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Monday
Oct122009

Details of Ellison's Muslim pilgrimage pose ethics problem for House Democrats

Icons of Islam: The ancient erected stone obelisk located in the Hippodrome in Constantinople. The image was made between 1880-1893. [US Library of Congress Photo by Abdullah Frères].by Chris Carter

House ethics officials have called for disclosure of costs associated with Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison's religious pilgrimage to Saudia Arabia last year. Originally, Ellison – who is the United States' first Muslim congressman – opted not to announce the cost of the trip, which had a price tag of $13,350. More disturbing than Ellison's lack of transparency is the fact that The Star-Tribune (Minn.) said the Muslim American Society of Minnesota  (MAS) paid the $13,350 bill for Ellison’s two-week visit to Mecca.

Americans have great cause for concern. The Chicago Tribune said the MAS, despite calling itself an "independent group," reportedly has roots in the Muslim Brotherhood – the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group. The Brotherhood's own documents state  that their aim is to destroy not only the U.S., but Western civilization. The Investigative Project on Terrorism published a memo of intent:

“The [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, The Muslim Brotherhood gave birth to the Palestinian chapter of the Brotherhood, the terrorist group HAMAS – definitely the kind of folks our congressmen should not be taking money from if an agenda includes official business.

The scant media coverage that does exist regarding the incident avoided any mention of the Muslim Brotherhood connection, placing the focus on the ethics complaint.

Ellison claimed that the trip was personal, but according to the House ethics committee, the congressman originally reported that his itinerary could include “meetings of an official nature, such as with government or business leaders.” According to House ethics rules, privately-sponsored trips such as Ellison's are viewed as gifts, which necessitate full public disclosure.

Resorting to political spin, Ellison maintained he didn’t do anything wrong, and then portrayed those seeking transparency as making an improper “moral judgment” and displaying “bias.”

Perhaps the one with poor “moral judgment” is the one doing business with those seeking to destroy our civilization. Ellison’s subsidized pilgrimage is yet another ethics problem for House Democrats.

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