Rep. Keith Ellision (D-Minn.) said Islamic terrorists are picking their victims not by faith, but by which ones they can use to display their power.
Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, told MSNBC today that “it’s important to keep cool and to enlist allies and to adhere to the law and due process” while hunting for the Paris terror suspects and other terrorists.
“I think it’s important for authorities to know that the Muslim community is often the target of these terrorists who kill people under the veneer of Islam. And so, they have every opportunity to engage community members as allies against these murderous killers,” the congressman said.
“I mean, I think it’s important to remember, just in Yemen, these people killed 38 people. You guarantee that Yemenis were all Muslim. So they don’t really care. This is about power,” he continued. “And I think that we should bear in mind that these terrorists hope for a backlash. Let me say, they hope that government will overreact because then they will use people who are negatively affected and recruit and target them for recruitment. So it’s important that we are swift in justice, but very careful to adhere to the law and due process and to enlist community members all across the spectrum, including the Muslim community, to stand against these terrorists.”
Ellison referenced reports of revenge attacks against mosques and Muslim businesses. “Three mosques in France. So clearly, this is an issue of big concern that the imam in France issued a statement yesterday. There have been statements from a number of the Arab leaders around the Persian Gulf,” he said.
“Let me tell you, one of the great things that President George Bush did, right after 9/11, is he went to a mosque and he made it clear that this is a war against terrorists, not against people of a particular religious group. And I think this is important to bear in mind — terrorism is an unfortunate and cruel fact of the world we live in. And people of goodwill have to stand together against the people who would use violent extremism to advance their philosophy, no matter what it is,” Ellison continued.
“And I just want to assure people that these killers do not care who’s Muslim and who’s not. They are about power and terrorism and injecting fear. So we need to stand together in solidarity and we should never give them an opportunity to recruit among some Muslims who may have unfortunately been the victims of some backlash.”