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Thread: Muslim congressman to be sworn in using Quran

  1. #1
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Muslim congressman to be sworn in using Quran

    Congressman to be sworn in using Quran
    By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - The first Muslim elected to Congress says he will take his oath of office using a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson to make the point that "religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."

    Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., decided to use the centuries-old Quran during his ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday after he learned that it is kept at the Library of Congress. Jefferson, the nation's third president and a collector of books in all topics and languages, sold the book to Congress in 1815 as part of a collection.

    "It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Quran," Ellison said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

    "A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system," Ellison said. "This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."

    Some critics have argued that only a Bible should be used for the swearing-in. Last month, Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., warned that unless immigration is tightened, "many more Muslims" will be elected and follow Ellison's lead. Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college.

    Ellison said an anonymous person wrote to tell him about the Quran, and he arranged with the Library of Congress to use it. The chief of the Library of Congress' rare book and special collections division, Mark Dimunation, will walk the Quran across the street to the Capitol and bring it back after the ceremony.

    Ellison's decision to use Jefferson's Quran was first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday.

    Jefferson was born in Albemarle County, in what is now Goode's congressional district in central Virginia. Goode's office did not return phone and e-mail messages left Wednesday.

    An English translation of the Arabic, Jefferson's Quran was published in 1764 in London, a later printing of one originally published in 1734.

    "This is considered the text that shaped Europe's understanding of the Quran," Dimunation said.

    It was acquired in 1815 as part of a more than 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000 to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812.

    "It was a real bargain," Dimunation said.

    The Quran survived an 1851 fire in the Capitol. Dimunation described it as a two-volume work, bound in leather with marble boards.

    "As a rare book librarian," he said, "there is something special about the idea that Thomas Jefferson's books are being walked across the street to the Capitol building, to bring in yet another session of governmental structure that he helped create."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070104/.../ellison_quran
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  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    yeah so what! thats his chosen religious text and the god he believes in and bla bla bla so whats the big deal

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    If you don't believe in the Bible, then swearing on it would be pretty meaningless. I'm with Alice, here, what's the big deal?
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I agree with both of you. I bolded that portion just to point out the absurdity of tightening the immigration laws to prevent this situation. And even more ridiculous, even if this was a valid point, the guy was born in Michigan!
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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    I think its ridiculous too.

    But I am a teeny bit wary of this guy talking so much about his religious orientation. It scares me quite a bit if he lets it steer his course in decision-making.

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Like no other politician would? I think the guy is only talking about his religion because it is continually being challenged.

    No religious text is used in the swearing in. Bible or otherwise. This whole thing is just being stirred up by the right-wing fear-mongers. Their use of the inevitable Nazi comparisons is both amusing and retarded.

    "HANNITY: Malik, I want to ask you a question, as it relates to Dennis' column. Thank you both for being here. And he says, you know, on what grounds will those of you defending this congressman's decision and his right to choose his favorite book, you know, would you have allowed him to choose, you know, Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible?"

    The whole thing got rolling with a column by Dennis Prager from November, 28.

    "But Prager’s column is based on one other glaring error: the swearing-in ceremony for the House of Representatives never includes a religious book. The Office of the House Clerk confirmed to ThinkProgress that the swearing-in ceremony consists only of the Members raising their right hands and swearing to uphold the Constitution. The Clerk spokesperson said neither the Christian Bible, nor any other religious text, had ever been used in an official capacity during the ceremony. (Occassionally, Members pose for symbolic photo-ops with their hand on a Bible.)"http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/30/koran-bible-prager-ellison/

    Ellison has declared his intention to pose with the Koran for his ceremonial photo not swear on it. They keep on spreading this piece of misinformation.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    I agree with both of you. I bolded that portion just to point out the absurdity of tightening the immigration laws to prevent this situation. And even more ridiculous, even if this was a valid point, the guy was born in Michigan!
    oh yeah good point! ^ whatta bunch of hypocrits anyway.

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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy View Post
    Like no other politician would? I think the guy is only talking about his religion because it is continually being challenged.
    You probably have a point here, it just gives me bad vibes.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Thanks for clearing this up, twitchy.

    I'm sure my fundamentalist friend will forward me an email about this very subject soon.
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    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    religion has seriously no role in politics; it should be a part of your personal life and not a way you make your decisions.

    something that bugged the shit outta me the other day is; I have this friend whos a bible-thumper from oregon (like 1/2 the friends i had there) and every goddamn question i ask her; she responds with something like, "Well if God intends for it...." and i'm like why don't you make some damn decisions yourself! Like if you're hungry and you want some food if god tell you not to eat are you not going to?! dumb bitch. 'well if god intends it' I just keep hearing that over and over in my head and i wanna slap the shit out of her snarky little pleasantly-dumb smirking face!

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    Elite Member NawdleZouss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia View Post
    Thanks for clearing this up, twitchy.

    I'm sure my fundamentalist friend will forward me an email about this very subject soon.
    Associating with fundies! For shame! *spanks*
    2 years...

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Well, she's more of an email pal, since I don't work with her anymore. She's a nice, lovely lady, but she sends me conservative email forwards all the time, and I just delete them. I don't mind when she sends me purely spiritual things, & some have been very nice, but when it bleeds over into the "Christian=good, everyone else=bad" mentality, I get a little annoyed.

    I've noticed that she, and a couple other people I know just like her, are always the types to forward stories like this without doing any quick fact-checking. They receive it, get righteously alarmed, and send it on. Most of it can be discredited immediately on snopes, or just google.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    ^ uh yeah my grandma does that too w/ her emails annoy-ing!

  14. #14
    Elite Member NawdleZouss's Avatar
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    My dad's just like that; never answers when I send him links disproving the articles he sends. He also thinks Fox News is unbiased.
    2 years...

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