US: A Muslim Oversees Our Spies. Get Over It.

He’s a rapper, a cop, a congressman and, yes, a Muslim. Welcome to America, where such things are possible.

Among the spooks, the spies, the special operators—not to mention among his fellow lawmakers, former rapper and congressman Andre Carson stands out…

…It would not be a stretch to say that Carson is one of the most interesting members of Congress. The path that brought him to Capitol Hill is a unique one, and especially relevant with discussions about national security, police brutality, and the role of Muslims in American society dominating the political conversation.

“Parts of me present an opportunity … to speak about issues that concern me deeply: deep levels of racial discrimination, that are historical. Islamophobia. Police and prosecutorial misconduct,” he explained. Being an African American Muslim, he said, “creates a platform to speak about those issues.”

His interest in Islam was piqued in his teenage years. He was raised by his grandmother, the late congresswoman for the district he now represents in Indianapolis. Though he was raised Christian—and he himself attended Catholic school for seven years—his grandmother was “very universalist” and kept a Koran in the house, as well as different writings on Islam and other religions.

“For me, [Islam] spoke to me in a different kind of way. There was crime in my community, and I saw that Muslims were responding to crime in my community,” Carson told the Beast. “To see the sense of pride that Muslims had, the sense of protecting one’s community. And that drive was reinforced by the tenets of the faith”…