Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has called his previous defense of Louis Farrakhan “the mistake in my past,” but those who are ready to proclaim him a “moderate” and anoint him head of the Democratic National Committee should consider carefully the fact that he is the keynote speaker for Muslim American Society (MAS)/ Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) annual convention next week. The ties to Hamas are numerous – not that Hamas ties are likely to give Democrats pause.
The Investigative Project’s John Rossomando noted that “the MAS convention Ellison will address will hear from radical speakers such as Ali Qaradaghi (alternately spelled Al-Qurra Daghi in the MAS-ICNA program), the secretary general of the pro-Hamas International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is one of the world’s most influential groups for Sunni Islamist clerics. It counts former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as a member.”
Yet Ellison has longstanding ties to MAS: in 2008, he accepted $13,350 from MAS to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It isn’t surprising that he would have no trouble sharing the MAS stage next week with Hamas supporters, in light of the fact that he has been caught on newly-released audio of Ellison speaking at a fundraiser for his 2010 Congressional reelection campaign, saying that a vote for him was a vote against Israel’s supposed control of U.S. foreign policy. “The message I want to send to you by donating to this campaign,” he declared, “is positioning me and positioning Muslims in general to help steer the ship of state in America….The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of seven million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of seven million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right?”
Ellison also boasted that “there is a growing awareness in the US Congress and in the executive branch that everything anyone does, including Israel, is not fine. And there are real questions being asked.” He revealed that in meetings with his Jewish constituents, he challenged them to stand with Barack Obama against Israel: “Do you stand with the President on stopping settlements in east Jerusalem, because that is the policy of my president and I want to know if you’re with the President. Are you with the President?”
Ellison proposed that U.S. aid to Israel be tied to the Israeli building projects in East Jerusalem: “Why are we sending $2.8 billion a year over there when they won’t even honor our request to stop building in East Jerusalem? Where is the future Palestinian state going to be if it’s colonized before it even gets up off the ground?”
He offered an alternative aiding Israel: “We should be building the bilateral business relationships between the United States and the Muslim world….Morocco, we gotta build it up. Saudi Arabia, we gotta build it up. The Gulf countries, we gotta build them. Pakistan, we gotta build them.” (Saudi Arabia?) This would be done so that ultimately Muslims in the U.S. would be able to make demands upon the government: “We need to have so much goods and services going back and forth between this country and the Muslim world that if we say we need this right here, then everyone is saying, OK. Understand my point? You’ve got to be strategic….These business relationships can be leveraged to say that we need a new deal politically.”
MAS has links not just to Hamas, but to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Chicago Tribune reported back in 2004 that “in recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” In a validation of the accuracy of this report, it is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.)
The links between MAS and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are not simply the conjectures of “right-wing” counter-jihad activists. A Muslim scholar, al-Husein Madhany, wrote this in a 2010 email to fellow Muslim and Leftist activists: “When I said that I believe MAS halaqas [religious meetings] to be a national security threat, it was only part in jest. My caution comes from what I have personally heard said at MAS halaqas during my time in graduate school and based on what I know about their ideological (but financial) ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.”
It doesn’t end with MAS, either: there is abundant evidence of Ellison’s links to other anti-Semitic groups as well. Ellison has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”
Also, CAIR raised large amounts of for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events. Yet CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.
Even as the evidence mounts of Ellison’s anti-Semitism and dalliances with Hamas-linked groups, however, he remains very much in the running for DNC Chair. That is telling in itself.