Minnesota Democrat May Become First Muslim in Congress

May 24, 2006

Source: The Hill


On May 24, 2006 The Hill reported, "With a fast-growing U.S. population estimated around 5 million, Muslims are increasing their voice in local and national politics every year. But thus far they haven’t had one of their own in a national position of power in Congress, the Cabinet or the Supreme Court. He didn’t know it at the time, but Keith Ellison took a large step toward changing that earlier this month when he won the Democratic endorsement for the seat of retiring Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) in one of the safest Democratic districts in the country. Ellison, a black Muslim, still faces a September primary challenge that could feature Sabo’s chief of staff, a former state Democratic party chairman. But he has already gotten closer than any other Muslim candidate in recent years and would be the first Muslim in Congress, according to several national Muslim groups. He said that he’s not running on his religion and hasn’t thought much about what it would mean to be the first but that he sees the positives that could come from it. He would also be the first black congressman from Minnesota."