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Carson Becomes Second Muslim to Serve in Congress

On Tuesday, Andre Carson (D) won a special election to replace his grandmother -- the late Rep. Julia Carson (D) -- in Indiana's 7th district. The younger Carson is the second Muslim in U.S. history to serve in Congress, following the trail blazed by current Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

It's been a busy 48 hours for Carson, as he was already in the Capitol today for his ceremonial swearing-in.'s Emily Freifeld, captured the moment on video. During and after the event, the House's newest member shared his thoughts on being a "proud Muslim, a proud American, and a proud Hoosier" -- and the grandson of a woman he calls his political "Obi-wan Kenobi."

By Ben Pershing  |  March 13, 2008; 7:43 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Seems like a good guy. Good sense of humor.

Posted by: RL | March 13, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Funny - we fought a war to end hereditary monarchies, but here we have Carson-Carson, Bush-Bush, Bono-Bono, Clinton-Clinton, and the list goes on and on. The problem is that we're not getting fresh ideas in the Capitol. We perpetuate the same old partisan politics by electing the same groups of people.

Posted by: WJS | March 13, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Reporter: "Is that the same Koran that Representative Ellison swore on?"
Carson: "This is the U.S. Constitution."

Smart. Very smart.

Posted by: Brendan | March 13, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The video, in its provision of insights into our new Congressman, is more than just his swearing in. Thanks, team

WJS, hi
I agree it seems undemocratic to shoo in related candidates, but not as undemocratic as prejudging them unfit. The tendency to scapegoat them as a class for a lack of new ideas explains why only progressive political dynasties thrive in America. When asked by a reporter if she'd ever consider a career in politics, Jenna Bush practically screamed, "No way!"

Posted by: jhbyer | March 13, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I could not be more pleased. Comgrats to Andre' Carson!

Posted by: Hoosier Lady | March 13, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Congressman Carson for taking his oath of office on the document that grounds America. Contrary to what Republicans, including McCain, keep preaching, we're nation of laws not religion. There's nothing of democracy in the Bible and surprisingly scant moral teaching. Just lots used to justify the most egregious acts of public disservice that ultimately were declared unconstitutional.

Posted by: jhbyer | March 13, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I think he meant what he said about the Kuran being the US Constitution. I think we have a problem in Indianapolis and in this country.

Posted by: lh | March 14, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Congrats To Mr. Carson
I thought US is a Secular country. If it is then why we are bringing up his religion or US is secular only for Christians and Jews?

Posted by: Rafay | March 14, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Religion has everything to do with how a person makes decisions in his/her life. Decisions or ideas people have are all relative to their environment and beliefs. Now if you read the Koran, you will have a much better idea about how a muslim may lean on any given topic... Which without reading a biography about Andre, he is just a genaric person. Now knowing he is Muslim and how muslims live... we at least know something of his values and beliefs.

Posted by: onemind | March 14, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

America the beautiful...

Posted by: Karen | March 14, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The US Constitution has in the Article VI under Debts, Supremacy, Oath. Last Paragraph; States, (The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution: but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public Trust under the United States.)
However there has been much interference from almost all of the Churches in The country about policy in The State and Federal Governments. Many Churches are violating this Article and even the Politicians in order to satisfy a church led constituency have done great damage to our Constitution. These Politicians need out of office and the Churches need to start paying taxes on all their monies collected when they are pushing political candidates and telling their parishners how they are expected to vote. This is most important in these trouble times of The US Military Fighting and our Children Dying in order to help stop Religious Oppression of Peoples in other countries. We don't need Religious opression in our Country by any Religion, Nor Religious Presecution by any Groups. Each persons religion or belief is supposed to be a Free Choice of each and every individual. That is what the First Admendment is all about. No Person should be thumped over the head by anybody's religion and should be considered a Major Harrassment Charge punishable by law. All those Nasty People need to quit trying to push their beliefs upon others.

Posted by: Fred Schell | March 14, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

How come Headscarf Hannah was bareheaded? Was the ceremony attended also by Howard al-Din?

Posted by: sawargos | March 14, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

wow! this was nice to view. This is the kind of stuff that should be shown on national TV; then maybe many would be less fearful. I hate to read fearful blogs; especially since we live in such a great country.

Posted by: AL Thinker | March 14, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Good to see a politician with both a sense of humor and a sense of service. I hope that he continues in that vane.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 14, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

To the gushers;You need to read the Koran

Posted by: Louis | March 15, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It will be best to keep religion out of political process. There is no need to keep head count of jews or muslims in the congress. We want best man to lead this country irrespective of belief. When you take a oath to uphold the constitution of the country, you have to be a man or woman to uphold it.

Posted by: Jamil Ahmed | March 16, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

To Louis:

While the gushers are reading the Koran, take a look at the Bible. Genesis isn't exactly a model of family values, the Old Testament spends a lot of time about killing in God's name and Jesus recommends amputation of limbs if they cause you to sin (sounds a lot like that "other" religion's chopping off of hands for theft). It's certainly common to argue the literal meanings of such things, but there seems to be little willingness by many of those people to acknowledge most Muslims aren't violent by-the-word extremists.

Posted by: iceman | March 17, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: votenic | March 17, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

That is NOT the US Constitution! What book is he swearing on?

Posted by: uhohwaves | March 19, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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