Monday, January 08, 2007

Rep. Keith Ellison’s Excellent Opportunity

To: Congressman Keith Ellison, Fifth District, Minnesota
From: Interested Americans
Re: Your great opportunity

Rep. Keith Ellison and familyYou have been elected to serve the Fifth District of Minnesota in the United States House of Representatives. This is a crucially important opportunity, not only for all of your district’s constituents, but also for Muslims in America — even Muslims worldwide, who watch American politics with close attention.

You are in an unprecedented position: the political point man for Islam in this country. As our only elected Muslim in national office, you have the heavy burden and the unique responsibility to aid the cause of Islam in its endeavor to become the religion of conciliation.

There is no doubt that you, as our sole Muslim member of Congress, could bring to bear a high level of influence on Iran and other Muslim countries, in order to make the situation for women in these countries more humane.

If you were to use your bully pulpit to speak out about the plight of women under sharia law — especially in Iran and Pakistan — you would be a powerful influence for good.

Your wife is a professional, a teacher of mathematics. She has obviously been a helpmeet and an equal in your rise to national office. To make the politics into the personal, consider the alternative fate of your wife, her career, and her life, were she living in a Muslim theocracy such as Iran. As you well know, her existence would be precarious and her career non-existent. You have only to question former professional women like Iranian expatriate Manda Zand Ervin, the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women, to know that your family’s Muslim identity and security in America do not flow from the ideas laid down by the Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, your family’s safety originates here, in your native country, where all women have the access to the same opportunities your wife has used to educate herself and to contribute to the commonweal of Minnesota and of the United States.

Muslim women in other countries live under the yoke of a draconian hatred towards women qua women. Their original sin lies in being born female, and thus being worth half the value of a man.
- - - - - - - - - -
This law is not something your leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, would understand or condone.

Thus, Rep. Ellison, your public stance on the predicament of Muslim women is vital to the progress of reforming the view many Americans have of Islam at the moment. The news from Afghanistan and Iran is unutterably sad: the number of women choosing suicide over the prospect of living under sharia is increasing dramatically. A nine-year-old girl chose self-immolation rather than face a forced marriage that meant a lifetime of virtual slavery. Can you imagine your child faced with such a choice?

Many women in Iran are in prison awaiting execution by stoning or hanging for the crime of being raped. Often these are rural women who do not speak Farsi, and have been inadequately represented in court. Some of them had to have their sentences explained to them after the fact.

You have emphasized your Muslim beliefs by choosing to take your oath of office using the Koran. With this public emphasis on your religion, it is imperative that you follow through on this symbolism with vital action on behalf of Muslim women everywhere.

Why not begin in Iran, where women like and support our country, where people have begged the United States to intervene on behalf of the homeless children and the underage sex slaves who are sold into lives of degradation in other Muslim countries?

With many others, I await your response to your historic calling.

Gates of Vienna

Any citizens who wish to encourage Rep. Ellison may contact his Minnesota district office here:

The Hon. Keith Ellison
250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 225
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
Phone: (612) 664-8000
Fax: (612) 664-8004

Mail to Congressman at their offices in Washington is slowed considerably due to the anthrax quarantine. However, phone calls and faxes are effective; use the numbers below.

Phone: (202) 225-4755
Fax: (202) 225-4886

Update: I should have mentioned that this open letter is part of a group effort. The idea for it came from No Apology, to whom we owe a hat tip.


Anonymous said...

My letter to keith ellison would go something like this:

Can you explain why the Imam malay at the airport took place smack dab in the middle of your voting district?

Come on. Don't lie to me. You had a lot to do with this incident.

OMMAG said...

Don't hold your breath Dymphna

Unknown said...

You mean "melee". "Malay" is a nationality.

Dymphna said...


That is not my breath you see me holding. Look more closely.

Anonymous said...

Reading this piece (in a hurry, I might add, so I might risk misrepresenting her views), I get the impression that Dymphna is either an Islam apologist (because her writings suggest that Ellison not only can do what she is asking and still be a Muslim, but that he can and should do this because he is a Muslim), or she is making a tactical manoeuvre intended to illuminate the fact that Ellison as a Muslim simply cannot do these things.

Beach Girl said...

Dymphna - could you please link these two posts here. One specifically speaks to Rep. Ellison and the other speaks to CAIR. The former may be more in line with the intent of your letter/post.

Nazanin - Is her plight the face of Islam?

CAIR and Nazanin?

On the comment from Anonymous - he/she means well but seems to forget that the real question is this: Can a Muslim be a Muslim and swear and oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Some would argue that Islam, itself, is not compatable with our form of government - period.

Thanks if you link one or both of the posts.

OMMAG said...


I offer you this related link:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Can a Muslim be a Muslim and swear and oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution?

I would say a clear no.

Some would argue that Islam, itself, is not compatable with our form of government - period.

And I'd agree with them.

Dymphna said...


Thanks for the link. It's a privilege to be linked on small dead animals, and the original source, about "The Six Fundamentals Of Womynhood" is obviously from an alternate universe.

No wonder the Greeks koined the word "hysteria." These women are living (sort of) proof of ancient Greek wisdom...for at least some of us.

One commenter thinks the vagina-ists are passé, but obviously he hasn't seen Larry Summers' family jewels hanging in their hall of fame...I mean Hall of Fem...

Dymphna said...


your own experience in the ME points to the problem. It is my fervent hope that Rep. Ellison sees your pov. That's why we must keep asking him. If his religious beliefs compel him to take his oath on the Koran, what do his personal beliefs compel him to do about his family? And what do his constitutional beliefs compel him to do re the plight of women in the ME?

He brought up the Koran, not I. He ran on his Muslimhood, not I. If he is going to play this card in American politics, then he needs to be holding a strong, US constitutionally-based hand. I'd like to help him do that.

I think Rep Pelosi would, too.

M. Simon said...

Ellison has some surpising things to say about Israel and Iran.


Beach Girl said...

Just finished this to link here: Rep. Keith Ellison - Nazanin needs your help!

Thank you.

Dymphna said...

ric said:

the tribalism that mars Islam by not allowing for any sort of self-critical thinking, much less expression.

Mr. Ellison is a convert...umm, I mean revert...he has no tribal affiliations, unless one counts the tribes that give lots of campaign money to political candidates nation-wide.

David M said...

Trackbacked at The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 01/09/2006

moderationist said...

Also he could be asked to speak out against burning of schools and killing of teachers of girls in Thailand and Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Why should Ellison speak out against Muslim-perpetrated violence in Thailand or Afghanistan?

He should speak out against it if those Muslims' actions result from their performing their religious duties in line with the teachings of Islam, the religion to which Ellison himself pledges his alliance by calling himself a Muslim.

You're a Christian, I'm assuming... I demand that you speak out against Charles Manson and Jim Jones.

If a Christian were to speak out against Charles Manson and Jim Jones, it would have to be because these people have commited atrocities in line with the teachings of Christianity. Could The Liberal Avenger please enlighten us as to how the actions of Manson and/or Jones have been in line with the teachings of Christianity?