Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It bears repeating; this is for all American Muslims

Mash and I visiting at his place.

My friend Mash, whom I met in July with my family, is a very, very smart and articulate man. He's also the son of Bangladeshi diplomats, educated and oh yeah, Muslim. Further on in this post I will show you his reaction, so well articulated, to Colin Powell's endorsment of Obama. Colin Powell did not jus endorse Obama, he denounced the GOP's bigotry of going after Obama as if he's Muslim, AS IF that is a crime. As if by virtue of being Muslim one must be associated with 'terrorists'. Colin Powell, stood up for American Muslims like my friend Mash by saying this; (took this from Mash's post..he won't mind)

"I’m also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He’s a Muslim,and he might be associated with terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America."

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

"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards — Purple Heart, Bronze Star — showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions."

Thank you Colin Powell. This is what should be focussed on. There is an idiot woman in Congress who wants to "investigate" members for being anti-American (does she get paid to say this I mean really), there is a hatred towards Muslims and clearly anyone not 'white' that the McCain campaign has stoked and not doused by any measure. Well, this is how Mash felt about Colin Powell's endorsement, and I have no doubt, other Muslims echo his sentiment;
"I - a Muslim American - have been a rhetorical punching bag for the McCain campaign. Too cowardly to openly declare the racism that is the underpinning of his campaign, the McCain campaign has instead been using the "Obama is a Muslim" smear as a proxy for "Obama is Black". Obama has been forced to defend against the false charge. No one has been able to defend my faith. It is just not done in American politics - post 9/11.

Until now.

General Powell was perhaps the only American leader with the stature necessary to effectively push back on the anti-Muslim hatred coming from the McCain campaign. He did it by invoking the sacrifice of a brave young American - a Muslim American - who rests in Arlington National Cemetery under a headstone adorned with a crescent. It was an important moment in American politics and for American society."

Read the rest (although I admittedly copied a lot but hey, we're friends and what can I say "he's my brother, he ain't heavy".. are we one nation or what??

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Blogger Border Explorer said...

Wonderful post. As a nation, we need to come to grips with this. It galls me that when an angry rally guy calls out to McCain "Obama is an Arab" that McCain gets kudos for responding, "No, he's a decent family man." [my parphrases] As though "Arab" automatically means "not a decent, family, person."

1:08 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

wonderful post...I too was so moved by this story..and this mom and son..and WHY we don't have more respectful honoring posts on Muslims...( I blogged it too...on Sunday I think..)

now about the photo..I love this photo of you...it is exactly how I picture you...

take care...

2:40 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

BE..aren't you tired of this? The McCain camp has not brought out the worst in people, but brought out the worst people, period! It seems that McCain is indeed still 'untouchable'..(in Europe the kid gloves would've come off a long time ago)
Enigma..thanks for the compliment, I still need to 'doctor' a pic with 'Maria'..oh man..I can't wait for you to 'come on down'..I think you'll be pleased with the instant support 'posse' you'll have!
As for Mash, I very much admire his intelligence, his analysis and the way he can relate a complex political story into something easy to understand..he was great to listen to in person. He and James actually talked most as they understood more of this whole American politica process than I do..but I was also tired and was in 'observer' mode.. I'd love to meet him again AND one of our bloggers against torture 'compadre Robbie (RJ to you)..what a great round table 'real live' yak that would be..

6:52 PM  

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