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By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Indianapolis voters on Tuesday (March 11) choose Andre Carson to fill a seat vacated by his late grandmother, making him the second Muslim ever elected to serve in Congress.
Like Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who in 2006 became the first Muslim elected to Congress, Carson is a black convert to the faith.
The 33-year-old Indiana Democrat was raised Baptist and attended Catholic schools but converted to Islam more than 10 years ago.
Carson called himself a “a proud Hoosier … I just happen to be a Hoosier of the Muslim faith,” according to The Associated Press.
He said his legislative priorities include ending the “useless war” in Iraq, and that he plans to run for a full term in May during his party’s primaries.
Carson’s election “demonstrates the strength of our political system and the growing positive role of American Muslims in our society,” said Corey Saylor, legislative director of the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Before his election, Carson worked in Indiana law enforcement and with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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