Posted on 03-10-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Politics, Religion) by Rashtrakut

A friend brought this video to my attention a few days back

Nice of Lindsey Graham to assure us that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. John McCain did the same during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. On his “Fight the Smears” site Barack Obama attacked he “smear” that he was a Muslim.

However, Colin Powell is about the only public figure to ask the basic question “[W]hat if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?”
New Yorker Slideshow - Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.

Powell’s comments were prompted by the picture above in a New Yorker photo-shoot of a grieving mother mourning her dead soldier son who happened to be a Muslim.  Regrettably very few politicians have stepped up and embraced Powell’s message.

In a post-911 world it appears that two kinds of public bigotry are acceptable. Against Arabs and Muslims. Hence the screeds by Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingram etc. that would have been unacceptable against other ethnic groups are somehow deemed an acceptable part of the public discourse.

There was some push back when right wing commentator Dennis Prager suggested that Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison was somehow being unpatriotic by taking his oath on office on the Quran instead of the Bible.  But most politicians stayed away from the fray in calling out Prager’s bigotry.  Generally politicians, including Barack Obama, have elected to observe the maxim that discretion is the better part of valor.

With its history of absorbing immigrants America has avoided the ghettoization and radicalization of its Muslim immigrants. It would be unfortunate if short sighted jingoism for political gins achieved that end.

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aditya on 3 October, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

There is this journalist Campbell from CNN who had written a similar article with a similar theme when McCain had assured some lady that Obama was not a muslim, he was a decent good man who he happened to have disagreements with.


[…] post brings up the question from General Powell quoted in a previous blog. “Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” The bigotry spewed from the […]


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