Keith Ellison Elected to U.S. Congress
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Keith Ellison was born in 1963 in Detroit, Mich., and settled in Minneapolis after he moved there to study law. A defense attorney, he became active in community affairs and civil rights issues, serving two terms in the Minnesota state House of Representatives. In 2006, he became the first Muslim elected to national office when he was chosen to represent Minnesota’s fifth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Jan. 4, 2007, Ellison was sworn into Congress with a Koran belonging to Thomas Jefferson, prompting some critics to complain that it was traditional to take the oath using a Bible. A progressive Democrat, Ellison has continued to be re-elected to his office.

Other Muslims have followed his lead, becoming active in local and national politics. As Ellison once put it, "The best defense against extreme ideologies is social inclusion and civic engagement."
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Congressman Ellison's Swearing In Ceremony with Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an- photo by Michaela McNichol, Library of Congress, via Rep. Keith Ellison on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Congressman Keith Ellison portrait- Wikimedia Commons- United States Congress photo.0)

Keith Ellison for US Congress, Minneapolis May Day Parade- Flickr- photo by Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0)

Keith Ellison speaking- Flickr- photo by Karen Smith Murphy (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Web Source(s)
Montgomery, David. 2009. "Profile of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the First Muslim Elected to Congress." Washington Post.
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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