Qatar speech questions Ellison’s affiliation
The progressive congressman, also known as Keith Hakim or Keith Ellison Muhammad, has ties to the Middle East dating back to at least 2009, when he flew to Qatar over President’s Day weekend to give a speech at Qatar University in the capital city of Doha, located on the Persian Gulf.
“Following 9/11, there has been an emergence of Muslim civil rights organizations," Ellison said during the Feb. 15, 2009 address at Qatar University's College of Sharia and Islamic Studies. “The political picture is bright, not perfect, but we are ready to expand the dialogue and work to resolving the miscomprehensions that exist in our society and between the U.S. and the Islamic world.”
Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to U.S. Congress and who is trying to become the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, noted at the time that President Obama’s approach to Muslims was unprecedented.
“This is the first time a U.S. president has reached out in this way,” said Ellison, citing Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo Bay, end the war in Iraq and stop using torture. “President Obama’s granting his first international interview to Al-Arabiya was a significant move which showed his commitment to his pledge. He was talking straight to Muslims all over the world.”
Born in Detroit in 1963, the congressman has represented Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District since 2007.