Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison went to Islam’s third-holiest site as part of his visit to Jerusalem Sunday.

Ellison visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. He said he was there to learn and did not consider himself qualified to mediate in the Mideast conflict.

Ellison is the first Muslim member of Congress. He said his religion is not an identity that separates him from people, but something that connects him to people.

The Minnesota Democrat is visiting the Mideast as part of a delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The tour has drawn criticism from the White House because of a planned stop in Syria, a country that the White House says has provided support to terrorists.


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