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Group That Funded Rep. Ellison’s Pilgrimage to Mecca Called a Front for Extremism

January 12, 2009
FOX News
1/8/2009

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison’s groundbreaking pilgrimage to Mecca last month was paid for by an American Muslim organization that has ties to Islamic radicals and is “the Muslim equivalent of the neo-Nazi party,” his critics say.

Ellison, a Democrat, became the first U.S. congressman ever to make the hajj pilgrimage when he visited Islam’s holy city in December. The trip was funded by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, a non-profit interfaith group that is one of 55 branches of the MAS nationwide. The pilgrimage was hailed by Muslim activists in the U.S.

“A U.S. congressman going on hajj sends a very positive message to the Muslim world about America and the religious diversity in America,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group.

But Ellison, the only Muslim in Congress, is coming under fire for his ties to MAS, which one terrorism expert called “the Muslim equivalent of the neo-Nazi party.”

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