The Ellison hustle

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Yesterday in “The truth about Keith Ellison” I noted Ellison’s comments earlier this week to a meeting of Twin Cities atheists. Among Ellison’s deep thoughts was this one comparing 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag as reported by the Star Tribune:

“It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”

What’s going on here? Although Ellison claims to have converted to Islam as an undergraduate, he appears to have arrived in Minneapolis for law school as an acolyte of the Nation of Islam. Betweeen 1989 and 1998 Ellison adopted names including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad while promoting Nation of Islam doctrine, representing the Nation of Islam, and holding himself out as a member of the Nation of Islam while running for office. When Ellison first ran for office in 1998 he did so as a self-proclaimed member of the Nation of Islam under the name Keith Ellison-Muhammad.
Insofar as one can observe in the public record, the Farrakhan shtick was Ellison’s hustle at least until 1998. Today it’s his Muslim faith combined with his radical politics. This past March McClatchy News and the Associated Press reported that the State Department had called on Ellison to burnish America’s image in the Muslim world. The State Department may want to rethink the promotion of a 9/11 conspiracist as a spokesman for the United States even if it provides a beautiful bridge to believers in foreign lands.
In early April Ellison accompanied Nancy Pelosi on her destructive Middle East trip — quite a coup for a freshman member of the House of Representatives. After the Saudi Arabian leg of the trip (photo above), Ellison pronounced King Abdullah “a visionary leader.” I’m pretty sure Ellison wasn’t referring to the the king’s vision of imprisonment, lashing, or execution for homosexual conduct, the king’s vision of relations between the sexes, or the king’s vision of freedom of (Islamic) religion. But the Minnesota media never did get around to asking Ellison precisely what regal vision he was referring to.
This past November Ellison attended the imams’ conference in suburban Minneapolis that resulted in the case of the flying imams. We noted the Ellison connecton to the flying imams at the time. Within a day of the removal of the flying imams from the US Airways flight in Minneapolis, Ellison was demanding meetings with executives of US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission to discuss it. Ellison hasn’t been heard from much on the subject since this past November. He’s moved on to work his hustle on easier marks.
UPDATE: At Contentions, Gabriel Schoenfeld wonders what’s on Keith Ellison’s night table.
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