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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ellison tells US Muslims to stand up for justice

DEARBORN, Michigan: 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 Almighty Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim,” Keith Ellison said on Sunday night in this Detroit suburb, which is the centre 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. Heran successfully as a Democratic candidate for a Minnesota US House seat. US Rep. Virgil Goode, a Virginia Republican, drew widespread criticism when he challenged Ellison’s intention to take the oath of office on the Qura’an, 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 Almighty Allah ... if we turn to the Qura’an for guidance, we’ll find an answer to the questions we have.

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