Ellison says entire Muslim world doesn't hate U.S.

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  • September 19, 2012 - 10:26 AM
Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, who has been getting extraordinary air time to explain the past week’s tumult in the Middle East, appeared on Morning Joe Wednesday to refute the contention that the entire Muslim world hates the United States.
“It’s a struggle for power, something that’s going on in nearly every country across the region,” said Ellison, a Minneapolis DFLer and the first Muslim elected to Congress. “In Libya, you have a huge number of people who were out with signs, professing their support for not just [slain U.S. ambassador] Chris Stevens, who lost his life supporting peace and our relationship, but you had them saying, ‘Look we apologize.’ Same thing in other countries. Many of the leaders have expressed the same sentiments.”
Ellison came on the show two days after host Joe Scarborough opined on the air that “if you scratch the surface, and if you gave every street vendor to prime minister in that region a chance to throw a rock at the U.S. embassy, they would.”
“You know why they hate us?” added Scarborough, arguing that it’s naïve to expect that to change. “They hate us because of their religion, they hate us because of their culture, and they hate us because of peer pressure.”
Ellison framed the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East in terms of domestic politics:
“What we’re basically doing is saying groups that are as disparate as the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement. We’re just saying ‘They’re all Arabs or they’re all Libyans.’ No they’re not. There are different elements that are at work here and we need to know that.”

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