Keith Ellison is the endorsed Democratic candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s solidly Democratic Fifth District (Minneapolis). Ellison’s local leadership of the Nation of Islam, his defense of the “truth” of an attack on Minneapolis Jews as “the most racist white people,” his affiliation with convicted murderer and Vice Lords gang leader Sharif Willis, his support of the Vice Lords gangbangers charged (and subsequently convicted) with the murder of Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf, his outrageous attacks on law enforcement authorities, his demand that Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist Sara Jane Olson be freed, his concern for the continuing freedom of convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur on the lam in Havana — not one of these elements of Ellison’s public record has seen the light of day in the local media.
We have used Ellison’s various public incarnations as Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad to raise the question: Who is Keith Ellison? In the course of the present campaign, Ellison has held himself out as friend of the Jewish people and of the state of Israel. Several prominent Jewish supporters have vouched for him in the face of a long public record that belies his present avowals.
It is therefore a matter of some interest that, with the Democratic primary impending on September 12, Ellison has called on a special friend to help him raise funds for his campaign — Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR. Awad is appearing tonight (not tomorrow night, as I first wrote this morning) at a fundraiser for Ellison in Minneapolis suburb Brooklyn Park. Curiously, Ellison hasn’t seen fit to post news of the fundraiser on his own site, even though he does announce his big upcoming “Push for Peace” fundraiser with Dennis Kucinich. The invitation advises:
This fundraiser is sponsored by United Chamber of Commerce and Muslim
Coalition for Keith.
It will be at Crowne Plaza, Brooklyn Park (Shingle Creek) at 7pm
Donation of $100 to Keith Ellison for Congress
If you can support Br. Keith at his bid for congress, please let me
Remember: Allah will not change our situation, until we change (what is within us) ourselves
Minnesotans may be in doubt about what is within “Br. Keith,” but there can be no doubt about what is within Awad:
• Nihad Awad publicly declared his enthusiasm for Hamas at Barry University in Florida in 1994: “I’m in support of Hamas movement more than the PLO.”
• This same year, according to the Weekly Standard, when Mike Wallace of CBS’s “60 Minutes” asked Awad if he supports the “military undertakings of Hamas,” Awad stood up for the terrorist group and told him, “The United Nations Charter grants people who are under occupation [the right] to defend themselves against illegal occupation.”
• In an August 19, 2006 interview on C-Span’s Washington Journal, Awad rationalized suicide terrorism by suggesting it’s really about fighting injustice. He refers to the writing of author Robert Pape on the subject: “He found out that it [suicide terrorism] has more to do with occupations and fighting injustice than religion. It really responds to the myth and the known notion now that has been used by several commentators and some politicians as a cliché because it sounds maybe dramatically well but factually it is not.”
• Shortly after September 11, 2001, Awad and CAIR placed on their website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and under it a call for donations. It read, “What you can do for the victims of the WTC and Pentagon attacks,” and by clicking on “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund” one was unsuspectingly sent directly to the website of the Holy Land Foundation. A week later, the wording of the site was changed, as visitors to the site were directly told to “Donate through the Holy Land Foundation.” The link was on CAIR’s website until early December 2001, when the information mysteriously disappeared.
• On December 4, 2001, the reason for the disappearance was apparent, as the Holy Land Foundation’s assets were blocked by the United States government for funneling money to Hamas. According to the White House website, “The U.S.-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development [provided] millions of dollars each year that [was] used by HAMAS.”
• On Sept. 16, 2000, at a Washington rally sponsored by CAIR, AMC, and MPAC, Awad declared: “They [the Jews] have been saying ‘next year to Jerusalem,’ we say ‘next year to all of Palestine!'”
Awad is a former official of the Islamic Association of Palestine, which was a front group for Hamas. As one can infer from the items above, Awad and CAIR appear to act as voices of the “Wahhabi lobby” and as a front for supporters of Islamist terrorism. See generally the excellent Middle East Quarterly article by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha: “CAIR: Islamists fooling the establishment.” See also Pipes’s related columns here and here. Below is a photo of Awad speaking on April 20, 2002 in Washington, D.C. on a stage bearing the flag of Hezbollah.
It is long past time for the organs of the Minnesota media to provide Fifth District voters the information necessary to answer the question “Who is Keith Ellison?”