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First Muslim elected to U.S. Congress

Nov. 8, 2006 at 7:42 AM

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of the U.S. Congress, said he wants to put a face on Islam "that is just like everybody else's face."

Ellison, a Democratic state representative from Minneapolis, took 56 percent of Tuesday's vote in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District to easily defeat Republican Alan Fine and independent Tammy Lee, who each totaled about 21 percent.

He succeeds Martin Sabo, who retired from a seat in Congress to which he was first elected in 1978.

"I think it's time for the United States to see a moderate Muslim voice, to see a face of Islam that is just like everybody else's face," Ellison said in a statement.

Ellison's key issue was a demand for a resolution for the U.S. military to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Ellison overcame controversies regarding unpaid parking tickets, campaign violations and his association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said.

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