In the U.S. congress, there are two Muslims. One of them is boycotting Donald Trump's inauguration. Another is not.
Trump's election as president of the U.S. has polarized political leaders across the country, bringing many to boycott the inauguration altogether.
More than 50 Democratic legislators plan to refrain from attending the ceremony. Keith Ellison, America's first-ever Muslim congressman, who represents a district in Minnesota, is one of them. André Carson, who represents a district in Indiana, has decided to attend Trump's swearing-in.
Ellison refused to celebrate Trump's "politics of division"
Ellison's decision came in response to comments Trump made criticizing John Lewis, a prominent civil rights activist and congressman.
Trump's critical – and inaccurate – comments served as the final straw for many Democrats. They have since rallied around Lewis, who was one of the first to call for a boycott of the inauguration.
Ellison quickly joined the movement. As a black Muslim American, he has been critical of the president-elect throughout his campaign and following the election.
Carson has decided against joing the boycott
Carson initially said he was considering joining the boycott, but has decided to attend the inauguration after all.
The congressman has openly criticized Trump on numerous occasions. After Trump's recent remarks regarding Lewis, Carson posted a picture of himself standing in solidarity with his colleague and other black representatives.
He has also previously joined with Ellison to criticize the president-elect's call for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., and the creation of a Muslim registry.
Carson referred to Trump's political tactics as "Machiavellian maneuvering," according to NBC News.
"I've met Mr. Trump. His personal persona betrays his rhetoric which concerns me," he said. He pointed to Trump's close ties to Muslim business partners, suggesting there is a disconcerting disconnect between his rhetoric and his personal actions.
Ellison and Carson are the only elected Muslims in the U.S. federal government
Ellison is currently a leading contender in the run-up to electing the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. He was first elected to congress in 2007.
Addressing concerns about growing Islamophobia in the U.S. in an interview with CNN, Ellison said he had a lot of worried Muslim constituents in his district.
He said that they had expressed fear of hate crimes and deportation. He also said it's "harder now" for Muslims in America than it was after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Carson, who joined Congress in 2008, has echoed these concerns, saying he received death threats just days after Trump first called for a complete shutdown of Muslim immigration to the U.S. in Dec. 2015.