Keith Ellison, the first US Muslim elected to federal office sent a clear message to the world about US diversity and their values of acceptance by placing his hand on the Qur’an during the swearing-in ceremony on Jan 4th 2007.
This provoked intense criticism from a handful of near hysterical bigots who don’t know or value the lessons of American history. For example Representative Virgil Goode, warned of a future where there will likely be many more Muslims elected to Congress and demanding use of the Qur’an.
The fact is that most members of Congress use no book at all when taking their oath. They simply stand by their desks, raise their right hand and are sworn-in. Only those members who choose to participate in a “photo-op” swearing-in ceremony bring a book. Some Christians bring a family Bible. Some Jewish members bring their sacred scriptures. Ellison accordingly brought his.
Isn’t it most interesting here that the Qur’an Ellison brought to his swearing-in was once the personal copy of none other than Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the US? America’s founders had a more profound respect for religious diversity than many of their latter-day so called disciples
In using Jefferson’s copy of the Qur’an, Ellison smartly reminds all Americans of their founding fathers’ convictions and the values they embraced that shaped the new American republic.
R.R.T. road, Mulund (W)