The 5th district Minnesota congressional race is a hot one and has garnered blogospherean ink all across the political spectrum. The race for this long-time Democratic, but now open seat, pits newcomers Alan Fine (Republican endorsed), and Tammy Lee (Independence Party endorsed) against the endorsed favorite, Democrat Keith Ellison to succeed retiring Democrat Matin Sabo. Ellison, 43, raised Roman Catholic in Michigan, is a Muslim "revert" since his college days in Indiana, and a former Nation of Islam adherent. He is currently fasting his way through the campaign which happens to coincide with Ramadan in the Islamic lunar calender.
On Sunday he'll be ushered into the country club set of the Minnesota DFL by Sam and Sylvia Kaplan, impressario and impressaria of the DFL luminati at the Golden Valley Country Club (bring your checkbook).
The local inclusion crowd of progressive puritans, anti-war lefties and universal health carichondriacs can hardly wait to ram this election home, thus proving to the world they are the most diverse people on earth and will do anything to prove to George Bush just how much they hate him.
However, no one it seems, has yet to cross the mental threshold of the election itself beyond the swearing-in ceremony. It is a thought experiment worth probing in this most unique situation.
If Keith Ellison is indeed elected as 5th Minnesota district representative to the Congress of the United States he will become quite suddenly I expect, the defacto spokeman for U.S. Muslims, by virtue of being an elected representative to the U.S. government. He will join the Black Caucus. On questions of Islam, at least initially, all eyes will be on him, both nationally and internationally. Should he win, look for CNN, the BBC, the NY Times, Al Jazeera and others of the international media to come knocking at his door. One wonders what the electorate of the 5th District, which includes the city of Minneapolis, will think of this. Osama bin Laden, deep in his cave will know the name of Keith Ellison and where he lives. What will be his views on jihad? On Sergeant Hasan Akbar? What about the the honor killings of women that are sweeping the infidel lands being colonized by Muslims? Where does he stand on the imposition of Shari'a law in infidel lands, the U.S., for example? Is Islam really a nation? If so, where is it? What about the veiling controversy in the UK, in Jack Straw's District? And that's just for starters.
How will he reconcile the concepts of American liberty with the inshallah fatalism of the mosque? Will he have the inclination or strength to stand against the bullies and killers in the camp of Islam who seek to stifle free speech. Or will he censor himself and expect us to do likewise? And what if his answers thrust him into the camp of apostates? He almost certainly would not consider himself as such, but its the shahids with the butcher knives and guns who decide these matters. Is he ready for this? Are we ready for this?
I would expect to see even more Muslims flocking to Minneapolis (tens of thousands of Somalis now), and with them the attendant conflicts over Shari'a in our institutions.
If this happens I would also expect to see Islamic issues eventually begin to crowd out the other issues of Minneapolis ward politics. I think Minneapolis will be stunned.
Furthermore, after the election will Muslims of the world consider the 5th District to be Islamic land, and all that entails? It sounds quite absurd, but it would not be an infidel's choice to make.