Yesterday on CNN’s Situation Room Wolf Blitzer interviewed Minnesota Fifth District Rep.-elect Keith Ellison on the statement made by Rep. Virgil Goode: “If American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” CNN covers the controversy generated by Rep. Goode’s comment in “Ellison: Lawmaker has a lot to learn about Islam.” During his interview with Ellison Blitzer asked such probing questions as this:
So if you had a cup of coffee or you sat down with Virgil Goode — in the next several days you’re going to be coming to Washington, you’ll be sworn in in the next couple of weeks, what would you say to him specifically on his point, he wants tighter immigration restrictions in order to keep Muslims out of the country and if — because if they’re kept out of the country, obviously, they won’t be elected to Congress?
Well, do you think he’s a bigot?
What’s been the reaction in general to your election making history, becoming the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, specifically your decision in your personal private ceremony, you want to be sworn in on the Koran?
Referring to his taking the oath of office on the Koran, Ellison riffs:
[I]n a private ceremony, of course I’ll put my hand on a book that is the basis of my faith, which is Islam, and I think that this is a — this is a beauty. This is a wonderful thing for our country because Jewish members will put their hands on the Torah, Mormon members will put their hand on the Book of Mormon, Catholic members will put their hand on the book of their choice [!] and members who don’t want to put any book — their hand on any book are also fully free to do that.
That’s the American way.
Before CNN turns itself over to Ellison again for instructions in the American way, it might want to take a look at “Keith Ellison for Dummies” and “Louis Farrakhan’s First Congressman.” It might want to ask Ellison what branch of Islam he follows in reconciling Sharia law with the United States Constitution, or with homosexual rights, abortion rights, and the feminist agenda. Surely one of these days a bigfoot journalist like Wolf Blitzer will ask Ellison a serious question.
JOHN adds: See, too the New York Times’ “blog” The Caucus, which quotes Ellison approvingly and at length under the title “Lone Muslim Congressman Speaks Out.”
I personally don’t think that the issue of Ellison taking his oath of office on the Koran is a good one for conservatives to emphasize. I’d rather focus, for example, on his long advocacy of those who murder policemen. But the key point here is the MSM’s unthinking acceptance of Ellison’s reassurance that the separation of church and state applies to Muslims just as naturally as it does to members of other faiths.
The problem is that, to my knowledge, there is no significant branch of Islam that recognizes anything like a separation of church and state. On the contrary, Sharia, or Islamic law, is integral to the religion. This is the obvious reason why mostly-Muslim countries have had such a hard time joining the modern world. So one would think that it might occur to a reporter to ask Ellison: what variety of Muslim are you? What mosque do you attend? Where does your branch of Islam stand on Sharia? What do your imams preach? And, where does your enthusiasm for cop-killing fit into your religious principles?
No such questions, needless to say, will be forthcoming.
UPDATE (by JOHN): Haider Ajina writes:
Regarding your following statement:
‘The problem is that, to my knowledge, there is no significant branch of Islam that recognizes anything like a separation of church and state. On the contrary, Sharia, or Islamic law, is integral to the religion.’
I wish to point out that many Iraqi Nejaf Shiite references and two references in Iran (who follow the Nejaf school of thought, one is now dead [under suspicious circumstances] and the other in Jail in Iran) have continually said and teach that Religion and politics need to be separate. In fact they deem that politics defiles religion and thus should be kept separate. They also believe that religion should act as a guide or moral reference for politicians.
Sistany is the most vocal member of this school of thought and many other references who are not his followers also subscribe to this. This is the exact opposite of what the Iranian government is based on.
I should add, too, that the example of Turkey shows that many Muslims have accepted the concept of separation of church and state, if perhaps not to the same degree that the concept is understood here. And I have no doubt that if asked, Keith Ellison would say that he endorses that constitutional principle.
Neverteless, Islam as practiced in most countries does involve Sharia, and the currently resurgent varieties of Islam are precisely those that demand imposition of Islamic law. In Europe, Muslims in some areas have succeeded in establishing Sharia on at least a de facto basis. And it is worth remembering that one of the Six Traveling Imams with whom Ellison met shortly before their ill-fated flight complained to a passenger about the absence of Sharia.
So I think it remains pertinent to ask what branch of Islam Ellison adheres to, what mosque he attends, and what views on political matters are preached by his imams.
To comment on this post, go here.