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The importance of Keith Ellison, a patriotic American who's also a Muslim

Keith-EllisonBy Joan Walsh, MinnPost, 4/30/13

Progressives loved seeing Rep. Keith Ellison smack down his GOP congressional colleague Peter King on "Meet the Press" Sunday, insisting that profiling Muslims in the wake of the Boston bombing is not only wrong but "ineffective law enforcement."

As Ellison warned: "Once you start saying, we're going to dragnet or surveil a community, what you do is you ignore dangerous threats that are not in that community, and you go after people who don't have anything to do with it."

Of course right-wing bloggers hailed King as the winner in the debate - he wasn't - and one sad sack even called Ellison "the jihadi Democrat."

The fact is, we need more Keith Ellisons in Congress. Not just because he's a great progressive voice, supporting the president but challenging him strongly on his questionable austerity politics, but also because he's a patriotic American who's also a Muslim. He's crucial right now.

On "Meet the Press" David Gregory tried to pigeonhole Ellison a little: "You're a Muslim -- this concerns you on civil libertarian grounds and other areas."

Ellison shot back: "I'm an American," Ellison replied. "And I'm concerned about national safety -- public safety -- just like everyone is." (Full article)

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