Muslim Rep. Ellison draws anti-Muslim Tea Party challenger

Minneapolis Tea Partier says she's challenging Keith Ellison because he's a "radical Islamist"

Published June 28, 2011 2:29PM (EDT)

Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has drawn a Tea Party challenger who says she is running because she believes Ellison is a "radical Islamist."

Lynne Torgerson wrote a post last week on the website of Tea Party Nation on the need to ban Shariah in the U.S., and her claim that Ellison sees Islamic law as supreme:

I, Lynne Torgerson, am running for Congress in Minnesota, against radical Islamist Keith Ellison.  Keith Ellison fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law in the United States.  He accuses people of trying to ban it as "conspiratorilists." [sic] Keith Ellison also fails to support that the United States Constitution should be supreme over Islamic Sharia law. 

Torgerson actually ran last cycle, garnering 4 percent as an independent. A Minneapolis criminal defense attorney, her campaign website was dominated by critiques of Islam:

"And, what do I know of Islam? Well, I know of 911."

And here's a video uploaded yesterday of Torgerson asking Ellison at an event whether he believes Shariah or the U.S. Constitution should be supreme in the United States.

"I believe that the United States Constitution, which has been amended well over 25 times, is the bedrock of American law," Ellison says. "This whole movement to ban Shariah -- bills like this have been introduced in 22 states -- in my view is a very thinly disguised effort at religious persecution of people that are Muslim."

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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