Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the Democrat congressman who is favored by the left of the party to take over the position as head of the Democrat National Committee, campaigned in 2009 for a man who had called for jihad and supported Hamas, according to The Daily Caller.
“The very fact that you have ran a honorable campaign in this heated primary shows victory. Don’t stop working, lay it all on the line,” Ellison was quoted as having said at the fundraiser.
So, why is that so controversial?
Well, just two years before, Omeish had been forced to resign a position on a state immigration commission after a video surfaced of him from 2000 commending jihad in Palestine.
“We the Muslims of the Washington metropolitan area are here today … to tell our brothers and sisters in (Palestine) that you have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” Omeish could be seen saying in the video.
You can see his entire speech here:
Omeish, a physician who was president of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim American Society, also criticized the “Israeli war machine” and the “Israeli agenda” that he said controlled Congress, according to NBC News.
And liberals can’t exactly claim that it was hidebound, Islamophobic conservatives who forced Omeish out. The man who demanded Omeish’s resignation was Virginia’s then-governor, Democrat Tim Kaine. You may perhaps have heard of him recently serving in a different capacity.
“Dr. Omeish is a respected physician and community leader, yet I have been made aware of certain statements he has made which concern me,” Kaine said at the time in an opus of understatement.
More rhetoric then surfaced that showed Omeish making even more incendiary statements.
“We need to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Philistine (Palestine) for their bravery, for their giving up their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Al-Aqsa,” Omeish said in that clip.
The Al-Aqsa reference could also refer to the Second Intifada, a 2000-2005 terrorist campaign sometimes referred to as the Al-Aqsa intifada, or the terrorist group Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. Neither is a promising augury for the man Ellison decided to endorse as having “ran a honorable campaign” several years later.
Ellison made headlines when he became the first Muslim elected to Congress in 2006. His candidacy for the head of the DNC is championed by the left of the party; The Washington Post reported that Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have both thrown their weight behind Ellison.
However, his candidacy for the position has been bogged down by past associations, both with Omeish and the Nation of Islam. The Chicago Tribune also reported that Ellison’s pilgrimage to Mecca was paid for by the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim American Society — the group that Omeish formerly led.