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Tea Party Leader: Rep. Keith Ellison Should Be Dumped Because He Is Muslim

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A prominent leader of the Tea Party movement has reiterated his view that voters should cast their ballots against Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, in part because he is a Muslim.

Judson Phillips, founder of the Nashville-based Tea Party Nation, had sent out an e-mail Monday calling on voters to elect Ellison's independent challenger, Lynn Torgerson, because "Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress."

Ellison, who also faces Republican Joel Demos as he tries for a third term, has also "helped congress send millions of tax dollars to terrorists in Gaza," Phillips wrote.

Phillips' argument was a lighted match thrown into a gas-filled campaign season, but he is not backing down -- except for acknowledging that there is actually another Muslim member of Congress, Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson.

Keith Ellison"I am not going to apologize because I'm bothered by a religion that says kill the infidel, especially when I am the infidel," Phillips wrote Tuesday on the website of the Tea Party Nation, one of the more prominent of the many tea party organizations, and one that has enjoyed support from Sarah Palin. "Should we vote out Keith Ellison just because he is a Muslim? No. But his beliefs define his character and his character is a central issue."

In a follow-up interview with The Daily Caller, Phillips claimed that many members of the tea party movement, which has struggled with perceptions that it is dominated by white males and hostile to minorities, would agree with him.

"A majority of tea party members, I suspect, are not fans of Islam," Phillips said. "I, personally have a real problem with Islam. With Islam, you have a religion that says kill the Jews, kill the infidels."

Phillips repeated those sentiments in an interview published in Thursday's edition of The Washington Post.

Ellison also took to The Post's website to pen a response that called on Americans to reject calls to "hate, bigotry, and fear."

"We cannot allow the politics of fear to drive our political discourse," Ellison wrote. "I issue a call to civility, and urge Americans to reject the divisive rhetoric of Republican Tea Party leaders like Judson Phillips; including calls for my defeat solely because of my religion."

He added: "I know that some don't share my political views. This is OK. In America, we cherish our diversity of views. But an American's religion is their own business and no one should be excluded based on considerations like religion, race, sex, etc."

In his interview with The Daily Caller, Phillips said that based on the Constitution's prohibition on religious tests for public office, he does not think Muslims or any believer should be barred from running for Congress.

But when asked if he would vote for a Muslim candidate who was a conservative, Phillips replied, "I don't know."

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26 Comments

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plansmaker

"Tea Party Nation" is a small potato among hundreds of Tea Party organizations...Tea Party Express is the mainstream Tea Party movement...What Tea Party movement don't need nor wanted is bigotry among its large tent constituents...I supports Tea Party for smaller Government and responsible Federal Gov. spendings. I am sure most Tea Party supporters are the same...This has nothing to do with race, religion and gender...Bigots have no place in Tea Party movement, they made that clearn at Glenn Beck's rally in D.C.

November 01 2010 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ryanotters

The Tea Party is more of an idea than a party - it is not an organized party such as the republican or democratic party. Therefore, you are going to have various individuals that speak out on issues and the media will JUMP at the chance to publish anything that will raise concerns. The general basis of the tea party is less government vs. big government and less taxes vs. more taxes. From there, individuals add to it their various opinions and ideas, etc. He made it clear that being a Muslim was not the only reason not to vote for this candidate.

October 31 2010 at 5:26 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ryanotters's comment
BULLMAN

I see the T party as much more than a party. The people who believe in it have another choice other than the idiots that are in office now. They are devoted to giving america back to the people not the politicians or special interest money groups. Which a lot of those are foreign thanks to unions and Obama.

November 01 2010 at 1:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TJ

If the Tea Party was truly a Party that stuck to secular, fiscal matters. I think I could be okay with that, a healthy and loyal opposition is a good thing. What is not a good thing is when their leaders, instead of sticking to the issues issues they start attacking people of different faith, and thus they assault one of the things that make this country great. Religious Freedom and Tolerance. The fact that we have Muslims in congress at all should be a testament to how much Al-queda has failed in their attempt to provoke a clash of civilizations and how amazing this nation is. This is just one more thing to add to the list of reason I will make it a point to vote against the Tea Party in this election and any election they participate in.

October 31 2010 at 12:02 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TJ's comment
Reb

As an Independent I will VSR (Vote Straight Republican) this year. For your children's sake, I ask you to do the same. God Bless America.

October 31 2010 at 2:10 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jktejas

Diversity can culturally enrich a country......but it does not make a country stronger. What has historically made a country strong is a people sharing the same common language, the same common values and basically the same agenda and goals. A country is weakened when those issues become fragmented....such as is happening in the US, as well as parts of Europe.

October 31 2010 at 12:02 AM Report abuse +21 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jktejas's comment
bobsomm

Very well said jktejas!! Peace, bob

October 31 2010 at 3:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mouse

Elected officials are supposed to vote as the people who elect him/her want. Congress is not supposed to favor one relgion over another. Freedom of Religion is a whole lot safer than Freedom to shoot anything that moves.

October 30 2010 at 11:41 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply
bebopweezer

remember when bush, a so called christian, got a message from god to go to war? lol

October 30 2010 at 11:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bebopweezer's comment
thirdpartyvote

Yes, I am Christian and it scared me that Bush thought he had that message from God.

October 31 2010 at 12:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Condley

Everybody should care about some religions. Not to care about religions is naive at best and deadly ignorant at worst. We are brought up in America with freedom of religion, but the founding fathers never encountered religions that sanction murder. And Islam is one of those. Not the only one, but it is one never the less. That is reality. The so called moderate Muslims are not following what the Koran says. That is why it is easy to radicalize Muslims. All you have to do is get them to read and study the book of their faith. Sooner or later they will come face to face with what the book actually says. Then they will have to reject their faith or react to what it tells them to do.

October 30 2010 at 11:13 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Condley's comment
allisonisa39e

Very difficult to follow what the Koran says as about one in five sentences are not understandable or explainable.

October 31 2010 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
plansmaker

Shall we get to the bottom of this Muslim fear? The truth is: most people can't handle the truth...Most Mulims billion strong are peaceful. Our friends in the Muslim world includes Theocracy Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Secular Egypt and Indonesia. There is no sign thats changing...The real threat to Muslim World's stability is extremists like Al Queda and Talibans...They represents extremely small fraction of Muslim World. No one is more alarmed by these radical Muslims than Muslim nations because they threating the survival of Saudi Kingdom, Mubarick Government of Egypt and other Western friendly Muslim nations...Representive Keith Ellison has all the rights of religious freedom under our constitution without persecution...It a real injustic to cast fear and hate because of his faith...In fact they should kick this Phillips dude out of Tea Party, this is not what Tea Party movement is about...

October 30 2010 at 11:08 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to plansmaker's comment
bobsomm

Plansmaker, please go back to the top and see that Judson's main objection to Kieth was that Kieth is the opposit of what the TEA Party is supporting. It was almost an afterthought as it is written, that Judson also said that Kieth is a muslim. The main point was not Kieth's religion Peace, Bob

October 31 2010 at 3:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Escalonz

One really big problem about Islam and that is the terrorists that evolve out of the so called peaceful ranks of the followers and especially their cowardly penchant for targeting so called soft targets.........namely you and me. This will never, I repeat this will never cease to exists as young men will always be born with faith and idealism. Unfortunately this seemingly virtuous attribute is horribly distorted and tragically misdirected by the call for killing infidels which again, I repeat, is you and me. I might add Islam is always peaceful when it suits them but their greatest sin is their lack of demonstrations and protest against these terrorists when they strike. I well remember seeing Palestinians celebrating on TV when 9/11 occurred and I can only wonder if the same thing happened in other parts of Islam also. Make no mistake folks, this is one major problem and how the world solves it remains to be seen and it is not going away. To ignore it as being politically correct is at our own peril..............

October 30 2010 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply
andypg1243

i agree with keith ellison.... a religo who tells them to kill all infidals sucks...i don't want any that may kill me for my beliefs in any office. i am no a barack hussein obama...i feel this towards him. he is a muslim first and he is a threat to me and my family and friends. a religon that belives anyone who don't believe should be killed..no thats a lot of radical people.

October 30 2010 at 10:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

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