Rep. Keith Ellison said he is perplexed by accusations being made by another Minnesota lawmaker that he has ties to Islamic organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Pictured: (Left to Right) U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former Republican presidential candidate and Tea Party darling, accused Ellison of ties to the Islamic organization, which she said is a terrorist organization. The accusation comes on the heels of her accusing top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, of ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Bachmann is calling for hearings into if the Muslim Brotherhood is inﬁltrating the U.S. government to inﬂ uence policy.
Fifth Dist. Congressman Ellison said Bachmann’s claims are 100 percent false.
“I am not connected in any way with the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Ellison. “She [Bachmann] came after me when I stepped-up to defend Huma Abedin [against Bachmann’s accusations].”
While Bachmann, who represents Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, has been rebuked by several ofﬁcials including Speaker of the House, John Boehner and Sen. John McCain – both Republicans – Ellison believes he was targeted by Bachmann because of his faith. Ellison is the ﬁrst Muslim to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Other than the fact that Huma Abedin and I are both Muslim, why would [Bachmann] think we are part of the Muslim Brotherhood?” questioned Ellison. “I wish she would stop making these baseless accusations.”
Ellison said the only time he has ever met any person associated with the Muslim Brotherhood was this past March when he was a part of a Congressional delegation that traveled to Egypt, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Egypt’s newly-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, is a member of the Islamic organization, as are nearly half of the country’s elected ofﬁ cials following the fall of the previous, non-democratic regime.
Ellison said many people have come to his defense, but he fears their defense will come at a price to them.
“Now these people are subject to some allegation from her,” said Ellison. “It’s sad. Huma Abedin now has to have a security detail because she’s getting threats.”
Ellison admitted he too has received threats, but said they are, “no more than the usual ones [he receives].” The Congressman said he turns over all threats to the proper ofﬁcials.
Calls and emails requesting an interview sent to the Bachmann ofﬁce were not returned.