Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, today announced that she is converting from Judaism to Islam.
"With the whole flap over Bibi Netanyahu's speech to Congress, I realized that I agree far more with Islamist thinking than Jewish thinking," Schakowsky said. "I might as well start living as I believe."
Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois' 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. She is in her ninth term, serving in the House Democratic leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she is the Ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee.
Her decision to convert to Islam caught other Jewish Democrats off guard.
"I am shocked," said Debbie Wassermann Schultz, D-FL, chair of the Democratic National Committee. "It does seem extreme, but I have suspected for some time that Jan has no loyalty to the state of Israel."
Schakowsky said her decision also was influenced by President Obama's support for and sympathy with Islamic-led nations around the world.
"I support our president unconditionally and unequivocally," she said. "If he thinks Iran can be trusted and believes it's more important to attend a Saudi king's funeral than to attend a rally in France to memorialize a few dead Jews, I'm with him 100 percent."