Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Anti-Islam Candidate Claims Congressman is a "Radical Islamist"

SHARPTON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Anti-Muslim fear mongering is already at the front of one 2012 congressional race. One of the two Muslim members of congress, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, is being challenged by a candidate who is calling him a, quote, "radical Islamist," and accuses him of being pro-Sharia Law.

Lynne Torgerson first challenged Ellison in 2010 with the support of the Tea Party Nation. She ended up with just four percent of the vote, while Congressman Ellison easily won reelection with 68 percent. But Torgerson is trying again in 2012, accusing Ellison of, quote, "failing to oppose Islamic Sharia Law in the United States. He also failed to support that the Constitution of the United States should be supreme over Islamic Sharia Law."

Congressman Ellison responded to the attacks, calling his challenger`s campaign one of hate, division and fear. To discuss her campaign, let me bring in Lynne Torgerson, the candidate challenging Congressman Ellison.

You say Congressman Ellison doesn`t think the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land. You recently asked him about it. Let`s listen to his response.


REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: I believe in the United States Constitution, which has been amended well over 25 times, is the bedrock of American law. Just so you know, there`s no state, there`s no county, there`s no city, there`s no village, there`s no hamlet, there`s no unincorporated area that has introduced an ordinance or a bill to establish Sharia as the law of that area.

So to ban it suggests that you`re banning something that doesn`t exist, that no one is calling for.


SHARPTON: The first thing he said was the Constitution is the bedrock of American law. I mean, what evidence do you have that shows he`s not committed to the Constitution?

LYNNE TORGERSON, TEA PARTY CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS: Well, good evening, Reverend Sharpton. Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: Good evening.

TORGERSON: I would -- I would just like to give a bit of background. I have been practices law for 25 years and have devoted my adult career to protecting the constitutional rights of people of all races, nationalities, walks of life and religions.

SHARPTON: That`s fine, but I`m asking you, you made a very serious charge on a very respected congressman. What evidence do you have that he does not respect the United States Constitution as the bedrock of American law?

TORGERSON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. And to answer your question, I do want to mention that I am not anti-Muslim in any way, shape or form. Mr. -- Congressman Ellison has long been associated with the most extremist groups around.

He has close ties to CARE, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was a named co-conspirator to funding terrorism in the Holy Land Foundation trial, which resulted in convictions for funding terrorism.
SHARPTON: Miss, let me ask you again, third time. Do you have any evidence that Congressman Ellison has in any way, in shape or form, supported Sharia Law over the U.S. Constitution? That was your charge. Or were you just fear mongering and demagoguing to get votes?

Do you -- you saw you`re a lawyer. You gave the background. Evidence I`m sure is something you have had to come through in court. Do you have any evidence that Congressman Ellison, in any way, disregards, disrespects or undermines the regard and respect of the United States Constitution?

TORGERSON: Yes, sir. He was asked approximately a month ago in a public forum what he believes -- whether he -- does he believe that the U.S. Constitution should be supreme in the United States or Sharia Law? What Mr. Ellison did is actually refuse to answer the question.

If anybody asked me that question, of course, what I believe should be the supreme law in the United States, the first thing I would say is the U.S. Constitution.

SHARPTON: Well, he just did. I just played you the tape where he said that to you. So you were very clear. He said that. He said that to you, and we just played the tape. What do you mean, you would say that he said that?...

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