When Keith Ellison was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, he became the first Muslim U.S. congressman, and he took his his oath of office on a Quran that had been owned by American Founding Father and former President Thomas Jefferson.
In Washington, he represents both Muslim and non-Muslim constituents. Voters in his Minnesota district “knew I was a Muslim and they didn’t care,” he said. “They wanted to know what I was going to do for them” to promote education, jobs and other shared interests. Ellison has been re-elected four times.
Another Muslim congressman, André Carson of Indiana, has served since 2008. Across the United States, American Muslims vote and, increasingly, are elected to public office. In November, a Michigan municipality elected America’s first Muslim-majority city council.