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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another Muslim In Congress?

by Cyber Pastor

When voters in Indiana's 7th Congressional District special election select the replacement for the late Julia Carson on Tuesday, there is a very good chance that there will be another Muslim member of Congress.

Andre Carson, grandson of the former representative who passed away on December 14th from lung cancer, is the Democratic favorite to replace his grandmother. What many people may not know is that Andre Carson is Muslim.

Ruthholladay.com reports that:

For the record: 7th District Dem candidate Andre Carson is "an Orthodox, universal, secular Muslim" who "frequently attends" services at Nur-Allah Islamic Center. That center is run by Imam Michael "Mikal" Saahir, an Indianapolis firefighter, and is located at 2040 E. 46th Street. The center is well-connected to the Indianapolis community. Nur-Allah, meaning "light of G-d," is active in interfaith endeavors, Habitat for Humanity and other worthy causes.

Later in the same article Holladay reports:

Carson is not a member of the Nation of Islam, he said. Nor does he attend services at a Nation of Islam mosque. This is important, because the Nation of Islam is, depending on which definition you want to go with, a militant black separatist movement that professes Islamic beliefs. Under the leadership of
Minister Louis Farrakhan of Chicago -- who spoke at the funeral of Rep. Julia
Carson, Andre's grandmother -- the NOI has a history of antisemitism.

Carson has received the endorsement of Indiana Senator Evan Bayh:

Indianapolis Councilman Andre Carson called for education reforms to empower
students who will be "competing for jobs" in a global economy as U.S. Sen. Evan
Bayh offered his endorsement in the March 11 special 7th CD election for the
Democratic grandson of the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson at the Westin Hotel.

The winner of this special election will have to stay on the campaign trail, as there is a primary to compete for in May and then the regular election in November.

Carson has received the state and national Democratic establishment support for the special election, but doesn't have that support yet for the May primary.

Josh Kraushaar from Politico.com thinks that Carson's path against Republican State Representative Jon Elrod is just the beginning of a long, complex battle.

Kraushaar says:

And the unusual circumstances have Andre Carson, a member of
the Indianapolis City Council, under fire from both Democrats and Republicans as
the March 11 special election to fill the remainder of his grandmother’s term

Carson faces a run against an upstart Republican state legislator with a record of recent political upsets in the special election — and then a more politically experienced pack of Democratic candidates in the May 6 primary for the November election to a full two-year term.

The result is an awkward relationship for Carson with his own party, to say the least.
While the state and national Democratic establishment have supported Carson as
he faces Republican state Rep. Jon Elrod in next month’s special election, they
haven’t yet endorsed him in the May 6 primary as he faces three well-known local
Democratic officials for the nomination to seek a full term representing the 7th

With the circumstances as they are, there could be another Muslim in Congress after Tuesday's election, but the stay could be temporary..... time will tell.