First Muslim in Congress is reluctant trailblazer

First Muslim in Congress is reluctant trailblazer
“I’m not a Muslim leader,” the incoming Democratic congressman said Thursday in a radio interview. “I’m a politician who happens to be a Muslim.”

Elected Tuesday night as the representative from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, Ellison, 43, becomes not just the first Muslim in Congress but also the first black congressman ever in Minnesota. Running in the deeply Democratic district, which includes Minneapolis and several inner-ring suburbs, Ellison focused not on his religion but on a progressive agenda that included calls for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and universal health coverage.

Mr. Ellison’s success was front-page news in several of the Arab world’s largest newspapers and high in the lineup on television news programs. (Video of his victory speech)

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