In a recent interview with the “Shalom Show,” you underscored that your mission is to represent and uphold the values of your constituents; this is an unquestionably noble goal. However, your subsequent statement that Representative Keith Ellison, one of your colleagues in the House of Representatives, is the “antithesis of the principles on which this country was established” because he is Muslim, shows a frightening lack of understanding for these values. Regardless of the specific “principles” you intended to reference, it is an indisputable fact that one of those principles is religious freedom for all, memorialized in the United States Constitution—including, of course, Article VI’s prohibition on any religious test for public office. Your remarks disrespect not only your Muslim colleagues in the Congress, but also all of your constituents of the Muslim faith. This is neither appropriate, nor true to the American values that you reference. #

Update: #

Since you’re with a new crowd, people you haven’t really met before and will be very closely associating with in the future, including Keith Ellison, who supports Islam, how will you manage that, if I may ask? Because it’s not really easy to be that polite often with individuals one totally disagrees with, which I believe may be the case. #

“I certainly will take your concerns to heart,” West writes in concluding his letter, “and hope that we can work together to continue to educate the American public on the importance of both understanding the threats we face, and exercising religious tolerance.” #

Letter From Allen West #

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