Who is Keith Ellison and why should we CAIR?

On September 18, Rep. Keith Ellison spoke at the annual fundraising dinner for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). He did so even though, as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy notes, the FBI has broken all formal relations with CAIR because it is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial.
The Holy Land Foundation and five of its board members were found guilty on November 24, 2008 of illegally funneling more than $12 million to terrorist organizations. The trial raised significant concerns for the FBI about CAIR’s connections to Hamas, which is a designated terrorist organization by the United States Department of State.
In short, Keith Ellison is helping to raise money for an Islamist organization with ties to terrorist organization.
Three members of Congress from Arizona — Sen. John Kyl, Rep. Trent Franks, and Rep. John Shedegg — wrote a letter to Ellison urging him to reconsider his decision to speak to the Arizona chapter of CAIR. Ellison went ahead with the speech anyway. Ellison claimed he “would never associate with anyone even soft on terrorism.” He called the concerns raised by Kyl, Frank, and Shedegg “ridiculous.” As noted, however, these concerns are shared by the FBI.
Rep. Frank is holding a discussion this Thursday, October 1, on Capitol Hill about the role of American Muslims in countering Islamist ideologies. The event will begin at 1:30pm in 2203 Rayburn Building. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the aforementioned American Islamic Forum for Democracy will speak. I’m told that Keith Ellison will also be present. The potential is there for a lively exchange.
I won’t be able to make the event due to a heavy work schedule. If any of our readers attend, we’d welcome a report.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.