Source: The Washington Post
Wire Service: Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, attacked for planning to use the Koran at his swearing-in instead of a Bible, will use a copy of the Muslim holy book once owned by Thomas Jefferson, an official said on Wednesday.
Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, requested the 18th century copy of the Koran for the unofficial part of his swearing in on Thursday, according to Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress in Washington.
Ellison, a Muslim convert who traces his U.S. ancestry to 1741, wanted a special copy of the book to use, Dimunation said, and approached the library for one.
The third U.S. president, serving from 1801 to 1809, Jefferson was a collector with wide-ranging interests. His 6,000-volume library, the largest in North America at the time, became the basis for the Library of Congress.
Ellison, elected in November, initially came under attack in the blogosphere and by at least one conservative radio commentator after he said he would use the Koran in his unofficial ceremony.