First Muslim Congressman Takes Oath On Quran

Capitol Hill (AP) -- The first Muslim elected to Congress has taken his ceremonial oath of office on a Quran that was owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota borrowed Jefferson's personal copy of Islam's holy book from the Library of Congress for Thursday's ceremony with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Critics had objected saying that oaths of office should only be taken on a bible.

But Ellison said the fact that one of the nation's founding fathers owned a Quran shows that "religious differences are nothing to be afraid of."

No sacred texts were required when new members were officially sworn in earlier on the House floor.

Copyright 2007 by the associated press. All rights reserved.


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