The growing smear campaign against Keith Ellison

CREDIT: AP Photo/Molly Riley


Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress , and now he’s being painted as a ‘radical’ with ‘ties to the Nation of Islam.’

With the Democrats in disarray following President-Elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory, the horse-race for the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair is tense, messy, and potentially crowded. Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison is one of the favorites — and conservatives are already trying to tear him down with false equivalencies and smear tactics.

One common thread to the complaints: Ellison’s religion. Ellison is the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, as well as the first Black congressman from Minnesota.

This tactic is hardly new. When Ellison was first seeking national office, Minnesota Republicans used his faith to attack him, alleging ties to the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. Blatant Islamophobia erupted when, because he is Muslim, he requested to be sworn in on the Quran instead of the Bible.

At the time, Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode (R), who endorsed Trump in 2015, wrote a letter to his constituents claiming that “if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran.” (Goode endorsed Trump for President in Breitbart last year).

Ellison ultimately used a Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson. President Obama cited his swearing in an example of America’s religious tolerance in a 2009 speech in Cairo.

When the controversy first erupted in 2006, Ellison denied that he was ever a member of the Nation of Islam. He clarified that, while he had never joined the group, he had organized a Minnesota delegation to the 1995 Million Man March, at which the Nation’s leader Farrakhan spoke.

Ellison also apologized at the time for some positive articles he had written as a student in the late 1980s about Farrakhan, saying he hadn’t “adequately scrutinized the positions” of the movement’s leaders. He said then that he believed “they were and are anti-Semitic.”

Now, the same allegations are being floated on the right as a pre-emptive argument against his bid for DNC chair.

TruthRevolt, a conservative site founded by former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro and David Horowitz, branded Ellison a “Muslim Brotherhood Shill” and a “radical.” On Fox News, pundit Pete Hegseth called Ellison a “radical congressman.”

Fox News also published an article which painstakingly lays out the allegations against Ellison, titled “Who is Keith Ellison? Left-wing congressman with past ties to Nation of Islam wants DNC job.”

And in Commentary Magazine, Ellison was described as an example of the left’s “embrace of radicalism,” part of the democrats “big bet on fanaticism,” and “a former disciple of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.”

“Though he had since denounced Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, Ellison has kept the torch of antipathy for Israel burning,” Noah Rothman writes.

In another article in Commentary, Editor John Podhoretz positions Ellison as the balance to Steve Bannon, Trump’s new Chief Strategist. Bannon was formerly the head of Breitbart and turned it into a “the platform the the alt-right.”

In the article, Podhoretz details some of the objections against Bannon, most notably his association with anti-Semitism.

“With Bannon in a senior role at the White House and the possible appointment of the radical congressman Keith Ellison as head of the Democratic National Committee, we could be seeing our political system devolving to its extremes,” he writes.

Ellison has been a Congressman from Minnesota since 2007, and is the co-chair of House’s progressive caucus. In his official bio, he says his priorities in Congress are “ building prosperity for working families, promoting peace, pursuing environmental sustainability, and advancing civil and human rights.”

In his official announcement on Monday, Ellison staked his case for DNC chair on advocacy for the working class:

“Democrats win when we harness the power of everyday people and fight for the issues they care about. It is not enough for Democrats to ask for voters’ support every two years. We must be with them through every lost paycheck, every tuition hike, and every time they are the victim of a hate crime. When voters know what Democrats stand for, we can improve the lives of all Americans.”

Ellison has been endorsed by outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV), incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Muhammad Ali Sent Trump A Powerful Message That The World Needs To Read

Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images


The right wing loves to appropriate revolutionary icons. Muhammed (sic) Ali is very much one of those icons. Since his passing on Friday, the boxing champion and political agitator’s legacy has been praised by those who have agendas that are antithetical to the The Champ’s views on the world. This is probably best exemplified by the message that he sent to Donald Trump (though Trump was not named explicitly) and anyone else who wants to take Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States seriously.

 Trump recently sent out a tweet, where he praised Ali for being “a truly great champion and a wonderful guy.”

That tweet stands out in stark contrast to the disgusting one that Trump sent out about Muslim athletes just a few months prior to Ali’s passing.

While Trump and Ali had a friendly relationship prior to Trump’s political campaign, Ali sent Trump a letter denouncing the idea that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.

“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.

We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.

Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”

As we all know, Trump has not heeded that message. Trump’s entire campaign stands in opposition to what Ali preached.

Like the great man himself, Ali’s powerful message floats with the grace of a butterfly, yet should sting those who they are addressed to like a bee.

By Joe Fletcher

Ice Cream Parlor Responds Perfectly To Anti-Muslim Bigotry


As a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf in America, 22-year-old Nura Takkish says she expects to be the target of Islamophobia — just not when she and her friends are enjoying ice cream at their neighborhood ice cream parlor.

Takkish was sitting with two of her friends at Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert in Orange County, California, on Monday, May 23, when they noticed a commotion at the counter. A customer was being asked to leave for saying “racist and nasty things,” the shop’s baker, Jessie Noah, later told The Huffington Post.

Takkish’s friend Malaak Ammari started to record the incident on her phone.

In the 20-second clip, Noah can be heard saying to the man, “You can give somebody else your business,” as she returns him $3 he spent on ice cream.

“If you can’t be nice, we don’t want you,” Cindy Ramsay, the shop owner’s wife, adds.

As he heads to the door, the man points a finger at the two women in headscarves and says, “I don’t want them near my country.”

“Too bad, we’re here,” Ammari replies, still filming. “Sucks for you.”

“Sucks for me? You’ll see what happens,” the man replies threateningly. Then Noah walks to the door and closes it as the man walks away.

Takkish says she posted the video on Twitter Monday evening to show how common anti-Muslim bigotry has become.

report released earlier this month by the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University states that there were more acts of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism in 2015 than in any year since the Sept. 11 attacks. And in the month after the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernandino late last year — as presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump called for a ban on all Muslims from entering the U.S. —hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. tripled. The Huffington Post has also documented the near-daily acts of harassment, violence and discrimination faced by Muslims in the U.S. in recent months.

FACEBOOK | Nura Takkish, left, and Malaak Ammari, right, were in a local ice cream shop when they noticed a man being escorted out. Ammari started filming.

But Takkish said she also shared the video because she was so impressed by the way the shop responded to the man.

Noah, who was seen escorting the man out in the video, said she had never experienced such outward racism before, and felt the need to defend the women.

“To treat them as lesser because of their beliefs is not American,” she told HuffPost.

To date, the video has been retweeted over 24,000 times. While some on Twitter defended the man’s bigotry, many have also expressed support for the women. Several people have also taken to Yelp to commend the shop.

The encouragement has extended beyond social media. Greg Ramsay, the shop’s owner, was not present at the time of the incident, but told HuffPost that he received a call from a Muslim community member offering to organize an event encouraging the area’s Muslims to come to the shop and buy ice cream as a way of showing gratitude for the employees’ actions.

“There’s been an expression from a lot of people to say thank you,” Ramsay said.

The day after the incident, the women went back to the shop to thank the employees for defending them. When they left, Ramsay explained to a couple waiting to order ice cream the reason for the women’s visit. Ramsay said another woman nearby overheard the story, and she placed a $20 bill on the counter and said she didn’t want ice cream but would like to pay for whoever ordered ice cream after she left. When Ramsay explained to the next customers why they didn’t have to pay for ice cream, other people in the shop heard and gave money as well, until Ramsay had $60 worth of pre-paid ice cream.

“It took me about two to three hours to get rid of it before I could start charging people again for ice cream,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to solicit money, but I would tell people and they’d like it.”

Yasmin Nouh

Miss Puerto Rico Suspended For Anti-Muslim Comments On Twitter



“Her words do not represent the integrity and esteem of our program.”

Miss Puerto Rico 2015 has been indefinitely suspended from her role by the island’s official Miss America organization for launching a tirade against Muslims on Twitter.

Destiny Velez, 20, fired off a series of tweets at filmmaker Michael Moore on Thursday in which she blasted the religion, The Washington Times reported.

Moore had posted a picture of himself outside Trump Tower in New York City with a sign reading, “We are all Muslim.” His image was in response to Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., which prompted the #WeAreAllMuslim Twitter hashtag.

Velez tweeted directly at Moore multiple times, saying Muslims had “terrorizing agendas,” Latin Times reported.

Her tweets and Twitter account have since been deleted. The phrases she used can still be seen on the Latin Times site, however.

“All what Muslims have done is provided oil & terrorize this country & many others!!!!” she wrote. “There’s NO comparison between Jews, Christians & Muslims. Jews nor Christians have terrorizing agendas in their sacred books.”

“If we are all the same then Muslims need to take off their napkins off of their heads cuz I feel offended by it,” she added.

Velez — who placed outside the top 15 in September’s Miss America 2016 competition, won by Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell — sparked a furious backlash online.

Many Twitter users labeled her a bully, and the hashtags #nonosrepresentas (you don’t represent us) and #verguenzaajena (embarrassment) started trending in Puerto Rico, per Morocco World News.

It led the Miss Puerto Rico Organization, which runs an official preliminary competition for the Miss America Organization, to release a statement Saturday saying Velez had been “suspended indefinitely.”


Watch a Fox News host’s unhinged rant about Muslims, mosques, and Kenya

This is what Faux News is all about.  Fear mongering and hatred of the “other”.  The following tirade by Fox News host Bob Beckel is fodder for their xenophobic viewers…

The Week

“No more mosques being built here until [Muslims] stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet.”

Forget the Ground Zero mosque.

Fox News co-host Bob Beckel doesn’t want any more mosques anywhere in the U.S., until American Muslims denounce the Kenyan mall attacks.

On Monday, Beckel went on a tirade about Islam, saying it was “not the religion of peace,” and insisting that “the time has come” for moderate Muslims to “stand up and say something.”

“No Muslim students coming here with visas,” he said. “No more mosques being built here until you stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet.”

Mainstream Islamic groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations have already condemned the attack.

Beckel’s rant starts around the two-minute mark in the above video.

Xenophobic Australian quits election race after Islam gaffe

Screencap of Stephanie Banister

The Raw Story

A candidate for Australia’s anti-immigration One Nation party dropped out of the election race Saturday after a blundering interview in which she referred to Islam as a country.

Stephanie Banister, 27, had been campaigning for just 48 hours when she gave the interview to the Seven Network which quickly went viral online and saw her labelled “Australia’s Sarah Palin”, who was pilloried for her gaffes as US vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

“I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia,” Banister said in Wednesday’s taping.

She went on to say only two percent of Australians follow “haram” — actually meaning the Koran — and muddied matters further by voicing her support for kosher foods for Jewish people.

“Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ,” she said of Judaism, which in fact sees Jesus as an ordinary man and not the messiah.

Banister on Saturday withdrew her candidacy for the September 7 election, which she was contesting for anti-immigration firebrand Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in Queensland.

Party leader Jim Savage denied that Banister had been dropped and said she continued to have the “full support of the One Nation executive”.

“However, due to the threats against Stephanie’s family, herself, her children, the abuse she’s copped and the enormous pressure she’s been put under, Stephanie has decided she wants to withdraw from the candidacy for the seat of Rankin,” Savage said.

“We have accepted it with regret.”

In brief remarks to the media as she confirmed her withdrawal from the race, Banister said the interview was edited to make her look “quite the fool”.

“I’d like to apologise to One Nation, to my friends and family, for any embarrassment this has brought to them,” she said.

One Nation was founded in 1997 by the divisive Hanson, who famously warned that Australia was being swamped by Asians.

She has made several failed bids to return to politics after losing her federal seat in 1998, including a 2007 run for a national Senate seat in which she campaigned for an end to immigration by Muslims to protect “Australian culture”.

Hanson has announced she is running for a Senate seat in the September elections with the One Nation party.

Ahead of Banister’s withdrawal Hanson reportedly told Seven that the mother of two was clearly “not ready” for national politics.


Tea Party Congressman: Muslim Brotherhood Is Guiding Obama In Boston Bombings Investigation

Bat-s**t crazy Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) is at it again.

The problem with this guy’s statements is that there are hundreds of thousands of disenchanted Republicans, mainly those who vote against their own financial interest and don’t like Barack Obama. They believe what they hear.   Gohmert, Bachmann, Palin and every other Obama hater and Fox newscasters know this.  Those people are their target audience.

History indicates that powerful people speaking out against a leader for ideological or political differences is basically harmless.  However, when those statements about that leader turn into lies and rants with no basis in truth bad things can happen to the person being ostracized.  Not by the hands of the powerful politician or media savvy news person but perhaps simply a guy who wants to put the “white” back in the White House.

I have to wonder if that’s the goal of some of those liars.

Think Progress

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told aconservative radio program this week that the Obama administration “bungled” the investigation of the Boston bombing due to internal guidance from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Appearing on World Net Daily’s radio show, Gohmert speculated that Attorney General Eric Holder read bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights to “shut him up” and undermine the investigation into the brothers’ possible ties to radical Islam. “It’s very clear to everybody but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us,” he said, before noting that Obama has displayed a “real pattern” of “incompetence” in responding to the threat from extremists during his tenure. He then suggested that members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the administration and are leading the president astray:

Q: Some people are wondering whether or not the fact that it looks like radical Islam is once again a factor here is potentially a narrative that some folks don’t want publicly out there. Do you think that’s playing into this at all?

GOHMERT: I think it is… It’s very clear to everybody but this administration that radical Islam is at war agains us… Radical Islam is at war with us. Thank God for the moderates that don’t approve of what’s being done. But this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.

The Usual Suspects

Conservative Hate Radio  -

Mario Piperni

Less than 24 hours after the tragedy at Boston and without a clue as to whom the perpetrator might be, thebigots have crawled out from under the rocks they call home…not that they were ever hiding.

In an email to members today, Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips claimed that the Boston marathon bombing occurred because “we have a government that is not committed to protecting America” since it isn’t willing to “destroy radical Islam.” Phillips said that “Radical Islam and perhaps even non-radical Islam” is a danger to western civilization, arguing that Muslims believe that “non-Islamic nations may be conquered or otherwise taken over.”

The email (in part):

Unfortunately the sad truth is we will be hit again. It will happen sooner or later. It will probably be sooner than later.

There are two reasons why we will be hit again. First, we have a determined enemy who hates us. Second, we have a government that is not committed to protecting America.

It is a pretty safe bet right now that this attack was carried out by an Islamist. It was a well-coordinated attack. In its publication, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula called for just this kind of attack…The only way we make sure this never happens again is to identify our enemy and then craft a strategy to totally defeat that enemy.

Meanwhile, on cue, the regular gang of narrow-minded bigots who oppose immigration reform are using Boston as further reason to push their hate agenda.

Rep. Steve King:

“Some of the speculation that has come out is that yes, it was a foreign national and, speculating here, that it was potentially a person on a student visa,” King says. “If that’s the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture.”

On immigration, King says national security should be the focus now, and any talk about a path to legalization should be put on hold. “We need to be ever vigilant,” he says. “We need to go far deeper into our border crossings. . . .We need to take a look at the visa-waiver program and wonder what we’re doing. If we can’t background check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where.”

Laura Ingraham:

This, in my mind, raises all sorts of questions. I mean, again, we don’t know who did this, motivations, all of that. But it is interesting that at this moment — we are considering legalizing or giving regularized status to millions of people. Pretty much none of them have gone through any rigorous background checks, to have a temporary status in the United States. And we don’t — I just think that there are all sorts of security implications aside from the other arguments on immigration — national security implications that we don’t talk about with enough frankness and I think certitude here. We can’t stop every attack, but my goodness, if we had borders that were shut down and we actually had a proper screening process, maybe we could stop some of them.

Let’s say it again…ignorance and bigotry of the type displayed by King, Ingraham and the teabagger who crafted the letter above, pose more danger to the well-being of the United States than anything any terrorist group could ever accomplish.


FL pastor Terry Jones Drowned Out In Times Square By NYC Crowd Singing ‘All You Need Is Love’

Compelled to share this…

Democratic Underground

From Huffington Post:

Anti-Islam, Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones Drowned out in Times Square

New Yorkers are famously terse, not known for patience or excessive diplomacy — and certainly not for loud public displays of love.

So when anti-Islam, Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones showed up in Times Square last year, spewing anger and sporting a T-shirt that read, “Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Islam I Learned On 9/11,” the results were certain to be dicey.

But a surprisingly touching video of that event, posted Monday by the New York Times just in time for the holiday season, shows humanity outweighs Jones’ rage.

The video, filmed on Sept. 10, 2011, but only recently published, begins predictably: Jones standing in the square, advocating intolerance and hate. Several passersby attempt to argue with him to no avail. Soon a man begins reading out loud, then singing, “All You Need Is Love,” the iconic classic by The Beatles.


Investigation Looks For Muslim Bias In Texas Schools, Finds Christian Bias Instead

I meant to post this yesterday, but I got sidetracked.  I’ve often wondered if Right-Wingers ever get embarrassed when they are proven to be blatantly wrong on an issue.

Then again I doubt it, their embarrassment gene is non-existent.

Think Progress

A bizarre chain email sent to district and school board officials in the Dallas area this October titled “IRVING ISD INDOCTRINATING ISLAM” inspired a recent investigation of “Islamic bias” in the district’s curriculum. Despite the outlandish claims, the district requested that an official from the organization that created the curriculum to respond. The results of a 72-page investigation done by the organization were not surprising: there’s a Christian bias in schools, not a Muslim one.

The official told the board that a bias toward Islam didn’t exist, even mentioning that “she hired a ‘very socially and fiscally conservative’ former social studies teacher who ‘watches Glenn Beck on a regular basis’ to seek out any Islamic bias in CSCOPE [the curriculum].” She “asked her to look for anything she would consider the least bit controversial.” The Dallas Morning News has the details of an investigation that mentioned “every religious reference in the CSCOPE curriculum, from kindergarten to high school”:

– Christianity got twice as much attention in the curriculum as any other religion. Islam was a distant second.

– The Red Crescent and Boston Tea Party reference mentioned in the email were nowhere in CSCOPE’s curriculum, although they may have been in the past.

– If there was any Islamic bias in CSCOPE it was “bias against radical Islam.”

This isn’t the first time Texas has debated the perceived presence of too much Islam in its school books. In 2010, the Texas Board of Education banned any books that “paint Islam in too favorable of a light.” The reasoning was head-scratching: “the resolution adopted Friday cites ‘politically-correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization’ in current textbooks and warns that ‘more such discriminatory treatment of religion may occur as Middle Easterners buy into the US public school textbook oligopoly.’” A Texas based civil liberties advocate said at the time that “the members who voted for this resolution were solely interested in playing on fear and bigotry in order to pit Christians against Muslims.”