Congressman and Muslim

Friday, January 17, 2014

Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative (D-Minn.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the author of My Country, 'Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing, 2014), talks about his experience as the first Black Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress and as one of the organizers behind the 1995 Million Man March.



Congressman Keith Ellison

Comments [13]

sal from brooklyn

I have to admit, I listened to part of this interview. However, I am bothered by the fact that religion was discussed within the realm of politics. When I hear the driving force of a person's weltanschauung is faith based, I am reluctant to believe that they can live a dual life of upholding a secular American Country; t which inherently defends the rights of "infidels" and "non-believers" as much as it would for those who believe. All religions espouse a "tolerance" policy, but that is a misnomer, it is one of separatism and covert despise for the non-believer.
What I think is the issue is the cognitive dissonance that people like the representative has to face. Sadly, rationalizing away the "uncomfortable" tenets of one's faith is both apologetic and dishonest.

Jan. 17 2014 12:52 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ mike from nyc

Slavery has been practiced across all human civilizations and we have solid evidence for its practice codified by 2000BC and scattered less complete evidence for as long as we have historical records for those civilizations (10000 BC). Probably longer. How do you know that Muslims/Arabs were the "first slavers"? Muhammed was at least 2500 years too late to create slavery. Even a child's knowledge of Western history (greek/roman) would tell you that.

Jan. 17 2014 10:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

But people--slaveholders & others--have always come up w/reasons to justify their mistreatment of people w/less power for their own economic gain.

Jan. 17 2014 10:51 AM

As a white, female of WASP-mid-Western descent - atheist by choice - I think this guy represents me better than most in Congress.

Jan. 17 2014 10:50 AM
Amy from Manhattan

There has been a Black Muslim movement in the US, & many African-Americans became Muslims through it. That's what Brian was asking about, & it's a valid question that's of biographical interest.

Jan. 17 2014 10:48 AM
Nick from UWS

This Keith Ellison is one smart man.

Jan. 17 2014 10:47 AM
mike from nyc

would someone please inform the IGNORANT Ibrahim that MUSLIM/ARAB traders were the FIRST Slavers and still continue to do it???

Jan. 17 2014 10:47 AM

I wish WNYC weren't making such a fuss over his religious choice. Why should his choice to not be a Christian be such a big deal? It would be perfectly fine with me if we knew nothing about our politicians' religious views.

Jan. 17 2014 10:47 AM
BK from Hoboken

Does Rep Ellison think that his "American" name vs a more Arabic sounding Muslim name had a role in him being elected? If his name was Abdul does he think he would still be where he is today? Just look at what happened with Pres Obama, who had to basically invite the press to attend church with him to prove his religion, and many still think he is a Muslim.

Jan. 17 2014 10:42 AM
The Truth from Becky

So he is a Black Muslim Brian,..your point? Is it because he is in America? or is it because he is in American politics? Which is making you uncomfortable today?

Jan. 17 2014 10:40 AM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I had never heard of Keith Ellison previously, but after this interview, I am fan

Jan. 17 2014 10:38 AM
M from Brooklyn

First time I've seen Brian caught flat-footed. Black muslim tradition? What is that? There are muslims, and then there is the Nation of Islam which is a political-religious organization. They are an off-shoot of Islam. If a person is a muslim then they are just a muslim. If a person is part of the Nation of Islam they will specify that.

Jan. 17 2014 10:36 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Like Obama, he has been very careful in protecting his public image and avoiding a provocative trail of quotes or soundbites. He has worked hard at appearing to be whatever people want to believe (or hope) him to be.
One thing is certain (and this assures his support from the Far Left) – he is the most “liberal” voting member of Congress.

“Rep. Keith Ellison, the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was not only the most liberal member of the Minnesota Congressional delegation in 2011 but is tied as the most liberal member of the whole House of Representatives, according to the National Journal’s annual Vote Ratings. He has a 93.3 “composite liberal score, the highest in the House, according to the National Journal.”

Jan. 17 2014 07:55 AM

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