Keith Ellison is the most prominent elected official in the U.S. who is also Muslim. The Democrat from Minnesota who is 52 represents Minneapolis in his fifth term in Washington. He insists on normalcy during his daily business that includes shuttling back and forth between offices and speeches and meetings on Capitol Hill.
There is no mention in his office by he or his staff about the inflammatory remarks by Donald Trump the Republican Presidential candidate.
However, the congressman’s daily routine belied the increasing chaos that is engulfing Muslims across the U.S.
After the shooting by the couple in California who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, it appears as if anti-Muslim violence is escalating. In New York City, a shop owner was beaten savagely last week by a stranger who promised to kill Muslims.
In another incident, a Muslim male who was playing volleyball and praying in San Francisco was hit by a woman who said he had been deceived by Satan.
In Philadelphia, a severed head of a pig was discovered near a mosque.
However, Ellison said this is not extraordinary. He has received multiple threats on his life since he arrived in Congress.
He has received protection by police for periods of time. He trusts the Capitol Police, which is investigating a recent threat to sort things out.
Ellison aides have related stories about the phone calls filled with hate that he receives each day. The callers typically say the constitution bars any Muslims from serving in a federal office. However, the truth is it does not.
None of Ellison’s aides are Muslim, and outside of the Koran Ellison has on his desk, there is little evidence in the office of his faith.
He adheres to Islam, including during Ramadan when he fasts and holding regular group discussions on topics of Islam.
Andre Carson a Democrat Representing Indianapolis is the only other Muslim in the U.S. Congress. He recently received another death threat.
Steve King a Representative from Iowa has questioned Ellison’s patriotism with the press, saying that the progressive, Detroit born Democrat has not denounced Sharia law sufficiently.
Ellison had said hi to King that same day on a number of occasions with a smile and a shake of the hand. This is Ellison’s way of working through what currently is a very difficult time for him and other Muslims across the U.S.