Keith Ellison, now officially the first Muslim United States Congressman, placed his hand on the Koran, the Muslim book of jihad, and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.
The Koran used once belonged to Thomas Jefferson third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the rare books section of the Library of Congress and is one of the 6500 Jefferson books archived in the library. Ellison, born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson’s Koran because it showed that a visionary like Jefferson believed wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.
Because Ellison stated an intent to use the Koran instead of a Bible at his photo op reenactment of the swearing-in ceremony (the official ceremony is done en mass without any books) conservative columnists Dennis Prager wrote a column criticizing him. This drew responses from organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The American Family Association and The Anti-Defamation League.
Fifth term Representative Virgil Goode (R-VA) responding to "scores and hundreds of e-mails" from his constituents after the Prager articles has also stated his view that Ellison's decision to use the Koran is a threat to the values and beliefs traditional to United States of America he also wrote
"If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Koran"
Ellison was right about Jefferson leaving wisdom could be gleaned from the Muslim Koran. at the time Jefferson owned the book he needed to know everything possible bout Muslims because he was about to advocate war against Islamic Barbary states Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli. Ellison's use of the Jefferson’s Koran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States but mostly forgotten today-- the Muslim pirate slavers enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic Barbary states. Not long after Jefferson’s inauguration as president in 1801 he dispatched a group of frigates to defend America's interest in the Mediterranean and informed Congress declaring that America was going to spend millions for defense but not one cent for tribute. Jefferson pressed the issued by deploying American marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.
In 1805 American marines marched across the desert from Egypt to Tripolitania forcing the surrender of Tripoli and freeing all American slaves.
During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary states, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and onshore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy. Jefferson's victory over Muslims lives on today in the Marine hymn, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli".