I am not a Muslim, and I proudly join my Muslim brothers and sisters.
Muslim Americans have increasingly become targets of right-wing hate groups.
I know what it is to be a target of hate. I also know how it feels to practice a religious faith that is not considered to be mainstream.
I respect people of all faiths, and most of all I respect my country for having the freedom to practice or not practice a religion as one of the foundations of our democracy.
In the spirit of this time of self-examination I call upon my fellow citizens of goodwill to look into your hearts, and try to imagine being in Congressman Keith Ellison's shoes.
Send a message of thanks to a man who represents the best of what we as a nation stand for. Most importantly I ask that non-Muslims, and people who may not be theists at all, send him Ramadan greetings.
The vile and vicious outpouring of hate and McCarthyism unleashed against Sec. Hillary Clinton's longtime aide Huma Abedin by a right-wing cabal in our Congress spearheaded by Michele Bachmann and joined by Republican Reps. Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland, and crafted out of Frank Gaffney's paranoid propaganda, was immediately responded to by Congressman Ellison.
He sent this letter to Bachmann.
Ellison, a progressive Democrat, advocate of many causes for justice and equality that benefit us all—not just his constituents—had to stand alone each day in Congress as its only Muslim member. Bad enough he has to fight against the rising tide of racism against African-Americans coming from the Right. He is now no longer "the only" since Rep. André Carson (D-IN) has joined him in the isolation of "otherness".
Bachmann, as Hunter reported Friday, has gone even further off the deep end and accused Ellison of Muslim Brotherhood ties.
It was no easy task to be "the first".
It is no easy task to bear the pain, and the hate thrown at fellow Muslims and to remain a person with a gentle and loving spirit embracing people of all faiths and colors.
Ellison receives death threats, yet is always available to his constituents and our causes.
Imagine living daily with your loyalty to our nation being questioned as you live to give service.
Who here at Daily Kos can forget his warm welcome at Netroots Nation?
Who can forget the tears he wept for us all as he testified in Congress about the death of a 9/11 responder?
He has stood up for the environment, opposed war, and fought for health care.
(Continue reading below the fold.)
This is what he does for us in the House.
Caucus MembershipsSo now we can show him some love, for it is love that will ultimately overturn hate and the haters.
Founder: Congressional Consumer Justice Caucus
Co-Chair: Congressional Progressive Caucus
Vice-Chair: LGBT Caucus
Congressional Black Caucus
Out of Iraq Caucus
Children’s Environmental Health Caucus
Congressional Human Rights Caucus
Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus
Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus
Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans
Congressional Arts Caucus
Law Enforcement Caucus
Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine
Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus
Bicameral Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease
Congressional Diabetes Caucus
Congressional E9-1-1 (Emergency Responders) Caucus
Congressional Adoption Caucus
Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus
Congressional Populist Caucus
Green Jobs Caucus
You can send him an email, a tweet @KeithEllison, or call his office.
Minneapolis Office:Here's a card for him:
8:30 AM to 6:00 PM Central Time, Monday Through Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time, Monday Through Friday
A warm Ramadan mubarak to my Muslim family members, friends, co-workers and fellow Kossaks.
To those Muslim Americans who I may never meet—I say peace.
Salam Aleikum السلام عليكم