A thought-provoking article by Dennis Prager, who says that Muslim Keith Ellison should not be allowed to take his oath of office as a U.S. Representative on the Koran.
Prager, a Jew, writes that America, not Ellison, decides how its representatives should take their oath, and that Ellison is undermining American civilization:
"...for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament, and the many secular elected officials have not believed in the Old Testament either... Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. And it is hard to imagine a scientologist being allowed to take his oath of office on a copy of 'Dianetics' by L. Ron Hubbard."
Prager concludes: "Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal -- the Islamicization of America.
"When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America. But if it is, it is not only Europe that is in trouble."
I have to admit that when I first read recently about Ellison's plan for the oath, I didn't care for the idea but didn't think much more about it, assuming it was the norm for elected officials to choose how they swear the oath of office. Prager's article, putting Ellison's actions in historic context, gave me a lot to think about.
Particularly given how cowed Europe is becoming in dealing with Muslims, I think Prager is on to something. The Koran has become rather symbolic of a large group of people who wish to suppress everything America stands for, and peaceful Muslims aren't raising their voices to stop it.
In Ellison we have a man who rejects a unifying symbol, the Bible, previously accepted by those of all faiths for swearing their oaths, and instead demands his own way...while simultaneously agitating to undermine national security.
A postscript, Free Republic has an interesting thread developing discussing whether Prager is historically accurate.