Skip to comments.Ellison To Use Quran Suggested By Radical Muslim Group
Posted on 01/03/2007 8:18:25 PM PST by Sam Hill
From his fans at the Associated Press:
Ellison to be sworn in using Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson
By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press
January 03, 2007
WASHINGTON The first Muslim elected to Congress says he will take his oath of office using a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson to make the point that "religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., decided to use the centuries-old Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday after he learned that it is kept at the Library of Congress. Jefferson, the nation's third president and a collector of books in all topics and languages, sold the book to Congress in 1815 as part of a collection.
"It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Quran," Ellison said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system," Ellison said. "This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."
Some critics have argued that only a Bible should be used for the swearing-in. Last month, Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., warned that unless immigration is tightened, "many more Muslims" will be elected and follow Ellison's lead. Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college.
Ellison said an anonymous person wrote to tell him about the Quran, and he arranged with the Library of Congress to use it. The chief of the Library of Congress' rare book and special collections division, Mark Dimunation, will walk the Quran across the street to the Capitol and bring it back after the ceremony.
Ellison's decision to use Jefferson's Quran was first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday.
Jefferson was born in Albemarle County, in what is now Goode's congressional district in central Virginia. Goode's office did not return phone and e-mail messages left Wednesday.
An English translation of the Arabic, Jefferson's Quran was published in 1764 in London, a later printing of one originally published in 1734.
"This is considered the text that shaped Europe's understanding of the Quran," Dimunation said.
It was acquired in 1815 as part of a more than 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000 to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812.
"It was a real bargain," Dimunation said.
The Quran survived an 1851 fire in the Capitol. Dimunation described it as a two-volume work, bound in leather with marble boards.
"As a rare book librarian," he said, "there is something special about the idea that Thomas Jefferson's books are being walked across the street to the Capitol building, to bring in yet another session of governmental structure that he helped create."
Rather than "an anonymous person," as Ellison claims the idea was actually suggested by the Muslim American Society.
From a December 21st Muslim American Society press release:
Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Sends Quran to Virginia Congressman
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Responding to Congressman Virgil Goode's (R-VA-5th Dist.) uncomplimentary statements concerning Muslims and immigration, MAS Freedom's Executive Director sent an English translation of the Quran to the Congressman. Congressman Goode stated in his letter that he does, "not subscribe to using the Koran in any way." Goode wrote, "We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy . . . allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country".
Goode added: "I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."
In the letter to Representative Goode, Mahdi Bray suggested that, "the Congressman read the chapter from the Quran entitled Hujjrat (49th chapter, verse 13) which states ' O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other).
Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you... '" He also suggested that Goode refresh himself with the biblical passage that says "love thy neighbor as thyself". Finally, Bray highly recommended that Representative Goode read the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the portion pertaining to the free exercise of religion. Bray further commented that, "the Congressman's statements were prejudiced and reflected how little he knows about both the immigration policy and Islam."
"It seems like 1950's style Dixie deja-vu all over again. Many Southern politicians during that era wanted to shut Blacks out of public life and warned against the integration of African-Americans into the social and political fabric of America. 'The race mixers needed to know their place in a white mans country' they would often say. It seems as if Congressman Goode is serving the same bigoted soup, just in a different bowl. The Congressman doesn't need to apologize, what he really needs to do is educate himself about Islam, America's fastest growing religion. Like Congressman-elect Keith Ellison, I am both a Muslim and an African-American. Many of our ancestors who were forcefully brought here to build our great nation were Muslims or descendants of Muslims. Muslims have always been in America and we are here to stay.
I hope when Congressman-elect Ellison takes his oath, he not only takes it on the Quran, but requests to use the one owned by Thomas Jefferson; one of America's founding fathers, kept at the National Archives. Perhaps such a move would educate the dear Congressman from Virginia concerning the longstanding contributions that Islam has made to American life." The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide.
Learn more at http://www.masnet.org
Let's take their suggestion and learn more about the Muslim American Society.
From the Weekly World Standard:
MAS's Muslim Brotherhood Problem
Does the Muslim American Society want an Islamic government in the United States?
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
05/25/2005 ON MAY 14, 2005, PAX-TV's Faith Under Fire broadcast a debate that I took part in against Mahdi Bray, the executive director of the Muslim American Society's (MAS) Freedom Foundation. Bray had selected the debate topic in advance, and chose to argue about "The United States of Islam?"--that is, whether American Muslims wanted to see Islamic law (sharia) implemented in the United States. While I unwaveringly agreed that most American Muslims don't want to see the United States ruled by Islamic law, I nonetheless jumped at the chance to debate this topic against Bray. After all, the Chicago Tribune recently published a story detailing how the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood operates in the United States as none other than MAS. So while most American Muslims don't want to see the United States governed by sharia, Bray's organization does. And while researching for the debate, I found that MAS--except in its most public of statements--is quite open about its agenda and allegiances. Even a brief review of various MAS chapters' websites provides a revealing look at what the national organization is teaching its members.
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD is an international Islamist group that largely operates underground and behind the scenes, with branches in about 70 countries. The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher who--in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and abolition of the caliphate--bemoaned the sickness of the Ummah, or larger Muslim community. The Brotherhood's response to this perceived sickness was to emphasize doctrinally that Islam encompasses all the affairs of man. As al-Banna wrote, "Islam is faith and worship, a country and a citizenship, a religion and a state. It is spirituality and hard work. It is a Qur'an and a sword." The group also emphasizes that Islam is a universal faith. As al-Banna put it, Islam "has encompassed all aspects of human life, for all peoples and nations, and for all times and ages."
Because the Brotherhood views Islam as all-encompassing and universal, one of its highest goals is to spread Islamic law. The Chicago Tribune explains that the controversial "ultimate goal" of the U.S. Brotherhood is "to create Muslim states overseas and, they hope, someday in America as well." Brotherhood members did emphasize to the Tribune that they operate within the laws of the countries where they live:They stress that they do not believe in overthrowing the U.S. government, but rather that they want as many people as possible to convert to Islam so that one day--perhaps generations from now--a majority of Americans will support a society governed by Islamic law.
Despite these pronouncements, the Muslim Brotherhood has not always been known for non-violence. The "Qur'an and a sword" outlook trumpeted by al-Banna is, for example, evident in the organization's militant motto: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Consistent with this motto, Muslim Brotherhood members have been involved in such episodes as the assassination of Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nokrashi and the attempted assassination of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
One of the Muslim Brotherhood's most violent theoreticians was Sayyid Qutb, whose ideas heavily influenced Osama bin Laden's current conception of jihad. The 9/11 Commission Report explains Qutb's writings:Three basic themes emerge from Qutb's writings. First, he claimed that the world was beset with barbarism, licentiousness, and unbelief (a condition he called jihiliyya, the religious term for the period of ignorance prior to the revelations given to the Prophet Mohammed). Qutb argued that humans can choose only between Islam and jihiliyya. Second, he warned that more people, including Muslims, were attracted to jihiliyya and its material comforts than to his view of Islam; jihiliyya could therefore triumph over Islam. Third, no middle ground exists in what Qutb conceived as a struggle between God and Satan. All Muslims--as he defined them--therefore must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.
THIS BRINGS US to MAS, which was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 and today has 53 chapters nationwide and about 10,000 members. According to the Chicago Tribune, a contentious debate among Brotherhood members preceded MAS's incorporation, and the Muslim American Society is now the name under which the U.S. Brotherhood operates.
While MAS leaders admit that their organization was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, they claim that the two are now completely distinct. For example, MAS official Shaker Elsayed told the Chicago Tribune, "Ikhwan [Brotherhood] members founded MAS, but MAS went way beyond that point of conception." The fact that a MAS spokesman such as Bray feels comfortable publicly arguing that MAS does not want to see an Islamic state in America demonstrates the strength of its public disavowal of the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Faith Under Fire I stated that, consonant with the Muslim Brotherhood's agenda, MAS has made clear that it would like to see our constitutional order replaced with rule according to the Koran and Sunnah. In response, Bray stated definitively, "I would be very happy if we could just maintain the constitutional principles that we have in the United States." He went on to say that, for the past two years, the MAS Freedom Foundation has been training Muslims about the Constitution and showing them how to "take full benefit of those beautiful things called the Bill of Rights." In fact, he accused me of taking words from MAS's websites out of context, and claimed that MAS's true agenda was "to support . . . the U.S. Constitution and to defend the Constitution against enemies both domestic and foreign."
Let us examine what MAS stands for today--with reference only to its own material that is readily available on the internet--and determine who was taking MAS's agenda out of context.
MAS's outlook is best reflected in its curriculum. While any Muslim can join MAS by paying $10 a month in dues, the group has various gradations of membership. MAS's highest membership class is "active" membership. To attain active member status, a Muslim must complete five years of community service and education. The website for MAS Minnesota outlines the objectives of MAS's active member program. These objectives include:(1) Continue building the correct unified comprehension of Islam as outlined in the Message of the Teachings by Imam Al-Banna. . . .
(9) Make the member fulfill his duties as outlined in the Message of the Teachings by Imam Al-Banna.
Although these objectives appear on MAS Minnesota's website, there is no suggestion that they apply only to the regional chapter. Instead, MAS Minnesota's website discusses the MAS curriculum in general terms that suggest that it is presenting the national organization's curriculum and objectives.
And the listed objectives are telling. Even a cursory review of The Message of the Teachings indicates that al-Banna's "unified comprehension of Islam" falls short of a call to defend the Constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic. In that book, al-Banna tells his fellow Muslims that they must work toward "[r]eforming the government so that it may become a truly Islamic government, performing as a servant to the nation in the interest of the people. By Islamic government I mean a government whose officers are Muslims who perform the obligatory duties of Islam, who do not make public their disobedience, and who enforce the rules and teachings of Islam." Moreover, al-Banna implores his followers to "[c]ompletely boycott non-Islamic courts and judicial systems. Also, dissociate yourself from organisations, newspapers, committees, schools, and institutions which oppose your Islamic ideology."
The message that all countries should be ruled by Islamic law is echoed throughout MAS's membership curriculum. For example, MAS requires all its adjunct members to read Fathi Yakun's book To Be a Muslim. In that volume, Yakun spells out his expansive agenda: "Until the nations of the world have functionally Islamic governments, every individual who is careless or lazy in working for Islam is sinful."
Al-Banna flatly states in The Message of the Teachings that violence is an acceptable means for spreading Islamic ideology: "Always intend to go for Jihad and desire martyrdom. Prepare for it as much as you can."
Nor is al-Banna's work the only one in MAS's curriculum to advocate the promotion of Islam through violence. MAS's adjunct members are required to read Syed Qutb's Milestones. Among other things, Milestones contains Qutb's exposition on "Jihad in the Cause of God," which is a refutation of those who claim that jihad encompasses only defensive warfare. Qutb states that jihad is, in fact, justified when the sole purpose is the establishment of Islam:The reasons for Jihad which have been described in the above verses are these: to establish God's authority in the earth; to arrange human affairs according to the true guidance provided by God; to abolish all the Satanic forces and Satanic systems of life; to end the lordship of one man over others since all men are creatures of God and no one has the authority to make them his servants or to make arbitrary laws for them. These reasons are sufficient for proclaiming Jihad.
JUST AS BRAY CLAIMED that one of MAS's primary goals is to support and defend the Constitution, MAS president Esam Omeish recently wrote that the reason MAS draws inspiration from the Muslim Brotherhood is "in order to espouse the values of human dialogue, tolerance and moderation." Yet both MAS's curriculum and also the scholars that MAS requires its members to read openly flout these values.
While Bray pointed out in our debate that MAS has educated Muslims about the American judicial system, that is not the issue. Muslims in America have no choice but to use the U.S. courts. Rather, the issue is one of respect for the liberal democratic traditions at the bedrock of our culture. While Bray tries to portray MAS as an organization that embraces these shared values, the group simultaneously teaches its members that all government should become Islamic and that non-Islamic judicial systems should be boycotted.
MAS has long played a double game where, despite its fringe outlook, it attempts to pass itself off as mainstream. When the Chicago Tribune began to lift the curtain on this deception with its investigative report, MAS's leadership quibbled with the portrait that the newspaper painted. Yet an even bigger indictment lies in the material that MAS requires its members to read--and in the book that it touts as "the correct unified comprehension of Islam.
So it would appear Mr. Ellison is taking his marching orders from an organization that wants Sharia law imposed upon the United States.
Is that why Ellison claims the idea came from an "anonymous person"?
Only a matter of time before candidates take oaths on condom wrappers.
It would be nice if the majority of Muslims believed that.
Does he think because Jefferson owned it that's an endorsement of it?
This is so in your face it makes me sick.
And I wonder if there will be a prayer room in the nation's Capitol now.
Thomas Jefferson wasn't afraid to wage war upon the Muslim Barbary Pirates.
In MSM-Speak, yes.
The Islamists remind me so much of the communists. Like the communists, they are convinced that once everyone everywhere embraces their ideology, utopia emerges. They are both willing to slaughter as many people as they need to accomplish their goals. They have a consistent internal logic that allows them to ignore any argument to the contrary.
Unlike the communists, however, they are willing to kill themselves to accomplish their goals. Scary stuff.
But Jefferson didn't take HIS oath on it, did he?
I'm hoping some of TJ's sh*t stains are still on the koran.
Rather ironic (or hypocritical depending how you look at it.) After all the hoop-la a few years ago about Jefferson owning slaves, and the descendents of Sally Hemming, etc. Now a black man chooses to take the oath on a Quran owned by Jefferson.
"Now a black man chooses to take the oath on a Quran owned by Jefferson."
A man who waged war on Muslims.
Satan protecting his book from the flames it deserved.
"The Quran survived an 1851 fire in the Capitol."
That's too bad.
That ain't what Ellison is using it for.
I love watching liberals defend a religion that puts women in bags, doesn't let them be educated, bans music and literature, flogs homosexuals, cuts off limbs, spreads morality by the sword, etc. etc. etc.
Jefferson stated that the Koran was the cause of the barbary pirates