US MAYOR CONVERTS TO ISLAM
- US MAYOR CONVERTS TO ISLAM
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
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
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
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
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