United States: Congressman takes oath on the Koran

Source: FSSPX News


Keith Ellison, an African American born in Detroit is the first American Congressman to have sworn an oath on the Koran during the first session of the 110th Congress, on January 4. Aged 43, he was born in to a Catholic family and converted to Islam while a student. Today married and the father of four children, he is an attorney and has been elected as the Democrat Representative for the State of Minnesota in the House of Representatives.

 The Muslim Congressman swore the oath in the presence of Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to preside over the Lower House of American Congress, on a copy of the Koran, borrowed from the Congressional library and having belonged to the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. “The Koran is the book I read every day and whence I draw my inspiration,” Keith Ellison told ABC News.

 Before the ceremony, Virgil Goode, a Republican representative from Virginia, had declared that the U.S. had to adopt a strict immigration policy “necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.” When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way,” and he pointed out that “the Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”

In response, Nihad Awad, director general of the Council for American-Islamic relations, declared that the remarks made by Virgil Goode “reflected ignorance, caused division and were an affront to Muslims in his district and to Americans of all religions who believe in the ancient tradition of religious tolerance and diversity of our country.”

David Friedman, a representative of the Anti-defamation League, a Jewish organization, explained in a letter to Virgil Goode that no member of Congress had been sworn in by means of a Bible or any other holy book, but they had been officially sworn in all together without the use of any holy book. However, he pointed out that representatives often took a second oath separately, and used a book of sacred texts during this second ceremony. Since, what unites Americans is “a system of values built upon religious liberty, respect for differences and democratic pluralism.”

 On December 21, Keith Ellison replied on CNN television, that he was eager to meet Virgil Goode: “Perhaps it would interest him to know that the Muslims – who number around 5 million in the country – are there to support and strengthen the United States.”