Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s representative for the 5th Congressional District, has caught more flack (here and here) than most congressmen, and not for anything he has done, but rather for what he is. Rep. Ellison is guilty of the egregious error of being a Muslim in 21st century America.
Unsurprisingly he is being challenged in Minnesota by Tea Party Nation Muslim-hunter-criminal defense attorney-cum-crazy mall-lady Lynne Torgerson, who called him a “radical Muslim fundamentalist.” In her Tea Party announcement, Torgerson said,
“I, Lynne Torgerson, am running for Congress in Minnesota, against radical Islamist Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law in the United States,” she wrote on the Tea Party Nation website (registration required). “He accuses people of trying to ban it as ‘conspiratorilists.’ Keith Ellison also fails to support that the United States Constitution should be supreme over Islamic Sharia law.”
She further demanded Sharia Law be banned by state and federal governments (but not Mosaic Law?):
“We have duly enacted state laws and statutes throughout our 50 states in this, our United States of America. We also have duly enacted, by our elected officials, federal laws and statutes. Everyone who is a citizen of, and who lives in or visits the United States of America, is subject to the laws of our states and federal government. No one gets to come to the United States and bring their own laws here and expect them to apply in our states or federal government, or our courts. Islamic Sharia has no place in America. We must enact legislation barring the implementation of this foreign, non-representative sect of law. Islamic Sharia law must be banned throughout the United States.”
Torgerson previously challenged Ellison and with unhappy results, getting only 3 percent to Ellison’s 69 percent, her he’s “not an appropriate person to have in Congress” platform not selling.
On her 2010 campaign website she demonstrated her own catastrophic lack of qualifications for Congress:
“What do I know of Islam? Well, I know of 911. Nineteen (19) men from Saudi Arabia, all Muslim, hi-jacked planes, and flew into the two (2) World Trade Towers murdering thousands of people, and tried to fly into our Pentagon, and some believe they also tried to fly an airplane into our White House. From this, what I perceive is Islam conducting an act of war against my country.”
She seems to think that because attacking Ellison as a Muslim last time didn’t work, that attacking him as a Muslim this time will (I very much doubt she’s learned any more about Islam since 2010 – she looks like she’s more concerned with making bad hair-style choices).
She ran as an Independent last time (2010) though she declined to incorporate the IP ‘s “platform of equality and inclusion” because she doesn’t ” support those ideas” but had Tea Party Nation backing and little good it did. At that time, Judson Phillips of the TPN said of Ellison (for Phillips’ full 2010 email see the Minnesota Independent):
“Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel [sic] for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax dollars to terrorists in Gaza.”
He being the only Muslim member of Congress is supposed to be an automatic point-against, I suppose.
But if the behavior of Torgerson and Philips shames any thinking American, Ellison makes this Heathen proud by refusing to turn the other cheek. Instead, he returns “gift for gift” as we Heathens say. Speaking up against the rising tide of inquisition. Ellison has struck back:
“It’s clear that Torgerson intends to run a campaign based on hate, division, and fear. Just like in 2010, we’re not going to let our opponent’s divisive rhetoric set the tone of this campaign. Instead, we’re going to keep pushing for good jobs, affordable health care, and equality for all people.”
Ellison added, “Help defeat extremism by investing in our campaign. Unlike our opponent, we’ll continue organizing voters around our belief in liberty and justice for ALL.”
What can Rep. Ellison be thinking, selling the bizarre idea that the Ten Commandments-inspired Constitution actually promises liberty and justice for all? Everyone knows that the Constitution was written by and for White Christian folks.
And now one of those Christian fundamentalist pretend-Jewish Messianic groups, Olive Tree Ministries, is getting into the act, defending Torgerson. Jan Markell, the founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says Torgerson should be able to be intolerant without actually being accused of being intolerant.
“Torgerson has every right to question Keith Ellison and not be charged with intolerance.”
So Torgerson because she’s white and Christian has the right to question Keith Ellison but the dark-skinned Muslim has no right to question Lynne Torgerson?
She goes on to complain:
“And it stems from his association with Islamic groups that are questionable, including organizations like [the] Council on American-Islamic Relations. But Torgerson has been asking Keith Ellison to make a bold statement that the U.S. Constitution trumps Sharia Law.”
Lynne Torgerson said in 2009 that it’s about behavior, not about faith, and by her own argument she stands damned.
And we’re as interested in a statement from Ms. Markell and Ms. Torgerson that the Constitution trumps Mosaic Law as we are in a statement that the Constitution trumps Sharia Law. Mosaic and Sharia law are virtually identical, after all. For a diverse and pluralistic modern liberal democracy, one is as deadly as the other and both should be superseded by the U.S. Constitution.