Ellison: Terrorists Trying to 'Push the Community Toward Cannibalization of Itself'

Abdulwahid Osman, the lawyer for the family of Dahir Ahmed Adan, speaks during a news conference at St. Cloud City Hall in St. Cloud, Minn., on Sept. 19, 2016. (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP)

A Minnesota Democrat warned that when terrorists terrorize, “you stop thinking as well as you should.”

Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, whose district is around Minneapolis, commended the off-duty police officer, Jason Falconer, who shot and killed a terrorist Saturday at the St. Cloud mall. Dahir Adan, 20, reportedly asked some victims if they were Muslim while stabbing 10 people — 8 men, one woman and a 15-year-old girl — with a kitchen knife.

ISIS claimed Adan was their “soldier”; officials say they haven’t yet discovered links between the terrorist and the terror group.

“The community that has come together around this incident, they had an interfaith event yesterday and they’re going to keep on pulling together and not letting these people tear us apart,” Ellison told CNN this morning.

“There’s a lot of people with all kind of motivations who commit senseless acts of violence. This is one of them, certainly we have to condemn it. But, you know, whether it’s Sandy Hook, or Orlando, or any number of events that have happened where we have catastrophic violence happen, we have to stand together and be against all of them no matter what the particular motivation of the killer might be,” he added.

“And understand this, when people commit acts of terror, they’re trying to terrorize you. What happens when you are terrorized? Well, you stop thinking as well as you should. You stop thinking about all the possibilities. You get angry at a group that may share a characteristic with the other one. You turn on them. You give up your civil rights and your civil liberties. You say you can’t have any of that. You start treating due process as a nicety and you start over-surveilling.”

Ellison said terrorists are trying to “push the community toward cannibalization of itself, which is something we can never allow to happen.”

The congressman said in response to “these horrible incidents,” people in the Muslim community in Minnesota “just have sympathy for the victims and gratitude towards the first responders.”

“That’s where people are coming from. People — you go talk to people in the Muslim community and they say, oh, my God, those people must have been terrified. I’m so sorry that this happened,” he said. “And then they say, you know, what a brave guy Officer Falconer was, what a great public servant Chief [Blair] Anderson is, and then we start thinking about backlash because we know that there will be some people who are going to take the bait of the terrorists and say, this is about the Muslim community, the Somalis, the immigrants. It’s not about that.”

“It’s about we see horrible violence committed by people who were born here, people who were not. People who were Muslim, people who were not. All this stuff.”

Ellison said “the answer really is to come together as a community, to be vigilant, to share information and to never let them forget who we are and what we’re about, and that — and so, America’s a pluralistic, inclusive society.”

“We’re not going to stop being that because some horrible person decided to commit an atrocious act,” he added.