Ellison Returns from Trip to Iraq

August 1, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: USA Today


WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Keith Ellison made a weekend trip to Iraq, where a pair of sheiks urged Congress' only Muslim lawmaker to help in countering al-Qaeda's vision of Islam.

Ellison, D-Minn., said he met in Ramadi in Anbar province with the two sheiks, who oversee several hundred thousand congregants.

"They were very upset and concerned that al-Qaeda is misrepresenting Islam," Ellison told reporters on a conference call Monday from Germany, on his way back to the U.S. "And they were talking to me about what I can possibly do to work with them to give a clearer, more accurate picture of what Islam is all about."

Ellison said he would assist in any way he can. He is already helping a State Department outreach effort aimed at improving the image of the U.S. in the Muslim world.