ICYMI: DNC Chair Candidate Bolts From NYT Interview When Publication Wanted To Discuss Nation Of Islam Ties,” by Matt Vespa, Townhall, December 8, 2016:
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has tossed his hat into the ring to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Yet, there have been some rather disturbing remarks the congressman has made, with one anti-defamation group describing them as disqualifying. Regardless, Ellison is a progressive Democrat, who will get a healthy amount of support and could very well become the next DNC chair. Yet, he’s made controversial remarks about the 9/11 attacks, Israel, and his defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Before the Thanksgiving holiday, The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman reported that the Obama White House was trying to find sensible alternatives to Ellison, or at least hope that someone more level-headed joins he race, with the Farrakhan issue fresh in their minds. They were also worried that Ellison winning the chairmanship “would amount to handing the party to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s primary race opponent, and his liberal followers.” At the time, the publication had set aside some time for a phone interview with Martin and Haberman, but backed out when told that the Farrakhan issue would be brought up:
Mr. Ellison’s past criticism of Mr. Obama and praise for Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, worry some Democrats looking for a figure to lead the opposition to Mr. Trump.Mr. Ellison, a Muslim, defended Mr. Farrakhan in the 1990s, saying he was “not an anti-Semite,” and has positioned himself on the left flank of congressional Democrats on Israel.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, called Mr. Ellison “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” but said he had taken positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “on which we strongly differ and that concern us.”
“We hope that all candidates for this post will make clear where they stand on these issues, and that the Democratic National Committee will make a choice that affirms the longstanding bipartisan consensus on a strong U.S.-Israel relationship,” he said.
Aides to Mr. Ellison were going to make him available for a telephone interview, but then declined when informed that he would be asked about his past comments on Mr. Farrakhan.
Ellison bolts New York Times interview to avoid questions about his ties to the Nation of Islam
Imagine what he might have done if they had planned to ask him about his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — an organization that is far larger, more powerful and more dangerous than the Nation of Islam. Ellison has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”
It gets worse. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” That’s from the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.
Also, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) raised large amounts of for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events. Yet CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.