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Congress' first Muslim lawmaker tells U.S. Muslims to stand up for justice

Congress' first Muslim lawmaker tells U.S. Muslims to stand up for justice

The first Muslim elected to Congress returned to his home state and told fellow Muslims to observe their faith and work for justice.
"You can't back down, you can't chicken out, you can't be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Keith Ellison said Sunday night in this Detroit suburb, which is the center of Michigan's Arab American community.
He spoke at a convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America, attended by about 3,000 people.
Born in Detroit, Ellison converted to Islam while in college. He ran successfully as a Democratic candidate for a Minnesota U.S. House seat.
U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, a Virginia Republican, drew widespread criticism when he challenged Ellison's intention to take the oath of office on the Quran, rather than the Bible. Goode said more Muslims would be elected to office unless immigration was limited.
Muslims can expect more attacks in the future, Ellison said.
"We're going to continue to face them," he was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press on Monday. "They're not going to stop right away. But if you, and me too, stick together, if we believe in Allah ... if we turn to the Quran for guidance, we'll find an answer to the questions we have. And we will find that we are an asset and a plus not only to our own community, but to this country, and to this whole world."
Ellison said that Muslims can help the nation learn about justice and equal protection.
"Muslims, you're up to bat right now," he said. "How do you know that you were not brought right here to this place to learn how to make this world better? How do you know that Allah ... did not bring you here so that you could understand how to teach people what tolerance was, what justice was?
"How do you know that you're not here to teach this country?"


Updated : 2021-08-05 06:44 GMT+08:00