Keith should be asking himself, if more Americans knew what was in the Koran would it help Islam’s image?
(VOA News) — Most Muslims around the world will start the fasting month of Ramadan on Monday, August 1. In America, Muslims have been conducting a series of events to welcome the holy month of Ramadan. But, according to a U.S. Congressman, Islam still is mostly misunderstood in the United States.
Keith Ellison, a member of the House of Representatives from the midwestern state of Minnesota delivered greetings on the fasting month.
Keith Ellison is one of the many faces of Muslims in America. As a pioneer in his profession, many people ask how his fellow members of Congress on Capitol Hill treat him. In a recent panel discussion “Muslims in America” held by the Faith and Politics Institute at the Newseum in Washington, Ellison answered that question:
“I want to assure you that I have been well treated, well received. Well respected by my colleagues,” he said.
Islam, Ellison acknowledged, is still much misunderstood. But, he asserts, Islam in America is not something new. Islam has been in America for 14 generations. He regrets though, that throughout the world, people treated religion as their identity and are willing to kill or die over the identity associated with religion, not the faith, but religious identity.
“If you use your religion as an identity as opposed to a path to divine, inspirations and guidance, then you are no different than Crips and Bloods [gangs],” he said. “And I want to say that I mean that.”
Surveys show that about 60 percent of Americans do not understand Islam. To further introduce Islam, Ellison argued, the Muslim community in America should be much more vocal about who they really are, then take actions in their chosen field.