Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adam Serwer on Keith Ellison

The Islamophobic right's renewed focus on Ellison is reminder of how divorced from anything resembling a legitimate government interest their agenda is. As co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, Ellison's social liberal views are about as far from Taliban-style Sharia as possible. Ellison has also very publicly called on Muslims to do more to counter radicalism, saying at an appearance in July that "As American Muslims, we have to tackle the moral logic that some Muslims use to justify violence in the name of religion...To say glibly Islam is a religion of peace ignores the reality that there are some Muslims, to our horror, who distort Islam and advocate violence. We have to be at the forefront of correcting the record."

The Islamophobic right though, isn't so much interested in national security or even preserving the secular rule of law as it is about preventing American Muslims from having any role in American public and political life. So it doesn't matter how much of an antithesis to radicalism Ellison represents through is political views or the very fact of his participation in American democracy, because he identifies as a Muslim, he is an enemy. 

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