Andrew Walden, FrontPageMagazine.com, September 19, 2006
In a clear sign of the deepening Unholy Alliance between the Democratic Party Left and Islamist extremists, Minnesota’s Democratic Party has nominated for U.S. Congress a “former” member of the Nation of Islam who has defended membership in the Bloods street gang, and called cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and leftist terrorist Sara Jane Olson “freedom fighters.”
Voters in the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), the Minnesota state affiliate of the national Democratic Party, elected Keith Ellison Hakim as their candidate to replace Minneapolis’s outgoing 14-term DFL Congressman Martin Sabo in the 5th Congressional District. “Encompassing Minneapolis and its near suburbs, the Fifth is the state’s most liberal urban district and the DFL’s greatest stronghold,” writes the Minneapolis St. Paul City Pages. Rejecting three other well-funded and highly qualified DFL candidates, the DFL endorsed Ellison, who has dropped his Islamic name, Hakim, for the race.
The DFL is now handing its “greatest stronghold” over to a candidate with long ties to Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and who has already accrued at least an estimated $20,000-$35,000 in funding from the terrorist-connected Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), including the maximum personal donation from CAIR chief Nihad Awad.
Information about Ellison’s relationship with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam is being mostly kept out of Democrat-leaning Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Ellison’s campaign biography says obliquely, “I am inspired by the Qur’an’s message of an encompassing divine love, and a deep faith guides my life every day…I was raised Catholic and later became a Muslim while attending Wayne State University.”
Without the work of bloggers from Minnesota Democrats Exposed and PowerLine Ellison might still be under the radar. A June 3, 2006, article in the Star Tribune claims merely, “Ellison said that when he had ties to the Nation of Islam for about 18 months in the mid-1990s.” Minnesota Public Radio tells listeners: “he hasn’t had any involvement with the group since that time and has never been a member of the organization.”
A CBS report states: “A Detroit native, Ellison grew up in a Catholic household before converting to Islam as a 19-year-old student at Wayne State University, long a hotbed of black activism…he was inspired by reading ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X,’ and by friendships with fellow students who were practicing the faith.”
Blogger Michael Brodkorb at Minnesota Democrats Exposed uncovered two articles that Keith Ellison wrote for the Minnesota Daily under the name Keith E. Hakim as a University of Minnesota Law student in 1989 and 1990. In one Ellison-Hakim repeats standard Nation of Islam (NOI) rhetoric, complaining of “the burden of brutal white savagery” and calls for a secessionist black “land base”…consisting of “Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.”
In the other, Ellison-Hakim defends the presence of a NOI speaker on campus and repeats little-known NOI doctrine to outsiders. He wrote: “Minister Louis Farrakhan never associated himself with al-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X). The Honorable Elijah Muhammad resurrected Shabazz and Minister Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan continues the Honorable Elijah Muhammed’s legacy; Shabazz abandoned it.” He also claims, “Certain forces sought to prevent Muhammad from speaking last week.”
In a recent comment on Minnesota Democrats Exposed, Olenick explains, “his articles — while extreme — are nothing compared to how he was in person. Keith Hakim/Ellison WAS an awful person 20 years ago. Can’t say I know much about him now: people do grow up. Still, if he harbors 1/100th as much hate as he did back then Minnesota is poised to send your very own David Duke to Washington.”
PowerLine reprints an unpublished June 5 letter to the Editor from Jeffrey H. Goldenberg describing a 1995 meeting chaired by Ellison:
Keith Ellison’s letter to Stephen Silberfarb, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) allegedly addresses his past ties to the racist, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and other questionable associations Mr. Ellison has made during his adulthood (Star Tribune June 3, 2006). However, the heart of Mr. Ellison’s letter, at least as it pertains to the Nation of Islam is somewhere between disingenuous and utterly dishonest.
Eleven years ago Mr. Silberfarb’s predecessor at the JCRC called me when former Nation of Islam spokesman Elijah Muhammed was invited to speak at the University of Minnesota. The JCRC was alarmed and concerned that the Nation of Islam, with its consistent history of bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism and hatred was provided such a prominent stage from which to spread its message.
Due in part to my involvement in the African-American community, I was asked to attend this meeting, make notes of what I heard and saw and report my findings back to the Executive Director. I accepted the assignment. It is a matter of public record that Mr. Ellison was a leading local participant in that meeting.
In the heart of his letter to Mr. Silberfarb, Mr. Ellison states, “I did not adequately scrutinize the positions and statements of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Muhammed. I wrongly dismissed concerns that they were anti-Semitic.”
Let me explain a bit about the meeting where Mr. Ellison stood with former Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Muhammed. After he was introduced, Mr. Muhammed let loose with a vitriolic rant attacking gays, Jews, whites and others. But that was just the warm-up.
Next, Mr. Muhammed intentionally embarrassed, intimidated and personally attacked members of the audience in the University of Minnesota lecture hall that evening.
First, he came after me. Out of a crowd of perhaps a couple of hundred, I was among a small handful of Caucasian attendees. “Hey, cracker taking notes there, what’s your name?” Mr. Muhammed demanded as he pointed his finger at me where I sat in the middle of the hall. “What’s a cracker doing here taking notes?” I smiled to mask my fear, turned beet red and said nothing as Mr. Muhammed continued to aim his racial intimidation tactics at me for another minute or so.
Then things really turned ugly. Towards the front of the hall sat an African American man and a Caucasian woman. Mr. Muhammed turned his attack on them. Upon confirming they were boyfriend and girlfriend, he attacked the man for having a white girlfriend. He attacked the man for bringing his white girlfriend to this public event. He asked personal and inappropriate rhetorical questions about why this African American man would choose a white girlfriend. He brought the young woman to tears in front of hundreds of people. Mr. Muhammed relentlessly attacked, embarrassed and intimidated this innocent pair because they were a bi-racial couple.
From his place by Mr. Muhammed’s side in 1995 what exactly was there for Mr. Ellison to scrutinize? With the racism, hatred, and anti-Semitism of the Nation of Islam laid bare for him that day, Mr. Ellison turned a blind eye in pursuit of his own personal objectives. Now he attempts to paper over his ugly past apparently for the same reason.
Pioneer Press refused to print this letter. It instead printed another letter defending Ellison but making the telling admission that Ellison pushed for anti-Semitic speakers to address students at UM. It ignores its own previous coverage and tells readers, “Ellison, 42, said he was never an enrolled member of the Nation of Islam. He got involved [in Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March] to help improve the lives of black men, he said, and did not fully grasp concerns about Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism until after the 1995 march.”
Minnesota Democrats Exposed points to three mentions of Ellison’s ties to the NOI as late as 1998.
“And before Muhammad spoke, Keith Ellison, a Minneapolis attorney and a member of the Nation of Islam, exhorted them to reach into their pockets to help defray costs of the march.” Source: Star Tribune, September 14, 1995.
“Ellison, a newcomer to DFL politics, is well-known in the black community as the former head of the Legal Rights Center and a supporter of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.” Source: Star Tribune, April 5, 1998.
“Ellison has been active in the community, but not within the established DFL party. A member of the Nation of Islam, Ellison was the coordinator of the Minnesota participants in the Million Man March and the subsequent community group that formed.” Source: Pioneer Press, June 21, 1998.
PowerLine points out that Ellison began his political career running for the Minnesota State legislature in 1998 under the name Keith Ellison-Muhammed as a self-identified member of the Nation of Islam. He lost but came back and won the seat (sans-Muhammed) in 2002 and 2004 before running for Congress.
The racist radicalism continued into the new millenium. PowerLine reprints a 2000 Ellison speech as a fundraiser for convicted terrorist murderer Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) member Kathleen Soliah/Sara Jane Olson. In the speech, Ellison refers to Farrakhan as “Minister Farrakhan” — a usage implying continuing membership in NOI. He also refers to Olson as a “fighter for freedom” and compares her to other “freedom fighters” including convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Ellison compared black street gangs to Olsen’s SLA comrades. The message is the SLA, drug pushers, and pimps who prey on black communities are all freedom fighters, not criminals. “Nobody ever knows what it means to BE a Blood, because they’ve already said this is ‘just evil.’ That’s ALL you need to know. ‘They’re bad.’ And same with the SLA….Sara Jane Olson, basically — is a black gang member.” (Of course, Olson spent many of her 25 years on the lam in a Minnesota suburban community theater troupe, not in an urban ghetto.)
PowerLine discovered that Ellison has also called himself Keith X. Ellison. The use of “X” in this alias as well as the spelling of “Muhammed” come straight out of NOI dogma.
Ellison’s campaign color is Islamic green. Even Ellison’s hairstyle and glasses make him appear strikingly like a younger Louis Farrakhan. Rather than an 18-month “involvement” with NOI, it appears Ellison joined at age 19 and remains either involved or profoundly impacted by Louis Farrakhan’s sickening ideology today.