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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Topic: Democrat could be 1st Muslim in Congress
    Posted: 13 September 2006 at 8:25am

Democrat could be 1st Muslim in Congress

Overcomes tickets, late campaign reports and unpaid taxes to win primary

MINNEAPOLIS - A state lawmaker could become the first Muslim elected to Congress after edging out three rivals Tuesday for his district's Democratic nomination.

Keith Ellison, 43, prevailed after overcoming questions about parking tickets, overdue taxes and his ties to the Nation of Islam. Because the district has long been dominated by Democrats, he will be a heavy favorite to win the Minneapolis-area seat in November.

Ellison courted the liberal wing of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party by comparing himself to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone - and many voters responded. Others relished the chance to elect a minority to Congress from Minnesota for the first time; Ellison is black.

"We came together, all colors, all faiths, all of us," a jubilant Ellison said. "We said from the very beginning this campaign is about everybody counts."
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The retirement of U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo after 28 years opened a competitive DFL primary contest in Minnesota's most Democratic district. The race included Sabo's former chief of staff, Mike Erlandson; former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge; and Minneapolis City Council member Paul Ostrow.

Ellison got the DFL endorsement in May. But he quickly ran into difficulty after reports of overdue parking tickets, late campaign finance reports and unpaid taxes. He also faced questions about anti-Semitism because of his past ties with the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group led by the confrontational Louis Farrakhan.

Ellison, a criminal defense attorney who converted to Islam as a college student, has since denounced Farrakhan and been endorsed by a Minneapolis Jewish newspaper. He has also pledged to improve his record-keeping.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Quote ak_m_f Replybullet Posted: 13 September 2006 at 10:04am
Nation of Islam are not muslims, its like some kind of political cult....
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 13 September 2006 at 10:06am

Ellison, a criminal defense attorney who converted to Islam as a college student, has since denounced Farrakhan and been endorsed by a Minneapolis Jewish newspaper. He has also pledged to improve his record-keeping.

 

Ellison has left the Nation of Islam for True Islam.  I've read other articles about him.  All of them say he's turned his back on the Nation of Islam.

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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2006 at 11:52am

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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2006 at 1:05pm

I think it will be nice.  The more diversity in congress, the less control that evangelical Christians can impose their goals.

I also read an article and I'll have to find it.  There was a movement called "2000 by 2000" that wanted 2000 Muslims in public office by the year 2000.  It was stunted by 9/11, but they are again trying to get more Muslims active in government.

The only way to protect  your rights in a democracy is to participate.

Democracy is a full contact sport, you can sit on the sidelines and cheer and jeer, but in the end, the people in the game are the ones that effect the outcome.

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Quote Hanan Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2006 at 2:48pm

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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 16 September 2006 at 7:09am

Come one Angela, let's do the bigger thing. This poor chap is just getting up the career ladder, in a corrupt system. What would he be able to do. This may just be his great need.

In 1969, I was asked to become the first Muslim M P in the UK, it was exciting, the meetings, speaking tours, the press coverage, would you believe it I actually turned down David Frost show?

I was lucky to realise that I would become a pawn to the political game, will never be able to make any difference, I will be wandering the corridors of the Westminster like some choir boys in their white frocks.

I turned it down and went away on a long vacation to be out of touch with all the vvvips who had come to know me just for my potential.

What difference will this man make to your life, to my life or to the life of a six years old girl in Ramadi who will grow up without a mother, without a father and two absolutely loving brothers?

Come on, let's do the real thing.



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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 18 September 2006 at 9:08am

Hanan, then why don't YOU run for office?

If you want PURE Muslims in office, why not run?  This man is running.  He's doing something.

As for your comment Sasha? 

What difference will this man make to your life, to my life or to the life of a six years old girl in Ramadi who will grow up without a mother, without a father and two absolutely loving brothers?

He will open the door for others.  There comes a time when one must open the door for others to follow.  Sadly, they are usually a middle ground.  Something that the middle american can be comfortable with...but with each passing tide, the middle american becomes more comfortable and the limit can be pushed.  This is how it works here.  Things change slowly, but without the Frederick Douglases, there would never be the Martin Luther Kings or the Malcom X's. 

Keith Ellison might not be the perfect Muslim, but he's a believer.  Next time, perhaps the man's wife will be a hijabi...or better jet, the Hijabi herself will run.  (btw, Hanan, I was in Salt Lake City this summer and saw a young Arab woman in Hijab, Long skirt and a t-shirt....it was baggy but you could see her elbows, what do Elbows have to do with piety?)

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