Wednesday, January 03, 2007

First Muslim in Congress is more American than Dennis Prager or Virgil Goode

Congressman-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to serve in the US Congress, has chosen to be sworn in using a copy of a translation of the Koran that was once owned by Thomas Jefferson:

Mr. Jefferson's ancestors arrived in Virginia in the 17th century. Mr. Jefferson himself wrote the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Jefferson separated Church and State in Virginia and campaigned for a degree of separation (he originated the term "wall") that the ACLU would approve of today. I think that Congressman Ellison is teaching America a lot by using Mr. Jefferson's Koran. It is a history and civics lesson that Mr. Prager and Congressman Goode could use.


Anonymous Tzipporah said...

Actually, Mr. Jefferson had some interesting ideas about religion, and incorporated them into the architecture of the University of Virginia (un-American, indeed, according to these idiots):

One of the largest construction projects in North America up to that time, the new Grounds were centered upon a library (then housed in the Rotunda) rather than a church—further distinguishing it from peer universities of the United States, virtually all of which were still primarily functioning as seminaries for one particular religion or another. Jefferson even went so far as to ban the teaching of Theology altogether. In a letter to Thomas Cooper in October 1814, Jefferson stated, "a professorship of theology should have no place in our institution" and, true to form, the University never had a Divinity school or department, and was established independent of any religious sect.

1:39 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Semite said...


I am surprised how you can write such things.

If isolating the issue and looking at nothing else, you would be right. But given the facts that
I)Mr. Ellison has ties to the Nation Of Islam, Malcolm X, Lousi Farrakhan, CAIR, came out in defense of Sami Al-Arian, including other alleged shady dealing in diverting money to terrorist groups,

II) The global rise of Islam, the violence and intolerance it preaches, coupled with their rejection of Western civilisation and values,

III) The fact that the very Koran on which he swore includes a clear and unmistakable tenet that it is perfectly acceptable practice to deceive and lie to the infidel. Note that traditionally senators and congressmen do not swear on any book is alarming, to say the least.

It is worthy to note that you have yourself quoted Jefferson's ideal of separation of state and church - so where is that separation when swearing Ellison in?

Although we now know it only in hindsight, we should at least learn a lesson of cautious restrictions from potentially harmful people; the first member of the NASDAP was elected to the Rechstag in 1926, without any overt anti-Semitic diatribe, cloaked in patriotism etc. Aren't Goode and his fellows right in suggesting some reservation vis-a-vis a follower of the religion that practices genital mutilation, honor killings, terrorism, torture and systematic extermination of defenseless men, women and children? Has the St Paul airport (note - Ellison's state!) Muslim cab driver controversy passed you by? Do you support cab drivers refusing services to a blind man with a dog? How do you think Ellison would handle the issue? Where do you think Ellison's real loyalty is?

So I agree with you not to indiscriminately inculpate each and every Moslem, but not to use any precautions?

To jubilate about a radical precedent of this magnitude is foolish at best, and I fear it is suicidal in nature.

All the best,

PS - recommended reading pertaining directly AND indirectly to the subject:

John Laffin: "The Dagger of Islam", "The Israeli Mind", and "The Arab Mind". Not the dates of publication, and tell me these books were not ahead of their time!

Winston Churchill: "The gathering storm" (Esp vol I pertaining to the pre WWII political turmoil)

6:12 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Semite said...

Forgive me: NSDAP, Reichstag, respectfully.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I just happened to daven at a shul this past Shabat that is directly across the street from a mosque. After services, I walked out onto the sidewalk and noticed two Muslims on the mosque porch (it was 70 degrees outside) studying whatever they were studying. I waved at them and they waved back.

More to the point, Jews have not been treated all that well under Muslim rule -- but that treatment has been a lot better than the treatment that the Christian world has given us for most of the past 1900 years. Living in Medinah Shel Chesed we tend to forget that.

In addition, the position of our rabbinic tradition is far more favorable towards Islam than it is towards Christianity. For example, normative halachah allows Jews to enter a mosque but not a church.

Finally, Islam is far from monolithic. (Rabbinic Judaism isn't kol v'chomer a religion with a billion adherents.) Consider this man, who is the spiritual leader for the largest Muslim group in the world, and the former President of the largest Muslim country in the world:

(He was far more successful as a spiritual leader than as a President.)

I do not for a second discount the hatred or the danger of the Iranian leadership, or of Hezbollah, or of Hamas, or of Islamic Jihad, or even of the Wahabis who control Saudi Arabia. But I can't tar all Muslims wih their brush any more than I can tar all Christians with the brush of St. John Chrysostom, Queen Isabella, Martin Luther, or Bogdan Chmielnicki, to name just a few of the horrible anti-Semites who identified as Christians. Or of all Jews with Louis Lepke or Dr. Baruch Goldstein. And Mr. Ellison has so far looked a lot more like Gus Dur than Ahmadinejad.

In any case, the Medinah Shel Chesed is based on religious freedom and has been since 1791. You can't take away Mr. Ellison's rights without taking away yours.

2:43 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Semite said...

Again Charlie, I'm not disputing your problems. (Although I wonder what you say about the Neturei Karta constantly waving that Medina Chesed to prove that Zionism is the sole factor of Moslem anti-Semitism). Contemporary history is more relevant than the distant past (but it should not be forgotten either). Believe it or not, I have Arab and Muslim friends. OK, not really friends, just acquaintances I'm friendly with, but still.

As per Mr. Ellison, re-read my three detailed points. We're at war sir, and in such times I think we should be more worried about our own survival than accomodating some Ellison or other.

Your blog is great tho'. I also left you a detailed answer about your comment on my Saddam post.

All the best.

I wish more liberals were like you. You're a very decent and respectful - and by consequence, respectable guy.

TC for now.

6:47 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Semite said...

#&%^@!%^(, I meant to say "I'm not disputing your points".
Freudian slip, LOL.

6:48 PM  
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