Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the nation's first-ever Muslim member of Congress, is also among the most outspoken when it comes to his criticism of the Republican Party and its formal stance that the United States is under assault from Islamic Shariah law.
In an interview this with Mother Jones at the Democratic National Convention, he addressed that charge directly, saying, "There has never been any legislation offered to establish Shariah law — not at the federal level, not at the state level. There's not been a municipal ordinance opposing this; there's not been anything." But he also went further, questioning GOP sentiments about "a whole segment of the population" and calling the party "basically bigoted."
For Ellison, the anti-Shariah plank was part of a broader narrative of exclusion. "Why do they want to become the party of hate? They're hating on immigrants who are from Latin America. They're demonstrating hatred toward Muslims. They're demonstrating hostility toward women. They act like they don't like gay people. Who is their party supposed to be made up of in 20 years?"
"I'm sad that they have decided to go into this dark ugly place where they see the whole world as their enemy," Ellison continued. "And this is the thing: I don't mind debating taxes and spending; we probably should. But they're the party that is basically a bigoted party and they have now officially declared themselves against a whole segment of the American population, because if we said we were going to put a plank opposing Jewish law, or Catholic canon, it would be an outrage. This is also an outrage. But you know, it'll pass.
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