Keith Ellison can’t understand how Muslims could read the Qur’an and get the idea that it incites violence. That’s interesting, since clearly there are many Muslims around the world who read the same Qur’an and do think that it incites violence. It would be good of Ellison to confront this more explicitly and offer some refutation, whether written by him or by someone else, of the jihadist view. I would be most happy to host it here and discuss it.
“Muslim congressman ends Israel trip,” by Herb Keinon for The Jerusalem Post (thanks to all who sent this in):
As the first Muslim member of the US Congress, Minnesota’s Keith Ellison realizes that every step he takes regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict will be closely scrutinized by both American Muslims and Jews.
In fact, Ellison left Israel on Saturday after a six day-visit as part of a Democratic congressional delegation brought here by the American Israel Education Foundation, an independent, nonprofit charitable organization affiliated with the America Israel Public Affairs Committee. This was Ellison’s second visit here since he was elected just nine months ago.
As to whether he felt he had a greater sensitivity to the Arab perspective than other congressmen, he said, “I know Islam, I know the religion, I read the Koran every day. When I went to the [Aksa] Mosque, it wasn’t just a tourist site for me, it was a holy site. I felt the affinity for it.”
But what he doesn’t understand, Ellison said emphatically, were those – he called them “crazies” – who read the same Koran he did and came away with a license to murder.
“The murderers and the extremists are into something I don’t know about,” he said. “I don’t know how they read what they read and come out with what they do. They wouldn’t consider me a Muslim because I’m American, because I believe in the unity of people and that we are all on the planet to work together.”
“The people who did 9/11 are hostile to everyone, and in fact if you are not the type of Muslim they want you to be, they would be happy to kill you too,” Ellison said. “I am not a Muslim in their eyes because I am for tolerance and inclusion, and they don’t want an Islam that is inclusive.”