Documents have been posted online confirming that the Muslim American Society (MAS) did in fact paid for a two week pilgrimage to Mecca by Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison as reported in a post from last year. According to a post on the Powerline blog:
We’ve written several times about Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison’s hajj to Mecca, most recently here. A spokesman for Ellison, the first Muslim Congressman, first claimed that he paid for the pilgrimage himself. Later it was reported that the Muslim American Society paid for the trip, which MAS spokesman Mahdi Bray heatedly denied, describing the report as a “myth” and “urban legend” that couldn’t possibly be true because “that would be a breach of congressional ethics.” Bray’s denial, however, quietly became inoperative. A few days ago members of Congress filed their annual disclosure forms, listing travel payments and reimbursements by private entities. Ellison’s form put to rest any lingering question about who paid for his two-week trip to Saudi Arabia (viaFraters Libertas); click to enlarge:
Ellison is the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.
Fox News reported at the time that the MAS denied paying for the trip calling it a “myth” and “urban legend”:
Representatives for MAS-Minnesota did not return calls or e-mails requesting comment. But Mahdi Bray, the national director who campaigned for Ellison, denied his group had funded the congressman’s pilgrimage, calling the story a “myth” and “urban legend” that needed to be laid to rest.”Keith Ellison is a member of Congress who knows that congressmen don’t take trips sponsored by nonprofits. That would be a breach of congressional ethics,” said Bray, executive director of the MAS Freedom Foundation. But Ellison’s office told FOXNews.com that MAS had indeed paid for the congressman’s hajj. “The trip, funded by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, was fully reviewed and approved in advance by the House Ethics Committee,” Ellison’s office said in a statement to FOXNews.com. The office, which did not say how much Ellison’s trip cost, defended MAS as a highly regarded interfaith organization with many ties in Minnesota.”The Muslim American Society of Minnesota is a widely respected 501c3 organization incorporated in Minnesota, whose mission is to promote interfaith understanding,” Ellison’s office said in a statement to FOXNews.com. “The Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MASMN) has an ongoing interfaith project with the Minnesota Council of Churches, and a community outreach partnership with the St. Paul Police Department.”
The MAS was identified in a recent Hudson Institute report as a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to the Egyptian organization.