Keith Ellison tied to group that holds Quran as highest
Doubts grow over Muslim lawmaker's loyalty
Keith Ellison tied to
group that holds Quran as highest legal authority
December 6, 2006
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
The first Muslim member of Congress is linked to a radical Islamic
school of thought that requires loyalty to the Quran over the U.S.
Constitution, WND has learned.
Rep.-elect Keith (Hakim-Mohammed) Ellison, D-Minn., has drawn fire
for asking to take the constitutional oath on the Quran rather than
the Bible at a swearing-in ceremony next month.
The Constitution specifies that members of Congress shall be bound
by an oath to support the constitutional law of the land. In the oath,
Ellison will be required to swear to "support and defend the
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
domestic ... without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion."
Critics argue he has conflicting loyalties, while Ellison insists
he's a patriot.
But within days of being elected, Ellison held a workshop on
politics for a group closely affiliated with a radical Islamic school
that preaches no Muslim can pledge loyalty to the Constitution or make
laws outside the laws of the Quran, which the school's leaders assert
is the "supreme law" of the land, trumping all man-made laws including
the U.S. Constitution.
A black convert to orthodox Sunni Islam, Ellison spoke to the North
American Imams Federation, or NAIF, at the group's Nov. 19 conference
His talk flowed into a breakout session listed on the agenda simply
as "American Open University," according to the conference program. It
turns out the university is a "distance-learning" center based in
Alexandria, Va., and known to local law enforcement as "Wahhabi
Later that day, Ellison met with NAIF's president, Omar Ahmad
Shahin, who lectures at the same
American Open University. (He also met at the time with New York
imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing.) The radical Islamic school trains many of
NAIF's more than 150 members, who control mosques across America.
American Open University supports Sharia, or Islamic law. And its
founder and chairman,
Jaafar Sheikh Idris, has denounced the U.S system of democracy as
"the antithesis of Islam" and argued no man has the right to make laws
outside Allah's laws expressed in the Quran.
"There is a basic difference between Islam and this form of
democracy," he says. "The basic difference is that in Islam it is
[Allah's] law as expressed in the Quran and the Sunna that is the
supreme law within the limits of which people have the right to
"No one can be a Muslim who makes or freely accepts or believes
that anyone has the right to make or accept legislation that is
contrary to that divine law," Idris adds. "Examples of such violations
include the legalization of alcoholic drinks, gambling, homosexuality,
usury or interest, and even adoption."
Conversely, laws prohibiting polygamy and domestic violence also
violate the Quran.
Further, he maintains that no Muslim elected to Congress or the
White House can swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution and still be a
"No Muslim could become president in a secular regime, for in order
to pledge loyalty to the constitution, a Muslim would have to abandon
part of his belief and embrace the belief of secularism – which is
practically another religion. For Muslims, the word 'religion' does
not only refer to a collection of beliefs and rituals, it refers to a
way of life which includes all values, behaviors and details of
living," Idris says. "Separation of religion and state is not an
option for Muslims because it requires us to abandon [Allah's] decree
for that of a man."
He further explains: "Islam cannot be separated from the state
because it guides Muslims through every detail of running the state
and their lives. Muslims have no choice but to reject secularism for
it excludes the laws of [Allah]."
Also, he asserts that "there is absolutely no compromise: Any
belief that contradicts Islam is false."
Backed by CAIR
Ellison's campaign was backed by the Washington-based lobby group
Council on American-Islamic Relations,
a partner organization to American Open University-affiliated NAIF.
CAIR held fundraisers for Ellison, a civil-rights lawyer and one-time
acolyte of Louis Farrakhan who admits to making anti-Semitic remarks
in the past (under various alias including Keith Hakim, Keith
Ellison-Muhammad and Keith X Ellison).
CAIR's founder has
argued the Quran should replace the Constitution as the highest
authority in the land. The group's director of communications,
moreover, has expressed his desire to see the U.S. become an Islamic
state. CAIR is an offshoot of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a
suspected front for the terrorist group Hamas.
Pundit Dennis Prager and other critics have demanded Ellison take
the constitutional oath on the Bible, arguing the constitution derives
its authority from the Bible, not the Quran. If Ellison puts his hand
on the Quran, Prager says he would be in effect nullifying his oath
and undermining "American civilization."
"He should not be allowed to do so," he asserted in a recent
Another critic, Glenn Beck of CNN, questioned Ellison's loyalties.
"Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies," he asked
Ellison on a recent show.
"There's no one who is more patriotic than I am," Ellison replied.
"And so, you know, I don't need to prove my patriotic stripes."
Others point out Ellison has shown a pattern of disrespect for U.S.
laws, raising the question whether he's qualified to make law. Failure
to pay his taxes resulted in liens on his home. Failure to pay more
than 40 parking and traffic tickets has twice led to suspension of his
Minnesota license. He's also racked up hefty fines from campaign
finance violations and defended the leader of a cop-killing gang.
In addition to CAIR, the NAIF-affiliated American Open University,
however, has raised a number of red flags at the FBI, including the
- It's founder and chairman, Jaafar Idris, is a Sudanese radical
on the Saudi payroll who was recently deported for visa fraud and
spreading extremism in America. Idris, like NAIF's Shahin, studied
Islam in Saudi Arabia and Sudan and says he has "great respect" for
the father of the purist Wahhabi movement followed by Osama bin
Laden – Saudi theologian Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
- A co-founder of the school, Salah As-Sawi, is a professor at
Al-Azhar in Egypt, a bastion of the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood,
which gave rise to Hamas and al-Qaida. In fact, American Open
University is a fully accredited satellite campus of Al-Azhar.
As-Sawi worked with Idris at the Institute of Arabic and Islamic
Sciences in Washington, a propaganda center set up by the Saudi
Embassy to spread Wahhabism in America. It was raided after 9/11 and
is still under surveillance by federal authorities.
- Alumni of the "university" include convicted members of the
Virginia Jihad Network, who trained to kill American troops
- The school has received funding from a suspected al-Qaida front
that has expressly advocated suicide attacks and using airliners as
weapons. The Islamic Assembly of North America, or IANA, is
bankrolled by the Saudi religious minister who stayed at the same
Washington-area hotel as the hijackers the night before they
attacked the Pentagon. (He feigned a heart attack when FBI agents
tried to question him and was subsequently evacuated with other
Saudi officials on White House-approved escape flights after 9/11.)
A former CAIR official, Bassem Khafagi, headed IANA. He
pleaded guilty to terror-related charges and was deported after 9/11.
Last month's NAIF conference program outlining Ellison's session,
titled "Imams and Politics," says Muslim involvement in Western
politics is a "sensitive" issue.
"Imams must be able to provide Muslims with the proper guidance and
educate them on the etiquettes [sic] of any political involvement
within the Islamic context," the program says. "Questions also arise
on whether imams and Islamic centers should be involved in politics at
all and what the extent of this involvement should be."
Transcripts of his talk and the subsequent breakout session on
American Open University were not made available to the public.