"Allah's Trailblazer" by R. Jonathan Moore

September 21, 2006

Source: Martin Marty Center


On September 21, 2006 the Martin Marty Center ran an opinion piece by R. Jonathan Moore, a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Religious Studies at Grinnell College. "Minnesota's fifth congressional district is about to make some history. This past week, Keith Ellison defeated three challengers to receive the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party's nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives. Given the district's Democratic leanings, Ellison is virtually assured a spot in the 110th Congress. Ellison will become the first African American to represent Minnesota in Washington... Fifth District voters will also be sending to Congress the nation's very first Muslim representative. During the primary campaign, the 43-year-old Ellison, a college convert to Islam, had to respond to charges of associating with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan... However, Ellison has denied ever belonging to the Nation of Islam, and he has directly renounced anti-Semitism in public and in letters to Jewish community organizations... News of Ellison's primary victory was picked up by media outlets from as far away as Somalia and Qatar, and his American profile will only grow as November nears. E Pluribus Unum? Another test awaits."