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US MAYOR CONVERTS TO ISLAM

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    US MAYOR CONVERTS TO ISLAM Associated Press 2/2/07 http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/02/america/NA-GEN-US-Mayor-Islam.php MACON, Georgia: Macon Mayor Jack
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2007
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      US MAYOR CONVERTS TO ISLAM
      Associated Press
      2/2/07
      http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/02/america/NA-GEN-US-Mayor-Islam.php


      MACON, Georgia: Macon Mayor Jack Ellis has converted to Islam and is
      now working to legally change his name to Hakim Mansour Ellis.

      Ellis, who was raised Christian, said Thursday that he became a Sunni
      Muslim during a December ceremony in the west African nation of Senegal.

      "You do it because it feels right," said Ellis. "To me it's no big
      deal. But people like to know what you believe in. And this is what I
      believe in."

      Ellis said he has been studying the Quran for years and that his new
      religion was originally practiced by his ancestors before they were
      brought to North America as slaves.

      At the request of his two of his daughters, Ellis said he will keep
      his last name the same.

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      Ellis has not ruled out future runs for elected office after his term
      expires this year. But he said he had not made any calculations for
      how his religious conversion might affect him politically. He said he
      is an American first and is proud to live in a country founded on
      religious freedom.

      In January Rep. Keith Ellison took office as the first Muslim elected
      to the U.S. Congress. The Michigan Democrat was born in Detroit and
      converted to Islam while in college.

      Ellis said Muslims should not be painted with a broad brush simply
      because of a few radicals.

      "If anybody wants to know about Islam, I can hold an intelligent
      conversation," Ellis said. "What I've found is how little we know
      about the religion."

      ===

      GA: ELLIS SAYS HE'S CONVERTED TO ISLAM AND WANTS NAME CHANGE
      Matt Barnwell
      Macon Telegraph
      2/1/07
      http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/16600441.htm


      Macon Mayor Jack Ellis has converted to Islam and is working to
      legally change his name to Hakim Mansour Ellis.

      The mayor, raised as a Christian, said Thursday that he has been
      studying the Koran for years and made the religious switch at a
      December ceremony in the country of Senegal on the western African
      coast. Ellis is now a Sunni Muslim, having chosen a religion he said
      was originally practiced by his west African ancestors before they
      were brought to America by slave traders.

      Ellis said his decision was a personal one, though he understands his
      elected position breeds public interest in his choice. It was not
      something he decided overnight to do, he said.

      "Why does one become a Christian? ... You do it because it feels
      right. It's the right thing for you to do. ... To me it's no big deal.
      But people like to know what you believe in. And this is what I
      believe in."

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