MINNEAPOLIS -- U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison isn’t backing down in the face of a death threat from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.
Ellison, a Minneapolis Democrat who was the first Muslim elected to Congress, was threatened in ISIS’ official English-language magazine, Dabiq, as a “politically active apostate.”
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is quoted as saying that Ellison and others including Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin should receive “a painful - and fatal - punishment.”
In a statement, Ellison said he is taking the threat as a point of pride.
“Daesh is a collection of liars, murderers, torturers and rapists,” Ellison said, using a pejorative term for ISIS. “The fact that I’m on Daesh’s bad side means I am fighting for things like justice, tolerance and a more inclusive world.”
Ellison called ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria a “nightmare” and criticized the group’s interpretation of Islam.
“No Muslim I know recognizes what they preach as Al-Islam,” Ellison said. Al-Islam is an Arabic term that means “of Islam” or “Islamic.”
In light of the threat, Ellison’s office has been in contact with the Capitol Police, which is investigating the matter along with the national Joint Terrorism Task Force.