Congressman’s Islamic Pilgrimage Paid by Group Tied to Terrorism
Sigh….Does anybody care that this congressman’s trip was paid for by this group? This man is dangerous and he’s in OUR gov’t!!
Congressman’s Islamic pilgrimage paid by group tied to terrorism
Keith Ellison’s office hangs up on WND
posted: June 17, 2009
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
JERUSALEM – It seems the office of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., is not too eager to respond to questions about reports his Islamic hajj pilgrimage to Mecca this past winter was paid for by a U.S. group tied to Muslim extremists whose institutional material has promoted terrorism.
The hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. The fifth pillar of Islam requires every able-bodied Muslim to travel to Mecca at least once in their life in a demonstration of solidarity with fellow Muslims and in an act of individual submission to Allah.
Ellison attended December’s hajj ceremonies, becoming the first U.S. congressman to make the pilgrimage. He was reportedly accompanied on his trip by fellow members of his Minneapolis mosque, although his wife, a Catholic, and his two sons stayed home.
Upon a routine WND phone query about the recent trip’s funding, Ellison’s spokesman, Rick Jauert, yesterday stated, “It was a personal trip. I’m not going to talk about it,” before abruptly ending the call.
In December, just after the hajj trip, Jauert was quoted telling the Minnesota Star Tribune Ellison’s journey was paid for by the congressman himself.
It was later reported by the Star that the Muslim American Society of Minnesota paid for Ellison’s trip, a contention the MAS heatedly denied.
MAS national director Mahdi Bray called the story his group paid for Ellison’s pilgrimage a “myth” and “urban legend” that needed to be laid to rest.
“Keith Ellison is a member of Congress who knows that congressmen don’t take trips sponsored by nonprofits. That would be a breach of congressional ethics,” Bray told FoxNews.com.
But earlier this month Ellison’s office filed its annual congressional disclosure form, listing travel payments and reimbursements by private entities.
The Powerline blog posted a copy of the form which documents Ellison’s trip to Saudi Arabia from November 29 to December 14 was paid for by the MAS-Minnesota.
The U.S. Muslim group did not return WND phone call or e-mail inquiries the past few days.
While Ellison’s spokesman hung up on WND, the congressman’s office confirmed to FOXNews.com that MAS indeed paid for the hajj journey.
“The trip, funded by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, was fully reviewed and approved in advance by the House Ethics Committee,” Ellison’s office said in a statement.
The office would not say how much Ellison’s trip cost, but it defended the MAS to FoxNews.com as a highly regarded interfaith organization.
The MAS, though, was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to create an Islamic universe. Both Hamas and al-Qaida are violent offshoots of Brotherhood ideology.
In a 2004 interview with the Chicago Tribune, former MAS secretary general Shaker Elsayed, discussed how his group was founded by Brotherhood members. He explained that about half of original MAS members came from the Brotherhood.
The chairman of the Islamic American University, a Michigan-based subsidiary of MAS, also doubles as a leading Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood ideologue known for his vocal support of groups like as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, MAS-affiliated Web sites have featured articles advocating jihad and suicide martyrdom. The official MAS magazine, “The American Muslim,” previously published outwardly anti-Semitic articles as well as pieces defending Palestinian “martyrdom operations.”
MAS leaders and advisers have held positions in the Islamic Association for Palestine, described by the U.S. government as part of a “propaganda apparatus” for the terrorist group Hamas, the ADL notes.
FoxNews.com notes Ellison gave the keynote address at MAS-Minnesota’s conventions in 2007 and 2008, and that the MAS’s Bray took time off his job to campaign for Ellison during his run for the House in 2006. Also, Ellison was the first guest on an MAS radio show launched last month.
During this past hajj ceremonies attended by Ellison, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric used his annual sermon at the event to urge Muslim countries to renounce capitalism and form an Islamic economic bloc that adopts interest-free finance.
Grand Mufti Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh told worshippers that the global economic crisis was a direct result of charging interest, which is forbidden by Islamic Shariah law.