An update on the story: Keith Ellison finally got to meet his hero, Virgil Goode, the Congressman who basically accused Ellison of being an illegal immigrant (even though Ellison’s family has been in America for multiple generations) who should be deported. Here’s an excerpt from Goode’s statement:
The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and 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. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.
Ellison’s response: “I look forward to meeting him.”
Well, guess what? They got to meet! Goode’s back is to the camera. Ellison is the guy who sneaks up, all smiles, and introduces himself.
Here’s an interesting development in a story we’ve reported on: As many of you know, no holy book is used during the swearing-in ceremony for the United States House of Representatives. However, representatives sometimes carry a sacred book, most often the Bible, and participate in a private, unofficial ceremony afterward.
Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the House, made national news when he said he’d be carrying a Koran. Conservative talk show host Dennis Prager helped to exacerbate the controversy by claiming that Ellison would be using the book in the official ceremony. Not true.
But according to CNN, Ellison will be holding a Koran during the unofficial ceremony, a very special copy of the text that is sacred to over one billion Muslims, a copy that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson.
From the article:
Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert said the new congressman “wants this to be a special day, and using Thomas Jefferson’s Quran makes it even more special.”
“Jefferson’s Quran dates religious tolerance to the founders of our country,” he added.
An English translation of the Arabic, it was published in 1764 in London, a later printing of one originally published in 1734.
“This is considered the text that shaped Europe’s understanding of the Quran,” Dimunation said.
It was acquired in 1815 as part of a 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000, to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812.