sunday, there is no doubt that the preacher will tell them of God’s unyielding love. “God loves you.” But the next thing the preacher tells them is crucial – not only to the young couple, but to us all. The next message from the preacher may help to shape, not only the next election results, but the political landscape of the nation.

Will the preacher tell our young couple, “God loves you – but only you and people like you?” Or will the preacher say “God loves you and you must love your neighbors of all colors, cultures, or faiths as yourselves”? One message will lead to be a stinginess of spirit, an exclusion of the “undeserving”, and the other will lead to a generosity of spirit and inclusion of all.

In America today, we are encouraged to believe in the myth of scarcity – that there just isn’t enough – of anything. But in the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus, who the Muslims call Isa, found himself preaching to 5000 (not including the women by the way) at dinner time, and there didn’t appear to be enough food. The disciples said that there were only five barley loaves and two fish. We just have to send them away hungry. We simply don’t have enough. But Jesus took the loaves and the fish and started sharing food. There was enough for everyone. There was more than enough. What was perceived as scarcity was illusory as long as there was sharing, and not hoarding.

The idea here is not that there is a boundless supply of everything. Such an idea leads to waste and dispensability of everything. But the idea is that there is enough.

If scarcity is a myth, then poverty is not necessary. America need not have 37 million Americans living below the poverty line. It is a choice. Hunger is a choice. Exclusion of the stranger, the immigrant, or the darker other is a choice.

We can choose generosity. In America today, we spend more on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet 46 Million people have none. Canada spends half of what we spend and covers everyone. Perfectly? Of course not. But adequately. That’s more than what a lot of people have right now.

We live in a society which says that there is enough for a tax break for the wealthy but not enough for an increase in the minimum wage or for national health care. There is enough for subsidies to oil and coal companies but not for families who are struggling to afford child care or a college education. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We need a politics of generosity based on the reality of abundance as opposed to a politics of not-enough. The richest 1 percent of the nation, on average, owns 190 times as much as a typical household. The child poverty rate in the United States is the highest of 16 other industrialized nations. Employers are shifting health insurance costs onto workers. Not only are fewer employees receiving health insurance through their employers, but those who still do are paying more for it.

Recently, I have become the focus of some criticism for my use of the Qu’ran for my ceremonial swearing in. Let me be clear, I am going to be sworn into office like all members of Congress. I am going to swear to uphold the United States Constitution. We seem to have lost the political vision of our founding document — a vision of inclusion, tolerance and generosity.

I do not blame my critics for subscribing to a politics of scarcity and intolerance. However, I believe we all must project a new politics of generosity and inclusion This is the vision of the diverse coalition in my Congressional district. My constituents in Minnesota elected me to fight for a new politics in which a loving nation guarantees health care for all of its people; a new politics in which executive pay may not skyrocket while workers do not have enough to care for their families. I was elected to articulate a new politics in which no one is cut out of the American dream, not immigrants, not gays, not poor people, not even a Muslim committed to serve his nation.

The author was elected to the House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th District in November. He is the first Muslim elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.

  • Joseph Barnas

    As a former Minnesotan I have watched with dismay as the political landscape shifted in the North Star state – away from the values that Mr. Ellison espouses.To him I say, hip hip horay!

  • Canyon Shearer

    Congressman Ellison,Indeed it is a great honor that you have chosen to post your ideals here and your goal for the United States. I pray you do well to represent the members of your state; and not just the members of your religion.My greatest non-spiritual disagreement with you is in your opinion of medical care. I have lived in two countries that had free medical care covered by the state. The quality of the medical care was abhorrent, the ability to be seen is difficult, taxes are ridiculous, and the system is frustrating.I once called for an appointment due to strepthroat on Monday morning and was seen for the first time on Friday afternoon. By that time I had successfully treated my own disease with out of pocket funds for the medicine. State-run medical has proven to fail in Britain; where the wealthy pay for their independent doctors so as to avoid the low quality of state hospitals.It is a beautiful idea that all can be seen by raising the taxes to 93%; but what happens is the poor get poorer, the rich get a tax rightoff, and the medical care goes to hell. More importantly, today in America, if you need to be seen at any one of our thousands of hospitals, it is very unlikely that you will be turned away; or charged more than you can afford. Contrast this to Britain where hospitals are nearly impossible to find. The nearest hospital that could examine my strepthroat was 34 miles away, and that was in a tri-city area.No, your opinion on medical care will not work, not based on speculation, but on observation. Something must be done, but following Canada will not prove fruitful.As for distribution of wealth; my greatest qualm with your leadership is your adherence to a certain West Asian religion. While I am more inclined to see the fruits of a person than that of his religion, I find it amazing that in Doha, Qatar, a Muslim nation, one of the richest countries in the world, every time I turned a corner I ended up in slum. How can a country that has one of the greatest natural gas reserves in the world let its people live that way? Compared similarly to Bahgad and Kuwait City.In contrast, I have driven around Atlanta for a year, and the quality of housing and sanitation is far superior to the quality of housing and sanitation than richer cities which adhere to a considerably different faith than the faith-rich capitol of Georgia. Slums and trailer parks are the exception, not the rule; a direct contrast to Doha.Once again, I wish you the best, and the ability to serve your state and not your religion.

  • Ed Rosenberg

    Indeed, Congressman…An American Dream for all.Good luck.www.everyoneisincluded.us

  • Jeffrey Dickson

    Imagine what we could accomplish in the realm of human dignity and how easily we could level the playing fields of rights and opportunity so that more Americans might share in a decent life, if we had just a few more individuals in Congress, who like Keith Ellison, exhibit the courage and morality to address the real issues that matter to the constituents.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Ellison,I have followed with great dismay the attacks on you by Dennis Prager, Roy Moore, and Virgil Goode. Throughout this unpleasantness, you have behaved with restraint, grace, and class. I believe, like you that health care should be a right, not a privilege. France, Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands, for instance, have a system of national health insurance that covers everyone. Those countries spend far less than the US per capita on health care yet medical care is of high quality and there are no waiting lists as in Canada and the U.K. where the system is one of nationalized medicine (as opposed to insurance). I congratulate you for your elction to the House. You will make a fine representative. Your constituents are lucky to have someone like you represent them. I wish you all the best.

  • Lori

    As a Canadian, I can state that rumours of our great health care system are vastly overstated. Iti s a highly politicized subject here in Canada, about which rational discourse has become nearly impossible. You often wait days or weeks to see a family physician, 1-2 years for bypass or hip replacement, and most family physicians are refusing to accept new patients. Most specialist waiting periods are several months. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy can be delayed 2-4 weeks after diagnosis – I wonder if Canadians’ cancer cells are lethargic compared to Americans’. Many patients have to travel hundreds of miles for routine medical care because no physicians work or accept new patients in their region. People here routinely go to the US for urgent or complex medical care that they cannot receive in Canada in a timely fashion, or for technlogy that is not available in Canada. While probably on average our poor and unemployed get better care than in the US (maybe), if I were a gainfully employed tax paying citizen I would want the US model of health care, not the Canadian.

  • Mary

    As a gainfully employed tax paying Canadian, I want our system to stay put. Though the US model of health care is excellent for the rich it is a disaster for the other 80% of the population.Agreed, specialized care such as hip replacements in Canada can be slower than in the US but then look at what benefits the majority :my niece in the USA paid over $5,000 in medical costs during her child’s first year eventhough she she had insurance! My other nieces in Canada paid nothing for the hospital birth, stay, the pediatrician visits, the shots etc…Count this over the years their children are growing up. Any fool in Canada wanting US style healthcare had better move to the USA : all politicians in Canada know that our health care system is untouchable. Power to the people!

  • Mary

    I should have added and Power to Keith Ellison!

  • candide

    I cannot get excited about Ellison — he’s another fool who believes in God, Muslim version, Christian version, Jewish version — it doesn’t matter which version makes you a fool.

  • Andy

    Canyon Shearer: I must say, I wonder where your medical experience originated.As an American, my wife went to Italy for Christmas one year to visit friends. While there, oddly enough, she came down with Strep. On Christmas Day nonetheless. It was a small town with only one doctor. They went to his house, on Christmas day where his dinner was interrupted. He treated her, happily on the spot and in his home. He then stated how sad he was but since she was not Italian, she would have to pay for the medication. Bracing for the news, he said, “Fifteen Euros, please”.Also, I have family in Scotland where they simply cannot fathom having to pay for something as important as health care. They have no issues with the quality of service there either. However, when my cousin from Ireland came here to visit and got sick, it was a disastrous run-around to get her health care.

  • Michael Eure

    Every day millions of people are waking up to the fact that coldness, heartlessness and commericalism are simply impractical. Keith Ellison has a message for everyone to appreciate.

  • Andy

    Two things should be rights, not privileges as we currently employ them here in the US. These are Health Care and Education. Everyone has a right to these basics in life. Many of our European friends realize these rights. In fact, the Scots often get PAID to go to college!!

  • Daniel Craig

    I think Rep. Ellison showed a good composure against His Lowness Virgile Goode. Though I am not a big fan of islam, I was disgusted at the manner in which goode and glenn beck ( of HNN/CNN news ) asked Keith to prove he is loyalty to states. Also disgusted in the manner in which mr. ellison was religiously profiled. this discussion was unwanted and annoying and waste of air time and bandwidth. good luck.

  • mike

    I find it odd that a member of a faith which has openly stated through it’s leaders that it wishes to destroy the United States and either convert or kill all non Muslims should feel he has the standing to write an article such as this.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Andy, my experience originated in England in Cambridgeshire. It seems everyone has different experiences and all of mine have been bad.While I lived in the U.K., there was a rash of women flying to the United States to have babies. They were terrified of the high Maternal Mortality rate in Britain. But having just looked it up, 77 out of 1 Million women die in the United States each year in Childbirth, while only 90 out of 1 Million women die in the United Kingdom. It must have been a perceived threat, but I recall three friends leaving for a month apiece to deliver ‘Stateside’.You bring up an interesting point, the Brits and the Scots have an interesting way of looking at things. “I won’t pay for medical care!” They say, but then they pay upwards of 90% of their income to the state; including a $6 (£3) tax per gallon on fuel, a $200 yearly tax on television, a $200 yearly tax on vehicles. They have paid for their medical care, and if I were out 90% of my income, I’d expect free medical as well; and it better be GOOD.Still, as I said, there is an issue with the medical care in the United States, it could and should be better. I would like to emphasize that following the British form of medicine(which appears similar to the Canadian) is NOT the way to improve.

  • Anonymous

    I agree–we need to learn tolerance in this country–there is enough freedom for all to be themselves.

  • Trey

    I would just like to stop all the great American healthcare talk. The current health care that I pay for is no better than that in Britain or Canada. My wife couldn’t get an appointment for over a month and a half because her doctor was booked. We couldn’t move to new doctors and we had a limited choice since only a few doctors in our ‘network’ were taking new patients. My wife was 15 weeks pregnant before we could finally see an OBGYN, because she needed a waiver from our ‘network’ doctor before she could go to a ‘specialist’ or else the cost wouldn’t be covered. Explain to me how this private situation is working better for the average American? Much like in Britain the poor and middle class have less than adequate care and have to wait to see doctors, only in the United States we pay for terrible service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • blindfish

    Hang in there Mr. Ellison. The US was founded on principles of religious freedom, and the people who criticize you for swearing on the Quran will just be remembered as bigots.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the sentiment and agree with much of what Mr. Ellison said. I wonder why countries that have embraced his religion for millennia have not embraced his ideals and virtuous discourse? What preacher in what church tells his congregation that, “God loves you but only you and people like you.” As far as I know all Christian churches teach that Christ died for the sins of all people. Remember the song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world”. This is what Christian children learn at the earliest age. I wonder what children that share Mr. Ellison’s religion are taught? I hope it is as inclusive.

  • Michele

    Congressman Ellis is a human being who chooses to be a Muslim, not a Muslim who chooses to be human. His article is an example to us all of what it means to value your humanity and the humanity of others. I wish the Congressman great success in his political career.

  • Tammy

    Mr. Ellison, I’m an atheist from PA, and I would’ve voted for you if you had run in my state.

  • Anonymous

    anonymous:there are plenty of muslim children who are taught to embrace love. just as there are, in plain fact, plenty of christians who are not. and to deny this truth is simply hiding your head in the sand while encouraging further ignornance.

  • David

    Mike said several posts ago: I find it odd that a member of a faith which has openly stated through it’s leaders that it wishes to destroy the United States and either convert or kill all non Muslims should feel he has the standing to write an article such as this.Mike needs to keep in mind that it is not the Islamic faith which has stated a desire to do us harm but rather some members of that faith who are using religious cover to justify violent goals. The Irish Republican Army in Ireland is Catholic. When they bombed bars and restaurants killing innocent people (not happening anymore), did that mean the violence was sanctioned by the Catholic church? I’m glad Keith Ellison is in congress and not the intolerant Mike.

  • A Hermit

    I believe that religious faith at its best is an expression of humanity’s best qualities. (It can also be the worst, but doesn’t have to be). I don’t care if you’re Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist if you have compassion for your neighbour. Mr Ellis certainly seems to understand that.He also understands that human health is not a commodity and cannot be dealt with effectively using a market model. Our Canadian system is not perfect, but it does cover everybody, in most cases as effectively or more effectively than the Byzantine private insurance system in the US. Life expectancy in Canada is longer, infant mortality is lower and wait times are, in most cases, no worse than in US. (At least in Canada you are sure to get on the ait list. In America, if you have no insurance you don’t even get to wait…) Other countries with even broader public coverage have even better results, and lower costs. (Think France or Finland, not Britain; the Thatcherites screwed up the British system in the `80′s and it still hasn’t recovered).Americans spend more public money on healthcare per capita than Canadians do. Going to a single payer public insurance system would probably reduce the cost to the US taxpayer while providing coverage for everyone. The only losers would be the insurance company CEO’s, and I think they’ll land on their feet anyway…

  • Frozen1

    Are you quite certain that you are not related to brother Ralph? I am reminded of a vision of a Tiger in the Woods. Lean, svelte, coool personified, no sin. This Tiger saw me before I saw him for his stripes blended right in. And I nodded as he let me pass, I thought strange to see a Tiger eat grass. And it struck me as if out of the blue, that this Tiger is well equiped to eat meat too…but he takes only what he needs, and he listens and hears with Tiger ears as a human pleads.

  • R

    Canyon Shearer,Is Christianity not a west asian religion as well?

  • JS

    Rep. Ellison–I just wanted to commend you for your grace and integrity when dealing with the, frankly, inexcusable reaction to your decision to use the Qu’ran for your swearing in. As a citizen of Virginia, I would like both to apologize for Mr. Goode’s conduct and to congratulate you on deciding to use Thomas Jefferson’s Qu’ran during the ceremony. I’d also like to wish you the best of luck while facing the ignorant and the bigoted who assume that the fanatics who twist Islam to suit their purposes speak for all Muslims. I wonder whether they feel that Christians who firebombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors should speak for Christianity.

  • John

    I note with interest those who mention the universal healthcare systems in Canada and Britain. They complain of having to wait longer for services. This, to me, seems akin to Jesus’s disciples complaining that they got less bread and fish because it had to be shared. Those who would have otherwise gotten none were not heard to complaint, but to rejoice at the miracle. I suspect Britain’s and Canada’s less wealthy citizens are grateful for the services they do get, whenever they get them. I applaud Rep. Ellison for seeking to restore balance to the yawing gap between rich and poor in this nation. Thank you, Rep. Ellison. P.S. I also applaud your grace in light of attacks from Prager, Goode, et al. re: your decision to use the Koran at your ceremonial swearing. Those folks seem to have quited some in light of the fact that the copy you’ll hold, as reported in yesterday’s Post, comes from the rare book collection in the Library of Congress, and was originally owned by a rather famous character born in Virgil Goode’s own Virginia district: Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson would be honored by your gesture, no doubt.

  • Minneapolis guy

    Thank you Keith Ellison for not taking the bait from Prager and the rest. You had every opportunity (and rightfully) to lash back at them, but you held back and it is refreshing. Although I didn’t vote for you in November, after examining your actions since the election, you may get my vote next time.

  • Dee Bitner

    Representative Ellison, I applaud your sentiments and wish you the very best. Were you in North Carolina, you would have had my vote. I will be following your actions with interest and, as you propose reasonable legislation to better our lives, I will be urging my own representatives to vote with you.May wisdom guide you and all of your colleagues!

  • Alan

    I sent this letter to Congressman Ellsion back on 12/24 (I removed a bit that is not applicable for this post)I am not a constituent – I live in Rockville, Maryland (district of Chris Van Hollen). I am of the Jewish faith. The recent news about your decision to use the Quran for your swearing in is an exposure of some of the larger issues that we all face in America. Who is an American? What is the Religious basis of our country? The people who see this country as one of “Judeo-Christian” values, with English as the chosen language, are largely patrotic, religious Americans who do not wish to see this country go in the “wrong” direction. But, due to what I believe is ignorance, I feel that they are the ones who are “wrong”. As I see it, when this country was founded, the fathers were of one religion and one language. Thus, the original Constitution was formulated on that basis – the values and wordings came from whatever prevailed at the time. However, the Bill of Rights makes the point that the “separation” of church and state ensures that if this country were to be inhabited by members of other faiths, their rights would be fully protected. The concepts that will always be upheld are our structure of government and its obligations to be representative of the people. The people opposed to your swearing-in (and “inclusive” immigration policies) are, in my view, expressing fear. I don’t know for sure where these fears come from, but I do believe that some leaders in the U.S. and the World use fear as a means to their own consolidation of power. (In our dispute with Iran, for example, I find this happening from both sides, and I worry that things may get worse.) The common reaction to these fears is to try to protect ourselves and isolate the “enemy”. But what good does this really do? I see only a chain reaction. In my view, the defeat of extremism has, as its prerequsite, the elimination of fear. This elimination will be enabled by the elimination of ignorance. Being protective and isolating will only increase ignorance. Education and dialogue will help lessen it. An example: because you are Muslim, there may be fear that you will side with Palestinians in the dispute with Israel. But I took the time to look at your web site. I have no reason to fear – I know where you stand. I’ve written letters of support on your behalf to the New York Times and the local Virginia newspapers where Congressman Goode has his constituency. I wish you luck and success in your new role. I hope that you can help bring this country to a better place.

  • SOH

    Anonymous (The one who wrote: What preacher in what church tells his congregation that, “God loves you but only you and people like you.”) –Have you ever heard Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell speak? Or, for that matter, your average Southern Baptist preacher? Turn on your TV on any given Sunday and you can hear it for yourself. They may couch their sentiments in different phrases than their Islamist counterparts, but make no mistake: They preach the same hatred.Peace.

  • corbett

    I’d just like to say, concerning the ceremonial swearing-in, I’m glad you’ve made your position perfectly clear, while Rep. Goode of Virginia has used his position to pound the pulpit.But, you know, if I – and this is me personally – was elected to Congress, I think I’d skip the use of the Bible or the Qu’ran for the swearing-in and use… you know, the Constitution. But that’s just me.

  • Ted Swart

    Keith Ellison says some good things and some not so good things which are less than accurate. Drawing attention to the huge gap between rich and poor is good. In the USA the ratio between CEO’s stipends and those of the workers in their companies is something like 461 to 1 — which is the highest in the Western world. This ratio is nothing short of obscene and something ought indeed to be done about it.The comparison between medical care in the USA and Canada is not very balanced. There are good and bad aspects of both the the American system and the Canadian system and the Canadian system is very far from being a model worth following. Wait times are unacceptably long and the gap in stipends between the specialists and the family physicians (who do the bulk of the work) is quite simply unconscionable. (There’s that gap again!) As for his choice of faith that is his business but for those of us who do not belong to any faith this business of swearing an oath of office on a holy book is extremely off-putting. If you are in the habit of telling the truth and keeping to your obligations there is no need to swear on anything. I understand that the Qur’an, which Ellison used for his swearing in, used to belong to Jefferson which is both interesting and anachronistic — given that Jefferson himself would never haver sworn an oath on any holy book.

  • penney

    Response to Mike who at 8:56 a.m. wrote: “I find it odd that a member of a faith which has openly stated through it’s leaders that it wishes to destroy the United States…”Apparently you have not heared of the “Jesus Camps” here in the US where little children must prostrate themselves before a picture of the current president and also chant “kill, kill, kill” at the behest of the adult leader for a “Christian” jihad. Abusive, as far as I am concerned.Fundamentalists of every religion have far more in common with each other than they do with the religions they prefess to espouse. Their similarities are truly founded in fear and thus hatred. Too sad for words.

  • Kathleen in Minnesota

    Representative Ellison,

  • James Buchanan

    Charity through taxation is theft. Keep your hands out of my wallet, or they’re coming off at the wrist.Good Muslim punishment, isn’t it?

  • Ed Baron

    Adequate health care is not IM-possible, a basic health care plan can be found and most Americans would favor such. The problem is many politicians want to give Premium coverage. As far as the American dream, it is still available to all by HARD work.One final note, we should judge and treat people by who they are not what race, religion or ideology.

  • Wade

    As a former Minnesotan and also a convert to Islam I can understand your situation and wish you Congressman the best with your new position.

  • anonymous

    Just thought Canyon Searer should know that the top UK income tax rate is 40% for people making more than $65,000 a year. Below that most people pay 22%. This does not include deductions which can be considerable. By the way I lived in Morocco for a few months and was treated with more respect as a non-muslim than I see represented in this blog towards muslims. The founding fathers would be sad if they read this. As someone who grew up in Virginia’s 5th district (Virgil Goode’s district) I wholeheartedly welcome Mr. Ellison to the house.

  • Jake

    I can appreciate touching sentimental dribble as much as the next person – but the truth is that Islam is a violent, intolerant, backwards religion and will be responsible for WWIII. They do not coexist with any other culture and they represent anything but tolerance. I am an atheist so I dont have a dog in this race – but lets be honest at least. If Mr. Ellison expects any credibility whatsoever he should distance himself from the scourge of humanity that is Islam.

  • J

    Penney wrote:”Fundamentalists of every religion have far more in common with each other than they do with the religions they profess to espouse.”This is THE issue that some (certainly not all) American evangelicals need to reflect upon (and, of course, radical/fundamentalist muslims). It is not opinion. It is inarguable. If someone (Mike, maybe?) can’t realize this, then please explain to me why not? How can someone be so lost in their own bravura of faith and country that they choose to ignore this obvious and crucial point? On the one side: 2 groups who have fixed, constrained beliefs about God and willing to kill the other to please their God (even though they have the same God). Plus the politicians, terrorists, and religious leaders who seek votes/dollars and power from this constituency.On the other side: The rest of us. Trying to lead lives of shared purpose and love, but caught in the crossfire of political and religious wars.Anyway, well said, Penney.

  • Robin

    I’m throughly saddened by the hate showed by some posters. Dismayed. Mr. Ellison is, first a foremost, a fellow human being, secondly a citizen of this country, and finally a Muslim. Now, for those of you espousing hate because of Mr. Ellison’s chossen religion, I remind you that on the first two counts, he is the same as you (since most of the irrational hatred seems to be coming from fellow Americans, unfortunately). He has demonstrated throughout his life to be an upstanding citizen who places the needs of ALL foremost. Why does his religion bother you so? Why do you loathe a man, by all measures a kind, itelligent, compasionate man, simply for his religion? Why? I just don’t understand.

  • Todd R.

    Dear Rep. Ellison,Best New Year wishes to you and your family. I applaud the dignity that you’ve displayed in the face of so much religous bigotry. Re: HealthcareIt’s amusing how quickly critics of universal healthcare point to the imperfections in the Canadian system. At the end of the day, I would gladly trade US imperfections for Canadian ones. Not only do we have over 40 million uninsured in the US, but even those with insurance can wake up one day to discover our insurers can simply cancel our coverage should we become chronically ill or too costly. The State of California is currently suing Blue Cross over a similar issue. Who needs that stress?Also, I heard the US life expectancy is lower compared to other Western Countries with universal care yet we spend far more money on health care.

  • Jake

    in response to Robin-The Muslim religion declares that its believers be first Muslim, then man, and so on. They really dont waiver on this. I can appreciate Ellison’s political views and frankly I agree with socialized health care, my criticism is of his religion. No matter what spin he tries to put on it, the facts are there in plain sight. It amazes me that a so called educated person can have anything to do with a debaucle like Islam. Respectfully of course.

  • American

    Please read the long note from Anonymous just above and see how easy it is to be angry and mean and hateful in the name of patriotism and your religion. It is shameful that such ignorance and small-mindedness exists in 2007 America. Reverse all the details and you can almost hear the terrorists calling to you. fear…hate….anger….ignorance…die…

  • Siddique Malik, Louisville, KY

    It boils down to freedom. The Constitution does not prescribe a religion for the citizens so that all citizens could be free of religion-based hatred. But then, a few narrow-minded people, tragically including a US lawmaker, object to your intention to put your hand on the Quran (the book of your choice) while taking oath your office. What a great country we must have. We give freedoms to all, including a bigotted legislator to prove that he is a bigot. Come to think of it, if there was no freedom of speech, we would never know that there is a bigot right in the US Congress. Life is incomplete without freedom. God bless America, the humanity’s last hope.Siddique Malik

  • Madison

    The Constitution clearly forbids any religious test for a Federal officeholder. Can we charge Virgil Goode with treason for trying to impose one?

  • Anonymous

    —-in the name of patriotism and your religion—-I’m English, and I’m a seculist.So I guess you guessed wrong. But you should read and learn, as you’re either another Islamist or just the kind of Islam-ignorant person that Islamist love so much as it makes taking over so much easier for them.And seeing as you have read (I hope ALL) my posts I fail to see how you can still be so foolish in your thinking!

  • Jake

    Lets put it this way-Would you elect David Duke because you like his views on education? Of course not. Duke is a biggot. Islam = biggotry. Do the math. America, you’ve been duped.

  • M Wilson

    I must suggest to the woefully ignorant among us who continue to make statements such as “but the truth is that Islam is a violent, intolerant, backwards religion and will be responsible for WWIII” that you actually do some background reading before commenting on this subject. The negative attributes that you ascribe to Muslim doctrine can also be found in the Torah and the later books of the New Testament. The intolerant behaviors that you describe to muslims have been documented throughout history among followers of all monotheistic religions.The unfortunate part of this is that private citizens and public officials who espouse these viewpoints are representative of a growing problem in our country. Many Americans, contrary to their responsibility as citizens of a republic, have abdicated their responsibility to educate themselves about their own government (i.e., constitution and other documents leading to the founding of the American government). Consequently, we are constantly accepting of opinions that orginate from ignorance. Since no one else is willing to state it I will. If you are not knowledgeable of monotheistic religions or the theoretical basis of the American government your opinion adds nothing to the discussion. It’s great that you have an opinion…but keep it to yourself and try and learn something before chiming in.

  • American

    I hear you Anonymous, I hear you well. fear…hate….anger….ignorance…die…

  • M Wilson

    My apologies in advance for typos in the previous message…it was written in haste.

  • Ken

    Hey Mike, do you listen to Catholic politician?? Do you?? I bet you do!!! Because based on your perception of Islam and Muslims all Catholics must be rampent, wine drunk, homosexuals who have established a vast world wide network through the Catholic Church with an almost exclusive focus on sexually abusing young boys, tourmenting and terrorizing their lives. Yeah, but youll listen to them right? Oh and by they way by way of Irish Republican Army they are all terrorist too!! Congratulation Mr. Ellison, as Virginian, and as White, green eyed, blond non-converted American Muslim I commend you on your abilities to reach this stage. I commend you on your savy in selecting Thomas Jeffersons Koran for your swearing in. The virgil goodes of this world just dont last and have no impact so ignore this issue. I commend the great Constitution and Forefather who wrote it for their tremendously all inclusive vision that has prevailed here in allowing you to place your hand on the Koran in your swearing in…Bigots, Nazis and KKK keep holding your breath!!!

  • Hastings

    Ah yes, the politics of generosity. Hardly “new politics.” As originally elucidated it went something like:”From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”Of course its manifesto was summed up “Working men of all countries unite!” This is admittedly more stirring than Mr. Ellison’s “Let’s all live adequately.”But now the leftist ideologues are using religion as justification for their social science project? History has shown Communism to be a jealous god with no room for others, be they Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Hindu. Perhaps that is why its proponents espouse a universalistic form of religious expression. For if “wide is the path and all are chosen”, religious belief is moot.But then that is very a far cry from the tenets of Islam whose very definition is Submission to God’s Will. I wonder that Mr. Ellison can justify the two.

  • Sigh

    I guess the only REAL American is a Christian American, then, right? What difference does it make if he places his hand on a Koran or a Bible or a Torah or the Constitution itself? Its all ceremonial anyhow.

  • Joel

    Horray for Kieth Ellison. America is alive and well – even though many haters in our country would change our beloved constitution to exclude him. Isn’t it horrible and perverse that neo-conservatives and evangelicals who’s stated faith is loving take hateful actions and make hateful statements?Isn’t it odd and perverse that they are against the protections our founding fathers intended for freedom and liberty, and yet claim to be the most american of all of us?I’m glad we stopped their drive towards a police state where white makes right and voted them out of power.

  • David W.

    The claim that one cannot possibly be both a trustworthy citizen of the United States and a Muslim is an intriguing one. That claim reminds me of similar ones that have been made in the past. In the past, people have vociferously argued that atheists, Unitarians, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, and Quakers could not be possibly be good citizens of the United States. It seems like there is always some “dangerous other” out there whom is considered to be beyond the pale.

  • Jake

    in response to M. WilsonYou missed the point entirely. All religions are equally unfounded in my eyes. Do you even know what happens to personal freedom in countries that are founded on Islam? Appearently not. Go to Saudi some time. ( and stay there if you like it so much)

  • EE

    There are over a billion Muslims worldwide, most of them quite devout, considering themselves Muslim first and foremost. If the above statements are true, the ones that claim Islam is a doctrine of violence, intent on destroying all non-believers, DO YOU THINK WE’D STILL BE HERE???

  • Todd R.

    Anonymous wrote:”The UK learnt this the hard way when 4 of it’s citizens blew up it’s capital and killed their own countrymen because ISLAM was the most important thing in their life.”What tripe! America is NOT the UK.What we need is not an Orientalist lecturing us about what Islam really stands for but more reading and understanding of American history on the part of the Orientalist.

  • John Pitblado

    Funny how the Muslim haters keep citing portions of the Koran that are militant (likely cut and pasted from a Michelle Malkin website or some other such lunacy, because there is zero question that those slamming Islam have read the Koran). What of the various horribles set forth in the bible? What of the women and children in Jericho, Canaan, and all the other cities of the “promised land,” who the Christian God matter of factly insists must all be killed? Your baby-killing God is somehow less violent than Allah? Should all NFL players be stoned to death for working on the Sabbath? YOU tell them, then. How about taking away the wonderful messages of peace and charity in BOTH books and stop screaching about how black the kettle is?That seems to be Rep. Ellison’s message and I applaud him.

  • Robert

    My friends and I often joke about how backwards and violent Christianity is. It sometimes seems anti-liberty, anti-life, anti-human. But its not, there are just a lot of crazy Christians who have high-jacked the religion and did many horrible unspeakable things in the name of God (slavery, clinic bombings, capital punishment, children’s crusades). All groups have crazy people; we secularists are just not as prone to committing atrocities in the name of Allah or God. But I will remind you many secularists see little difference, beyond linguistics, of the current politics of religion here or in Iran. The current health care system is a mess in the United States. We do not have across the board shortages YET. We will, mostly due to the privatized education system – it cost too much to work in health care and the pay does not make up for it. Most of the money we spend goes back to banks for student loans (nurses graduate with $50,000 frequently, physicians up to $200,000). The coordination of an endless number of insurance companies costs like 15% of every dollar of health care we spend … then the insurance company’s cut.I am a single-payer supporter and a nurse. So, I really could keep typing but I will spare you of that.

  • Derrick

    AIPAC and their friends who support Zionism “Israeli” agenda will make sure this congressman fails or not have much influence in Congress. Most American do not know or do not understand that all three branches of government is controlled by AIPAC American Israeli Political Action Committee. From the failed Iraqi war to budget & defense issues, AIPAC controls the decisions making process. I am in now way against Jews, but for an outside country to have so much influence and to push our lawmakers to pass policies that are not in the interest of US is very sad.I hope the new congress brings to life what this country used to stand for, honesty, integrity and justice.

  • Anonymous

    I like the way you think, Mr. Ellison.

  • CH

    Oh boy! Let’s have fun with out-of-context scripture from another age!!Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. (Colossians 3:22)”If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods… kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death…” (Deuteronomy 13:7-12)…Joshua destroyed all the descendants of Anak, who lived in the hill country of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and the entire hill country of Judah and Israel. He killed them all and completely destroyed their towns. Not one was left in all the land of Israel, though some still remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the LORD had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war. (Joshua 11:21-23) Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19) Everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)Cursed he who holds back his sword from blood. (Jeremiah 48:10)

  • American

    I have noticed that Anonymous is repeating his long hateful rants but also that it sounds like he is quoting from some prepared text. Almost as if someone has done his angry research for him…fear..hate…anger…ignorance…die…

  • nf

    inclusion, is that what the Trojan Horse was about?

  • anonymous

    Horrible people are horrible people and that transcends religions. Is a Muslim suicide bomber any different than a right-wing Christian that kills a doctor who performs LEGAL abortions since both of them are killing in the name of religion? Are muslims any more evil than the Southern Christians that implemented Jim Crow laws in 50′s and 60′s? Are our “Founding Fathers” that preached freedom but enslaved blacks for centuries any less evil since they were Christians? Explain to me how Christians have behaved any different than anyone from any other religion over the years.Human beings are evil, not religion. This country was based partly on religious freedom, lets practice it.

  • American

    Robert – I like your presentation, especially the observation that from a secularist point of view the politics of religion sound the same in America and in Iran. One nit to pick: Do not exclude secularists from the list of huge killers since I believe Mao and Stalin and Hitler were secular. The point is that all crazies need to be identified and stopped.

  • Jake

    People should have the right to peacefully live their lives embracing whatever faith they choose and I’m sure there are millions of Muslims in the world that want exactly that. If these people feel this way then let them have a voice and distance themselves from fanaticism. If the all the worlds governmants got rid of the conservative whackjobs in their midst we would all be better off. It’s unfortunate that a few radicals have declared themselves the representitives of Islam but they have made themselves a threat to the world.

  • American

    CH – How dare you use humor to smite your foes! Thanks for posting smart and funny.

  • Robert

    American, I totally agree. I tried to get that point across too with “All groups have crazy people; we secularists are just not as prone to committing atrocities in the name of Allah or God. “. I guess that didn’t really work. Thanks for clarifying though.

  • M Wilson

    Actually Jake, I understood your initial point clear. While your response to me may clarify your overall belief “All religions are equally unfounded in my eyes” your statements “but the truth is that Islam is a violent, intolerant, backwards religion”, “They do not coexist with any other culture” and “the scourge of humanity that is Islam” seem to indicate that in a supposed moral hierarchy of unfounded religions Islam would clearly exist at the bottom. My statement to you is that the types of intolerance evident in present day Muslim states (including Saudi) are not unique or new. If you do your research you will find many religious states who have been intolerant…at best. Consider this, many have made a good argument that America has, over the past 5 years, become increasingly conservative and fundamental in it’s religious viewpoints toward the world. Simultaneously, individual freedoms have been eroded (there is little debate on this matter). So then, if Christian fundamentalism appears to correlate with loss of individual freedom and Islamic fundamentalism does the same, what exactly makes Islam the “scourge of humanity”. Could be your lack of knowledge on the subject and consequent fear?

  • Rick

    I think it’s entirely telling about the nature of the content of the negative posts to Rep. Ellison’s letter.“charity through taxation”“raising taxes to 93%”I find these arguments without proper back-up absurd. In fact, they are exactly the type of “politics of scarcity and intolerance” that the good Representative is trying to change.I would celebrate our medical system if we didn’t have our own drawbacks. As an example, when was the last time you went to the doctor and the waiting room was empty? Or when was the last time you called your doctor for an appointment for treatment of some illness that had come on suddenly, only to be told by the doctor’s “front counter” that they would not be able to fit you in?I have my own personal issues with our medical system. I used to work for a national medical insurance company. My company was benign compared to most. The longer I worked there, the more I questioned whether the hoops, chutes, and ladders that we required our enrollees to move through were a waste. From seeing nurses advising doctors on “proper” covered treatment to the sheer volume of confusing paperwork someone with two insurance companies had to endure became it increasingly difficult to do my job in good conscience (I work in another field, at the moment).Then there was the more personal.About 18 months ago, my father started having problems walking. He visited his family doctor several times who dismissed his pains as “arthritis” (being 70 years old) and sent him on his way with a fistful of pills. After realizing he was not getting better, six months ago he was referred to an Orthopedic doctor who did some scans and found a problem with his hip. They decided to do a bone scan after suggesting he had a rare disease that might complicate an impending hip-replacement. After waiting for 2 weeks for the results, the doctor called us saying it was bone cancer and he would need to receive radiation treatment. Two weeks after that he had his first body scan and received the first treatment. Four weeks into his treatment, the radiation oncologist revealed to us that cancer was not only in his hip, but also in a tumor in behind his heart, a tumor in his stomach, and was in his lymph nodes. We were told to spend as much time as we could with him, he maybe had three months of life left. He referred us to a medical oncologist to discuss chemotherapy as his only treatment option. We were told the Stage 4, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma was aggressive but treatable. Now after his 4th chemotherapy treatment, he’s had another body scan showing improvement. Unfortunately, my siblings and I, not living in the same state, cannot seem to get the medical Oncologist to call us back to talk about his prognosis. Now my father is not wanting to continue his chemotherapy, thinking he’s almost recovered and dealing with the debilitating effects of the chemotherapy. And so we are today, wondering. I don’t believe there was any medical malfeasance involved, maybe a little indifference, but have to wonder (since our system is so much better than the rest of the world’s) if his level of care was dictated by the shortcomings of our system.I can’t help wondering if money is so important versus the values that Rep. Ellison has so eloquently elucidated above. Our capitalistic system has too many benefits to count but I can’t help wondering why we haven’t added a “heart” to the system. We entrust our health and welfare to entities who are more concerned about lining their own pockets at worst or making sure shareholders are taken care of at best.Why can’t we look at other socialistic systems of medicine, identify their problems, and come up with an American solution? I won’t go on about the accomplishments this country developed in the last 100 years.Maybe I’m just an idealist who thinks proper medical care should be implied in “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”And so, I continue to wonder….

  • Anonymous

    To those who are so caught up in claiming that Islam says to kill all the infadels, just a word of advice *take the plank out of your eye before worrying about that splinter in your neighbors. The Bible also exhorts its belivers to go & spread the good news to all nations baptizing them. So, Christianity wants everyone to be Christian and some people are so filled with fervor that they try to force everyone to believe the way they do. They do not believe in abortion, so no one should have one. They believe that women should be subservant so everyone should. They believe….If God tells you to go bomb an abortion clinic and the bombing results in killing innocent people as well as the doctor you were gunning for, does that not make you a murderer? By the way, Jefferson and quite a number of the founding fathers were Unitarians. Unitarians do not believe in the Trinity – so they believed that Jesus was a great man and a teacher but not necessarily that he was the son of God. Some of the others were Universalists who believe that everyone is destined for salvation (through good works). Kind of shoots most people’s vision of Judeo (who also do not believe that Jesus was the son of God)-Christian ethics. Even though what people believe is very important, who they are and what they stand for is equally important. If Congressman Ellison stands for what he says he does, then he is OK in my book and more people should worry about what a person does than what book he chooses to swear on. If he professes belief in Islam then swearing his oath of office on a Bible would be professing an oath to serve our country on a book he did not believe in. I think the Constitution should be what people swear on. GJKBear in San Antonio TX

  • American

    Someone made a good point that without freedom of speech we wouldn’t know who the bigots are. It does seem from reading this board that the haters have readily self-identified.

  • Dezlboy

    Rep. Ellison: Thank you for your thoughtful words. Interesting to me is that some posts keep refering to Islam as violent, hating etc. And now we have a Representative who happens to be Muslim, speaking of toleration, but some don’t seem to be listening.BTW: Rep Ellison took his oath of office using the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson.

  • American

    anti-anonymous – I believe we have already figured that Anonymous is cut and pasting his hate from some odd website.

  • First

    Hey Derrick,

  • EE

    I understand that the Koran Rep. Ellison used for his swearing-in contains the hand-written notations of Thomas Jefferson.I’d love to see those notes. I wonder if he viewed it as a potential tool for diplomacy, something racy and illicit, or just another piece of foreign literture?

  • Paul Peterson

    Mr. Ellison’s election and his choice of his personal swearing-in ceremony shows the real power of our system of government, if only we vote on real issues – and not allow the fundamentalist dividers to sidetrack us into self-flagellating arguments over the “correct” choice of “good book”. May the god of all humanity watch over Mr. Ellison as he carries out his duties as one of OUR elected officials.

  • CH

    Hey “First”:Thanks for calling attention to Derrick’s post on AIPAC. I scrolled waaaay up and read it again. Again, thanks for bringing attention to it. I bet some people missed it the first time around!

  • Anonymous

    It’s as if 9/11 never happened.And the fact is in 2007, in the 21st century, you will find that only Islam is such a politicised religion and that the majority of it’s followers truly believe, and will happily martyr themselves to them, the words in the Qu’ran that their like in the Bible (though nothing compares to the prejudice and hate in the Qu’ran) have long since been side-lined and ignored.Nothing on earth compares to the dark-ages barbarity and the political strength of Islam.But it seems The West marches along in denial to its own destruction. In fact mentioning the Bible (and again, I am a seculist) just shows how The West/non-Muslim countries have evolved in as a people, as a religion and a society (despite the wrongs that do still exist)compared to Islam and it’s followers who STILL act like it is the time of the Crusades!Islamists are, in such massive numbers, once again unique in their literal belief in holy texts in positions of power and influence.Women are not being raped, tortured and murdered for daring to hold professional jobs under Christian/seculist rule.Homosexuals are not being executed (117 last year in Islamic Iran) in their hundreds under Christian/Seculist rule.Teachers are not being hacked to bits for daring to educate girls under Christian/Seculist rule.Non-Muslim citizens of countries are not commiting traitorous acts of terrorism aginst their own people and societies in the 21st century. Any backlash against Islam is entirely Islam’s doing as well I might add.Muslims have themselves to blame for finally showing their true colours, after being so flushed with success after 9/11, when they clebrated in cities around the World.Islam, the so called religion of peace, can’t even live with itself in peace! As we see in Iraq where Muslims take very opportunity to butcher as many fellow Muslims as possible (often in mosques!) as they choose to carry on a 100 years of sectarian hate!The Jihadists, and their Islamist trojan horses like Ellison, probably can’t believe their luck at just how stupid and politically correct to the point of suicide Americans (and in fact The West as a whole) has become.

  • Bags

    Some people have complained about Rep. Ellison’s use of the Koran in his swearing-in ceremony. Aside from the question of whether their complaints are bigoted, these people should be aware of Ellison’s potential to popularize a version of Islam that is tolerant of others and compatible with a pluralistic society such as ours. Some of these same people (rightly) condemn Islamic countries for persecuting Jews and Christians; so why are they so (wrongly) suspicious of Ellison and his own inclusive version of Islam?

  • Kevin

    I agree with anonymous – this Muslim and all the others are not to be trusted. Besides, in seeking his utopian society, I wonder much more of my money the bastard wants to take – probably all of it.

  • Lawrence Joseph

    I am an evangelical and conservative Christian. In trying to be Christ like, I must love everyone as much as I love myself. Judaism has influenced Christianity. Judaism and Christianity both have influenced Islam.

  • John Pitblado

    It pleases me to see that the smart and tolerant folks posting here — some religious, some not –are making handy work of the bigoted fools espousing hatred for Islam (and Judaism in the odd case of “Derrick”). This discourse, and Rep. Ellison’s comments refresh my pride as an American.

  • WDC

    You know what makes murder and oppression seem like a good idea? Desperation. Surety that no matter what we do, we’ll never win over our enemies, that we have no common future, that we’ll never agree on the slightest thing. In this forum, we are presented with a Muslim who claims to uphold the ideals (and oh, how ideal they seem) of the United States of America, to practice tolerance, inclusiveness and kindness. He does this in the face of vicious prejudice and increasingly institutionalized exclusion.In response, we are presented with “anonymous” who seems to be saying that no matter what is said or done, he or she will never believe that a Muslim is worth the effort of cooperation, negotiation, the long and difficult road that could lead to trust.

  • Frozen1

    Honorable Representative Ellison; When you deem the time to be right, please consider advocacy of GOP Minority Bill of Rights for consideration of those who know all too well the state of mute. For your considerable consideration Sir. Thank you. God Bless you…oh excuuuuse me? Allah Bless and Keep you. :)

  • Anonymous

    1000 years of sectarian hate I might add, no a 100, lets not give them any help.And yet again we have the same garbage that Islamists always say…that all the nasty evil bits of the Qu’ran are mis-translated and out of context!What a surprise. The Jihadist’s must be pissing their pants in joy at the blindness shown on here by so many Americans.

  • WDC

    … continued…I invite you to speculate on the quarter from which our next crimes against humanity are going to come!

  • Ryan

    We, the people of the 5th congressional district of Minnesota, were entirely informed on Congressmen Ellison’s position on religion, and the rest of his positions. Unlike many of the responses which I have read, people believe that he has no place in politics because of his >private

    He is a true American, with true American values. Former Congressmen Sabo was great, but the 5th district is very excited to have someone as well spoken and fundamentally American as Congressmen Ellison.Tolerance is the key to peace.

  • Agnostic

    I am an ex-muslim agnostic. The anti-Ellison comments on this forum remind me of the narrow-mindedness of the islamofasicts(Saudis, Pakistanis etc.) that always disgust me.Ellison has sworn to be a faithful servant of the country so why criticize him because of his faith. This is what the Saudis routinely do, you guys are sounding more and more like them.

  • Randall Norris

    “Christian” Americans have spent the last five years killing 600,000 (Johns Hopkins Study) Iraqis. And we talk about bloothirtsty Arabs? What a joke! If we can just get our war criminals, Bush, Cheyney, Rice, Rumsfeldt and Kissinger in the dock, then we will have accomplished far more than hanging one Iraqi despot.

  • American

    Amongst his other scary statements Anonymous said that the Crusades were in response to Islamic raids. Anonymous – would you please tell us where you are getting all your “information”? Is it a website? Friends? Family? Really, I would like to know.

  • Garak

    Anonymous: Could you please post your address so I can send you razor blades with which you can cut your wrists when Ellison takes his oath on the Koran? You obviously have real issues, issues which seem beyond professional help. Ellison will take office, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Spouting revisionist hatred won’t cut it, dear boy.You lost. Ellison won. Get over it.

  • Anonymous

    —–Ellison has sworn to be a faithful servant of the country—-HA! Well let’s see what happens when this faithful servant finds his all encompassing, hardline, unforgiving religion at odds with his country.Don’t hold your breath on a nice Americana outcome though.

  • John Pitblado

    By the way, Rep. Ellison’s Koran used in his ceremony was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson — one of those crazy drafters who ensured that the word “god” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, which is an utterly secular document. Jefferson knew, as Ellison does, that holy books are for reading and learning, not thumping.

  • BIGOLPOOFTER

    Mr. Ellison, thank you for sharing your opinions here. I have been embarassed more than ever during the last few weeks to share the same nationality with people like Fred Phelps, Don Wildmon, and other bigots who railed against your election and your devotion to your faith. I trust that the people of your state and this nation will be proud of the service you offer and the vision you bring to our government.

  • American

    If my recollection is correct wasn’t the knock on John Kennedy that he was a Catholic (oh my!) and that he would secretly be taking orders from the Pope? Or was that the Illuminati? Or was that AIPAC? (thank you Derrick for pointing out their huge and secret control of all of our lives)

  • Old Atlantic

    Mr. Ellison,What is your position on the Verse of the Sword 9:5, slay them, the unbelievers, where you can find them?Do you acknowledge Islamic genocides from 622 AD to now?Do you acknowledge that the Quran commanded them?Do you acknowledge that the Quran is bigoted, e.g. take not Christians and Jews for your friends?Also will you respond to other questions put forth by Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch?Will you meet with Spencer and answer his questions about your views on the Quran?Respectfully,Old Atlantic

  • Anonymous bites

    Anonymous:1. It’s clear that you are an all or nothing kind of person. For you, people must either believe everything about a religion or nothing about that religion. So I guess then you believe everything about Christianity … so you must believe that divorce is never an option, stoning adulterers to death is the only way to go, owning slaves is just great, and homosexuals are deviants. Right? Say yes, because apparently, you aren’t allowed to pick and choose.2. “Non-Muslim citizens of countries are not commiting traitorous acts of terrorism aginst their own people and societies in the 21st century.” Really? Does Timothy McVeigh not ring a bell with you? How about Waco?3. A Christian nation is morally so much superior, is it? Who do you think installed the Shah of Iran to rule? Who supported Saddam in the first place? One step removed from killing does not mean absolved.4. The actions of a few do not color the many. Because if it did, then the actions of a few Catholic priests make you, you hateful, racist, disguising-yourself-as-an-intellectual, bigot, a child molester.

  • American

    Anonymous changed his handle to Old Atlantic?

  • Vicki in Maryland

    I was an American traveling abroad in the U.K. in 1995 when I tore a ligament in my ankle while hiking in the Welsh mountains. A very efficient doctor at the local emergency clinic treated me right away, for FREE, and seemed perplexed that I would expect a bill for healthcare services rendered to a foreigner. As one of several million single, self-employed, uninsured Americans, I had no health insurance at all for several years because I could not afford to buy my own policy. It was actually cheaper for me to pay my healthcare expenses as the need arose (and luckily I never had anything more catastrophic happen to me than breaking a bone). Our healthcare system is broken, and if our new congressional leadership has some new ideas on how to fix it, Americans should be open to it. Good luck to Mr. Ellison!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have to change anything ‘American’.Well? Still waiting for the apology about the crusades.

  • American

    Anonymous – I am amazed at your great recall of events and dates although I am concerned about your use of the term “Muslim Crusaders”. If I didn’t now any better I would, again, almost guess that you’re cutting and pasting your drivel from some anti-intellectual fountain of hate. I ask again – please tell us your source for your “information”Ummm, I am listed as American because I am

  • North American Native

    N. American NativeWe are all appreciative of your writing, Congressman. Congratulations on gaining a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. You touched a part of the surface when you addressed a few issues of concern. Thank God for not disclosing your other concerns, which would have allowed, whether welcomed or unwelcomed, more ivy league comments from the experts as listed in the blog.I wish you the best during the upcoming Congressional session. Enjoy the many recesses too!

  • Jae

    I bet you all $5 that Mr. Anonymous (possibly Old Atlantic) considers himself a good, caring, righteous Christian.As others have already pointed, out, Anonymous spends his time criticising somebody else’s religion without taking a look at his own. This behavior reminds me of our Christian politicians, not our Muslim ones.On a health care note, I am 27, have health care, and have cancer. Even with the insurance, I still had to take our loans to cover my expenses. The fact of the matter is that this type of long-term treatment is very expensive, and even with my health coverage I can’t really afford it (grad student). The real question is what makes it so expensive (materials? doctors’ time?) and how to reduce that cost.

  • Anonymous

    —-please tell us your source for your “information”—My brain. Feel free to go back to school and you can learn all about such things yourself.And no…you’re not an American. You just happen to live there, which as we have seen means nothing. Loyalty makes you an American, you obviously have none.

  • American

    Anonymous – You want me to apologize for the Crusades? OK, I apologize for Pope Urban’s selfish Eurocentric decision to invade the Levant and kill everyone in sight. Happy now?

  • Old Atlantic

    quote American:Anonymous changed his handle to Old Atlantic?Posted January 4, 2007 2:55 PM end quoteNo. You can go to my webpage at the link given. You can see my postings at jihadwatch.org and at

  • First

    Derrick: Do you have those on your bookshelf next to “The Hoax of the Moon Landing”, “The Truth about 9/11″, and “How Fidel Castro and the Mob Killed JFK”? If you think some “secret group” is controlling the US government, might I suggest seeing a psychiatrist, as you may be a paranoid schizophrenic.

  • moneim

    Congratulatins! You have proved to be capable and qualified to represent your folks of all walks of life. It is really highly commendable the way you reacted to some ignorant, misinformed and bigoted people. You restrained yourself so gracefully and responsibly. I’m positive that you will prove them wrong.

  • Jae

    I forgot to mention that I was raised by Orthodox Jewish parents, and spent part of my childhood in Israel. I know plenty of Muslims, and the fundamentalists don’t exist because of the religion. In fact, these fundamentalists who choose to kill people because of a religion would do so irregardless of whatever religion they happen to believe in. They are nothing more than tools being made and used by leaders who know that ignorance and a bad economy make people desparate, and more willing to do things that we consider to be abbhorent.For those of you who don’t know, there are also Jewish fundamentalists in Isreal who commit acts of violence against other Jews for being “aligned with the enemy, the Muslims and the so-called Palestinians”. Anywhere where there are people who are willing to work against leaders who hold power due to religion, there will be those leaders’ tools, the fundementalists.If you think that this is a Muslim-only problem, you are sadly deluding yourself.

  • let’s all recall history

    With anonymous posting his long list of conflict in the Muslim/Arab world, I would like for him to go and revisit the history of France and England during the Middle Ages. Note particularly the Inquisition in Spain and in France. Historical bloodshed belongs to us all and should not define us.

  • Derrick

    First.. I served in US Army for 10 years. I am Veteran of the first Gulf War and I worked for the government for six year. I am now a small businesses owner. I hope you open your eyes and see how our government is being manipulated… End of my postings..

  • Anonymous

    —-Historical bloodshed —-The key word there is historical!All that history proves is that WE evolved!But you are too politically correct to see any of this obviously!

  • Rick

    What is ultimately ironic is the continued mantra of “doesn’t anyone remember 9/11?”It was a horrible act perpetrated by horrible people.And yet we’re supposed to follow “the Anonymous plan” for dealing with that threatens our country.No thank you.The world is an awful place, of which, muslim extremists inhabit one part. What really riles me is that this country was faced with nuclear annihilation (in which we would have responded the same) by the Soviet Union. We faced the threat with courage, ingenuity, and diplmacy. Other tactics sometimes succeeded, sometimes failed. We studied our enemy, took his measure, looked at their history. But not once did anyone say we should give up. Since when does the study and understanding of one’s adversary lend to acceptance of them?The one thing I fear is ignorance. Many countries around the world treat their citizens worse than we do. It’s more to do with their culture and norms of a masogynistic society than their religious beliefs. One way to show stength is through compassion. This is commonly confused with lowering our security and letting people in. This is a typical false political choice that is frequently offered by fearmongers.I, for one, long for the day when our leaders ask the best of us and not appeal to the least in us.

  • Anonymous

    American:How amusing!You were still shown up to be ill-informed about something you shout so loudly about though.

  • Rick

    Oops, sorry for the misspelling and grammar, I didn’t check my work… sigh.

  • Anonymous bites

    Remarkable about the oh-so-patriotic Anonymous doesn’t believe in the free exercise of religion.

  • aaron

    Mr. Ellison,Could you please take time to explain the inclusion policies of hate groups like the Nation of Islam that are anti-Semitic?You get a pass because your black and muslim. As a black man, it makes me sick that you and your policies were never scrutinized before you were elected.I also disagreed vehemently with the bigotry showed by Dennis Prager in his column, but that does not excuse the fact that you’ve had membership in a racist organization in the past and that you’re a member of the cult of “multiculturalism uber alles (no conservatives wanted)”

  • First

    Derrick: See a Doctor. I think Gulf War Syndrome also causes paranoia.

  • Bill

    Our family aremedical refugees from the US. My daughter was born with several physical disabilities while I was a graduate student in Canada. We have stayed in Canada, in part, because I could get health care here that I couldn’t in the US. With her problems we couldn’t return to the States to face the medical costs for her “pre-existing conditions.” After several major surgeries which would have bankrupted us in the US, our only hospital bill was for long distance phone calls to relatives in the states. We can select any doctor we want and have waited no longer than we might have in the states. Most Americans assume that Canada has a nationally run system- in fact, health care is admnistered by each province under federal guidelines and with federal funding.

  • American

    Anonymous – You are still hiding – I asked where you are getting your “information” and you cite your brain (sp), your education, your knowledge of history, your long examination of the vile cult known as Islam. C’mon, fess up, is it hatemongers.com? FearandLoathing.org? David Koresh website? I’mascaredycat.edu? FoxNews.com? Old Atlantic – Thanks for your website info. I will read it.

  • Alison Maraillet

    Mr. Ellison – I’m originally from Minnesota but have lived in France for the past 30 years – I married a Frenchman. After years of being vaguely, moderately or immensely embarrassed – depending on the president/governor/senator/representative – I feel that I can finally be proud of someone in American government besides my brother (county commissioner in Big Stone County – Brent Olson).

  • Anonymous

    I am a member of many websites and organisations and use tyhe information on them to spread knowledge. Which is what they are there for.The important thing though is that what I posted is historical fact. Whether people like ‘American’ and his Islam apologist friends like it or not.And I will accept your apology for being so stupidly wrong in not knowing the real history of the crusades.If all the education I have given you fools has not done it’s job then there is no hope.And yes ‘American’ you SHOULD read that site…as it’s aimed at fools like you who help the Jihadist cause with their ignorance.

  • Henry Krinkle

    Canyon Shearer said:The ability to serve your state and not your religion? Surely you would aim that same statement at the Sam Brownback types, right?

  • John Pitblado

    American – see my post above. I found Anonymous’s source website rather easily.

  • Anonymous bites

    Anonymous,Religious fundamentalism of any stripe is what leads to oppression — not the exercise of religion in a calm or restrained way. It’s clear that you have chosen your outlet of hate, and you are just as terrifying and dangerous as those fundamentalist religious zealots you profess to despise. You would just as soon murder them with the excuse that they might murder you first. I’m truly ashamed that you identify yourself an American, because you sully the flag and everything it stands for with your mere presence.

  • American

    John Pitblado – thanks for your info on Anonymous’ web source. So much for his amazing brain (sp).

  • Anonymous

    —-thanks for your info on Anonymous’ web source. So much for his amazing brain —-We use our brains (well some of us do) to gain knowledge from many sources. Be they sites, books or teachers.The facts are the facts though. Feeling foolish? Good.

  • moi

    Kudos to you Mr. Ellison. You have made history and have maintained your dignity despite the senseless and bigoted attacks you have faced. We need more like you in Congress.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous bites:You really are dumb! How many more times?I am NOT an American! I answered the mis-information about me supposedly not allowiung freedom of religion…and if you can’t see the just logic in that reply I despair.

  • Anonymous

    —-We need more like you in Congress.—Yeah…America really needs more hardline Islamists in Congress! Oh boy!

  • Anonymous bites

    THERE IS A GOD! Anonymous is not at American. That’s the best news I’ve had all day. Oh, and let me say again: It’s clear that you have chosen your outlet of hate, and you are just as terrifying and dangerous as those fundamentalist religious zealots you profess to despise.

  • Mohammed Ali

    Why not bring Moqtada al-Sadr and Mahmood Ahmadinejad to Washington !

  • Mark

    This is a nonissue. He was elected to govern- that is a distinctly secular task. There’ll be plenty of time for those inclined to arguement to do so in the eternal ever-after.

  • Anonymous

    Congressman Ellison,I would like to congratulate your victory in the elections and also in fighting ignorance. If a politician wishes to swear on Bible, Quran, or any other religious text that is their right to do so. However, it should be noted that politicians are swearing to uphold the CONSTITUTION and not their religious texts. If Goode wants politicians to be sworn in the “correct” way, then our representatives in DC should swear to uphold the Constitution on a copy of the Constitution of the United States. Once again congratulation and good luck.

  • John Pitblado

    Anonymous – I suspect we have more in common than you think. Nonetheless, the fact that you’ve listed atrocities committed in the name of Islam (and just because they’re “sourced” doesn’t make them so, as sources are always fallible) creates the impression that you think that ONLY Muslims have ever committed atrocities. That creates the appearance of bigotry towards Islam, despite the fact that I suspect you are an atheist (like me) who despises the worst religion has to offer. We could all list atrocities committed by folks from every major religion, and yes, also by atheists. You should have “sourced” your original list, however, so that the community could have evaluated the integrity of the source. That’s a principle of good blogging.

  • Anonymous

    I was born and raised as a muslim. My religion taught me to respect all people of faith. Islam taught me how to be a good human in all aspects of life. Islam taught me to be tolerant, understanding and forgiving. As a muslim, I’m a shamed of those muslim extremists who are committing crimes in the name of Islam just to advance their beliefs and extreme agenda. As a muslim , I’m pround to have some one like Rep. Ellison who is showing a true face of a Muslim who is following his faith by giving and contributing to his society. We need to encourage more muslims,like Mr. Ellison, to be more active in politics in order to change the bad stereotypes against Islam.

  • Mark F.

    Keith Ellison is, of course, from Minnesota, where one of the big issues of the day is the airport taxicab controversy. It seems Muslim cab drivers have decided to refuse service to customers if they suspect those customers have consumed alcohol or are carrying alcohol, claiming it’s “against their religion” to “assist” those people by taking them to their destination. They also refuse to take customers with seeing-eye dogs or handicapped-assist dogs because they claim dog saliva is “unclean” to a Muslim (apparently Muslims never defecate or blow their noses, and Muslim saliva is so clean it’s considered a beverage).Personally, I can’t understand how these people can live in America at all, surrounded by all of us “infidel” Americans. They’re such “holy”, “righteous” folks and we Americans are such a bunch of filthy, alcoholic dog-lovers. They’re also now insisting that the airport and the local shopping malls provide private prayer facilities for Muslims, and that employers give them extra break time every day so they can pray to their Muslim god.So Keith–do us a favor here in Minnesota and explain to your Muslim buddies that if they want to live in America, they ought to live in America. They sure the hell ain’t gonna turn this country into Somalia.

  • jackson

    Man, the prejudice directed towards Mr. Ellison is shocking. The Muslim ranting is to be expected, but to hear fellow Americans say such things about not only another fellow American, but a congressman, is beyond the pale.Prejudice means to PRE JUDGE. Stop doing it.Stop coming to conclusions about how Mr. Ellison is going to conduct himself when, honestly, all most of you know about him is that he is a practicing Muslim.Some joker made a speech back in the day…said something about judging people by the content of their character…maybe you all have heard of him?

  • MSR

    That we have to continue to label others (and ourselves) with our religious beliefs, our sexual orientation, our race, our (fill-in-the-blank) is abhorrent. That Mr. Ellison has endured abuse from his congressional colleagues who swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States on a holy religious book is abhorrent. Those congressmen should be censured or impeached.Nowhere in our National documents is it written that one must swear allegiance with hand on the Christian Bible. A Jew would not be expected take an oath on the New Testament. Why would a Muslim be expected to swear upon a book that has no religious significance to him? Perhaps those who heap the abuse (Rep. Goode in particular) would be wise to read carefully the oath texts which state: “I swear (or affirm)…”. There is no constsitutional requirement to invoke the name of your Creator or to even include a religious text. Simply raise your hand and affirm your oath.And remember that this is NOT a Christian country. We are secular society that accepts ALL religions. We are free to disagree, but not to abuse.

  • Cheryl Barber

    I’m proud to have Representative Ellison as my representative in Congress. I believe Rep. Ellison will be that lost voice, that a lot of us have yearned for since the late Senator Wellstone left us. I’ve heard Representative Ellison speak so eloquently as a MN state representative at house hearings. He’s always been there for the disenfranchised and isn’t afraid to speak out for them. I’m looking forward to having such a compassionate legislator representing me, it will bring me back to the days when the late Senator Wellstone represented our state.

  • Eureka

    Anonymous’s sources of information:My brain. I think we have found the source of the problem…

  • Anonymous bites

    Oh brilliant, Anonymous. You’ve impressed us all with your name-calling, your ability to make snide parenthetical comments, and your extensive use of the term “rubbish. You’ve done a marvelous job of convincing everyone with your articulate arguments cut-and-paste straight from websites all over the Internet (really, attribution of the fall of the West to political correctness was, of course, a stroke of genius. What wit! What analytical ability!). Thank you so much for your “original” contributions, and we look forward to never hearing from you again.

  • fern

    Honorable Representative Ellison,Thank you for your thoughtful post. We can and should debate how to implement your basic vision, but may God grant that your politics of generosity and inclusion grow and prosper.

  • American

    Anonymous – It is interesting that you say how far the mighty America has fallen and how the West has fallen etc. We have our first Muslim Congressman and our first female Speaker of the House – I am proud of America and I think we are stronger than ever. We are just fine thank you! If you feel so very inferior and afraid I suggest you stand up like a man and rub some dirt on it. You peddle fear and hate and you copy dates as if you understand history. You may not realize it but you and your ilk are the enemy of peace loving people everywhere.

  • John Pitblado

    Hey MSR – I agree with your sentiments. I think, however, that each new Congress is actually sworn in with no holy books at all. Rather, the whole debate concerns the use of holy books at a separate “ceremonial” swearing that takes place after the actual swearing.

  • American

    It is great to see free speech allow chumps to spew their filth in the public marketplace. It is re-affirming to see so many cogent and humorous and mature responses to said knuckleheads. Rock on!

  • Nancy Remkus

    We should not be upset that Mr. Ellison wants to be sworn in using the Qu’ran; However, we should be upset about the campaign contributions he recieved from CAIR. CAIR has ties to terrorism.

  • Bruce A. Dembroski

    Mr. Ellison,I often find that those individuals who preach tolerance, understanding, and generousity, areHow generous are you in your personal life? Do you also give of your time, as well as your money?Your pay in Congress is going to put you in the upper 3% of income earners in the country – what are you going to do about that? Or will you earn your pay. Instead of taking from those that earn their way, maybe you should focus on empowering the needy. Why do you assume they will not be able to help themselves Good luck, and let us hope that you are not just another smooth-talking individual, unwilling to put their money where their mouth is, preaching tolerance and inclusion, while acting intolerant and divisive.

  • Rohn Jay Miller

    Rep. Ellison:As one of your constituents in Minneapolis, I can’t express how proud we are to be represented by you in Congress. We believe we can be a nation that welcomes all Americans to opportunity, and you stand in our front ranks as our leader delivering that message.Your grace in coming to Congress shows the dignity and conviction we in Minneapolis want to make our face to the nation, and to the world.God bless–RJM

  • John Pitblado

    Now that myself and others have hijacked the debate to religion, let’s get it centered back on Ellison’s theme in his post: wealth inequity. Let’s now use our profound wits to stoke some generosity such that the poor may become fewer, and the rich may become wealthier in spirit. Peace out.

  • dnA

    The arguments on this board accusing Islam of being responsible for genocide are patently absurd. Nation States made up of people of all races, religions and creeds have been responsible for killing billions throughout history. What about the innocents who died when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? the thousands who have died of leukemia since as a result of the bombs?You cannot hold abstract ideas responsible for the actions of individuals and nations, you can only hold individuals and the governments responsible. Attempting to hold Mr. Ellison responsible for the actions of Muslim individuals across the globe or throughout history is patently absurd. I hope those who would do so have no problem with anyone attempting to hold them responsible for the actions of the Nazis, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, Jim Crow Segregation or any number of atrocities committed by western nations.I am relieved that Mr. Ellison does not share the racist and intolerant views of his most un-American detractors.

  • warchyld

    anonymous, religion can be and is a great evil. not one, but all religions. including your religion of blind anger. religion can be and is a beautiful good. religion in and of itself is not the problem. neither is anger. it’s people who take their beliefs or emotions and use them in an abusive way, to attack others. as a “foolish” Christian, i’m appalled by the way that the religious right in this country perverts the Bible to preach their unique brand of hatriotism. they are more dangerous than muslim fundamentalists because they couch their bile in a message of twisted love. i’m sure that there are muslims who feel the same way about violent fundamentalists within their faith. you keep going on and on about your education yet you fail to debate with anyone. as an educator i subscribe to the theory that education produces students and students are thinkers, who first and foremost realize that they don’t have all the answers.i think that wherever you received your education was a place that failed in it’s attempt to create a thinker. thinkers think, talk and debate, and can agree when others have made points that are more logical than their own. your response is more akin to those who you would label as terrorists – people so devoted to their beliefs that they would spew hatred, vitriol and yes, even kill to uphold their “right” perspective, even when proven wrong.in the interest of saving yourself the embarrassment of proving how ignorant you really are, have a real conversation, or just go away.

  • David

    Dear Congressman, To best serve your country I would ask that you do push for tolerance in all places. As Bill Clinton was the best one to pass welfare cuts and push free trade and Republicans are the best ones to stand up for affirmative action, I ask you to push the leaders in the muslim community to tolerate other points of view. As a leader for tolerance you must be at the forefront of the fight for freedom of the press even when your God is satarized. I look forward to your push for tolerance for the best interest of your and my country.

  • Kavalor

    Sometimes i really wonder about the “taxation is crime” Types. Apparently they think they would earn more completely without taxes. But w/o taxes there would be now laws, no law enforcement, no defense,no education, no health care, no rules. How can an intelligent being believe that he personal would earn more w/o a government. I’m glad to see that someone like Keith Ellison is able to serve in the House of Representatives. Than that shows the freedom and spirit of freedom that America should represent. And i hope that America is able to learn that not all Muslims are bad. In former times Islam was a more advanced and tolerant religion than Christianity but that was until it was crushed under the feet of the Mongols and later the Europeans, who were plain not interested in an advanced and tolerant Islam. It was perceived as a threat. And so it went the way it always does. If you cannot make yourself heard or even if you only think you can’t (like in modern day Europe) Extremism (left,right, religious) seems to be the way to go just to make yourself heard. Unfortunately sometimes the revolution eats its children and extremism is viewed as a state of its own right.

  • VICTORIA

    REP. ELLSISON- I also maintain that my god is not poor. Ive noticed in the many hatemongering posts that no one has any real criticism of your positions on any issues- just the fact that you practice a religion that they hate.Well- people keep stating that Rep. Ellsion they immediately scared the country by implying that there was some undercurrent of anti americanism that they were smart enough to catch-first of all- memebers of congress are sworn in second of all- Rep. Ellison actually had not had intentions one way or the other of swearing in- but after being attacked and challenged and hounded by islamophobic right wingers- he is acting in accordance with his rights to start his congressional career with the blessing he sees fit-what would be the point of him swearing on a bible? to shut up the racists that want to force all americans to convert to christianity?he took alot of heat just for his private worship- i was just talking to my husband the other day about the military industry in america- and how they used to have the soviet union to frighten people into letting all their taxes go to keeping lockheed in business-i observed that the vacuum that occurred when the wall was torn down in berlin needed to be filled-same sneaky corporate thieves- just a different face on the enemy-but thank god- yes i said god- that there is a new congress for the first time in 12 years-I looked up the some stats on the vietnam war the other day-THE RIGHT WING AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY STARTED WWIII!!! Sorry, i know the fundies were eager to see the muslims start it- but now we have nobody to blame but our own apathy in letting the fundiesTomorrow starts the first day of the 110th congress- with the fresh influx of women- people of all faiths- and races- we should look forward to a better representation of the real america-the day of the old white boys network is being challenged and i for one am thrilled.peace to you rep ellison

  • Anonymous

    Ah,… See what happens to a person believing in one intolerant faith is put in the middle of another intolerant faith !Islam preaches to convert everybody on earth (no exceptions) to Islam (Islamic Ummah – the best community, which is the ideal of humanity). Islam teaches to be faithful to the religion first. If a conflict occurs, true faithful should go with religion than nation. Islam does not recognize national boundaries. In addition, non-Ummah societies are anti-thesis of Ummah, and “must” be struggled against until they are islamicized. Can a sincere believer in Islam serve a society or community without “islamicizing” it?Another ridiculous idealogy we see in Virgil Goode and others is that (1) There exists only one God in the entire universe, (2) It is not possible to have a different God, and (3) Keith Ellison worships a different God !Do we need to go through this nonsense?

  • Anonymous

    ok sure, and the book of revelations says that a big sword will come out of jesus mouth and slaughter unbelievers on the day of judgement. Can we possibly expect anyone of the christian faith to serve their community without feeling obligated to bring the end times so all the unbelievers can be slaughtered by jesus?

  • rsg

    “How about taking away the wonderful messages of peace and charity in BOTH books and stop screaching about how black the kettle is?”Thank you for that comment, John P. Because it is REALLY about howe we respond as individuals to our chosen scriptures than any general interpretations of groups of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc.

  • Mark F.

    “As happens sometimes, the person I voted for did not win. You won, so I expect you to represent all of us in the 5th District in Congress. I don’t doubt that that’s what you’ll strive to do.”To Charles White: I heard Ellison say on the radio one day that as a lawmaker, he would never consider supporting legislation that went against his personal moral or religious principles. It was a call-in show, so I phoned the station to ask Keith what he’d do if 70% of the constituents he was supposed to be representing disagreed with his personal or religious moral principles. Do his personal principles override the wishes of the majority of his constituents? They put me in line to ask the question, but I never made it on the air.I have a real big problem with politicians who don’t seem to understand that sometimes doing their job means setting their personal opinions aside and representing the people who voted them into office. Let’s hope Mr. Ellison understands that there’s a vast difference between a representative and a delegate.

  • phuk that anonymous phuk

    talk about xenophobic paranoia! and while it would be nice to debate this a-hole, it suits me more to offer this simple bit of advice straight from the lips of dead-eye dick himself: go phuk yourself, anonymous. and that’s all I have to say ’bout that.:~)face

  • z a t c h

    Hey Jake – As an atheist, I don’t have a dog in this race either, but let’s call a spade a spade and condemn all religions as backwards and not single out Islam. How can you look at the Vatican and not call it medieval?

  • True Freedom

    One side wants to dictate what I can do in my personal life and Mr. Ellison wants to dictate what to dictate how the money I earn is to be spent. Neither choices are appealing. Mr. Ellison equates tax breaks for the “rich” with the minimum wage. It’s all about class warfare, isn’t it, Mr. Ellison? It isn’t government that makes this country great. It’s the people. The founders of this country must be rolling in their graves when they see what you have turned this country into. They wanted it to be the land of opportunity, not the land of social welfare.There’s a big difference between giving a hand up and giving a hand out. Every economist who has a brain will tell you that raising the minimum wage will destroy jobs for lower skilled workers and punishes small businesses. The fastest way for anyone to receive more than the current minimum wage is to improve yourself, not demand it from shortsighted, power-hungry politicians.

  • JW

    I totally oppose a Muslim in the US Congress. I believe that the view of Rep. Goode is correct. Look at the trouble Muslims cause in Europe — and now we are heading that way too.This is not a country in which allah has a role and NO OATH should ever be sworn on other than a Judeo-Christian religious book. The Koran belongs in the Middle East and if Mr. Ellison wants to swear on the Koran then I suggest he move to the Middle East.I hope this Muslim can be defeated for reelection – we don’t want Muslims in COngress.Muslims are an alien presence in the US and we really need to stop allowing them to immigrate to this country — they should be seeking to live in a Middle Eastern Country where their views are those of the mainstream. They simply don’t belong in this country!

  • Anonymous

    “One side wants to dictate what I can do in my personal life and Mr. Ellison wants to dictate what to dictate how the money I earn is to be spent.”Yeah, how dare he? You’d think this was a democracy or something.

  • Johanna

    I shall wait and see what happens…;) Representative Ellison first has to prove himself in Congress.In Britain, most Muslims answered in a survey that they consider themselves Muslims first and British nationals second.”Anonymous” is not so very wrong in his scepticism. I am a sceptic, too.Against all my personal misgivings, hopefully, Representative Ellison leaves his religion out of politics and bases his decisions on what is good for all Americans.

  • Elaine

    As a Medicare recipient for many years, why can’tWithout the multiple insurance papers that must be completed for each individual patient and with different pay for procedures, it is an increasing headache. A universal system, such as Medicare, would be much more efficient, as studies have shown they are far less expensive than the private insurances now administered. Perhaps the new Democratic majority and the public will be ready, finally, to accept the once-disparaged idea of universal medical coverage.

  • Estefan Gargost

    I don’t care what your religion might be. Be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Satan worship, or Atheist. Officials are elected by the people to serve the interests of all. If you can separate your religious views from this task, then your place is in the House of the People.

  • elgrunir

    Thank you, Warchyld, for your perspective. May I add?I lived in Saudi Arabia not that long ago, and some members of the royal family are just as not interested in following the tenets of Islam as Bush and Co. are not interested in following the tenets of Christianity. When princes want alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes, they get them—things which would get anyone else there executed. Gambling? How about the prince who, in one trip to Monaco, blew over $2 BILLION per day? Over here, of course, there are myriad justifications for breaking the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment, among others. For those in power, religion is still a great tool to keep people in line.

  • Anonymous

    So many ironies in this case:A black Muslim fellow wishing toThe said religious book- in which slaveryA religion in which there is no separationWill Sharia’h or The Constitution get

  • Shahid Siddiqui

    Congratulation Mr. Kieth Ellison for thinking about the poor and the needy, sick or healthy. It is the compassion and love of mankind that is the ultimate religion. If the truth is from Torah, The Gospel or Koran it becomes relevant when it opens the gate of mercy for all of God’s creation. The Allah of Koran is called Rab-ul-Aalmeen, the Sustainer of all worlds, and Rab-un-Naas (Sustainer of the mankind), and has never been mentioned as Rab-ul-Muslameen (Sustainer of Muslims (only). The issues of health and poverty are critical for the future of this great nation as the small percentage of very rich can not be comfortable in the company of so many poor people. I wish Mr. Ellison to do good for all and strive to bring a balance in the society.God luck Mr. Ellison

  • Mark F.

    “Mark F: Here’s to hoping the Christians in congress adhere to the same standards you would want for the Muslim!”I agree 100%. I realize it’s a Republic and not a Democracy, but I’d like to think we’re actually being represented by our representatives. I remember during the last presidential campaign, John Kerry was asked about the abortion issue. He said that he was personally opposed to it, but that as an elected official, his personal views weren’t all that important. People really took him to task on that statement. Personally, I admire him for saying it.

  • kate mackay

    Wow, talk about hatred and vitriol spewing from old atlantic and anonymous. For the record, the IRA began because when the British took over Ireland, they imposed edicts against Irish Catholics(kind of like the predjudisim towards them as imigrants to the US)they were not allowed to own land or property, or vote. All of their rights were taken away by the Protesant British. When Ireland at last gained independnce from England, Northern Ireland remained in British control. The oppression continued and that is when the IRA took root. My own Protesant ancesters were persecuted by French Catholics in French controlled areas of Germany. They took the British up on the offer to go settle in the New World, where the French had been kicked out of Acadia(Nova Scotia). Four English ships left the Rhineland and two went to Acadia and two went to the Carolinas. And do we even need to mention the Spanish Inquisition? The Christian religion has been hijacked by intolerant Zealots for centuries, and there is indeed much blood on the hands of Christians, as well as Muslims. And the Sikhs,well their religion has been hijacked and controlled by extremists for a long time, and here in Canada, there have been acts of terror implemented toward fellow Sikhs, moderate and compassionate people who moved to Canada to escape the extremist factions in their home country. How about the incomphrehensible hatred spewed by that Evangelical family that sends hatefilled email to military families who have lost loved ones in Iraq or Afghanistan? They loudly vocalize their views at said military funerals, with a protest march complete with placards. That’s American? I know freedom of speech is fundamental but come on, that is way too EXTREME!!! Timothy McVeigh? Waco? Ruby Ridge? Pat Roberts? The Bible, the Qu ran, the Torah are all wonderful books of faith, but they are just that, books of faith, not fact. Fanatics are fanatics, whatever religion they choose to denigrate and abuse to their own needs. My brother is an evangelical minister and he preaches that ALL are sinners, and that Jesus was inclusive and welcomed everyone, gay, straight, white,black,brown,and that we as Christians should be doing more to help the poor, the downfallen, the disenfranchised, etc… Actually, countries in the western world should take some responsibilty for how easy it was for the muslim extremists to get a grip in the Islamic countries. By supporting and encouraging despots like Sadaam, Shah Pavali of Iran, the Royal house of Saud, etc… the people were ripe for change and for equality, something they mistakenly thought they would get with the Extremists. And when all around you is falling apart, one automatically turns to their religion.

  • ATHEIST

    I like this bit about the politics of inclusion. But, really curious about even one Islamic or Islamic majority state that even pretends to be inclusive or tolerant of other religions. No, I don’t examples of what happened in Muhammad’s time and how jews were ill-treated much lesser and such.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff:The Bible and the Qu’ran are the best possible references, but here’s a synopsis: The New Testament specifically prohibits killing (and even violence against others). Jesus commanded his followers to love their enemies and be merciful to those who hate you. The Old Testament specifically prohibits killing (Sixth Commandment). The Qu’ran allows killing and even commands it under certain circumstances.Every American should read the Qu’ran for themselves.

  • Mary Workman

    A founding principle of America is “Freedom of Religion.” End of story. Every religion can be interpreted as good or evil depending on the biases and references of the interpreter.We MUST change the health care system in America. Instead of comparing new ideas to socialized medicine, lets try something truly NEW. We have to find something. Lets think. Lets create. I find myself sentimental for the days of my childhood. When someone needed a doctor, a doctor was available. Most people after WWII were able to get homes. CEOs took a paternal interest in their workers and wanted to make certain they were cared for. CEOs earned less, but their workers had a better standard of living. Union wasn’t a dirty word. Greed has somehow outweighed decency in the corporate culture of our nation… probably not surprising when the corporations own the networks – but that’s another kettle of fish.It’s pure hypocrisy when politicians cite the bible while making the poor poorer and the rich richer. Mr. Ellison’s argument is clear and effective – and all of the controversy surrounding what he says is hogwash.

  • warchyld

    …and anonymous hasn’t given a decent response to anyone at whom he/she has been railing. again, you show your ignorance by not listening. you are not a perfect being, therefore, you can be wrong. it’s just interesting to me that you have so much to say, but so little sense comes with it. i’m sorry for you as your myopia will blind you and those who listen to you. thanks elgrunir, and i agree with your comment. the question is do we blame the tool when the workman is poor? that’s the thing that fundamentalists like anonymous and co are not understanding (yes you are fundamentalist you pillock). the way that they believe so strongly that they are right, to the detriment of all on these boards and with whom they come in contact, is the same way that those (the violent muslims) who would impose their beliefs on others violently, believe. that’s the travesty of the bigot; they fear/hate what they cannot force to make like themselves, less than themselves, or create in their own image. they change their “justification” for their anger everytime true reason is applied to their complaints. that’s true idiocy, and that’s true evil. and thanks to all those people on these boards who are able to see the sickness in the evil spouted by idiots who believe that their perspective of the world is the only reality that is worthwhile.oh and to all those who are vociferously opposed to Congressman Ellison; at least give the Congressman the chance to fail, if nothing else.only idiots scream about someones unfitness to act when they haven’t even started acting.

  • Johanna

    >Every American should read the Qu’ran for themselves.<"Themselves" is important, not at the persuasion of Muslim missionaries (Muslim converts are especially enthusiastic and active in Da'wa).In Germany, October 3 is the "Day of National Unity" and a holiday. Islamic organisations dedicated that day to "Day of the Open Mosque" as if their were no other Sundays in a year.Since it is easier for Muslims to reach Europe than the United States, we get all kinds of uneducated people, living in parallel universums with big demands. If they do not get what they ask for, they feel victimized/discriminated against. Some organisation must be giving out the word because all claim the same at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s pure hypocrisy when politicians cite the bible while making the poor poorer and the rich richer.”Apparently you’re not a “Prosperity Christian”. You should check into it. It’s the idiot bastard child of American Christianity. Raises hypocrisy and self-delusion to a whole new level.

  • Shiloh, Otter Creek, USA

    To Anonymous and the ilk of fools I recommend the words of Woodrow Wilson:”I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.”

  • Lisa

    It’s hard for the public to get the philosophical demographics of the real muslim world in perspective when nearly all we ever hear or read about in the news focuses on the actions and words of a few extremists – the outliers.If only more Americans could see that the VAST majority of muslims around the world are decent, peaceful people who aren’t out waging war on anybody. They’re as tired of the violence as we are, if not more so. I would no more believe that the relative handful of extremists constantly making headlines accurately represent Islam than I would believe the Ku Klux Klan accurately represents Christianity, however much they may claim to.

  • Mary Workman

    By the way – those of you hung up on religious interpretations – Muslims in most nations believe that “killing” represents “killing” within the self (esoterically vs. exoterically) – i.e., “kill” that desire to kill thy neighbor!!” Most Muslims don’t believe in killing any more than us bible believers believe in “an eye for an eye.”How many of you have cut off your right arm lately?

  • AMERICAN VOTER

    Mr Ellison,You have to remember state run facilities and government bodies are the most inefficient systems in the country. I do not want state sponsored health care. Imagine any hospital being run like a Motor Vehicle Administration office. What a nightmare!Also this country is founded on the principles of self suffiency. Americans are expected to provide for themselves, because we are free people. I am a Christian and it is my duty to give back to society in the name of the Lord. I believe that is everyone’s duty. But be clear, I am 100% opposed to institutionalized giving. The government has no business taxing our people and giving money away. I say to many of the poor in this nation, as my parents did, work hard, be thrift, do not have kids that you can’t pay for and invest in appreciable assests (ie- not cars). I vote to keep America Free. Free from the oppresive government similair to France’s, Canada’s and the topic you discussed above. In the history of this country the attitude of helping your fellow man was taught in church. The government has removed religion from the public square and now people like you want to institutionalize giving. That is not the role of government. Americans don’t need your politics. Good luck, but you will not get my vote with those policies.

  • Eureka

    Atheist – Try Turkey, Albania, Bosnia. To a lesser extent, you can try Morrocco, Malaysia and Indonesia. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been to a Muslim country? Met and conversed with Muslim people?Many people speak as authorities about Islam but apply information learned on radio talk shows or cable TV news. Not many have first hand knowledge of the religion – either in its theory, texts or modern practice. You may or may not be one of those people – and I do not presume to judge.Just as a Unitarian is not the same as a Southern Baptist is not the same as a Mormon is not the same as a Catholic, a Wahhabi is not the same as a Sufi, a Sunni is not the same as a Shiite is not the same as a Druze. Just as Christianity is complex and nuanced, so is Islam. Please go to an Islamic country – just a “starter” Islamic country like Turkey or Albania and see how the religion is practiced. Then branch out and see the entire spectrum of Islam. When you have done that, then please give us your heartfelt impressions – and they will be accorded the weight they deserve.We would not presume to proclaim an Al-Jazeera reporter who spoke no English and had never visited the United States and expert on America. So too with Islam and the Arab world.

  • Chas Christian

    I suggest that we ask the same question of trust that Representative Ellison is being ask to Represntatives Dennis Prager, Roy Moore, and Virgil Goode. We have had 20 years of Republicans trying to ram the Radical Right Christian agenda down our throats. So for Republicans to stand up and spout this bigotry is absurd.

  • Anonymous

    “Most Muslims don’t believe in killing any more than us bible believers believe in “an eye for an eye.”Well then they’re not good Muslims.Terror 3:1518:60Unbelievers 2:191, And slay them wherever ye catch them 2:193, And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression 2:216, Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you 3:28, Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah 5:33, The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;8:12, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off themSura 5:51: O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.Sura 8:13: When thy Lord revealed to the angels, saying, ‘I am with you; so make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Smite them above their necks, and smite off all finger-tips.Sura 9:5: And when the forbidden months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them and take them captive, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent and observe Prayer and pay the Zakaat, then leave their way free. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.Sura 47:4: When you meet the unbelievers in the Jihad strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until War shall lay down herEtcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum…

  • Mary Workman

    American Voter: How will we pay for highways and fire departments?

  • Mary Workman

    i·dol·a·ter or i·dol·a·tor (ī-dŏl’ə-tər) Pronunciation Key

  • elgrunir

    To address the question by Warchyld about blaming the tool when the workman is poor:It depends on the completeness or accuracy of the tool set. I cried and shook my head when I read about “Jesus camps,” where children are more than encouraged to be hateful toward anyone who doesn’t believe as they do (is this really any different than the madrassas?). When people are herded into a mentality (usually by cherry picking) the line between societal and personal accountability can move rather significantly. Still, when someone has the texts or teachings in front of them and they choose to ignore compassion and common sense in favor of exclusion and violence, I’d like to think they need to stand front and center and answer for their bigotry and hate. It seems evident to me that whichever text you choose upon which to base your beliefs, there will always be conflict between kindness and hate. Fundamentalists/literalists of every stripe have yet to satisfactorily answer why they kill when their supposedly sacred texts that are literally the word of their god tell them explicitly in parts of those texts that they shouldn’t. As far as I’m concerned, we all have the power of choice, and if I happen to piss off a god who wants me to be violent, I really don’t care.

  • Anonymous

    “To take the Koran as literal is just as stupid as taking the Bible literally.”Yeah. Unfortunately, a great number of those lunatics do it anyway. And in doing so, they believe flying airplanes into skyscrapers or blowing themselves up in the local market is not only acceptable, but honorable and holy. Personally, I don’t care how stupid it is–Islam is the ONLY major world religion that justifies and even advocates the killing of one’s fellow man. Does it really matter if Osama bin Laden is right or wrong in his interpretation? The Qu’ran is his justification and his reference manual. Islam is not a religion–it is a form of organized crime.

  • Kevin

    Congressman Ellison: It makes me a proud American that you get elected despite your belief in a book that says:I would have voted for you, not because of your religion, but because of most of what you stand for. Your stand concerning the Israel/PAL situation is disappointing. The reality of the political scene is that when it comes to Israel, you have to bury your head in the sand like everybody else. Otherwise, you will not be elected.

  • US bigotry

    I hope Mr. Ellison’s nomination brings to light the prevailing bigotry in everyday America. It amazes me to find most Americans fail to comprehend that Muslims come in all shapes and sizes, not only the flavor sensationalized by a fringe group named Al-Qaeda. For anyone who genuinely researches the topic (and has an open mind), they’ll find a very simple answer; a Muslim is not the same as Al-Qaeda, a Muslim is not the same as terrorist, a Muslim is not the same as jihadist. In America, millions of Muslims are teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and now increasingly, politicians. Let us challenge the hateful prejudice against all and any American denomination.

  • Mary Workman

    Here’s an interesting article on interpretation:From Cairo, Beirut and Tehran, and a dozen other centers of fervent Islamic belief, pioneers of Mr. bin Laden’s kind of jihad — violent, anti- Western, above all anti-American and anti-Israeli — have called him a coward and an enemy of Islam.No example is starker than that of Sheik Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, spiritual leader of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Party of God, for 25 years a scourge of Israel and the United States with its suicide bombings and other terror attacks in Lebanon and Israel. After a 1983 truck bombing of a United States Marine barracks near the Beirut airport killed 241 servicemen, American officials accused Sheik Fadlallah of having ordered the attack, an allegation he returned when he blamed the Central Intelligence Agency for a 1985 car bombing outside his Beirut home that killed 75 people.But Sheik Fadlallah, now 66, has been relentless in his condemnation of the attacks in America.He preaches that they were “not compatible with Shariah law,” the Koranic legal code, nor with the Islamic concept of jihad, and that the perpetrators were not martyrs as Mr. bin Laden has claimed, but “merely suicides,” because they killed innocent civilians, and in a distant land, America. In an interview with a Beirut newspaper, Al Safir, Sheik Fadlallah again accused Mr. bin Laden of having ignored Koranic texts.”There is no concept of jihad as aggressive combat,” he said, quoting verses of the Koran that Islamic theologians have argued over for centuries. In misreading these texts, he said, Mr. bin Laden had relied on “personal psychological needs,” including a “tribal urge for revenge.”An Egyptian-born theologian, Sheik Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, with a history of anti-American militancy even longer than Sheik Fadlallah’s, expresses a similar view. From his base in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, the 75-year-old sheik has issued Islamic fatwas, or decrees, on issues like the need for Muslims to boycott McDonald’s restaurants, and on husbands’ right to beat their wives as long as they do not draw blood.But on the Sept. 11 attacks, he has used language similar to that of Mr. Bush and other American politicians.”Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack on innocent human beings a grave sin,” said. “Even in times of war, Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody save the one who is engaged in face-to-face confrontation with them.”Killing hundreds of helpless civilians,” he added, “is a heinous crime in Islam.”

  • Diana

    It’s sad to see so many bigots and Islamophobes on this forum. To the people who are questioning why Mr Ellison used the Koran, did you ask the same question to other non-Christian members of Congress who didn’t use the Bible?While sadly Mr Ellison is the first muslim elected as a member of Congress, Europe, especially the UK, already has muslim members of parliament.Why does a muslim have to prove that he’s not working with America’s enemies? There are three billion muslims in the world, if they all worked with the enemies, I assure you a lot more westerners would’ve been killed.And why assume that just because he’s a muslim he will destroy America? Did you know that a lot of victims of the Bali bombings, bombings in Iraq and other muslim countries were Muslims?The fundamentalists hate moderate Muslims as much as they hate Westerners, so we’re on the same boat no matter what religion we believe in.And to the people who say that a Muslim has to prioritize his/her religion over his/her country, how about Indonesia? A country with the most muslim population in the world, but with a secular constitution? In the last election, which Western monitors declared as a free and fair one, the big winners were all secular parties, while all Islamic parties put together only received less than 10% of the votes (and most of them are not radical).Yes, Indonesia has problems with a small but violent minority of fundamentalists. But the majority is supporting the government’s efforts to put these people behind bars.And who says no Christian put their religion first? Who bombed abortion clinics? And why is it that every election the most hotly debated topics are abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research, with the people who are opposed to it quoting the Bible? Let fellow Americans do what they want without the Christian Right impose their religion on them.I’m a non practising Muslim, who doesn’t respect muslim clerics anymore than other human beings no matter what their religions are. I don’t wear a veil and I never will. I’m opposed to women being forced to wear a veil, but I respect their decision to do it if they do so on their own free will. But if I was elected as a member of Congress, not only would I use the Koran, but I would also wear a veil on that special day just to upset these bigots.

  • glen

    Well said anonymous. Islam is the ONLY major world religion that justifies and even advocates the killing of the unbeliever. Jesus never did this but, yes, Mohamed did. So read the Bible, and in the New Testament you will find no justification for killing others. Yet, there are references to killing others in Koran and unfortunately the Koran does not have any New Testament. This is the major problem facing any so called moderate Muslim. In the moderate Muslim’s holy book there is nothing that moderates the instructions to kill unbelievers. So to be a moderate Muslim is to say that the Koran does need not be obeyed. That is a conflict that as a Christian I do not face.

  • Reader

    We in America do not do as commanded in either the old or new testament. (We rarely stone those who work on the Sabbath, wear clothes of mixed linen and cotton,stone children who mouth off, or practice spilling their seed. We sure as hell don’t turn the other cheek, love our neighbors as ourself,or give all we have to the poor and follow him. I don’t have great fear that we are going to cut the hands off of thieves or bow five times a day to the southeast.) As to the intolerance of the muslims toward other faiths, yep, they are determined to spread their faith as are the Christians, ever hear of some of the things missionaries have done in the past. Not very nice. At the moment it is the fashion to see Christian missionaries as benificial, kindly spreaders of the word. That hasn’t always been true. Ask american indian children ripped away from their parents,forbidden to practice their faith, Ask the victems of liberating Jerusalem,the cathars, the protestants in catholic lands and catholics in protestant countries. Ask the Jews in most countries. The Muslims do not have sole ownership of religious intolerance, there is enough nastiness to go around. I see no difference in villifications of one faith and villifications of races. Yes I have read the Bible, the Koran, and The Torah as well as commentaries on all of them. After doing that I realized I don’t believe in any of them, if there is a God, I do not think he or she would have written books so internally inconsistent. I think all the books were written by humans.

  • weary

    It gets a little wearying trailing anonymous through the same circular arguments over and over again. The line about the crusades is just silly – the crusaders caused massive damage to eastern orthodox christians which is a little hard to argue is in response to muslim agression. But then that line of reasoning is contradicted by the assertion that traditions (or maybe just Christianity) should not be held to historical acts and claims from long ago, then contradicts that assertion by returning to suras that have violent claims as litmus tests for good/bad muslims.When a muslim practices his faith in a way that contradicts the stereotype, he seems to be either (a) deceitful or (b) a bad muslim. Yet perhaps the practice of millions of american muslims is the most accurate means by which we can understand the faith. The way Congressman Ellison practices it is quite admirable.

  • Mary Workman

    Yup. Thank God we live in a nation where separation of church and state is a founding principle.

  • Larry McFall

    Nice job Anonymous. It’s too bad people are unwilling to listen to you. Your research is accurate in what I’ve scanned. I’ve read the Qur’an completely in three translations. It’s a very boring and repetitive book that constantly uses pronouns without antecedents. I lived in Morocco for 10 years where I personally knew Muslims who had left Islam to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and were imprisoned for their faith. At this time a very tolerant king in Morocco has improved this situation but he’s coming under increasing political pressure from Islamists for his leniency. The Islamists use the same Qur’anic texts that you’re using to say that the King is not a good Muslim. They don’t believe they’re taking anything out of context. I’ve talked with an educated American Caucasian medical dr in an American mosque who was a convert to Islam and he told me that in keeping with Islam and Jihad, it was his goal to replace the US Constitution with Islamic Law. I’ve talked with several American Muslim scholars who have told me that Islamic Law says that the Muslim who apostasizes by leaving Islam to become a Bahai, Jew, Christian, Hindu or anything other than a Muslim is supposed to be killed. The Muslims who are the most tolerant are ignorant of their faith. Let’s hope that Mr Ellison is that type of Muslim.

  • Gaspar

    Every Muslim I have ever known is unfailinglypolite, socialized as they are to keep up agood front, not matter what.As to what may happen in private, God only knows,but I´d hate to find out when they become asignificant minority and take off the mask.

  • Mary Workman

    My last message was mysteriously censored (for the first time.) “To be reviewed by blog owner.” Nothing profane there. I guess Big Brother is watching at the Post.

  • Joe Yohka

    Sadly, many muslims do not preach such tolerance and inclusion. If only that were the case. Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example, are reformist minded muslims that don’t mind telling the truth about standard teaching that one would find in a mosque in this country; intolerance toward non-believers and lack of respect for the constitution of the United States.

  • sami

    In Islam the power to interpret the laws belongs to the Legislature (Ijtihad).What appeals to me about Islam is its universal appeal,its vast diversity,including hundreds of nations and ethinic and linguistic groups.I think that Islam of America will be different than that in the Old world. The Islam of America will be the perfect balance of piety and modesty coupled with American values of tolerance and freedom.

  • Kevin Hartley

    Good words emphasising the importance of tolerance, acceptance, inclusion and generosity. If we put more emphasis on these concepts I think we’d be in a better place. I see in some of the other posts comments that complain about intolerance and exclusion while at the same time appearing, to me, to smack of exactly that, in the same sentences.

  • Howard Evans

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”There are, apparently, a lot of Christian wannabes posting here who have neither bothered to read the syllabus, nor recall the stand on separation of church and state Yeshua espoused when he said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s; render unto God that which is God’s.”Max Ehrmann, clearly related to you by temperment, if not blood, said “Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant – they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. … Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him or her to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.”By their fruits you shall know them.” And so we have come to know you, Congressman Ellison, as the gentleman you are. I note, with some relief, that the majority of posters here believe in public civility and applaud your graceful display of it. I’m sure you will treat the vitriolic minority with the same manners you have already so admirably displayed, just as I am sure that these people see sun and rain only because of God’s grace, not because anything in their sorry lives has earned it.

  • Evolution

    Larry, the ignorant Muslims are the first wave of an evolutionary process. This cycle could be hundreds of years, who knows. But the first wave establishes the cells, has lots of Muslim kids and converts many others. They move the sanitized message out there and leave out any of the more controversial issues in the Quran. A few generations go by and we have lots of Muslims. Eventually, some of them want to know what it really means to be a Muslim. These actually read the Quran, go to the Quranic schools, visit Mecca and are no longer ignorant. They use oil money and other government money from Arab oil rich nations to build more Islamic centers and more Mosques. Finally, we have a significant economic downturn or some other tragic event. Along comes the fundamentalist Muslim leadership and they explain to the faithful that the reason for their bad fortune is because they are not following the true dictates of the Quran. Eventually the moderate Muslims evolve into fundamentalist who, you guessed it, kill and persecute the unbeliever. Why does this happen. Because any belief system will eventually returns to its roots. I agree that Mr. Ellison is ignorant of his faith and that is kind of dangerous, as he misleads many others.

  • Mary Workman

    Hmmm. Again I tried putting up a post of violent acts advocated in the bible (specifically sited) and it wasn’t allowed. Point is, no religious text can be interpreted literally. And this “Big Brother” action, when there’s no profanity or offence, is really too much. Goodbye Post.

  • Anonymous

    Congressman,I find it shocking that people have cricized you for swearing in on the Qu’ran. Did they expect you to swear on the Bible?I am glad that you stood your ground, for if you had been forced to swear on the Bible, that would have been the death of freedom of religion in the United States.

  • American

    Reading these comments makes me nod and shake my dead and laugh and smile and fear. Pretty good work people!

  • American

    From what I have heard and read about our new Congressman he seems like a decent man who hopes to do well and make a difference. I say give the man a chance.You have to admit he has been classy in this incident.

  • James

    CongressmanCongratulations, and THANK your for your courage, compassion, and eloquence.It is a culturally rich and complicated choice for you to be sworn in on Slave Owner Jefferson’s Koran.It should be a Learning Opportunity for all of us Americans – thanks for having the sensibility and sense of cultural richness to teach the complications of modern American Life.Good luck, and Best Wishes!!!!

  • James

    CongressmanCongratulations, and THANK your for your courage, compassion, and eloquence.It is a culturally rich and complicated choice for you to be sworn in on Slave Owner Jefferson’s Koran.It should be a Learning Opportunity for all of us Americans – thanks for having the sensibility and sense of cultural richness to teach the complications of modern American Life.Good luck, and Best Wishes!!!!

  • Jim

    MORE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST NON-BELIEVERS !!The REAL swearing in by the Speaker of the House should not use any instrument except THE CONSTITUTION and SHOULD NOT INCLUDE THE PHRASE *SO HELP YOU GOD*After that, and outside any official Government ceremony, members should be able to swear on anything they want.THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH *GOD* AND STATE SHOULD BE RESPECTED AND DISCRIMINATION THROUGH THE ISOLATION OF NON BELIEVERS SHOULD STOP

  • JIMBO

    ABOUT CANADIAN HEALTHCARE ..I am a 59 year old Canadian and have had to use the Health Care system on many occassions including the prolonged illness of my first born son who eventually succumbed to Cancer.I have lived in two different Provinces, I was a parent to 8 different children through two marriages and:I have never waited more than 30 minutes to see a doctor in an emergency; never waited more than 7 days for a routine Dr appointment, never waited more than 12 hours for important surgery (on my son) or 3 hours for urgent surgery on another son; and never had to pay more than $60 a month for full family health care coverage. And I have always been able to choose my own doctor.

  • Burglarized Whistleblower

    Amen.

  • Mohamed Ghabour

    I am a physician in the richest nation on earth. It pains me to know that we borrowed 400 Billion dollars to invade Iraq as a priority, while for years, we did not put our mind to affording healthcare to 15% of our fellow American citizens. Your course keith is the course that could be stayed. You congress people, for the people, afford every one health care, raise people above poverty level, and then give yourselves all the salary increase you want.

  • Ali Khan

    ———————————————————————————-Population Number: 61,207,914—————-Population Number: 15,851,756————————–Population Number: 8,367,631—————————-Population Number: 5,000,000—————- Population Number: 7,000.000———————————- Population Number: 34,410,418—————— Population Number: 32,704,116————* As per 2001** 107th Congress: 2000 ** Harris poll 2000: Population Percent ** Religious Population and Representation: Americans for Religious Liberty ** Congress Remains Almost 90% White ** Muslim Population According to CAIR.: 7 Million ** There are no Buddhists, Hindus or Muslims in Congress ** Jewish Senators: (10 — 1 Republican, 9 Democrats) Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Paul Wellstone (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR)

  • Elizabeth Armstrong

    First of all, congratulations to Congressman Ellison, who appears to be a man of tremendous grace and civility. As a graduate of the University of Virginia, I must admit it especially pleased me that you chose to use Mr Jefferson’s Qu’ran at your swearing in!In response to the comment of Jake (much earlier!) who complained that according to Islam, a man must be a Muslim first, and then a man, etc.: so what is your point? I believe Christians are expected to act, first and foremost, as Christians–not as, say, Americans or Canadians or Spaniards or Serbs or whatever. And, in case you’re not sure how Christians are, universally, expected to act (and don’t wish to spend several hours reading the gospels), Howard Evans’ post might offer you some clues . . . . As one who tries (with uneven success) to be a Christian, I am horrified by the vitriol spewed here by others who claim to be followers of Jesus . . . .

  • Michael Oliver

    America and the rest of Western Civilization are about as tolerant as human societies are likely to ever get. I know Keith Ellison has little influence over them, but perhaps he could speak out about the intolerance that emanates from every Muslim controlled society on Earth, towards women, gays, non-Muslims, you name it. To criticize tolerant America while ignoring the glaring intolerance of the Muslim world, Mr. Ellison is guilty of a glaring hypocrisy, to say the least.

  • American Muslim

    While I still get mildly annoyed when I read hateful messages regarding my religion, I now feel mainly sorry for those who write them. If you believe that we Muslims – making up 1/5 of the global population (with less than 15% of us living in the Arab world by the way) – are all out to get you, you must live in real fear. I hope you get over it before it consumes you completely.I am disturbed by the victim mentatlity of certain religious communities – I find that both my fellow-Muslims and Jews in particular are the two faith communities that most talk about ourselves as victims and I think when we do that we become too ready to blame others for our collective plights But this is a far cry from feeling like I need to apologize for violent people who claim to believe in the same faith I do – any more than I expect others to take repsonsibilities for the fanatics in their ideological or religious communities. You take responsibility for yourself and, to a lesser extent, for those whose actions you can influence positively. I doubt any of us is really close enough to the fanatics in their communities to really change their behavior and those of us who are on this blog sound as if we buy what the fanatics are preaching.Someone asked for sources on Islam that provide a different and more soundly researched view than what some are espousing here. I suggest to you any of the books written by John Esposito, Karen Armstrong (both devout Catholics), Seyed Hossein Nasr (slightly more dense to read than the others), or, for a compendium review of major faith traditions, the World Religions review by Huston Smith. Re: Muslims in America, the latest book by former Chicago Tribune Religion Editor Geneive Abdo titled “Mecca and Main Street” is informative and easy to read.As for Ellison, I like any politician who talks with conviction about the income gaps in this country. There are different approaches to take on the issue and Republicans and Democrats tend to pursue different approaches, but I for one am glad to see secularists as well as the religiously devout (including several of the more politically-influential evangelical churches in the U.S.) focusing more attention on working across political and ideological differences to fight poverty, AIDS, and to try to expand healthcare coverage rather than staying focusing almost exclusively on hot-button issues that get framed in completely polarizing ways – i.e. abortion, gun control, etc. I see this constructive move on both sides of the aisle and from diverse ideological perspectives and I am happy with it. I hope we reward such representatives by re-electing them when their current terms come to an end.Peace to you all.

  • Charles

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HIS KORANIC SITING ARE GROSSLY TOTAL FABRICATIONS JUST PICK UP ANY KORAN..THEY ARE ALL THE SAME THE KORAN HAS NO ALTERNATE TESTMENTS. YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYTHING HE IS PRINTING.THE TIME LINE HE HAS LIST IS INCREADIBLY FALSE, SO MUCH SO IT IS AS HE MADE IT UP ON THE SPOT..NO WONDER HES ANONYMOUS!!!

  • American Muslim

    The phrase “so help you God” at the end of the sweaaring in ceremony for the Presidency was not in the original text that George Washington read from – he added it on his own.References to God may be troubling to people who fear that religion is inherently intolerant, but the Founding Fathers of this country almost universally appealed to and referenced God and divine Providence without using more explicitly sectarian language like “Jesus said” or “the Bible says” etc. I think they were rightfully careful on this point and I think Ellison, Lieberman, and other religious representatives who invoke religious principles in some of their speeches are following that tradition well.I think the explicit call to morality in this country by political leaders is a positive thing (as long as they practice what they say!) as long as they do not try to make their religion the religion of the land or try to use the offices and funds of government to prosthelytize for a specific faith.Peace.

  • VICTORIA

    I heard on c-span today that there is a buddhist in the senate and a buddhist in the house-IM ASKING BECAUSE I DONT KNOW-WHAT DO CHRISTIANS HAVE ALLEGIANCE TO FIRST?just curious not wanting to start a warwould any christians care to respond?

  • Ugly Truth.

    >>>>>TO: ANONYMOUS…forget prehistory all outright modern campaigns of human ethinic cleasing were fostered and engineered in Europe by Chirstians…from Stalin, the Holocaust, Bosnia to Kosovo on Christian grounds in front of the eyes of Christian Europe and they did nothing in THIS modern day and age. No Muslim nation or people have done this. So NO ONE can talk about any direction that Islam is headed when the world of the followers of Christ (I am being polar in my approach as to ANONYMOUS’ persception of Islam and apply it to Christianity) are advacing toward raw ethnic hate and acting on it. Their priests as personalities of refuge pray on young boys and have been doing so for who knows how long. It was the followers of Christ who with no mercy for humanity looked below to Hiroshima and Nagosaki and drop a bomb targeting NO MILITARY TARGET BUT EXCLUSIVELY CIVILIANS INNOCENT CIVILIANS THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF THEM. This was and official government sponsored plan to kill masses of innocent humans by intent and execution!! What Islamic nation has done anything like this.. And now we all cry and all hell breaks loose cuz some rag head killed 6K in 9/11 of which Muslims were also killed?? It is the Christians who enslaved the humans of darker skin color, humans with two arms, legs, ears and eyes just like them but their skin was of darker color. It is the followers of Christ who oppress women, young women at first in showing their bodies and leading them to porn, it is in Christ following counties in which porn is one of largest and fastest growing industries. It is in lands of Christ that proliferated rampant drug use, violent street crime, massive massive levels of greed cheating stealing from the pockets of the innocents in the largestg cased of Corporate malfeasance known to man!!!!! Youre a joke!!!

  • A new Annonymous

    To the guy that said that swearing on the Kuran was off-putting to him: swearing on the bible is equally off-putting to the rest of us, but we don’t complain.

  • American Muslim

    To Victoria:I am not a Christian as you can see from my name, but I certainly hope that Christians have as their first loyalty their faith just as I hope that secularists have as their first loyalty whatever it means to them to be a moral and ethical person, because the fact is that no one’s “country” (as acted out in what government leaders do and what a country’s policies are) is always correct or always acts morally. it seems to me that a moral citizenry – whether deriving those morals from their various faiths or from other sources of morality – is what urges their representatives to act morally. I would think we’ve all had times when we’ve been very proud of how our country and our leaders have acted and at times very ashamed. I would hope that enough of us retain the ability to judge what is right and wrong independent of what our political leaders say and I am more trusting frankly of people from other religious and ethical traditions who view their responsibilities as citizens this way than I am of co-religionists who allow themselves to get swept up into frenzied unthinking patriotism even when the actions of our government warrant just the opposite – self-critique and change through political advocacy and elections.Anyway, I know I am not the source you are seeking, but you hit on something that I think is important.Peace.

  • Todd R.

    Where is the troll flush button?

  • fern

    The enemy is not members of one religion or another but those who are motivated by hatred and fear; those who would separate religions, races, sexes based on artificial barriers and distinctions. Those whose real religion is hatred and fear have no place in the new world that is taking shape. I choose to be on the side of those who look at another person and say “you are my brother or sister”. So I say to one and all:To the Jew: Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Ehad.To the Christian: The Lord is my Shepherd…To the Muslim: Allah Hu Akbar.To the atheist: May the light of reason lead you to the truth.To the Buddhist: May compassion and loving kindness for all sentient creatures light your way.To the Hindu: Hari Krishna. Hari Rama.

  • Warp10

    Great article, sir.Your point is that the US squanders so much wealth — it really has plenty — if used wisely and efficiently — to share with its poor on healthcare.I agree wholeheartedly. (My tax bracket is supposed to make me a Republican, but I could never be that greedy.)Still:We need to be thinking globally: Should we not think about the world’s poor– not just the US’s poor?That does not mean I disagree with anything you said — I am just taking it to the next level.(PS. Enjoyed the article in the WP about you using an old copy of the Koran once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It was a clever way to disarm some Christian fundies…)Again, thanks. (PS. I am an atheist. Don’t forget us. Actually I am just happy if you don’t attack us… Smile.)

  • Sandra

    Dear Mr. Ellison,

  • sandra

    For all of you who still believe that Muslims have not spoken out against terrorism please take a moment and google just three words: Have blessed day!

  • Wondering

    this is beginning of the end of America folks. dont fool urself. today america has officially become a client state of the rats in Saudi Arabia.

  • Amro Khalifa

    Dear Anonymous: I hope we all engage in a productive conversation that benefits all Americans. And I hope that all Muslim Americans appreciate the freedom and democracy that allowed them to practice their religion freely in the land of freedom. Having said that, allow me to shed the light on some of the Suras you mentioned.2: 191That verse came down for a specific incident that took place more than 1400 years ago. Muslims were forced into exile from Mecca, after they were persecuted, tortured, and oppressed. All that because they wanted to practice their religion freely. And before that –out of context– verse, God says “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but don’t transgress limits; For God loveth not transgressors”. Usama, for example, and his gang are transgressors, and God does not love transgressors. 2: 193This is also directed toward early Muslims who were persecuted by Meccans more than 1400 years ago. God says in this verse, fight them(The Meccans) until there is “JUSTICE” (Until they, for example, stopped the despicable act of burying infants girls because they thought girls brought shame to their families) The Qur’an, a gender neutral book, came to protect women’s rights after all. Also, in 2: 193, God says “But if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression”. After these verses were revealed Prophet Muhammad signed a peace treaty with the Meccans, despite the disagreement of many Muslims who felt they can take on the Meccans once and for all, but the Prophet ( who was ordered by God)didn’t come to fight; he came to spread the word of God and establish justice. He was willing to do anything to stop the fighting. And after the Meccans broke the treaty(lasted 10 years), Prophet Muhammad returned to Meccan with the Muslims and took control of the village without a fight and forgave all those ( Yes, non-believers) who persecuted the Muslims. He followed the foot steps of Jesus. Muslims can’t deny that fighting is prescribed on them as the last resort or for self defense “ Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you” but under very strict conditions. Muslims can’t have use nuclear weapons for example. Muslims are also forbidden from destroying the environment or targeting children, women, the elders, innocent people and committing suicides. Having said that, peace, and tranquility is more important to Islam than anything else, and they override any other priorities. Human life is precious in Islam as it is in our constitution.I don’t blame you for relying on out of context verses or inaccurate translations of the Quran; after all interpreting the Quran requires a lot of effort and only few of those who are well versed in the Arabic language and Islamic history can accomplish just that. This is why a lot of young kids in the Islamic world are going astray and adopting evil ideology, because they don’t understand their holy book. The soul and the purpose of Islam are what guide one’s effort to interpret the Qur’an. The soul of Islam is peace and Justice and it is purpose is to live a pious life and go back to the almighty as pure as you can be. 5: 51I strongly disagree with the inaccurate translation you provided here, and I suggest you read what came after it:5:69 “Those who believe (in the Qur’an) those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians, and the Christians, and who believe in God and the last day, and work righteousness, on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve”And in another Sura3: 113 “Not all of them are alike: of the people of the book(Jews and Christians and others) are a portion that stand (for the right); they rehearse the signs of God all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration” And3: 199 “And there are, certainly, Among the people of the book those who believe in God, In the revelation to you, And in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God: they will not sell the signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account”Finally, all Muslims and non-Muslims should read this verse to understand Islam better: 10: 99 “ If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed, wilt thou then compel mankind against their will to believe”God explaining to Prophet Muhammad that he can’t force the message on others. Therefore, Muslims are not out there to force their faith on others under any circumstances. Please, don’t believe who says otherwise. Islam is peace and nothing but peace.

  • Jai Khosla

    I have two questions for Mr. Ellison.1) Saudi Arabia practises an Islamic form of religious apartheid by banning all non-Muslims from entering Mecca and Medina. Also non-Muslim worship and the building of non-Muslim places of worship are also banned in Saudi Arabia. Muslims silentlly support this apartheid by doing the annual hajj. Will Mr. Ellison support international pressure on Saudi Arabia to allow full freedom of worship including the freedom to build churches, synagogues, temples etc in Mecca and Medina and the freedom to proseletyze about non-Muslim faiths? And until Saudi Arabia does so will Mr. Ellison urge and support a boycott of the hajj by all Muslims? The money saved, some 10 billion dollars a year, is better spent on education for poor Muslims.2) Will Mr. Ellison launch a campaign against some of the evil practices in the Muslim world such as marriage of female children to old Muslim men and polygamy. Muslims justify such abuse of women and children by citing prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle. He had children as wives or as concubines as young as six when he was in his fifties and is reported to have as many as 12 wives simultaneously. The Koran allows four wives at a time and does not prohibit child marriage.

  • Chris

    Awesome, Keith!

  • Jai Khosla

    mr. KhalifaIslam is not a peaceful religion. Muhammad was not a peaceful man. His masscare for example of 800 male Jews of the Banu Qurayza tribe including 12 year old boys who had just sprouted pubic hair and the assasination he ordered of Asma bint Marwan, a poetess who criticized him, are not examples of a peacful prophet. Marwan was killed while she was sleeping with her children. Also again and again the Koran orders killing non-Muslims. Muhammad called them unbelievers in the Koran. Also Muhammad’s preference for sexual relationships with children were instances of sexual violence against children. When he had sex with his child wife Aisha she was only 9. He was 56. Had he done it in the USA today he would be jailed for statutory rape.You cannot fit a round peg in a square hole. Islam has no choice but to reform itself. the first step is admitting that Islam is of human origin and is a flawed faith.

  • Amro

    One more thing, let us not allow few evil doers create distrust between Muslims and non-Muslims. These terrorist, who don’t represent the message of Islam, will be gone one day and what will be left is the true message of Islam that celebrates co-existence and harmony between people regardless of their faith. Let us take advantage of the blessed life enjoy here in the States and show the world an example of how Americans get long regardless of their beliefs. I’ am proud to be an American and a Muslim and good luck Congressman Ellison.

  • Jai Khosla

    Amro KhalifaMuhammad’s killing of innocent Jews and women like Asma bint Marwan , all of whom were unarmed, are proof that he was a terrorist. Bin Laden is merely being a faithful Muslim when he emulates Muhammad.

  • aziz

    How misguided you americans are.Anyone can interpret any religious text to mean what they want.Islam does not preach hate just as the bible does not preach hate. Evil people see what they will to justify their actions and encouraged the uneducated illiterate.I have seen jihadist fundamenlists and they say the same sort of hate in the same manner as the ignorant bloggers on this forum.I think the US has lost itself in hatred and ignorance. A democracy must protect its public No one is perfect, no person follows their religion perfectly. Stop seeing the actions a very very few and representing 1.4 billions. To think otherwise is plain stupid.The islamic world is not homogenous either! There many views and interpretations.P.S. taking quotes from the quran out context is a pathetic attempt to muster hatred which i hope people can see past.

  • Amro

    Mr. Khosla:I’ am not sure of the source of your information regarding this massacre and also Asma’s story. Many people mocked, and criticized Prophet Muhammad during his life and he never did anything. And if he was a live when the Danish made fun of him in the infamous cartoons, we would have smiled and let it go. That was Muhammad I respect and I know. Obviously, It is hard to change misconceptions, but let me tell you this, if the Qur’an said that a Muslim should kill the non believers–not to mentioned the people of the book, Christians and Jews– then this is not the Quran I believe in or the religion I know. there is nothing to reform in the Qur’an but there is a lot to be reformed in the Islamic institutions and teachings. As for Aisha, the mother of the believers, who tough all Muslim how to practice Islam because she had access to the Prophet’s private life(unlike anybody else), she married the Prophet after she reached puberty not 9. Plus you are talking about societies that existed more than 1400 years ago; different traditions and cultures. We have matured now and Muslims and non Muslims don’t accept that to happen, and there nothing in Islam that says otherwise. Islam is for whatever benefits human beings and purify and civilize them. And almost all the Prophet’s marriages were for a purpose it was not for sexual desires. I wish Muslim scholars were active in explaining these difficult issues to people and to Muslims themselves; unfortunately they are not. One more thing, Prophet Muhammad himself refused to allow his daughter to marry from someone who had another wife. That tells you that after women take their righteous place in societies in the Islamic world the tradition of Polygamy can be stopped because strong women would not allow that to happened, and they have the Prophet approval.

  • jai Khosla

    The source for Muhammad’s killing of innocent Jews and of Marwan are the first biographies such as Sirat Rasoolallah by Ibn Ishaq and biography by Tabari. Please get a copy of Sirat Rasulallah from the library and read for yourself. the book will also tell you how Muhamamd robbed caravans.Muhamamd also stole his daughetr-in-law from his son Zaid and the proof is there in the Koran, sura 33.The proof of Muhammad raping children is in the hadiths. A child might reach puberty but she is not ready for sex at the age of nine, especially with a 56 year old gizzard who made false claims about being a prophet of the arabic god Allah.Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3310: Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64 Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65 Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88

  • Jai Khosla

    This hadith from Sahih Muslim is more evidence that Muhammad did not hesitate to kill even children.Book 38, Number 4390: Sunan Abu-DawoodNarrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

  • Jai Khosla

    From Sirat Rasulallah by Ibn Ishaq(Rescension by Ibn Hisham, translated by Guillaume). Described how Muhammad massacred the Jews.Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, ‘Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!’ This went on until the apostle made an end of them. Huyayy was brought out wearing a flowered robe in which he had made holes about the size of the finger-tips in every part so that it should not be taken from him as spoil, with his hands bound to his neck by a rope. When he saw the apostle he said, ‘By God, I do not blame myself for opposing you, but he who forsakes God will be forsaken.’ Then he went to the men and said, ‘God’s command is right. A book and a decree, and massacre have been written against the Sons of Israel.’ Then he sat down and his head was struck off. [Sirat, page 464]

  • victoria

    stay off of that site jai-

  • AAQ

    This is in response to Evolution’s post on January 4, 2007, at 8:27 PM …If that is true, why the fundamentalist Muslims ruled Spain for eight hundred years and had left a lot of Christians alive to perpetrate inquisition in the waning years of 15th century?

  • TSB

    As a Christian I am personally appalled at all the hateful words written about Islam on this page. In case you’ve forgotten your history, Christianity also had it’s dark period. For hundreds of years my faith was exploited for political and commercial gain. In case you’ve forgotten, people were massacred, enslaved, etc, and Christianity was used as a means to justify these actions. Islam is now being used my many people who at the heart of things are simply concerned about consolidating their power – this period will eventually come to a close.In the interim, we as a nation have got to get past these constant hateful, self-destructive, bigoted ideas and behaviors. We have never been strong as a nation when we were divided. Hopefully, we will start to use common sense and reason rather than fear and close-mindedness to drive solutions to our most pressing problems.Given what Mr Ellison has demostrated and promised thus far, I believe he will serve our country well. I wish him the best as he starts his term.

  • Ali Khan

    —————————————————————————————————-There are plenty of Muslims as well as Muslim organizations who have apologized, around the globe, over and over again for the crimes which were committed by some lunatics like Osama and Co. Apparently, those people who continue to demand more “apologies” from the Muslims, here and elsewhere, are diseased by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and in the habit of playing “Tag, You are it” type of games with the Muslims.Lets turn the tables here for a second and talk about White Christian Terrorism, which has been documented throughout the history, and demand some apologies from these BPD diseased “we-do-no-wrong” “Christians.”To learn about White Christian Terrorism, all one needs to do is to look at today’s World Map to see how many countries speak Spanish, Portuguese, English, Dutch or French. White Christians Terrorists killed MILLIONS of people around the globe in the name of Jesus Christ. Hiding behind Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Noble Prizes .etc or castigating 1.2 billion Muslims as “terrorists” is not going to whitewash White Christian Terrorists’ own dark past which is full of crimes against Humanity, genocide and holocausts which should be listed, documented, reiterated not only over here but also on other places as well. If mainstream media, which includes the Washington Post, doesn’t report today’s incidents of White Christian Terrorism, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. White Christian Terrorism is not only alive and well but also has become even more sophisticated and deliberate.As far as Islam’s tolerance towards others is concerned, had Muslim Rulers of India, who ruled over India for centuries, orchestrated any inquisition on the scale of ‘Spanish Inquisition,’ India would have been the largest Muslim country on this planet earth. Indeed, today’s India is one of the shining examples of Islam’s tolerance.Alas! Samuel P. Huntington, who coined the term of “clash of civilizations, correctly diagnosed when he prescribed about the predicament of these “Westerners,” “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”At the end of the day, it is all about having somebody at the end of the barrel of the gun of racism and xenophobia. There has been Irish, Italians, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, African-Americans, Hispanics and others before at the end of the very same barrel on which you find Muslims nowadays.No matter how hard Muslims try to avoid, they will have to stay at the end of this barrel till it finds its next target.

  • abdullah rasheed

    I gave this great nation 3 years of military service while at the same time practicing AL-ISLAM, like so many others before and after me. I have yet to read or be shown in the constitution of these Unites States where it says freedom of religion except if you are a Muslim. In our country Americans take pride in stating that we have religious freedom, yet when it comes to those we disagree with that part of the constitution is conviently over looked. I say to people often, that ” I Love America the Beautiful, but America the Ugly needs a facelift,and a heart transplants.” Though the Declaration of Independence, in its preamble states that “We hold these truths that ALL men are created equal, and have been endowed with certain inalienable rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yet African Americans were enslaved in this so-called Christian nation for nearly 300 years, followed by another 100 years of LYNCHINGs, which many were often made public with mobs of family members partying, And an apartheid system called JIM CROW. There is a record of one slave saying; ” you look like G-d in your face, but the devil in your heart.” And it was reported that the great freedom fighter in the abolitionist movement who was also an ex-slave Frederick Douglas said; ” you look like G-d in your face but your actions are such that would shame a nation of savages.” So again America has a history of show two different, or totally opposite faces. Now we in America have the opportunity to live up the Best in our constitution. No one else in America is being questioned about their religious afiliation when elected to office, Nor should the Muslim be either. African Americans were not terrorized by Muslims in America, Those who Lynched our people and burnt crosses on our lawns and bombed our Churches were not Muslims. The many crimes we see in the media on a daily bases are not Muslims. Just as there are bad and misguided Christians that have committed horrendous crimes against Humanity, you find the same among Muslims. But just as we don’t define Christianity by those who commit those horrific acts, we can’t define Islam by them either.see websites; http://www.newafricaradio.comand http://www.islamicvoiceofamerica.com

  • Jai Khosla

    Ali KhanIslamic rule in India was no less harsh than Hitler’s treatment of the Jews .There has been too much of talk about the “divide and rule” policy of the British Raj where British administrators had created division between Hindus and the Muslims during their rule in India. An overwhelming majority of the sub-continent people believe this policy to be the root cause of communal troubles that we witness in India today. There is a deeply entrenched belief that the concept of religious intolerance between the Hindus and the Muslims was totally absent in India until the British devised this malevolent scheme to keep the Hindus and Muslims engaged in fighting each other. Many people in the sub-continent believe that this was a clever ploy so that they (the British) could continue to rule India while the people remained divided over religious disharmony. There cannot be any bigger untruth than the assertion that religious intolerance never existed in Indian soil until the British invented it. The truth is that religious tolerance and harmony hardly ever existed in the sub-continent throughout the centuries of Islamic rule. Destruction of temples, oppression and forced conversion of the Hindus, especially around the urban areas all over India, were common phenomenon during the Islamic rule. The Bahmani sultans in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 Hindus a year. In 1399, Teimur killed 100,000 Hindus IN A SINGLE DAY, and many more on other occasions [Negationism in India]. Even during the late period of the Islamic domination of India, Emperor Aurangzeb (rule 1658-1707) re-imposed the “religion tax or Jiziya” on the Hindus and other people of indigenous religions. Aurangzeb was a champion destroyer of Hindu temples. Amongst the famous temples he destroyed were: the Kashi Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism, Krishna’s birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujurat, the Vishnu temple, overlooking Benares that was replaced with the Alamgir mosque (Alamgir is another name of Aurangzeb), and the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. Aurangzeb’s own official chronicles have recorded mind-blowing figures of temple destruction. Aurangzeb had ordered his provincial governors to destroy all schools and temples of the pagans and to make a complete end to all pagan teachings and practices. The Aurangzeb’s chronicle sums up the temple destructions as follows:”Hasan Ali Khan came and said that 172 temples in the area had been destroyed… His majesty went to Chittor and 63 temples were destroyed. Abu Tarab, appointed to destroy the idol-temples of Amber, reported that 66 temples had been razed to the ground..”Aurangzeb did not stop at destroying temples only, their users were also often wiped out; even his own brother, Dara Shikoh, was executed for taking an interest in Hindu religion. The Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Singh was beheaded because he objected to Aurangzeb’s forced conversions. Even during the rule of Mohammad Shah after Aurangzeb’s death, Persian ruler Nadir Shah invaded of India (1738-39) and killed an estimated 200,000 people in Northern India alongside plundering and looting.The Islamic assault on India started in the early 8th century, on the order of Hajjaj, the ruler of present-day Iraq. Starting in 712 the raiders, commanded by Muhammad bin Qasim, demolished temples, shattered sculptures, plundered palaces and killed vast numbers of men. It took three whole days to slaughter the inhabitants of the city of Debal followed by taking their women and children to slavery, including the taking of young women as sex slaves. After the initial wave of violence, however, bin Qasim tried to establish law and order in the newly-conquered lands, and to that end he even allowed some degree of religious tolerance. But upon hearing of such humane practices (contrary to the Koranic doctrine), his superior, Hajjaj from Baghdad objected, writing:”It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion between a friend and a foe. The great God says in the Koran [47.4]: “0 True believers, when you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads.” The above command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man.”

  • Jai Khosla

    Ali KhanThere is a strong argument that talking about such forgotten tragedies may ignite the victims, namely the Hindus in India, into violent actions. Yet, these are the fact recorded proudly by the Islamic historians and rulers of India and available in original form in libraries around the world and a section of the Hindus in India are becoming aware of these tragic facts and a section of those informed Hindus are forming those radical Hindu organizations such as RSS, Kar Sevaks and VHP etc. who are seeking revenge by trying to rebuild their destroyed temples at the site of now-standing mosques. Why these people are turning violent once they get to learn about those hushed-up tragedies? It should also be recognized that highly educated and rich Hindus, such as members of the VHP, are funding these militant Hindu organizations. But why? The answer is simple. Those atrocities were terrible and heart-rending and when Hindus suddenly get to find out what has happened to their ancestors centuries ago, they feel shocked, they feel indignation against Muslims and they want revenge in whatsoever way that might be.However, recognition of those terrible tragedies that fell on the Hindus of India after Islamic invasion and during the Islamic rule is likely to go a long way in pacifying indignant section of Hindus. An apology from Muslims would advance that cause immensely. There is a good deal of angst amongst Muslims against the Hindus because of the Hindu Zamindars’ (landowners)oppressive and harsh activities in the days of the British rule. But the harshness caused by the Hindu Zamindars to Muslims is ignorable if compared to what happened to the Hindus in the days of Islamic invasion and rule of India. The Zamindars were harsh on the Hindu subjects as well – thanks to the British. However if Muslims can recognize the atrocities caused by the Islamic invaders and rulers on the Hindus, their own indignation against the Hindus vis-à-vis the Zamindari activities would surely be reduced, which can help strengthen relationship between both communities. Yet the facts about the Islamic atrocities, unrivalled in the history of India, are coming out into the public domain anyway – thanks to the historical details left by the Muslims historians and rulers themselves. The sooner the people of India and the Muslims in particular take steps to recognize those terrible atrocities to honor the victims, the better it is for harmonious relationship between the Hindus and Muslims living there.

  • Hadi

    Keith Ellison, I wish you success in your first term in the US House.

  • Paula

    Islam is not a peaceful religion? God himself is a baby killer. Is that not what you celebrate during Passover? That god came in and slew hundreds of babys in their cribs? It appears to me that not much in the bible is pro-life.

  • WPC

    Anonymous misquotes the Qur’an, e.g. 4:47 does not refer to people of the Book being turned into apes. The same goes for the rest of the quotes, which are simply wrong or taken in a literalistic fashion out of context just as Islamist fanatics do.Hadith are an unfortunate element of Islamic texts that include many things that are difficult to give credence to. Do Christians give credence to apocryphal texts that have Jesus harming a child who taunts him? Just because non-scriptural texts say something happened doesn’t mean it did.

  • victoria

    PAULA you have us confused with jewish people-now theyve collectively sworn in ALL the members of congress- it took about 45 seconds and not one bible or Qur’an in sight!time for washington journalps nancy pelosi flooded the chambers with children right before the swearing in and boy if she didnt look presidential!

  • TruthHurts

    Do americans know that in Iran minorities like jews can use the Torah and christians can use the bible for their parlament serimony?

  • WPC

    Posters are correct that there are Islamic jurists who believe that anyone who leaves Islam to become a Baha’i or other religion is an apostate worthy of death. This is not the teaching of the Qur’an but a more recent development in Shariah law based upon individual clerical judgments that developed into schools of law.There are “Christians” who believe that homosexuals and adulterers should still be stoned to death. Does that make such teachings a true representation of Christianity?

  • victoria

    REPRESENTATIVE ELLSION-A hearty a salaamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu and i just saw you and your crew sworn in and said alhamdoulila and may ALLAH bless you in your endeavorsthankyou american muslim you are most welcome to express anything you like as far as im concerned it was a pleasure to read peace and yeeeehaw to all of us american muslims!!!!

  • ahmad, amman, jordan

    Jai Khosla wroteThe so called Jai is pretending to be Hindu, in fact he is not, he is a jewish zionist trying to inflame hatred between muslims and Hindus just like the british did in the past. The so called Jai is not an authority about islam and his hate will end up killing his sole. In addition, many horrible acts occured throught history including the crusades and the hollocaust but this is not the topic for this talkback.

  • Tony

    It is wrong to brag about Canada’s health coverage for all its people when there are “46 million” Americans uncovered. There aren’t even 46 million Canadians in the whole country. To provide coverage for a vastly smaller nation is quite a different undertaking than to do so for a much larger population. Quit comparing apples and oranges. Ours is a system with big problems, sure. But let’s come up with our own solutions and quit the hand-wringing over the Canadians.

  • Michael Houst

    Kudos to Mr Ellison for standing firm on the use of the Q’uran for his swearing in.Those who opposed his decision and the use of the Koran have plainly branded themselves as self-centered bigots. They have lost the true spirit of America.Those people who think all muslims are the same are ignorant of the facts of Islam in practice. There are as many different faiths within Islam as there are different faiths of Christianity. (The Jewish have their varous divisions too.) When you consider how “well” the various christian denominations have gotten along together over the centuries, why should you be surprised that the various muslims have the same sort of track record?

  • Mat

    Sad, disturbing, scary, ignorant, not very promising, refreshing and intersting. These words aply to many of the posts in this blog.As a good Jewish friend of mine told me once; Before I go any further, and to save some readers the intelligent guessing exercise of my race or religion, I am an American who comes from an Arab background, a Moslem who does not practice but respect the pillars and parameters of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to be a good and productive element in the society.Members of my family serve in the armed services of the United States, others serve in very senior capacities in both the public and private sectors and I, a senior official/professional, have faithfully served my United States, protected it’s interests and many of it’s citizens, my own fellow Americans. To those who are mistakenly and wrongfully mythed, there are thousnads of Americans who hail from Arab backgrounds, Christians and Moslems alike and whom are serving in the United States Armed Forces and Federal Government. Many have been elected to both Houses of the Congress and many are still there.Several generations of Arab Americans have climbed the corporate ladder and successfully sailed them to rescue and success.One would presume that the average reader of the Post somehow enjoys a certain level of intellectual depth. Unfortunately, some of the messages sent to this blog, indicate otherwise. I mentioned earlier that I am not a practicing zealot. I am a productive member and element of the society, a loyal citizen, where America come first to me. While I have no question to Congressman Ellison, I respectfully challenge Congressman Goode and his NeoCon attack dogs to deny the loyalty and sacrifices of an American for his country, and who happens to hail from an Arab and Moslem, backgrounds, like the many thousands who share the same background.Congressman Goode, I have no choice but to present you with all my due respect as an elected official of a State where I own business and property and once lived. Nevertheless, I urge to know and learn more about the Koran, but not the versions of Zarkawis and Bin Ladens, Zawahiris and other criminals who have misused and distorted Islam and it’s message, which is no different than the great religions of Judaism and Christianity.It may be worth it to task one of your tax payers funded Congressional aids to reserach subject for you, or, better yet, hire a history major to do so, in order to avoid a similar PR disaster the next time a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, aetheist, or wahtever is elected to our Congress. We do not only claim to love America. We practice our love of this land. Unlike some others, we put America’s interests first.

  • mark

    To Jai Khosla,Please check your sources and re examine your writings before you make any claims. Do you think that the average reader of the Post is an idiot? Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  • Anonymous

    Ahmad from JordanIslam did not free slaves. There is not a single verse in the Koran asking Muslims to free slaves. In fact Muhamamd owned slaves till he died. Two of his slave girls, Maria and Rayhana were his sex concubines. He acquired Maria when she was 15 and he made Rayhana a concubine after he had widowed her. he took her to bed the same night he murdered her husband. Rayhana was also a teenage child. Neither became Muslims and therefore Muhammad did not marry her.I am Hindu. Not a Jew. My ancestors lived for thousands of years in what is today Pakistan, During Partition my grandparents fled to India from Lahore with only their clothes on their backs and their children, one of them my father, in their arms. Else the Muslims would have killed them. My aunt was raped by Muslims.Here is a hadith that sheds light on what Muhammad thought about slavery. It is true that Muhammad asked Muslims to treat slaves kindly. But that was because they were property and had to be well maintained so that they could do useful work.Finally when a 56 year old man claiming to be a prophet takes a nine year old child to bed we call it rape. In the US it is punishable by law.Now here is the hadith from Malik in Muwatta which also proves that for Muhammad a white slave girl was more valuable than a black slave girl.Muwatta by Malik Book 43, Number 43.7.6: Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Said ibn al-Musayyab that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave a judgement that the compensation for a foetus killed in its mother’s womb was a slave or slave-girl of fair complexion and excellence. The one against whom the judgement was given said, “Why should I pay damages for that which did not drink or eat or speak or make any cry. The like of that is nothing.” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “This is only one of the brothers of the diviners.” He disapproved of the rhyming speech of the man’s declaration.

  • colson

    I do have a bone to pick Congressman. Why is it in desperate times do people turn to faith rather than reason? Why do people shovel off their load into the invisible hands of an invisible master rather than deal with the very reality they are in? Religious faith is a form of escapism – to an extent that it is very similar to heroin to a heroin addict.You evoke images of people being laid off due to “outsourcing” but you do nothing to note the very real creation of jobs that comes as business are now able to scale their growth. You create images of permanently destitute people who never re-enter the workforce which is very far from the image you try to create – a large portion of jobs outsourced have required skills and talents that can easily and readily be used elsewhere in a steady job market. It is still one of the best job markets in the history of the United States, humming along at about a 5.4% clip. But looking at unemployment numbers doesn’t really tell you about the number and wide availability of jobs out there.You bemoan the conditions of the minimum-wage worker. Minimum wage – the very line in the sand that government, not business drew long ago. The reality is far different. A very tiny fraction of today’s workers are working for minimum wage while a significant portion of those are young adults who are just entering the work force or working in positions where only the bare minimum is offered and the person is in a tipped position (often making far more off the records than on the records).You go on about health care for everyone and throw up the Canadian system as some form of example. But you don’t look at the very reality of Canadian health care: (as another poster from Canada pointed out) it isn’t quite as good as you shine it up to be. Neither is England’s nationalized health care system where doctors are beginning to shun public health and taking their practices private. If you want the best possible health care, you come to America. It has a price tag attached but you can generally be assured access to doctors at any level of life.I am a middle-class male who works hard. I’ve lived well below, at and finally above the poverty line. I did it through the very means that most Americans have: hard work, determination and education. Rather than taking pity on the couple who comes to church or temple why do you not pity their decision to spend time at church rather than bettering themselves through education. Would your god be happier to see you at church or at home, bettering yourself through study so you can gain the realistic traction you need in life to get ahead?Your appeal to the working class is worthless. You are now sworn in to the elite class of Americans who are given a golden parachute, an undeserved wage for public service, a free ride for little or no effort exerted. You have joined the ranks of the looting class who stand to deprive individuals of their earnings by means of taxation. Whether those persons be the wealthy elite, who individually pay a higher percentage to the cult of government than you ever will in your lifetime, or middle class working people, the result is the same. You appeal to those with less and promise to give them more while your goal is to steal (yes, steal) from those who have more to spur on your whimsical ideals. And who are you to lay claim to another man’s wealth? You are a man with the power of law, drunk on politics and lacking any sort of valuable conscience. The greater problem with redistributing wealth by theft is that at its apex you have a two tiered system – the government elite and the mass of people enslaved to it. It didn’t work for Russia – there is no reason to assume that it will work here.If you truly want to revolutionize health care, remove the ties from employment for it. Allow health care insurance to be pooled into a larger marketplace – as you can with auto, home and life insurance. Fierce competition will drive prices downward naturally and make it far more affordable than the current group policies we are subjected to currently.What better way to make poor people richer than to sever the very hand that is in the cookie jar every paycheck: government taxation. Allow the people the opportunity to use their money in a manner they see fit, rather than what a highly paid group of fools feels we need to spend money on.Remove barriers to free trade and allow people to trade with whoever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Government subsidies need to be abolished equally across the board – subsidizing industry keeps prices artificially high and often food, a basic necessity, more expensive than it would cost otherwise in a free market.Let me do with my Social Security as I see fit. I want to retire in comfort – not poverty. Social Security ensures that those dependent on it entirely will be impoverished for their remaining, non-working years.Want to really help the poor? Stop the Civil War II otherwise known as the drug war. Nothing has had a greater impact on keeping poor people poor as has the war on drugs.Restore civil liberties to their rightful place – outside of the stranglehold of government. Stop placing your hand on a copy of a book owned by a deist who helped craft the very ideals your convictions betray.

  • Jai Khosla

    Ahmadthat last post was from me. I forgot to enter e-mail etc.Jai

  • Murad

    I am so grateful that there is more intellectual people in U.S than there is Ignorant ones. It is horrible how some people judge something they completely don’t know. FYI some you might not know that all the 3 main religions were founded in the Middle East. Jesus wasn’t a white man with blue eyes, yet he was Middle Eastern dahhh. I am American I am a Muslim and I am Middle Eastern. I love my country and I love my religion which taught me to respect other religions. As a Muslim I know that Islam is perfect but Muslims aren’t. just like any other religion I guess. A lot of people use and have used religion to justify their own act and political agendas. Look at the history of the world. Look at the history of our great nation. You will find horrible things that were done in the name of God or religion. God Bless us all and bless America.

  • Secular Jew

    I am a secular non believer jew. Those of you that quote the hatred in islam should take a peak at the TORAH. It teaches jewish zealots to kill enemies kids and drink their blood. All goyim are considered as low as cows – THE HINDU GOD – worthy of slaughter.

  • Ba’al

    Mr. Ellison behaves in a manner that so-called Christians would do well to emulate. He’s going to be a great congressman. (Using Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Koran for your swearing was a nice touch, IMHO). Some of the comments here are unbelievably bigoted. Here is one: “Against all my personal misgivings, hopefully, Representative Ellison leaves his religion out of politics and bases his decisions on what is good for all Americans.” The assumption is that somehow Mr. Ellison is less than American and will work against our interests because of his religion. There is no doubt that this same person would be delighted to know that Mr. Bush believes that God’s wants him to be President (as reported by Richard Land, one of the other On Faith panelists). Mr. Bush is alleged to be Christian.

  • Anon

    A side point – the Hindu God is not a cow.Religion – like most everything else – can be constructive or destructive.Islam, Judaism, Christianity – Hell, probably even Scientology can all be instruments of inclusion, generosity, and healing or instruments of bigotry, hatred and destruction.Christian organizations give tremendous amounts of time and money to charity and are a source. At the same time, Christianity was invoked during the Spanish Inquisition.

  • Anonymous

    The actions of adherents, no matter how misguided, cast no shadow on the religion itself. The majority of followers of any way of thought, practice or religion are deluded and miss the mark completely. The religion they only claim to follow is not to be blamed for their evil, misguided acts. Instead, look to the lives of the founders of these religions for proof of the validity their teachings. Did Jesus or Gotama? keep slaves? No. Did Muhammad? Yes. Did Jesus or Gotama kill anyone during their lifetime? No. Did Muhammad? Yes–many. He was considered a “great warrior”. Did Jesus or Buddha steal during their lifetimes? No. Did Muhammad? Yes–many times. Read the chapter in the Koran called “Booty” for a peek into the mind of this twisted “prophet”. Did Jesus or Gotama advocate violence against others? No–they prohibited it and warned against it. Did Muhammad? Yes. Were Jesus or Gotama in the habit of having sex with children? No. Was Muhammad? Yes–his youngest “wife” was 6 years old.

  • anonymous

    I dream that some day the ‘my God is better than your God’ debates will cease, and people will realize that even if God exists, he can take care of himself, and he does not need any attention or prayers or rituals from humans to validate himself or to decide who gets the benefits of being good.

  • Kamyar

    Jai Khosla – in response to your “I have two questions for Mr. Ellison.” post.Mr. Ellison was elected by Minnesota to represent Minnesota, not Saudi Arabia or the Muslim world, as you put it. I would hope that he would spend the majority of his time working for his constituents in Minnesota and not any campaign for Saudi Arabia.

  • dnA

    You can turn back the clock 1000 years on radical Islam, nothing in the history of the world can compare to the carnage caused in the last 200 years of western civilization.Between Western Expansion, The Civil War, The Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Colonialism, World wars 1 and 2, no ethnic group or adherents to a religion in the history of the world has been responsible for more deaths than people of western european christian descent That’s just fact.So if you’re trying to explain how Islam is intrinsically destructive, that’s a losing argument when you line up Islam’s track record against that of of the Western world. That said, I think its absurd to hold random people of european christian descent responsible for those things because of the circumstances of their birth or chosen religion. People of any faith, creed or race are capable of horrible things, and judging someone based on these qualities is bigotry.

  • Anonymous

    Mohommed married his so called “fourth wife,” Aisha when she was 6, but did not actually begin molesting the child until she was 9.I think the point is well taken that we have a political leader who has chosen a religious path which, according to the very Koran Ellison chose to validate his ascension, advocates the opposite of the “inclusion” he writes about.Islam is about empowering male sexuality, and little else. The “inclusion” Ellision speaks of is contingent upon point-of-the-sword conversions, and other nastiness. Despite its support for wealth disparities, Islamic distribution of economic resources follows a “voluntary gift” model rather than any rational progressive morality. Conscience is absent, as long as followers parrot and adhere to a few Arabic language rules and regulations, they’re free to act like animals towards others, in day to day life.The ideology exhorts murder, rape, slavery, the denigration of women and others, child molestation and other crimes against humanity. Indeed, it offers nothing whatsoever for intelligent women, which is why one sees far fewer black women then men “converting” in America.Ellison’s adherence to this violent, spiteful and sexually based ideology will make a difference in how his future legislative activities are perceived and evaluated.

  • Gaby

    If only people could put their “religions” aside, the world would be a much better place. I believe in God, not the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist, etc. God, but the THE God. Cause there can be only one, otherwise the whole house of cards will tumble. Religions are man-made by zealous demagogues who were able to whip the masses into a frenzy and whose followers perpetuated the so-called teachings of the so-called prophets.People call themselves Christians, Jews or Muslims, but, please, which Christian, Jew or which Muslim? Whose interpretation of the so-called holy books are we to believe? The Catholic, the Protestant, the Mormon, the Orthodox, the Shiite, the Sunni??? If there was only one religion, centuries of atrocities in the name of the Bible, Torah, or Koran could have been avoided.

  • Jai Khosla

    KamyarMy questions were very valid.The Islamic apartheid practices in Mecca and Medina and in Saudi Arabia in general were put in place by Muhammad after he ethnically cleansed Arabia of Jews. he said ” Muslims lands for Muslims only and the only deen( religion) is to be Islam”.If Mr. Ellison is a American first he will condemn the apartheid and refuse to do the hajj.If he is a Muslim first, he will do the hajj, thus indicating his approval of the apartheid.This year 3 million Muslims did the hajj. They spent in the neighborhood of $15 billion. 15 billion a year can help build many good schools for Muslim children.

  • Humor

    How “bout those Redskins?

  • Sami

    Jai Khosla:The Arab conquest of India started with an 18 year old commander from Basra in Iraq named Mohammad bin Qasim.He changed the road signs, changed the geography,changed their Gods,changed their names, changed their dress,changed their calender,changed their flag and even changed their diet.

  • Sami

    Jai Khosla:The Arab conquest of India started with an 18 year old commander from Basra in Iraq named Mohammad bin Qasim.He changed the road signs, changed the geography,changed their Gods,changed their names, changed their dress,changed their calender,changed their flag and even changed their diet.

  • Johanna

    “Secular Jew” wrote:>It teaches jewish zealots to kill enemies kids and drink their blood.”This is what interested Islamistic circles wanted their “brothers and sisters” to believe by all means right after 9/11, suggesting that “the Jews” were behind this attack. There are CDs circulating showing such scenes, as a Moroccan friend told me.Who do you think you are kidding? You are *never a secular Jew*, damning Jews and Christians;(

  • N

    I would like to put the facts strait for you. Prophet Muhammad married Aisha when she was nine years of age. This was to support an alliance between the Muslims and one of the Bedouin tribes. This type of marriage was a common way to create alliances not only in the Middle East, but in Europe, Asia and Africa as well (one only need look at the monarchies in 19th century Europe to confirm this). The marriage was consummated when she was thirteen, which was the acceptable age for a girl to become a woman –more than 1400 years ago– and give birth at the time. Again, the young age is not singly associated with the Middle East, in Victorian England the age of consent was fourteen. If you are really interested in learning more about the prophet Muhammad, I would suggest reading Karen Armstrong’s book Muhammad. It is a very good read and her background as a Catholic nun really lends credence to her ability to show the similarities between Islam, and Christianity.

  • Johanna

    “Secular Jew” wrote:>It teaches jewish zealots to kill enemies kids and drink their blood.”This is what interested Islamistic circles wanted their “brothers and sisters” to believe right after 9/11, suggesting that “the Jews” (Mossad) were behind this attack. There are CDs circulating showing such scenes, as a Moroccan friend told me.You are *never a secular Jew*, damning Jews and Christians;(

  • Murad

    Some people are talking about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and about Islam without any basic knowledge of him or the religion he represents either by ignorance or on purpose because they are sick in their minds and hate overcomes their souls. here is an advise. Learn about Mohamed the Prophet of Islam and I can assure you will love him because everyone who knew him or read about who he was and stand for loved him more than anything life; and my word for that person who accused to the prophet with all kinds of pathetic accusations that know are true. I would recommend for him to read the Koran and see what I am talking about.

  • Joel

    Mr. Ellison,I offor you the opportunity to express what I am 100% sure you espouse, believe, and follow, because you are a Muslim.That would be a statement that you are against killing for any reason as the Koran requires. An unequivacle stsatement that those who kill in the name of God are in fact ungodly and evil, and bring blasphemy to His name. We need normal people like you, Mr. Ellison, to come out vocally, loudly, vociferously against the politics, philosphy, and actions of the murderous so-called muslims in Hamas, Taliban, or Al Qaida, or Hezbollah. The sooner the better for everyone on earth.

  • Anonymous

    Despite longstanding attempts by Moslems to somehow pretend Islamic writing doesn’t record that Mohommed molested a 9 year old child, after noticing her and deciding “God wanted them to marry” when she was 6, the fact of the matter is it’s Islam’s own writing which records this perverted atrocity, and there’s just nothing today’s Moslems can do to change that, except, perhaps, reevaluate the religion itself.Islamic scriptures are also quite clear on Mohommed’s murder, rape, enslavement, forced sex with his stepson’s wife, and general sexual obsessions which appear to have fed his appetite for power. Sorry about that.It’s interesting that Mohommed’s religious career was bankrolled by his wife, a wealthy, older (40ish) widow he married in his 20s. One seldom sees today’s Moslem males rushing to repeat this age-dynamic in marriage, despite the fact that it was Kadija’s money which supported Mohommeds flights of fancy in the desert. But one often hears today’s Moslem clerics and other males excusing and advocating sexual contact with little girls, because “Mohommed did it.”I think Mohommed would be disappointed…where are all the older women younger men marriages in the Moslem world which ape Mohommed’s most critical career move?Islam is the only major world religion where bodily functions continue in the afterlife, and those functions are specifically male sexually and gluttony-oriented. Just like Mohommed’s career.

  • SAMMER MUHAMMAD

    I have never in my life read just garbage and bad information. Funny and sad. I am writing as an American of muslim faith with Palestinian ancestry.

  • Anonymous

    Sammer Muhommed writes: “I would beg of my christian, jewish and all other brothers to not be racist in your views.”"Other brothers?”Women, again, simply do not exist except as sex toys in this ideology, as Sammer so aptly illustrates.

  • SAMMER MUHAMMAD

    Brothers and sisters. Any human. I was just typing too fast. Sorry. Islam was the first religion to explicitly give women divorce rights, voting and inheiratance rights. Women in Europe just a couple centuries began to divorce , My sister. :-)

  • Nadia

    God says to Prophet Mohamed,peace be upon him, who was nothing but a mercy to all mankind:2: 159“It is part of the mercy of God that thou dost deal Gently with them. Wert thou serve or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee: So pass over (their faults), and ask for (God’s) forgiveness for them”This is his manner and this why he is loved by many, and Muslims should be like him gentle and pass over others’ mistakes. Congratulations Congressman !!!

  • muslim american

    I’ve been following Keith Ellison’s progress in the last few months and I predict that he will be one of the best lawmakers in Congress. He’s consistent in his message AND his actions. He has shown great leadership and passion on progressive issues and has an inherent desire from social justice. It’s good to read through this blog and see so many open minded and tolerant comments. it’s also disheartening to see the islamaphobia and the misinformation about islam.Too many people trusting ethnocentric western orientalist commentators and ‘historians’ who speak of islam from a misnformed and paranoid perspective. Too many comments painting all Muslims with an extremist brush because of the actions of a few. Islam’s face right now is extreme, but that is a misrepresentation caused by extremists and a sensational media that covers whoever screams the loudest.Fact is, majority of Muslims are moderate people who were taught to be respectful of other human beings and strive for social justice and tolerance. Unfortunately, some Muslims and Muslim governments have gone away from these teachings. It is unfortunate however that the media and the politicians in this country did not make a stronger distinction between true Islam and what we see from the Taliban and bin laden etc. Islamaphobia is a dangerous and disappointing trend, but I’m hopeful that Ellison, other Muslims who practice true Islam, and tolerant non-Muslims like the many on this blog reverse that trend. I’m hopeful that more of us speak up and the powers that be give us a voice.Just a few comments on the Quran and Islamic history…First off, the Quran is a spiritual history and guidebook. It’s language is symbolic and it’s message is meant to be adaptable for any generation. It is a progressive message that is supposed to be adapted to the situation. We believe that it was revealed from God, and each revelation was to address a certain context and scenario. As a law book, it must be examined as a whole.Someone quoted a line about ‘killing infidels’. This line came about before a battle where the Muslims were outnumbered and their existence was being threatened. The word infidel at the time simply meant non-believer. The verse was meant to be a pre-battle pump up speech that was specific to a context of self defense against annihilation. Admittedly, certain Muslims ignorantly use this line to justify murder and terrorism, however they are going against other laws in the Quran that supercede their BS. Example, the Quran says that killing an innocent human being is like killing all of humanity. Additionally, it describes war as a hated act that should only be committed if all other options are exhausted (something a lot of us Americans feel). These two rules along with rules such as ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ stand out stronger in the general context of life, then the scenario specific verses.As far as Muslim history is concerned. People say that all the Prophet and his followers did was spread religion by the sword. What’s forgotten is that early Islam was a nascent religion and community that was considered a threat by the established powers that be. The arabian peninsula was surrounded by the Persians and the Byzantines, two massive empires that felt threatened by the new kid on the block. They tried to destroy the early Islamic community but failed on the battlefield against the Islamic armies. Islam spread during this time because of the way the Musilms carried themselves during and after battle and because the poetry of the Quran was inspirational, progressive, and full of knowledge.I am not saying that Islamic history is perfect. There were certainly times of tyranny and the abuse of power, but the greatest Islamic empires were highly advanced in the fields of science, mathematics, art and music. They also treated non Muslims with respect and gave them full rights. Early Islam and the time of the Prophet and his Caliphs is the best example and too often this history is distorted by Islamaphobics.Right now the Muslim world needs reform, moderation, and modernization. Examples in Malaysia, Dubai, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, most of Pakistan, and America exist. Ironically, Bin Laden who picked this fight that empowered extremists of every ilk, is going to be the cause of this moderate and modern reformation. That and the environmental movement away from oil and other fossil fuels.By the way, someone made a comment about supporters of Ellison funding terrorism. Anyone who fills up their gas tank supports and finances terrorism and extremism, so unless we all want to be hypocrites, we need to make a large advancement to reducing our carbon footprint and start taking care of the Earth.

  • Egypt

    To the person who said that in “639—642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt”. You are wrong I was born in Egypt; I read its history. We invited Muslims to free us from the Romans persecutions. Don’t you know they burned the great Alexandria library. Read history and you will find all your allegations are wrong.

  • muslim american

    People mentioned Ellison is using Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran. The national archives have Jefferson’s extensive library and have kept it just the way he had it organized. His copy of the Quran was kept right near his Bible.Thomas Jefferson was the author of America and history shows that he had a vast knowledge of all legal and moral codes in the world including Islam and the Quran. If you study the Quran and learn about it from a non-Orientalist perspective, you’ll see that true Islam and it’s law are very similar to what the founders of the country put forth. REad Karent Armstrong”s book on Muhammad or a book called Islam, Religion of Life and you’ll see what I’m talking about. In the meantime, read this editorial written in May ’05 and published in MEtro New York:The Qur’an’s Relationship with the American SpiritIslam’s presence in America is older than the United States itself. Not only were some members of the slave population Muslims it is a little known fact that Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Qur’an and studied it in detail. History tells us that Jefferson extracted the best from all codes of law during his quest for the ideal form of government. The Qur’an contains the core democratic principles such as representative government and freedom from oppression that Jefferson advocated in the Declaration of Independence and much of our country’s initial legislation. The teachings of Islam are part of the foundation of the American spirit of universal equality and the rights for all humanity. While the Qur’an serves many purposes, Jefferson focused on its moral code and law. In today’s Muslim world, this code is often abused by autocratic governments and extremists looking to maintain their grips on power. These so-called Muslim governments have abused the Qur’an, resulting in rabid misinformation about the religion that considers it a Divine source.In recent weeks, the Qur’an has been in the news for unfortunate reasons. The reports of the desecration of the Qur’an by US interrogators and Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi claiming the Qur’an sanctifies the killing of innocent people for the greater cause of ‘jihad’ has been a source of distress for most Muslims. John Espisito, professor of Islamic studies at Georgetown, articulated the first issue very simply, “the Qur’an is to Islam what Jesus is to Christianity.” He also accurately compares the feeling of Muslims as the same sentiment Americans feel when the flag is burned. Even more dangerous for the 7mm Muslims in America and the billion plus throughout the world, is the misrepresentation of Islam by the extremists and the media. The word jihad is often erroneously translated as holy war, while the actual meaning is ‘struggle’. In its purest form, this struggle is for the defense of Islam’s principles. It ranges from simply telling the truth to defending an Islamic society against an invading power much like the Reagan-backed mujahadeen did in Afghanistan. It is true, however, that Muslims believe martyrs go to heaven. We also believe, to paraphrase the Qur’an, that killing an innocent person is like killing all of humanity. While jihad by the sword is an element of a Muslim’s struggle, it is given lesser importance than other forms. Ali, the Prophet’s nephew and the fourth caliph of Islam, said, “the ink of a scholar’s pen is more sacred than the blood of a martyr.”Americans must attempt to understand the fastest growing religion in the world and the words that inspire its believers. We must embrace moderate Muslims throughout the world and give them a platform to defeat the extremist element within it. As a Muslim American I’ve benefited from the law that Thomas Jefferson and the Qur’an helped inspire. We must all realize that the Constitution and the Qur’an share the common goals of life, liberty and the humble pursuit of happiness.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding “People say that all the Prophet and his followers did was spread religion by the sword. What’s forgotten is that early Islam was a nascent religion and community that was considered a threat by the established powers that be.”As was Christ’s world, but he chose to die in lieu of slaughtering and enslaving others, having sex with children, etc. The Christian ethic of self sacrifice and personal discipline was probably just too difficult for Mohommed and Arab culture to adjust to, so Islam was created to allow Moslems, or at least Moslem males, more leeway with respect to meeting their own personal needs above those of others.

  • Khalifa

    i think, Congressman Keith Ellison had to do what he thinks is right for his country and the world that we all share.second, religion is part of whagt shapes All the people in power whereever they are

  • Sami

    To Jake:Sami

  • Aziz

    Muslim are here to stay and the whold has 1.5 billion.why cant the ignorant in this forum just accept that and live in peace.You claim that muslim are trying to kill you etc. The fact remains that through US foreign policies, most muslims live under oppressive regimes which kill and pervert the religion for political gains. These regimes couldn’t exist without US support.I am a muslim and i dont have any ill will towards americans, i just think its sad that you are so ignorant and incredibly biased.The intrepretations of islam and the historical information being provided by some hateful bloggers is pathetic. Kindergarden kids could do a better job. Do you really think that the people reading this page are that stupid?????

  • Jai Khosla

    Anything I have posted on this blog is traight from books accepted as genuine and as the basis of Islam. The books are the Koran, the hadiths and the Sirats or biographies. The Sirat Rasulallah by Ibn Ishaq is accepted as the first biography of Muhammad and therefore th closest to the truth about Muhammad.Muhammad’s paedophilic tendencies were well estabished as there was a pattern. Aisha was six, and Maria, Rayhana, Saffiya and Juwariyah were teenagers. Muhammad was also divorced by teenage wives and he divorced one wife because she had leprosy.What is of concern to civilized people is not that Muhammad was a paedophile but that Muslims refuse to acknowledge this fault of his and refuse to pass laws banning the marriage of underage females. Even today in teh Muslim world children are married of to, actually sold to rich Arabs who divorce these children after getting their sexual gratification.

  • fern

    > why cant the ignorant in this forum just accept that and live in peace.Sadly there are many who are caught in the snare of fear and hatred. Given how many there are from all backgrounds who are promoting and encouraging fear and hatred, it’s not a surprise that many have bought into that view and spend their days chanting “they are evil; we are good”. We see such in the Christian and Islamic communities.Of course, we have to defend ourselves when the forces of hatred pick up a sword, but we should also join with all people of good will in praying that God will break His silence and speak a Word that none can deny. It’s time for a old world to die and the new one which has been promised to all to be born.

  • Sheila

    “… a new politics…”? What kind of new politics? The politics of Sharia law? Already the Muslim cabbies at the Minneapolis Airport are fighting for the right to refuse service to someone with a dog, even a service dog, because dogs are “unclean”. They don’t want to pick up a person carrying alcohol because alcohol is “forbidden”. Right now, our laws DO include equal protection under the law regardless of religion, creed, sex, race, handicap, or national origin. Will they stay that way? I hope you will remember you are a Muslim representing ALL the people of Minnesota, not a Minnesotan representing Muslims. How DO you reconcile your desire for public service with the fact that your religion does NOT accept or tolerate ANYONE who is not a Muslim?

  • fern

    Sheila has a good point but stops short. We should also forbid pharmacists from saying they won’t sell condoms or morning after pills because they are opposed to them on religion grounds. We should also mandate that hospitals perform abortions because abortions are legal.

  • Anonymous

    TO YOU ALL THE MAN IS RESPONSIBLE WHATEVER HE IS,IT IS UNFORTUNATE TO JUDGE THE PERSON FOR HIS RILEGION. I AM SURE MR. ELLISON IF GOOD MAN WHO HAS CHOSEN ISLAM AS RELIGION. THEREFORE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO RESPECT HIS RELIGION AND LEAVE THE MAN ALONE.

  • Adam oscar

    I don`t understand why some people prefer to preach hate, intollerance and exlusiveness rather than love,inclusive and cohesive. Do educated and civilized people will hate me because of my religion, color and backround. if you got a good brain, hope not.PLS READ AND KNOW THE principle basis of our constitution and let this country be the land of opportunity and freedom.thats why we are blessed! I wonder why this gentle man(Ellison) is bothered. the only Muslim and one of the few minority Rep. in the congress. DON`T JUDGE THE BOOK BY ITS COVER.

  • Anonymous

    Lol at all the bigots, they don’t even read the chapters of the Quran, they don’t even know the five pillarsi wonder, why during hajj, Muslims aren’t holding AKs and chanting “Death to America”and Muhammad as a violent man, fock outta here. Dude wouldn’t even kill a fly, but when the pagans and the Jews of Medina persecuted him and his followers and after the CHRISTIAN Abyssinian King let them have a safe place to settle, they had to fight back. There are a billion Muslims, millions in America, so get used to American Muslims getting into the political arena. America wouldn’t try to put Muslims in concentration camps or “Special IDs” for Muslims would they? History repeats and the Muslims are now at the front of bigotry in the west

  • Ex-Muslim

    If Islam is such an intolerant religion, why is the oldest Christian church in a Muslim country (Orumiya, Iran), the oldest christian library (St. Katherine’s monestary, Sinai, Egypt), one of the oldest jewish monuments (Esther & mordechai’s tomb, Hamedan, Iran), etc. etc.Why haven’t they burned them down all these hundreds of years? How come there are still large number of christians still living in Muslim countries? Iran has the second largest jewish population in Asia after Israel.Ever wonder why there were no other religions in Europe until de-colonialization? They killed or chased them out and burned down their places of worship. So, maybe it’s not Islam or Christianity, the religions or the cultures, that we are talking about here, but political clashes of our times. To that ignorant Ananymous: Learn how to pick and define your enemies better. You are very new to this. Islam is not ALL-ENCOMPASSING. Radical Islam is uncompromising. I knew that 25 years before you hopped on this band wagon. We were muslims too in Iran and we fought the radicals, and lost. (Thank America for giving us a refuge from those bastards). Now, you are telling me that you know for sure all muslims are the same? You’re just a baby in this huge picture.

  • Aziz

    RobinCan you read Arabic, is this first hand information you obtained from researching? NoYou keep quoting texts and call Mohamed a pedophile but the fact remain that your evidence is severely incorrect.I can find a book on anything saying anything I’d like to hear about any religion. Placing credence over a book writen by someone with clear bias and heatred for islam is simply childish.Despite what you think or post, Muslims have their beliefs. Some might do and anything things that don’t personally agree with but is it really my place to comment? So some don’t want to drive dogs in their taxis as someone complained a few posts ago.Do you really hold the moral ground? Are you perfect? NO!You demonstrate the kind of hatred that could easily result in terrorism within a few generations. How do think Muslims who know that it’s a cardinal to kill innocent people and commit suicide do so? Hatred can only escalate until it is stopped.Blind hatred is never the answer to anything, hating Muslims or insulting their religion will never result in anything positive.If Islam was spread by the sword, why are there indigenous Christian communities in historically Muslim places i.e. the Coptic in Egypt and Orthodox in the Sham Region? But what happened to all the Muslims and even Jews in Spain and Sicily?Religion is just doctrine which some adhere to and some exploit. Christian, Jews or any other religion is no better. Evil people live within all communities and their actions should not reflect on their religion but rather their characters.I am a muslim, hate me all you want. I won’t hate you back and my religion teaches me so. I just think your hatred is sad and demonstrates your bias and ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    —-Don’t you know they burned the great Alexandria library.—You obviously don’t know your own supposed history!And at the Hajj Muslims called the ‘Stan’ that was beinf stoned “America”. Oh yes…they showed their hate towards America in thier typically holy way.

  • victoria

    your tendency to edit out such pertinent and contradictory information in order to make your point stick- you assert that it doesnt mean peace-rather casts some shadow on any other editorial pursuits you may have taken liberty with in your here are your words robinFirst of all, “Islam” means submission, not peace. The Arabic word, “islâm” is submission; from; “aslama”- to surrender, resign oneself; from the Syriac, “aðlem” – to surrender; from the stem “ðlem”- to be complete.looks like you took it from the same site as me-how can we trust your posts now?

  • a student of Islam

    For those who love to quote/misquote Islamic text, here are some quotes that most likely won’t be found on a typical Islamophobic website. Since I know Arabic, I’m taking this from original sources, so no need to waste your time googling my quotes :)Before I start, I want to note that Allah and God means the same thing (Allah = al-Ilaah = the God), for those who think that Allah is some kind of idol that the Muslims worship! So I will use the two words interchangeably.There are two verses in the Quran which define the general rule for Muslims dealing with non-Muslims.”God does not forbid you from those that did not fight you in the name of religion and did not expel you from your homes that you show all kinds of good/kindness to them and that you are just with them for God loves the just ones. Rather, God forbids you from those who faught you in the name of religion, expelled you from your homes, and they conspired in order to expel you, that you become friends with them, and whoever takes them as friends then he is from the unjust ones” [Quran:60:8,9].The Quran usually refers to Jews and Christian as People of the Book. This is to recognize that these religions are based on truth, on revealed books. It is also to remind the Muslims that they have something in common with these two other religions, they all received revelation from God. Yes, the Quran does have some points of contention with _some_ of the People of the Book, usually for a specifc act/concept they invented, such as trinity or claiming that God has a son, etc.The Quran urges the Muslims that if they argue with the People of the Book, they should argue in good manners so not to cause enmity and hatred:A Muslim cannot be a Muslim until and unless he/she believes in ALL Prophets [e.g. Moses and Jesus] and ALL scriptures [Torah/Gospel]. But, when it comes to applying the law, a Muslim has to apply the law prescribed in the Quran and the Sunnah [statements/actions of the Prophet]. But Islam makes it clear that if one believed in Muhammad, but did not believe in Moses or Jesus, that he/she has not entered the fold of Islam.The People of Dhimma

  • a student of Islam

    A little note about the origin of the word “Islam”.In the Arabic language, there are levels of derivations. So yes, the word Islam comes from the word “Asalama” which means to submit, in the first level of derivation. But, in the second level of derivation, the word Islam comes from the word “Salima” which means to be safe and peaceful. In fact, the Quran uses the word “Silm” which literally means peace interchangeably with the word Islam. For example, “Oh you who believe enter into ‘Silm’ in totality” [2:208]. So, this verse is asking believers to enter embrace Islam in totality, but uses the word Silm which means peace.I don’t see any problem with fully submitting to God. In fact, this is a sign of a true religion. Who else are we supposed to submit ourselves to? I believe ALL Prophets preached the same concept. That we become slaves, by choice, to the One God. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Israel mean the slave of God?

  • Anonymous

    And the first thing the peaceful, crusading, Islamists did in Somalia when they took power was to shoot 2 people for watching the World Cup and break up a couple of weddings for playing forbidden music.What a jolly (and utterly unique) religion Islam is.

  • Anonymous

    And yes The Bible may say dubious things, but it does not say to spread Christianity by sword and to slay those who do not convert. Islam (even compared to Catholic, Anglican, Hindu or Baptist heavy countries) is unique in it’s desire to cling to the most dark-ages based doctines and cultural rules.Women are not stoned to death in the Vatican courtyards.Homosexuals are not hung in Trafalger Square.Converts are not executed in Times Square.Nothing, on a vast cultural, legal and State level, compares to the barbarity and socially acceptable injustice that Islamic based regimes (and often Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries) embrace.

  • fern

    > What a shame that NEVER happens in practice.Absolutist thinking is wrong and not helpful. The difference between the beauty of Islam in theory and how it is practiced is sadly wide. This was, in fact predicted by Muhammad. So what you are others identify is the fulfillment of his prophecy. He said:”The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and

  • Anonymous

    —-he difference between the beauty of Islam in theory and how it is practiced is sadly wide.—-And for the people behind the sword blade, in front of the gun, next to the bomb and fighting for thie life and liberty in court THE REALITY OF ISLAM is all that matters.In fact it is the ONLY thing that matters!!

  • ok

    The greatest sin is to make a partner with God-Almighty, while He alone created you. He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts.Can anyone be more ungrateful?

  • ex-muslim

    So what’s your point Anonymous?Since you are a bit dense for discussions, the logical course of action for you is to destroy Islam and Muslims, right?How are you going to do that? Nuke ‘em?

  • Anonymous

    —So what’s your point Anonymous?—My pointS show others that the laughable propaganda people like you spread about Islam is indeed just so many lies.If you wish to prove my above posts and their points wrong please do so. But you can’t can you.And yes, even the backwards, rabid dog religions like Catholicism have evolved and moderated in a way that the barbaric Islam has not.Like I said…Like it or not…even in this multi-religion mire we see growing around the world…Islam is indeed unique in all it’s fetid barbarity.Hell, no one died, despite all the Christian smoke and fury, over “The Life of Brian” and no Monty Python member had to go into hiding for their life.You see…even when you compare one lot of easily offended religious nutters to another Muslims are horribly in a whole league of their own when it comes to hate and intolerence.I’m sure you’re proud.

  • fern

    > THE REALITY OF ISLAM is all that matters.The reality also includes millions of Muslims who reject evil. It’s not Islam that is evil but what men often make of Islam that is evil. Any who truly seek God are my brothers and sisters no matter what their faith. Any Muslim who seeks the light is my friend. Any Muslim man who truly respects women and offers her his encouragement to be educated and take her place in society at her highest potential is my brother.On the other hand may God show the error of his ways to anyone, Muslim or not, who exalts hatred and evil. I pray that such people turn from darkness and embrace the light. But if they do not, then my duty is to reject their path, by force if necessary.May God help us all to choose wisely in this dark hour.

  • Anonymous

    —the logical course of action for you is to destroy Islam and Muslims, right?—No. Because unlike Islam and Muslims I do not feel the need to kill for the holy glory of it.Islam should stay in Islamic countries. Muslims in non-Islamic countries who swear to put their religion completely secondary to their country and their people, who respect the non-Islamic culture and laws of their country and who reject ALL of Islam’s many backwards and barbaric practices that have no place in The West in the 21st century (and who disagree with Sharia Law ever having a place in non-Islamic countries) are welcome.But that would obviously mean that the truly devout and fully practicing Muslims have no place in The West (and why would they want a place there anyway, given their obvious and well-known prejudices and backwards outlook on an evolved Western society that they see as infidel?) and they can feel free to go to an Islamic country that does follow their backwards thinking.And just to be fair…if ANY members of ANY religion wish to put that religion first before anything else and who wish to carry on and embrace ‘holy’ prejudices in a country that rejects such things, they too can leave.You see? You can keep your fantasy religions (shorn of course of all the barbarity) if you wish, but you keep them in your home and places of worship and nowhere else.

  • ex-muslim

    Fair enough, anonymous. You say:- Muslims in non-Islamic countries who swear to put their religion completely secondary to their country and their people… are welcome.That brings us to the start of this thread. What, in Rep. Ellison’s record shows you he is anything but a loyal and patriotic American- albeit a Muslim? And, does the same criteria apply to other religious minorities, or you will tell us which ones are especially under the microscope?

  • m&m

    I think a lot of this debate can be spared if everybody does a bit of homework. For example, there is a lot of talk about Islam by people who probably have not read any book about Islam by a Muslim scholar!!! I mean, would it be fair to formulate an opinion about Christianity just by reading books by non-Christians? It’s like a judge who gives a judgment after listening to just one side!! Then, we talk about some countries overseas while we’ve never been over there. We only know what CNN or Fox News tells us! Imagine if someone wanted to know about the U.S. and he is never been here. He watches the news and all he sees is the serial killers and the rapists and the child mollasters?Come-on, let’s have some common sense. Some of us are speaking as if they are the experst in world religions and affairs. It’s obvious that such people are just swallowing the propaganda they’re being fed everyday. It’s fine if you want to do that, but don’t come out and start preaching others about world religions/politics as if you undestand it all.

  • m&m

    I think a lot of this debate can be spared if everybody does a bit of homework. For example, there is a lot of talk about Islam by people who probably have not read any book about Islam by a Muslim scholar!!! I mean, would it be fair to formulate an opinion about Christianity just by reading books by non-Christians? It’s like a judge who gives a judgment after listening to just one side!! Then, we talk about some countries overseas while we’ve never been over there. We only know what CNN or Fox News tells us! Imagine if someone wanted to know about the U.S. and he is never been here. He watches the news and all he sees is the serial killers and the rapists and the child mollasters?Come-on, let’s have some common sense. Some of us are speaking as if they are the experst in world religions and affairs. It’s obvious that such people are just swallowing the propaganda they’re being fed everyday. It’s fine if you want to do that, but don’t come out and start preaching others about world religions/politics as if you undestand it all.

  • victoria

    well what about me anonymous?my grat time 8 grandfather was the first senator of pennsylvania- my other great something grand daddy was john harris which trhe capital of pennsylvaniamy dear mom was the first female union steward in her union for 20 years my uncle founded and owns one of the largest marketing firms in americaso mr or miss anonymous who hides behind anonimity afraid to come out to the light of truth and day-where exactly do you suggest i go?and you can be really assuredfurthermore my allegiances and loyalties are MY OWN BUSINESS- NOT YOURSsince you like to judge-what are your allegiances?also- im irish and i love to fightand nobody- i mean NOBODY is getting rid of me!

  • O.G.W.

    Brother Keith, don’t let anything stop you, for you are a portrait of what it means to be a just American.A Friend

  • there is no god but allah

    TO KEITH ELLISON.. WE GIVE YOU OUR VOTE TO PULL OUT THE TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ.. AND STOP THE WAR IN DA WORLD..AS MUSLIM WE ARE PROUD OF YOU THE WAY THAT U SWEAR UR RELIGION AND U DIDNT DISGRACE.. NO MATTER WAT PEOPLE SAYS… HELP UR COUNTRY… AND OTHERS… LOVE AND MY ALLAH BLESSS YOU

  • Ryan

    MIKE-The simplicity and smallness of your mind, indeed, the mind of anybody who thinks ‘a faith’, that is, something as enormous, complex and diverse as a major world religion, can be summed up as nothing more than a unified movement to kill Americans, is difficult to grasp. One of the great tragedies of the United States today is that this nation can be so rich yet still produce such ignorance when we have the resources to provide the best education in the world. This is yet another reason why I-a progressive minded, freethinking and thoroughly un-religious American-voted for Keith Ellison. I believe in my heart that elected officials like him will help guide our country out of the darkness of the right-wing class war that is currently screwing almost all of us over, no matter what our religion or political leaning. Thank you Keith Ellison and never give up the good fight! We’re in your corner, even the atheists among us.

  • VICTORIA

    ANONYMOUS thats the beauty of the whole thing- nobody has to blow anybody upthis is America and you are free to worship or not as you chooseyou are safe from any worry from me ANON YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!!!!this land is your land, this land is my landits a big country anonpeace

  • VICTORIA

    FERN- would you share where you got that prophecy?

  • fern

    Victoria,See page 93 of “The Wisdom of Muhammad” by Allama Sir Abdullah Al-Mamun Al-Suhrawardy published by Citadel Press.The book was originally published decades ago and was republished in 2001.

  • muslim american

    btw anonymous, what do you think of the christians who feel that they are on a mission from God, who started the war in Iraq which has killed according to some, over 600k iraqi civilians? you seem to be focused on the horrible so called muslims who slaughter people through extremist and terrorist acts, but what do you think of the judeo christian element of our current government who started their war of choice in iraq? do you condemn them loudly considering the crimes against humanity, both iraqi and american, that they’ve committed?

  • muslim american

    and if you do condemn them the same way you are condeming the extremist muslims, do you paint all christians and jews with the same extremist and war mongering brush?fact is, the problem in the world today is that extremists have all the power. thank God (the God that I believe we all share) things are start to move in a different direction.

  • What the heck?

    I am a Muslim American. Love this country, born and raised here. I can not believe how ignorant people can be. I believe in God, and his last messenger Mohamed Peace be upon him.

  • Annya

    Dear Rep. EllisonI am so proud of the honorable way you conducted yourself throughout this personal attack. I am so pleased to know we have you in our party. As a former “Independent”, you are the very quality that makes the Democratic Party shine so brightly!

  • Aziz

    I am not American, but for the life of me, I cannot understand how the country of Martin Luther King, the country which espouses liberty and justice for all and the land in which there is supposed to be freedom of religion. People are judging this man before he has done anything in his post just because he’s a Muslim.The only logical conclusion I have arrived to is that America is the land of hypocrisy. Your country has had a hand in the deaths of 600,000 innocent people in Iraq, and has the balls to judge a religion on the basis that some of the people who claim to be Muslims are nuts and murderous. Well stop being hypocrites and adhere to your constitution.All religions have had murderous elements in their communities. And all ideologies and religions would look crazy if all you do is misquote their texts and state their atrocities out of context or analysis because you want to paint them as killers.You want find killers; look at your own backyard. From: Providing support for dictators and placing them in power:Causing famine through the IMF’s Structual Adjustment Program and the WTO. My point is nothing is good or even decent when a person only presents what they want to. Almost anything can look evil. But life more complicated then that.Americans to need:1. Judge people on their character and not their religion, color or anything else.2. Stop making neat little catagories for everything to in fit into and take the time to appreciate the comlexity of things.3. Value all human beings lives are equal to their own, anyone getting killed is just as bad as an American getting killed.4. Get a free and open media.5. Educate yourselves about other people.And when people people state their hatred for America, 9 out of 10 times, they hate your government and not you the people. They hate what your government has done to them. It as nothing to do with Islam, the American government doesn’t have alot of fans. If I meet an American, I do not hate, I do not make them feel like an enemy, I treat them like anyone else. Why can’t you Americans do the same?

  • fern

    > If I meet an American, I do not hate, I do not make them feel like an enemy, I treat them like Some of us do that already.

  • Aziz

    From the look of this forum and other forums, apparently most of you dont.

  • Anthony

    Your words are wise and compassionate, Rep. Ellison. Born into a Christian family, when I grew up I studied all of the major religions. I found that the same spirit informed them all. The messages of compassion and brotherly love were common threads among them.These messages have clearly been lost to many who call themselves religious. I’m confident that one day they will be heard. Thank you for speaking to make that day arrive sooner rather than later. Like you, I’m firmly convinced that the modern world has the resources to eliminate poverty, and only lacks the will. The money we’ve spent on Iraq alone would provide for years of medical coverage for 40 million Americans.Best wishes for your service to our country.

  • Joel Bloom

    Congressman Ellison,What a wonderful statement! I’m liking you more and more. You are already becoming the moral voice of the new Congress. Congratulations on your election; I look forward to hearing much more for you over the next few decades! Best,– Joel Bloom

  • Haddayr

    Hello from the 5th District. I was proud to vote for you, and I’m proud to be represented by you. Thanks for the excellent editorial.

  • Carol Kennedy

    Representative Ellison, I am a nontheist who happily (and hopefully) voted for you, who was thrilled by your victory, and who supports everything you have said and done so far as our congressional representative. I don’t expect to always support every single thing you do, as reasonable people can differ; but if you continue on the path of integrity and caring that you have started on, I will always support you.

  • Gaby

    Congressman Ellison, You sound like a very nice man and wish you all the best. But, what I wish most for is that you and every other member of Congress leave you faiths behind when you step into your office and start to legislate. Do your best to represent your constituency being influenzed ony by the Constitution, the Law, and the well-bing of America.Religion has no place in legislation.

  • Russ

    Wow, anyone still reading these posts? As a constituent of Congressman Ellison in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, let me first say thank you to all the well wishers for their kind words and encouragement expressed for Keith Ellison. For the record, Keith is a self-described “moderate Muslim.” He’s pro-choice; in favor of marriage equality for our GLBT brothers and sisters; pro-Labor rights, pro-Free Trade, and against the death penalty. Stop me when this starts to sound like some kind of radical religious agenda! I know Keith personally, helped him get elected, watched the amazing coalition build around him during the campaign: people of different faiths & ethnicities; labor, environmental, and GLBT groups; new immigrants and senior citizens; rich and poor, etc. He took Minnesota by storm because he articulated of vision of unity and inclusiveness that the 5th District (and our nation) needed more than ever.Keith won the election because he spoke up against an immoral war in Iraq (“peace must be the guiding principle of our nation”), because he believes that working people deserve a living wage and affordable health care (“everyone counts & everybody matters”); and because he practices the “politics of Hope, not Fear.”To those who worry about the symbolic swearing in ceremony using the Qur’an, please remember that no words were actually uttered in oath – it was a photo op. Keith, like all of the U.S. Congress are actually sworn in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and in that OFFICIAL ceremony they swear to up hold the U.S. Constitution (still one of the greatest legal document/work in progress in the history of humanity). So relax: his heart is pure, his mind is clear, and his devotion to the Constitution is pre-eminent.To my fellow friends in the Progressive community in the U.S., I can only say that Minnesota has once again brought a kind, decent, gentle Old Soul to Washington. And just like Paul Wellstone, we are willing to share him with the rest of the nation. Take care of him, pray for him if that is your way, keep him in your thoughts. Because it’s been an amazing and rigorous road he’s traveled, even though he’s just getting started. But he’s going to give you everthing he’s got, and that is his true gift to our country.

  • Aziz

    I don’t see the point in this anti Islamic propaganda from jihad watch.Muslims and non Muslims live together all over the world. So what are you implying? All Muslims should be got rid off? All Muslims will potentially kill you? People like you make me sick; you’re simply the western counterparts of jihadists. I mean you seriously must hate to a) set up a website which misinforms so much, its amazing, b) take the time to join discussion board and rant and c) be incapable of accepting another persons beliefs or even that they are humans who are complex enough to have opinions based on something other than their religion.The only difference between you and any terrorist is the banner you carry, you’re all scum. Some use religion, some use nationalism and other ‘us and them’ ploys. However, Americans need to bear in mind, you class those amongst you who are extreme as extreme but due to a small number of Muslims, you class all Muslims and Islam as extreme, murderous and oppressive.To every reasonable person on this forum, this is what we as the people of this planet have to contend with. Doesn’t matter where they come from or what religion they claim. All they do is hate and come up with more ways to be divisive. Don’t fall for it.Muslims are here to stay and if you want to keep the impression that you are informed about Islam, remember non believers are classified as idol worshipers and not Christians and Jews, suicide and murder is a major sin and women have as much rights as men. It’s the culture which has chosen to ignore women’s rights, modern political situation have resulted in suicide bombers with some people condoning and not the Quran.

  • fern

    > To every reasonable person on this forum, this is what we as the people of this planet have to contend > with. Doesn’t matter where they come from or what religion they claim. All they do is hate and come up > with more ways to be divisive. Don’t fall for it.Exactly. In every country, religion, ethnic group there are agents of darkness stirring up fear, hatred and anger; trying to get others to join them. There are also agents of light, those who look to transcend arbitrary divisions and join as one human race with apparent differences enriching the whole.

  • Aziz

    Seems to me that everyone needs the enemy from without instead of asking why in the US you spend so much on the military industrial complex yet you have poor healthcare provisions, poor education and poor distribution of wealth.So blame muslims and see that helps your country. Democracy has been erroded through the teaching of hate and fear by your media and government.

  • victoria

    yes aziz- as long as people have something outside themselves to blame- they never have to look at their ownactions- they never ask any questions-just ignore anonymous i havent read a post of theirs yet like attracts like

  • victoria

    no johanna- anonymous is a hater and a coward who wont even show their name- i stay away from hatewould you think it better to return hate with hatred? ive tried kindness and patience

  • Aziz

    Well I’m a Muslim from Europe and I’ll tell you experience. The millions of normal Muslims get no attention from the media. We are told how to dress and are harassed everywhere. Our opinions arent shown on the media.However, the moment a nutcase says anything, it’s all over the media and the nutcase is portrayed as a representative of all Muslims.End of the day, if its not religion then its color. If its not color, its ethnicity.People please let go of this crap.

  • Christian Seeker

    Having arrived late to this blog, I’m not ready to enter the fray in its entirety, but I do find myself intrigued by the communication patterns themselves. It seems to me that the discourse here is falling victim to the same type of thing I so often encounter within circles that purport to be arenas for discussion of issues of Christian faith, namely that the discussion of actual issues gets hijacked by dogmatic pronouncements. The issue that I see Rep. Ellison having invited us all to discuss is “We need a politics of generosity based on the reality of abundance as opposed to a politics of not-enough.” Discussion of that issue might follow lines like “Do I agree that that is what we need? Why or why not?” or “Can a story that Christians regard as ‘sacred’ and that Muslims revere provide adequate ground for ethical truth-seeking by religious and non-religious persons alike?” Obviously there are more and weightier issues that Rep. Ellison also raises, and I grieve that the discussion here so often devolves into name-calling, finger-pointing, etc. I know that pattern too well among people who claim the same religious tradition that I do, and all it really does is ensure that an authentic search for truth doesn’t take place.Is there a way to live out a politics of generosity within a secular culture? My religious values embrace generosity as an essential virtue, without which my religious faith is inadequate. Within my own religious tradition, generosity is good because being generous is behaving the way God does. When God is not the motivation, though, how is generosity good (I ask this not to accuse the non-religious of being ungenerous, but truly to ask, what IS the motivation to generosity?)?

  • Colin

    Having seen Keith speak in MN and knowing what I do of him, I can’t fathom what planet these intolerant bigots come from to push this dogmatic anti-Muslim hatred. None of them are Christian by their actions! Keith is not here to impose Sharia or take over Christendom, but to offer a hand up to the minorities and poor who elected him. If you give a damn about the teachings of Jesus, allow the man to continue his politics of peace and kindness and show the nation how committed he is.

  • VICTORIA

    Surely Johanna you are not so unaware of islam that you really think that women wear the hijab because of dust and sun— i live in new york- my grandmother was born in uttenwelier- and i am a convert to islam- and there is no strong sun here and hardly any wind- and i never go outside without it. The new racism in Europe is nothing to be proud of- you havent stated your religion but i suspect youre a christian- which is fine- did you know that in a muslim country the muslims would have to fight and die to protect YOUR safety?

  • Aziz

    Johanna:Yes some fundamentalist want al Andalusia back but why should that reflect on Muslims as a whole.Women should wear what they want to wear, whether it’s a veil or a skirt where ever. It simply isn’t up to you to decide. I am British; i was born in Belgium and have also lived in both Germany and turkey. Europe is my home and I do mind people telling Muslim women not to wear a veil. It should be up to the individual and not you or me.Who is trying to set up sharia law in Europe, and what form of sharia is this. There seems to this misunderstanding about sharia. Sharia means law in Arabic and in reference to Islam, which particular form of sharia is these people attempt to instate. The sharia you mustly hear about is the Wahabi form, islam is not homogenous. It’s important to recognize that Muslims are people and people have to right to exist as they may and not as you want them. The same applies to all peoples of all beliefs.However, I do agree that the state and religion should kept separate.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Jai Khosla has provided devastating information, and the Sirat Rasul is a English translation by Alfred Guillaume of the earliest biography of Prophet Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq. I have also consulted the University of Southern California (Muslim Student Association) MSA website, but did not know at all that they had omitted some hadiths that would be very embarassing to Muslims (regarding sexual preferences of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hadrat Aisha) ! Interesting information, and thanks Jai.Regarding the rape of non-Muslim women by Muslims (Pakistani) in Bangladesh liberation in 1971, I suggest anyone to read pages 78 to 86 of the following book:Susan Brownmiller, AGAINST OUR WILL: MEN, WOMEN AND RAPE. Simon & Schuster, 1975. (It’s available on Amazon.)The tradition of rape, pillage, loot, arson and murder is intrinsic to Islamic history since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He claimed that he had all these granted by Allah who gave him the liberty tgo use them to spread the message. Well, I don’t agree that Muhammad received any Divine message. He had an ambition of world domination. To do so, he invented Islam and used it as a vehicle to propagate his message. Viewed in today’s knowledge, Islam can surely be characterized as a barbaric religion.Jesus Christ was a messenger of peace, and quite unlike Jai Khosla I believe that he was endowed with Divine powers. The message of Christ is distinct from the organized religion known as Christianity. I am not a Christian myself.

  • Aziz

    wow i never knew that the muslim students ass. of the university of southern california was the vanguard of islamic scholarship. All muslims look to the muslim students ass. of University of Southern California for guidence.”The tradition of rape, pillage, loot, arson and murder is intrinsic to Islamic history since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He claimed that he had all these granted by Allah who gave him the liberty tgo use them to spread the message. Well, I don’t agree that Muhammad received any Divine message. He had an ambition of world domination. To do so, he invented Islam and used it as a vehicle to propagate his message. Viewed in today’s knowledge, Islam can surely be characterized as a barbaric religion.”Come off it, i swear it never ends with your sort.Let people be, everyone should be able to freely believe what they want without your ignorant comments. Citing referrences doesnt change the fact that your factually inaccurate.the message of christ isnt distint, in fact mohamed, abdulbahai, zoroastra, mosses and abraham have all had the same message.peace, kindness, charity, compasion,forgivness etc.consider educating yourself a favor to humanity

  • Bafundi

    What a profound message from our new junior Congressman. Mr. Ellison’s, “Choose Generosity, Not Exclusion” obviously has touched and enraptured many a soul in this forum.So many voluminous postings, and repetitive posters have quite notibly been moved deeply by this humble servant of Allah, and his faithful constituents.It moves me to a question that I at first meant to address only to the good Congressman, but after reading the flood of responces I direct my inquiry also to Victoria, Christian Seeker, and of course, you, Aziz. Q. How does one say B— S— in Arabic?

  • Deb Chatterjee

    “wow i never knew that the muslim students ass. of the university of southern california was the vanguard of islamic scholarship. All muslims look to the muslim students ass. of University of Southern California for guidence.”I think that blind defense of Islam (or any faith for that matter) is a problem. Let’s see how my comments relate to the above quotes.1. USC-MSA might certainly not be the vanguard of Islamic scholarship. However, they have provided explanations and commentaries from Maulana Syed Abul ala Maudoodi. (The sources are independently verifable.) This Maudoodi fellow, the founder of Jammat-i-Islam, is a well-respected Islamic scholar in academic circles. His works are well cited for authenticity, and that does lend enough credibility to Maudoodi’s views on Islam. USC-MSA thus has not concocted or fabricated any stories or myths on Islam. What does appear is the fact that Muslims are denying the authenticity of Muslim sources quoted and cited in the USC-MSA website. If indeed Maudoodi is wrong, then one of the pillars of Islamic scholarship is false. This rejection of USC-MSA source stems from the pathological urge to defend Islam as the ‘dhimmis’ and ‘kafirs’ may use these sources to paint a negative picture that would be humiliating to Islam.2. A gem that I gathered from USC-MSA website is that ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION OF PEACE. According to many Muslims (westernized ones) Islam means “peace”, but one can gather from USC-MSA website that Islam means “submission”. One might (?) extend that to rephrase that Islam means “peace following after submission to the will of Allah”. The will of Allah means whatever is in the Quran. So, if one becomes a Muslim (submits to Allah), then s/he is at peace. Islam does NOT preach peace, quite contrary to what we have been told by these westernized Muslims.”Let people be, everyone should be able to freely believe what they want without your ignorant comments. Citing referrences doesnt change the fact that your factually inaccurate.”If there are factual inaccuracies, then the whole body of the Islamic scholarship is phoney baloney. I have (and USC-MSA has) relied on commentaries from Muslim scholars. So the bo’-bo’ comments from you, as quoted above, are signs of intellectual dysfunction. If these sources are indeed inaccurate, then why doesn’t the entire Muslim ummah rise up against such falsehood (that is inaccuracy) ? Why they remain so callous and oblivious to such misinformation ? Why only when some non-Muslim (kafir/dhimmi) uses these sources to advance an unpalatable argument against Islam, are these ‘inaccuracies’, ‘slander’ etc. and etc. become more important ? It does appear that Muslims (and this could very well include Rep. Keith Ellison [D-MN]) don’t have any respect for Islam, OR, don’t know the foundations of Islam very well. Otherwise this imbroglio and impasse over which Muslim source is accurate or not would not have existed. Latter day sources (such as Karen Armstrong/John Esposito), that paint a glorious picture of Islam, are considered authentic and acceptable. Anything negative is by default wrong. Maybe Rep. Keith Ellison should be asked probing questions about Islam to find out where he stands on the issues, which would justify the “inclusivity” and “exclusivity” aspects which he so proudly professes.

  • VICTORIA

    It is a shame that people seek out forums to express their hatred. i am happy to see the muslims here responding with such gentility.i think it is a testament to our good manners that we repay attacks with peaceful rejoinder.it seems any mention of islam attracts those with questionable agendas and intentions.PEACE

  • Aziz

    Deb ChatterjeeThere are many schools in islam, each with their own take on the religion. I know the foundations and details of my religion better then you, I am telling you. If you do not research in a fair and objective manner, you will not come to a reasonable conclusion.Your take on islam is wrong. There’s nothing more i can say to you. No one would be muslim if you’re saying was true. Educate yourself.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    “I know the foundations and details of my religion better then you, I am telling you. If you do not research in a fair and objective manner, you will not come to a reasonable conclusion.”I believe that I have researched in a fair and objective manner about Islam. I agree that there are various sects within Islam as within any religion. But, this diversity does not answer my (and others) question, that, why Osama bin Laden, follower of the puritanical Wahabi sect, can get away ad we have seen almost muted response from other sects within Islam against his tirade with the West. Similar remarks apply to those Islamic sects who have raised mayhem on the recent Danish cartoons.It appears that all these schools of thought whatever are equally valid, that is, they must have been accorded equal status. So, a fundamentalist, orthodox Muslim and his/her liberal counterpart have similar weightage. This is the problem. Moderates/liberals easily become orthodox and fundamentalist whenever convenient. The line is very blurry, and it does not matter what school of thought (Hanafi/Salafi/Wahabi) you belong to.This situation defies any reason or logic and does surely lack consistency. My conclusion: Islam is a barbaric religion. This is the education I have acquired by studying the behavior patterns of Islam/Muslims over the past few years. Other (non-Muslims) have arrived at the same conclusions.

  • Aziz

    Well considering you have presented irrefutable evidence, all 1.4 billion Muslim human beings must logically be barbaric and irrational for choosing to believe in such a religion. Thank you for your enlightening discourse

  • victoria

    you will find what you are looking for deb- if youre looking for hatred and violence and barbarity- you will accomplish that end. if you are searching for peace and tolerance and the love of ALLAH, that is also what you will find.i hope your search contains these things.

  • Aziz

    It’s obvious that you have never read the Quran. Zaid Shakir and rest of Zaytuna academics and very respected and make many greats points.Maybe you should bother to actually listen to what they say before dismissing them.As for my faith, I’m pretty certain I’ll stick to Islam and you stick to yours regardless of mind less pseudo intellectual garbage you’ve been spouting.The difference between us being that I choose to accept whatever you are without going out of my way to belittle it.Dialogue blind hatred like yours is futile.

  • Aziz

    Excuse my omissions, i replied in haste

  • Aziz

    Excuse my omissions, i replied in haste

  • Anonymous

    Congressman Ellison~It is a beautiful idea; however, it requires a change of heart in the nation. It is hard to legislate a change of heart. So how do you propose bringing your idealism to the people? This can not be done until the people are willing to act more collectively, until we turn away from our rugged individualism and self interest, and start inviting our neighbors, the homeless, the teen mother, people of different races/religions, etc. into our homes.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    “It’s obvious that you have never read the Quran. Zaid Shakir and rest of Zaytuna academics and very respected and make many greats points.Maybe you should bother to actually listen to what they say before dismissing them.”Yeah, right ! This blanket statement that we (non-Muslims) have not read the Quran, is atypical in such debates. We have read the translation of the Quran as in USC-MSA website. There are three English translations (Pickthall, Yusuf Ali and Shakir) available there ayah for ayah and with Maulana Maudoodi’s commenatries. So, either all these three are flat liars or else you are a the crook, engaginhg in ‘taqiya’ with ‘kafirs’. It is one thing to say that one might be “cherry-picking”, and quite another that we have not read the Quran, and hence it is implied that we are lying/fabricating. Well, this attitude will not get Islam very far. The time to kick Muslims out of western Europe and USA is drawing near. Good luck to Islam !

  • victoria

    do not cite maulana maududi- he is the one that inspires the terrorists and doesnt speak for mainstream islam which is why he died in jail in pakistan, for the hate that he spread and the violence he espoused.

  • ngordon

    True peace and ‘generosity’ are found only in Yeshua the Christ, the only begotten Son of The Father God.

  • Anonymous

    I admire Ellison on the the stand he took on his faith.I watched him closely in his campaign,and i took an active role in his campaign.He is very articulate person.All these barbs,feud that people are showering on him is just because of his faith.Let’s not put much attention on faith and put much emphasis on personality.

  • Sameer

    To Deb:Your argument is flawed. What you are saying people like you are right and all other ones are liar. Does that mean you advocate violent against us. Of course Christian would say Islam is wrong (vice versa) and similarly Jews would say it is wrong (vice versa) that is Muslim are non believer (kafir). Christian would say same thing abt Jews (vice versa). That does not mean go on killing people with opposite view (tolerance). That mean one can still live together even though belief are contradictory. So of course Muslim would call non Muslim non believers (kafir) i.e non Muslim belief are wrong. If they do not that, that mean they are questioning their own belief. Calling someone kafir does not tatamount to violence.

  • VICTORIA

    ANONYMOUS-Now in islam the rights and needs of society are balanced against the rights of the individual-ive done this more times than i have fngers and toes and am doing it right this minute-in the pendulum swing towards ‘rugged individualism’ the needs of the society have been ignored- it is that me-first attitude that is eating at the core of america-Rep. Ellison has actually discovered the philosophy that enables him to be such an outstanding public servant-Islam offers a comprehensive structure that enables both needs to flourish.

  • Robin

    AzizIn reference to your post….. Posted January 8, 2007 1:39 AM Thank you.

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    you reak what you sow! if they dig lightly and i mean lightly theyll probably find that same physician prescribed his fav-RITE drug also with the physician name on the bottle. that alone should give the judge all the reason to prosecute. WBR LeoP

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  • Worried American

    Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGenerous, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘federal tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can’t afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can’t even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman.. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, or ‘socialism’. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

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