Posted by: Amie | October 21, 2008

Muslims for McCain and Mr. Powell

You all well know that I’m supporting Barack Obama in this election. And while my whole family (mostly Republican) is also turning out for Obama this year, my grandpa, whom I love dearly, is standing firm in his support for McCain. I poke fun, I argue and debate, but in the end, I do not respect anyone less as a person for voting against my political choice. After all, my freedom to choose constitutes everyone else’s freedom to choose.

However, I will under no circumstance tolerate ignorance and unfortunately, it has been passed like a rampant disease among McCain supporters. We’ve heard everything from Obama’s a terrorist “paling around” with Bill Ayers to being a Muslim jihadist, to a Black-supremacist Christian. While we all have had the truth about Ayers regurgitated over and over thanks to Hilary and John, which is it? Is he an extremist Muslim or and extremist Christian? It’s certainly hard to make someone into both – unless you’re Fox News, of course.

The word Muslim in the United States has undoubtedly become synonymous
with words such as “terrorist,” “hatred,” “death,” and “destruction.” And where did all this Islamophobia come from? If there are Muslim Americans (like myself) they certainly didn’t come here to stir the pot. The converted (like me) into Islam after being born and raised with American culture and values, they left their countries of tyrany to come here, or they came to live out the American Dream – just like everyone else.

September 11th and other acts of terrorism around the globe are just as condoned by Muslim Americans (and Muslims around the world, mind you) about as much as black lynchings and abortion clinic bombings are condoned by Christian Americans or dare I say, the Holocaust by Germans. After all the KKK and Neo-nazis are ” Protestant Christian” organizations, are they not? …only as much as Al-Qaeda and other such groups are “Muslim” organizations. But people seem to forget the past and Islam has become the scapegoat for all modern evils. It’s foreign, relatively new and misunderstood, and therefore “scary” and conveniently easy to distort.

At a McCain rally in Woodbridge, VA, a man and a female partner were spotted by an American News Project journalist. While shouting anti-Islamic balderdash, anti-truths about Obama’s history, and anti-socialist remarks, he handed out bumper stickers that said, “Obama for Change.” The ‘C’ was replaced with an Islamic symbol, the crescent moon and star, and the ‘G’ with hammer and sickle made (in)famous by the Communist Soviet Union.

He was approached and refuted by a group of Muslims, a Muslim campaign worker, and other McCain supporters attending the rally.

I think his female partner has learned her press skills from Sarah Palin, and I’m glad they walked away. They were obviously very wrong, as most people are, with their opinions and assumptions that Obama is in any way a Muslim, or that being a Muslim, in general, is something to be ashamed of.

When I saw this clip on CNN today, it reminded me of the rally in Wisconsin where the lady stood up and said she can’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab.

While John McCain corrected her, and rightly so (kudos, John), it makes me wonder how many people let their votes me swayed by such ridiculous bunk?

My attention snapped back to the screen when I heard mention of Colin Powell. I’ve always personally respected Colin Powell – how could you not? Regardless of party, I’ve never heard anyone have too many negative things to say about him.

While he donated a great amount to John McCain’s campaign in the beginning, and it was speculated he may become McCain’s running mate (which would have made a world of difference in favor of McCain in my opinion), he recently denounced his support for the McCain campaign on Meet the Press.

While I was more than happy about his decision to support Barack Obama’s campaign (obviously), I was overjoyed and impressed by the other content of his interview. He spoke about the [Republican] party straying too far to the right for his liking, McCain Camp straying from real issues that need to be addressed and about the Islamophobia that has gripped the nation.

What he said about being Muslim is true. When did choosing your own religion label you as unpatriotic and impossibly American when our on first amendment states FREEDOM of religion? Why is it so hard to comprehend a Muslim president?

Gen. Powell mentioned a mother who was photographed in The New Yorker at Arlington National Cemetery over the headstone of her son, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. He was 20 when he died, and 14 at the time of September 11th.

Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

The Gannett News Service said he was “spurred by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center
[and] wanted to show that not all Muslims were fanatics and that many,
like him, were willing to lay their lives down for their country,
America. He enlisted immediately after graduation and was sent to Iraq
in July 2006.”

I feel sad for this mother to have to constantly listen to the anti-Islam banter knowing her son gave his life for an unappreciative country. I feel sorry for those who turn out to support their candidate and meet haters along the way. I feel scared for my children and my family as we live in and face a nation of ignorance and intolerance.

However, Mr. Powell gave me a second wind. Finally someone stood up to speak the truth and the reality of the situation in a mature and educated fashion. And all out of the mouth of a Republican, nonetheless. Who’da thought?

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Responses

  1. That man deserved to be president.

  2. I agree. Had Powell been on the ballot this year (as president), he most likely would have taken my vote.
    You can’t deny that the original ideals of the Republican party were respectable. Had the party stuck it out, leaving behind puritanism, and remained “Lincoln’s Party,” perhaps I, too, would still be registered Republican.
    But now, as Powell said, the party has moved too far, or in my opinion, dangerously blindly to the right – so far there’s no seeing the other side. This is why I jumped ship long ago, and why life-long Republicans, even Republican figureheads like Colin, are now reconsidering their party loyalties, and most likely voting a Democratic ticket this year.

    Thanks for posting, Phil.


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