It is always fascinating to me how people at times choose to misinterpret, overlook, trivialize, and otherwise adjust information to suit their purposes.  My previous post about Keith Ellison being elected to Congress and choosing to use a Koran that had belonged to Thomas Jefferson was the object of such an “adventure in elaboration, accusation and exaggeration.”  The purpose of this post is to state some of my beliefs as clearly as possible.

1.  Our enemies in this war on terror ARE Muslims.  However, at no time have I EVER said, written or indicated in any way that ALL Muslims are our enemies.

2.  I believe that Islam, as practiced by many in the world today, is a religion to be feared.  The Islamic extremists’ interpretation of the Koran is that ANYONE who isn’t a Muslim is to be killed.  That is the ultimate intolerance for religious beliefs.

3.  Our soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan FOR the peaceful people (mostly Muslims) who live there to determine their own way of life.  Our soldiers are dying daily FOR Muslims.

4.  There are American soldiers who are Muslims who are right there fighting alongside the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists and Hindus.  I admire and respect and honor our service personnel.

5.  I stated in the previously mentioned post that Ellison was brilliant to use a Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson for his swearing in.  I believe it made him more palatable to people who opposed his election.

6.  Considering the wars and death and destruction going on in the world today that have been the direct result of MUSLIM extremism based on the Koran, I personally find it repulsive for a member of Congress to be sworn in on the Koran.

7.  However, NOWHERE and at NO TIME have I EVER written or said that Ellison did not have the right to be elected as a representative from his state.

8.  NOWHERE and at NO TIME have I EVER written or said that Ellison did not have the right to make his oath of office with his hand on the Koran.

9.  NOWHERE and at NO TIME have I EVER said that there should be any kind of “religious test” or “religious qualification” for someone to be elected to office or to serve in office or that anyone should be FORCED to be sworn-in using a Bible.

10.  In my blog I express MY opinions about whatever is going on in the world.  I personally find it disgusting that a representative of the most violent and intolerant religion I’ve ever known was elected to Congress.  Again, my personal opinion has nothing to do with his RIGHT to be elected, and I would never do anything to change the rights of the people of Minnesota to elect whomever they wish.

11.  I personally find it disgusting that a member of Congress was sworn in using a Koran.  Again, my personal opinion has nothing to do with Ellison’s RIGHT to be sworn in using a Koran, and I would never do anything to change the rights of elected officials to be sworn in using their “holy book” – whether it is the Bible, Koran, Torah – whatever – or no book at all.

12.  When I wrote the previous post, I put the word “enemy” in quotation marks to indicate that it wasn’t a blanket statement.  It was used in the context of the rest of that particular paragraph.

13.  NOWHERE and at NO TIME have I EVER written or said anything to indicate that I want to restrict anyone’s expression of religious beliefs, and I would never do anything that would result in that.

14.  Neither the left nor the right has a monopoly on patriotism or on good intentions.  People interpret current events based on their belief systems and their own experience. 

15.  I admire George W. Bush immensely.  He has served as our President amidst overwhelming and concerted partisan attacks.  Of course he has made some mistakes, but overall I believe he is a strong American president who has taken the high road in virtually every decision, and I strongly believe that history will prove him to be one of our greatest presidents.

16.  I have deeply held beliefs in the areas of religion, politics, ethics, relationships, and family.  This blog reflects those beliefs. 

17.  Personal attacks are hurtful and destructive. 

I’ve read a lot about verbal abuse the past ten or so years.  It’s a phenomenon that is more prevalent than most people realize.  An excellent article on verbal abuse can be found here. 

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5 Responses to “Are Muslims our Enemies? Keith Ellison, the Koran, the U.S. Constitution”

  1. Brian Says:

    Let me outline what I find unsettling about your assertions. I will look at two statements you make.

    “Considering the wars and death and destruction going on in the world today that have been the direct result of MUSLIM extremism based on the Koran, I personally find it repulsive for a member of Congress to be sworn in on the Koran.”

    “I personally find it disgusting that a representative of the most violent and intolerant religion I’ve ever known was elected to Congress.”

    In statements such as these, you indicate your offense at any Muslim participating in American government. You don’t deny their right, you are simply offended by it. Because the Islam is being used to propagate violence across the world, American Muslims should “know their place” and not seek to serve their country in political office. You have no problem with them fighting and dying for their country, they just shouldn’t help to lead this country.

    I find such assertions troubling and puzzling. Troubling because it paints Muslims in a broad brush, and marginalizes moderate Muslims. Puzzling because it seems to me to be so against what America stands for. In my view we should hold Ellison up and shout to the Muslim world “take your intolerant theocracies and smoke ’em!”, because five years after radical Muslims commit a horrific act of terrorism on our country we freely elect a Muslim to congress. We allow the use of the Koran in a ceremony supporting democracy. We declare to the world that the principles of equality and freedom America supports means ANYONE can participate in our democratic process, even Muslims.

    Representative democracy is a bold risk. By allowing anyone to participate in government we also allow extremists access to our government. The hope of American democracy is that by allowing extremists equal access we prevent its growth, the way sunlight kills mold.

    So I support Ellison completely. If he loses the trust of his electorate, they will throw him out. I don’t fear him because I trust our democratic process. It is why we will win and the Islamic extremists will lose.

    TMS:  You make some good points.  However the parts about my being willing to let Muslims fight and die for our country but not serve in Congress  – and about “Muslims knowing their place” are YOUR WORDS, not mine.

    My general dislike for Muslims and the religion of Islam is based on what is happening in the world today – and it is separate from my beliefs about our American Constitution and government. 

  2. Brian Says:

    TMS,

    My apologies if I misunderstood you. From your words:

    “There are American soldiers who are Muslims who are right there fighting alongside the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists and Hindus. I admire and respect and honor our service personnel.”

    I assumed by this you feel the American Muslim soldiers are doing a noble job in serving their country. I assumed that meant you feel military service is a suitable path for Muslim Americans, and that you are not offended by their service.

    Contrarily, your words:

    “I personally find it disgusting that a representative of the most violent and intolerant religion I’ve ever known was elected to Congress.”

    Would seem to indicate that while you have no problem with them risking their lives and possibly dying for their country, you find it disgusting that a Muslim would secure a position in congress.

    Hence my phrase “knowing their place.” My words, true, but I felt it encapsulated what you have asserted. If I am wrong in my understanding of your feelings, please feel free to clarify.

    You have stated you support the ideals of representative government, but are “disgusted” when Americans freely choose a Muslim. You are offended when a Muslim congressman exerts his freedom of religion. It seems (and perhaps I just misunderstand) that while you support the rights of Muslims, you feel they should choose not to exercise those rights. Why else be offended?

    What I can’t wrap my head around is how your argument is anything other than simple bigotry. How is it different than saying women have the RIGHT to vote, but then being “disgusted” when they speak their mind, or supporting the rights of Christians, and then being “disgusted” that Americans would elect someone of the same religion as Fred Phelps?

    Obviously there are radical interpretations of Islam, but that does not mean that all mainstream American Muslims adhere to such interpretations. It would be just as unfounded to say that Catholics shouldn’t run for congress because their religion requires them to submit to the will of the Pope.

    We now have a Muslim in congress. For my two cents, I would rather hold him to task as a congressman and as a representative of non-radical Islam than condemn his faith in toto.

  3. GumbyAnne Says:

    For most of us living in Minnesota who are actually familiar with Ellison’s record, all of this outrage seems a little over-the-top. It seems that in all the discussion about what we think about Islam, we lose sight of Ellison as an individual with a political record that is not at all mysterious or shady.

    Before anyone gets bent out of shape, I hope they take the time to look into Rep. Ellison’s record and some of the other details of his life.

    You can’t pin him with “Muslims want to convert or kill everyone.” The biggest piece of evidence for this is that his wife is not even a Muslim. Nor are his siblings or parents. It is pure alarmism to say that someone who won’t force is religion on his wife is going to force it on the rest of us.

    The fact that some Muslims are oppressive of women, homosexuals and Jews is undisputed, but you cannot possibly implicate Rep. Ellison in this. In fact, he has made his name here in Minnesota politics by standing up for gay rights and women’s reproductive rights at every opportunity in the state house of representatives. Also, he received the endorsement of the biggest Jewish newspaper in MN, even though his republican opponent was a Jew.

    I am proud that we have put our money where our mouth is when we say that we support religious freedom and elect leaders who can practice any faith as long as their political platform is not to force their own religion on the rest of us (a striking comparison to Rep. Bachman from the 6th district, who is a real “my-religion-should-be-the-law-of-the-land” type. But she is a Christian, so hardly a peep about that). Ellison is a liberal democrat representing a liberal district and that is how he got elected.

    If anyone is concerned with where Rep. Ellison might lead this nation, I think they might get some comfort by visiting the state of Minnesota, where he has served 3 terms in the legislature. It is a pretty nice place, and still strikingly free of sharia law.

    So, I hope more people in the blogosphere can keep their wits about them on this issue and trust the voters of his district, who knew exactly who he was when they elected him.

  4. Blue Star Chronicles Says:

    Blog Reconnoiter…

    Thought I’d take a look around and see what other people are talking about ……..

  5. Blog Reconnoiter » Blue Star Chronicles Says:

    […] The Median Sib asks if muslims are our enemies. […]

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