Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More on Ellison

World Net Daily has a story today that dovetails with the opinion column by Dennis Prager that I linked to yesterday.

Like many people, I'm skeptical of any mud-slinging at Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, who will take the oath next month. I respect Ellison's desire to use a Koran in his swearing-in ceremony, but think it would be appropriate for him to have a Bible there, as well. But now Ellison has been linked to the North American Imams Federation, a radical Islamic group that supports Sharia, or Islamic law.

Ellison gave a lecture for NAIF, which was listed on the agenda as "American Open University." But to law enforcement officials, >American Open University is known as "Wahabi Online." There's more from the WND article:

American Open University supports Sharia, or Islamic law. And its founder and chairman, Jaafar Sheikh Idris, has denounced the U.S system of democracy as "the antithesis of Islam" and argued no man has the right to make laws outside Allah's laws expressed in the Quran.

"There is a basic difference between Islam and this form of democracy," he says. "The basic difference is that in Islam it is [Allah's] law as expressed in the Quran and the Sunna that is the supreme law within the limits of which people have the right to legislate.

"No one can be a Muslim who makes or freely accepts or believes that anyone has the right to make or accept legislation that is contrary to that divine law," Idris adds. "Examples of such violations include the legalization of alcoholic drinks, gambling, homosexuality, usury or interest, and even adoption."

Conversely, laws prohibiting polygamy and domestic violence also violate the Quran.

Further, he maintains that no Muslim elected to Congress or the White House can swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution and still be a Muslim.

"No Muslim could become president in a secular regime, for in order to pledge loyalty to the constitution, a Muslim would have to abandon part of his belief and embrace the belief of secularism – which is practically another religion. For Muslims, the word 'religion' does not only refer to a collection of beliefs and rituals, it refers to a way of life which includes all values, behaviors and details of living," Idris says. "Separation of religion and state is not an option for Muslims because it requires us to abandon [Allah's] decree for that of a man."

He further explains: "Islam cannot be separated from the state because it guides Muslims through every detail of running the state and their lives. Muslims have no choice but to reject secularism for it excludes the laws of [Allah]."

Also, he asserts that "there is absolutely no compromise: Any belief that contradicts Islam is false."

I think Ellison can reasonably balance the demands of his religion versus his public life, much as John F. Kennedy assured Americans that the Pope wouldn't run the country. Nor is he the only person being questioned as to how much influence his religious beliefs will have on his public service (just look at the flurry of stories on Mitt Romney and Mormonism).

But it is a concern that he has associated himself with groups who clearly and unequivocably state that there's no compatibility between Islam and democracy. That is something Ellison will have to address.