Parvez Ahmed and Nihad Awad: Reject the Political Muslim-Bashing Smears

October 20, 2006

Source: Star Tribune

Attacks on Keith Ellison's congressional campaign fit a disturbing pattern that has been seen across the nation this year.

There has been much sound and fury in certain circles about the American Muslim community's support for Keith Ellison and his campaign to represent Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. A handful of right-wing bloggers, agenda-driven commentators and political operatives have used scurrilous smear tactics in an attempt to derail his campaign and to marginalize American Muslim voters. These smears and distortions send an un-American message of intolerance and bigotry.

We are proud of our personal donations to Ellison's campaign. He has proven himself to be an effective legislator and his commitment to social justice is worthy of admiration. We believe his election will send a powerful message to the world about America's commitment to religious inclusion and tolerance.

No one should be vilified merely for exercising their rights as an American citizen. Yet attacks on Ellison fit a disturbing pattern of Muslim-bashing that has been seen nationwide this campaign season.