More Keith Ellison!

3 comments January 4th, 2007at 02:03pm Posted by Eli

Would it be churlish and uncivil of me to note that Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison sounds a helluva lot more Christian than all the so-called Christians of the Right?

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.


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.


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’m not sure it’s quite as simple or easy as Mr. Ellison says, but I have no doubt that we can and should be doing a lot more than we’re doing now. The passage I bolded is an excellent example of the Republicans’ skewed priorities, and what they choose to squander this country’s abundance on. And that’s without even mentioning the ongoing cost of the war and occupation in Iraq, which is probably enough to wipe out poverty all by itself.

But I guess since he’s a Muslim, our Christian nation doesn’t have to listen to him. Hell, I’m sure I’m objectively pro-terrorist just for saying “What the Muslim said!” Oh well, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time.

UPDATE: There’s quite the lively debate in the comments after Ellison’s piece. There are some truly creepy xenophobes and bigots there (as well as some I-got-mine-fuck-you conservatarians), but they’re getting their asses kicked pretty handily by the sane people.

Entry Filed under: Politics


  • 1. HopeSpringsATurtle  |  January 4th, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    here ya go Eli:

  • 2. Anonymous  |  January 5th, 2007 at 6:23 am

    You fool. Keith Ellison admires Farrakhan. He has a history of association with terror related organizations.
    People like you who live for rebellion for the sake of rebellion should have to live in the kind of world you say that you want to create. Yet you remain in the United States protected by the very principles that you hate. Islam did not give its adherants freedom of speech-Christian America did.
    Again, you are a fool.

  • 3. robin  |  January 6th, 2007 at 1:51 am

    When Representative-elect Keith Ellison responded to Wolf Blitzers question (on CNN) concerning Representative Virgil Goodes negative comments, with the statement, I think he has a lot to learn about Islam! I, too, realized I needed to
    Learn more about Islam:

    It was Prophet Muhammad who said, “Whoever sees an abomination must straighten it with his hands.” Saddam Hussein repeated and relied upon this saying in his attack on Kuwait’s ruling family. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt depended upon this saying when they killed Anwar El Sadat. We must never imagine that such Muslims are being unnecessarily wicked They are simply being faithful to their religion!

    From the President, to most religious leaders, to the average talk radio program, we are being told that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is said that bin Laden and the Taliban only represent an extremely radical Muslim fringe, which is not representative of true Islam.


    First of all, Islam means submission, not peace. The Arabic word, islm is submission; from; aslama- to surrender, resign oneself; from the Syriac, alem – to surrender; from the stem lem- to be complete.

    This does not imply voluntary submission but includes a forced submission where the subjects will not comply. Historically Islam is not known for its peace movements, but for a uniquely Arab word, “jihad,” which means an offensive war intended to lead to the conversion of the infidel to Islam, or to his annihilation!

    Islam in the Arabic language and in the Qa’ran/Koran means total submission and obedience. However, the original meaning of “Islam” in the Arabic language is the acceptance of a view or a condition which was not previously accepted, that is the readiness of a person to take orders from god and to follow them. “Muslim” is a word taken from the word Islam, and applies to that person, who is ready to take orders from god and follow him without question.

    Do they seek a deen other than the deen of Allah and to him all what is in the skies and in the earth have submitted willingly or forcefully and to Him they shall return. [Quran 3:83]

    The word Islam was used in the Quran as a symbol for the word deen, revealed by the Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad stated that his teachings contain the teachings of all the previous prophets, and all divine commandments. When a person professes the belief in the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad, and pledges to follow his message, he, in fact, stating his readiness to obey the orders of god unconditionally.

    From the Koran/Quran (“An English Interpretation of the Holy Quran with Full Arabic Text,” A. Yusuf Ali), The deen [religion] before Allah is Islam. [Quran 3:19]. Whosoever seeks, other than Islam, a deen, it will not be accepted from him and he, in the Hereafter, is among the losers. [Quran 3:85].

    The concept of deen involves four principles: 1) Subjugation, authority, and ruling; 2) Obedience and submission due to subjugation; 3) The method and the habit; and 4) Punishment, reward and judgment. Therefore, deen implies a comprehensive system of life that is composed of four parts: 1) The ruler ship and the authority belong to Allah only; 2) The obedience and submission are to Allah; 3) The comprehensive system (intellectual and practical) is established by this authority; and 4) The reward given by this authority (Allah) to those who followed the system and submitted to him and the punishment inflicted upon those who rebel against it and disobey it. Prophet Muhammad said: Every human being is born in a state of pure nature; but through the influence of his parents, he may become non-Muslim.” Islam is a divine system, and with it Allah sealed all other religions, and made it a comprehensive system dealing with all aspects of human life (belief, intellectual, moral, and practical). This system is based on total submission to Allah alone, purifying worship to him only, and following the traditions (sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad.

    Therefore, when you hear people saying that Islam is a peaceful religion, know rather, that Islam is fighting a holy war for control of the world! That war was begun by Prophet Mohammed himself in the seventh century, and is still being carried on today by his followers through terrorism. These terrorists are not radicals or extremists, as the media continually labels them. Rather, these are Islamic fundamentalists who are true to their religion and the teachings of the Quran, and who are following faithfully in the footsteps of the Prophet, Mohammed.

    As Abd El Schafi has said in his book (Behind The Veil: Unmasking Islam), We must never imagine that such Muslims are being unnecessarily wicked. They are simply being faithful to their religion. The fact is never hidden as to what the proper attitude a good Muslim should have towards Christians and Jews. In fact, much of the incitement to violence and war in the whole of the Quran is directed specifically against Jews/Christians who rejected what they felt to be the strange “god” that Prophet Mohammed was trying to preach. Prophet Muhammad and his successors initiated offensive wars against peaceful countries in order to impose Islam by force as well as to seize the abundance of these lands. So, Islam was imposed upon Syria, Jordan, Palestine (Jerusalem), Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Iran, all of North Africa, some parts of India and China, and later Spain. So, it appears the radical fundamentalists are closer to historic Islam than those who profess to be followers of so-called mainstream version. Islam has always been, and continues to be a religion (a way of life) spread by force, not through peaceful means or persuasion.

    Islam was planted by Prophet Muhammad with the sword, not a philosophy or ethic of peace. Its rather astonishing to learn just how cruel and brutal Prophet Muhammad was as he tortured his captives with fire, then killed them and took their wives as bond maids for himself, as well as for his companions. Following his death, these brothers-in-arms then fought each other in relentless, savage wars; competing for authority and out of deeply rooted hatred, Prophet Muhammad’s relatives and closest friends sacrificed and slaughtered each other!

    No wonder we see Moslems, these days, fighting with each other. In fact, these wars and hostilities spring from the very heart of the Islamic teachings, since it calls for the use of force to combat “wrongdoing,” … just as Prophet Muhammad’s relatives did with one another! It was Muhammad who said, “Whoever sees an abomination must straighten it with his hands.” Thus, Saddam Hussein repeated and relied upon this saying of Muhammad in his attack on Kuwait’s ruling family; and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt depended upon this saying when they killed Anwar El Sadat (a real man of peace).

    Therefore, when you hear people saying that Islam is a peaceful religion, know rather that Islam is fighting a holy war for control of the world! That is, the concept of an offensive war, to spread the faith, is a genuine Islamic concept; known as a Holy War for the sake of god. This, not peace, is the essence of Islam! That is, if there were sufficient military power available to Islamic countries, they would attack all other countries in order to force them to embrace Islam. The Quran is the authoritative scripture for the Muslim, and here are a few quotes advocating this militancy toward the non-Muslim:

    #1) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them. And seize them, beleaguer them. Lie in wait for the in every stratagem of war; but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah 9:5)

    #2) Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with will submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Surah 9:29)

    #3) Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive and struggle with your goods and your persons, in the Cause of Allah. (Surah 9:41)

    #4) The infidel is to be “killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land, and in the hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. (Surah 5:33)

    #5) Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth no aggressors. And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful. (Surah 2:190-92)

    #6) Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day. Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah. ( Surah 2:29, 41)

    #7) Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who reject the faith do battle for the cause of evil. So fight ye against the friends of Satan. (Surah 4:76)

    Prophet Muhammad founded Islam with the sword; his followers maintained Islamic rule with the sword; subsequent generations have always spread Islam’s oppressive rule beyond the Arabian Peninsula with the sword. One cannot be a true follower of Islam without holding to the tenants of the Quran, which also advocates forced submission to its rule. How can anyone who knows anything about Islam deny this? Why are so many, today, inclined to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion and not a militant movement, which desires to conquer the world through Jihad?

    Obviously there are political motives behind the President and his administration that have given rise to their many statements that Islam is a peaceful religion. Yet such is simply not the case. If Islamic terrorism is ever going to be defeated, people are going to have to face the fact that it is driven by a historic Muslim belief in Holy War as a means of spreading their religion.

    So then, now (today 1/5/07) that we finally have a Muslim (see definition above) in our House (of Representatives) My CNN question, would be, Representative Ellison, as a Muslim and deemed follower and true believer of the Quran … Representative Ellison, to WHICH are you really true – #1 Your elected position, as the American people’s Representative (be they Muslim or NOT), or #2 to your religions more demanding and unrelenting requirements? You, of course, can’t be both; so which is it, really?”

    And he would answer … in the popular and politically correct way, that, I was just being bigoted for having even thought to ask him such a question! So be it, but at least, I was thinking!

    Its a hard,
    hard rain that’s gonna fall,


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