Virgil didn’t do his homework, did he?
Ellison to be sworn in using Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson
by Fred Frommer, Associated Press
January 3, 2007
Washington D.C. — (AP) – Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, will use a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson during his ceremonial swearing-in Thursday.
The chief of the Library of Congress’ rare book and special collections division, Mark Dimunation, will walk the Quran across the street to the Capitol and then walk it back after the ceremony.
Ellison, D-Minn., contacted the library about the book last month, Dimunation said.
Some critics have argued that only a Bible should be used for the swearing-in. Last month, Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., warned that unless immigration is tightened, “many more Muslims” will be elected and follow Ellison’s lead. Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college.
Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert said the new congressman “wants this to be a special day, and using Thomas Jefferson’s Quran makes it even more special.”
“Jefferson’s Quran dates religious tolerance to the founders of our country,” he added.
“As a rare book librarian,” he said, “there is something special about the idea that Thomas Jefferson’s books are being walked across the street to the Capitol building, to bring in yet another session of governmental structure that he helped create.”
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