What does have meaning to me is his choice of groups and individuals with which he likes to hang around.
His earlier ties to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam are fairly well known. At that time he went variously by the names of Keith X. Ellison, Keith Ellison-Muhammad, and Keith E. Hakim. Working as a spokesman and writer for the Nation of Islam, Ellison wrote an article defending Louis Farrakhan against charges of anti-Semitism, another condemning Affirmative Action and calling instead for reparations in the form of payments to blacks, and a third that called for a separate state for blacks residents.
During his most recent campaign, after the issue of his ties to the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan was raised, he did finally admit that Louis Farrakhan is an Anti-Semite, and he denied ever being a "member" of his organization. Was this just politically expedient, or does he truly believe these statements? Remember, a Muslim is not required to be truthful to us infidels if to do so would bring harm or shame to Islam.
One of the first speaking engagements the newly elected Mr. Hakim, or Ellison-Muhammad, or whatever alias he is going by these days accepted was at a convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America.
A little background history on the Muslim American Society;
The Muslim American Society, according to September 19, 2004 article in the Chicago Tribune has deep roots into the international Muslim Brotherhood, the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group and an organization with a violent past in the Middle East.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a key to understanding the struggle for the control of Islam. The Brotherhood, formed in Egypt in 1928, spawned generations of Islamic activists, both peaceful and violent, around the globe. It is the often called the most influential Islamic fundamentalist organization in the world. The Brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt, but is generally tolerated.
In the U.S. it has operated mostly undercover, and primarily legally, mimicking clandestine fraternal organizations that operate on a nod and a secret handshake. Even today, few outside the Islamic inner circles from which it recruits know when, how often or where the Brothers meet to discuss the organization's abstract but pervasive goal: the creation of Islamic states throughout the world, including the U.S.
That strategy to make America more Islamic is reflected in a long-standing Brotherhood belief: First you change the person, then the family, then the community, then the nation.
By 1990, U.S. Brotherhood members had made headway on that plan by helping establish many mosques and Islamic organizations. Some of those efforts were backed financially by the ultraconservative Saudi Arabian government, which shared some of the Brotherhood's fundamentalist goals.
To further that goal, the Muslim Brotherhood founded the Muslim Students Association in 1963, a group intended to increase the depth of the Brotherhood's influience in American society.
More recently, the U.S. Brotherhood has operated under the name Muslim American Society. Yes, the same group Ellison addressed on Christmas Eve, after being elected to Congress. The Muslim American Society was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a long debate among Brotherhood members.
Some factions wanted the Brotherhood to remain covert, while others thought a more public face would make the group more influential. Former member Mustafa Saied recalls how he gathered with 40 others at a Days Inn on the Alabama-Tennessee border. Many members, he says, preferred secrecy, particularly in case U.S. authorities cracked down on Hamas supporters, including many Brotherhood members.
An undated internal memo, discovered by the Chicago Tribune, instructed MAS leaders on how to deal with inquiries about the new organization. If asked, "Are you the Muslim Brothers?" leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society. "It is a self-explanatory name that does not need further explanation."
And if the topic of terrorism were raised, leaders were told to say that they were against terrorism but that jihad was among a Muslim's "divine legal rights" to be used to defend himself and his people and to spread Islam.
That is but a very brief background on the Muslim American Society, a group founded and dedicated on the ideals of an America governed under Sharia law. And a group from which Keith Ellison gladly accepted a speaking invitation. Among his remarks to that group on Christmas Eve was the following;
"Muslims, you're up to bat right now…” he said. "How do you know that you were not brought right here to this place to learn how to make this world better? How do you know that Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, (meaning praised and exalted is he) did not bring you here so that you could understand how to teach people what tolerance was, what justice was? How do you know that you're not here to teach this country? You can’t back down, you can’t chicken out, you can’t be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim."
Is a person who places his first allegiance to the Constitution being a "real Muslim"? Or would a "real Muslim" first owe allegiance to the Koran and the racial and ethnic and religious intolerance taught by that book?
And if you do not believe that the Koran teaches intolerance, just listen again to our young friend from North Carlina. In the passage below his remarks bear a striking resemblance to those attitudes and ideas one would have heard from a KKK Grand Dragon in the early half of the 20th Century.
Coming soon: A look at the Islamic Circle of North America.