MN: Keith Ellison May Be First Muslim in U.S. Congress


KEITH ELLISON MAY BE FIRST MUSLIM IN U.S. CONGRESS

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Keith Ellison, who could become the first Muslim to win a seat in the U.S. Congress, is a former Catholic who says both religions and family roots in the civil rights movement shaped a fiery liberal philosophy.

The chance to make history thrust the 43-year-old lawyer into the spotlight last week when he won the Democratic nomination to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ellison's faith hardly came up in the campaign in a heavily Democratic district but his former ties to controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were discussed.

Ellison said he had renounced Farrakhan and his group long ago because of their "bigoted and anti-Semitic ideas." But the issue may not die down.

His Republican opponent, Alan Fine, said after the primary he was "personally offended, as a Jew, that we have a candidate like this running for U.S. Congress."

 


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