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Faith questions for Keith Ellison

Stanley Kurtz observes that “[o]utgoing New York Times editor Bill Keller has kicked up a controversy by placing on the table a series of religious questions for the Republican candidates for president.” I want to get in on the act and pose a set of questions for Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison, America’s first Muslim congressman.

I summarized my research on Ellison just before he was elected to Congress in 2006 in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.” I included PDF copies of several of the documents on which the article was based in the companion Power Line post “Keith Ellison for dummies.” More recently, Middle East Quarterly editor Denis MacEoin reviewed the record in detail in “Keith Ellison’s stealth jihad.”

Ellison’s public career raises basic questions that haven’t been asked by the media or answered by Ellison. Here are a few that come to mind:

1. You say you converted to Islam as a college student in Detroit, yet your first published articles as a law student at the University of Minnesota were written under the pseudonym “Keith Hakim” from the perspective of a follower of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. When did you convert to Islam? At what mosque did you worship?

2. After you graduated from law school, you became well known around Minneapolis as a local leader of the Nation of Islam. Were you a Muslim at that time?

3. When you first ran for public office in 1998, the Insight News published an interview with you. You were running under the name “Keith Ellison-Muhammad” and identified yourself to the Insight News as a member of the Nation of Islam. Were you also a Muslim at that time? When after 1998 did you abandon the Nation of Islam?

4. When you were a member of the Nation of Islam, did you believe that Yakub was a black scientist who lived “6,600 years ago” and was responsible for creating the white race to be a “race of devils”?

5. Have you joined a mosque in Minneapolis? When did you join it?

6. Do you believe that Islamic law should be the law of the land in the United States? Do you think Islam should be subordinate to the constitutional separation between church and state?

7. You are a liberal Democrat who advocates the Democratic Party’s positions on gay rights, abortion, and feminism. Which branch of Islam comports with your position on these issues?

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