Is There Something Wrong With Being A Muslim?

questionmarkRetired General Colin Powell appeared on Meet the Press this morning and explained eloquently why he's endorsing Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.

As I listened to Powell speak, he said many things I agreed with, but one thing in particular struck me as it hasn't been said enough during this campaign. It was regarding the incorrect assertion that Obama is Muslim, and the inference that one must be Christian to be President. Here's the transcript.

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator 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 seven-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 terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America...

As remarkable as it is that we're mere days away from having a black man elected President of the USA, I suspect it will be even harder for a non-Christian man or woman to reach that pinnacle. And a Muslim man or woman as President? I doubt we'll ever see the day. To many an American, the labels "muslim" and "terrorist" are synonyms.

Religious affiliations shouldn't matter, but they most certainly do. Muslims need not apply.

Here's Colin Powell making a great deal of sense this morning.


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Comments (15 - click here to join in!)

Buffalo Boy Mike

That is so right Mike, I think he shocked a lot of republicans, it will be interesting to see over the next few days if people in that party take notice and decide to stand up against McCain.

October 19, 2008 @ 7:45 PM

Alison

Mike,

They had a good discussion on Bill Maher the other night, Ben Affleck made a similar point about why people aren't outraged at Sarah Pailin's inference that Obama is a muslim and therefore automatically a terrorist and why isn't the party being called on this?? Also that the rebublicans have used the word terrosists (plural) when talking about Obama and Ayers..are they suggesting he hangs out with numerous terrorists? I'm embarassed for the whole direction the McCain campaign has taken and that more Americans aren't calling them on it...You are so right that it's more than just saying Obama is a Christian...it shouldn't matter, church and state people, church and state!

October 19, 2008 @ 11:13 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

One thing I will say is that we are closer to electing a Muslim as president (no reference to Obama) than we are to electing an Atheist as president. For some reason, people in this country think that in order to be a politician you have to believe in god, that is totally false and not what the founders of this country wanted. I want to see the day where we are okay with electing someone, anyone not even president, a senator who is opening Atheist.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:24 AM

James Edgar

The far right are going ballistic with this. the campiagn is going to get uglier as Nov approaches.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:55 AM

Argie

The far right fear Muslims just as the left fear evangelicals. During the 2000 and 2004 election campaigns the left constantly brought up the fact Dubya considered himself ‘born again’. They were wrong to fear him and his faith so I suppose the far right is wrong to fear Obama and his Muslim links.

One thing that differentiates Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists is that the Christians will SAY you’re going to hell but the Islamists will SEND you there with a bomb. I don’t know about you guys but I’ll take my chances with the Christians.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:49 AM

Toronto Mike

Argie, we're not talking about radical fundamentalists. I agree with you, the Islamic fundamentalists are as scary as the Christian fundamentalists.

It's the fear of any shade of non-Christian, and atheism, I'm talking about.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:01 AM

Alison

Argie,

I beg you to tell me what "Muslim links" Obama has? Are you really saying that he is an Islamist extremist that Americans should fear? Do you really think all Muslims are Islamic terrorists? Is Obama's lifelong attendance at a Christian church an elaboate ruse he started as a child meant to trick us some how? That is like saying all Christians are terrorists because Timothy McVeigh was one too...

I sure hope I have misunderstood you and that by taking your chances with the Christians do you also mean Obama as he is a Christian.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:07 AM

Argie

Mike: I hear ya but do you really think Christian fundamentalists are as scary as radical Islamic fundamentalists??? There is a HUGE difference bro!

October 20, 2008 @ 11:03 AM

Argie

Alison,

So many questions along with your Timothy McVeigh comment. McVeigh was not a Christian fundamentalist. He hated the US govt and that is why he targeted and blew up one of their buildings. Nice try though.

To address your inane questions, here I go:

“I beg you to tell me what "Muslim links" Obama has?” Most of his family are muslim and one of his closest friends and mentor is Louis Farrakhan (an anti Jewish, anti-woman, anti-white, anti-homosexual leader of the Nation of Islam in the US). Nice guy eh?

“Are you really saying that he is an Islamist extremist that Americans should fear?” No.

“Do you really think all Muslims are Islamic terrorists?” No

“Is Obama's lifelong attendance at a Christian church an elaboate ruse he started as a child meant to trick us some how?” No its not but the church he attended is pretty scary when you consider the rev there.

Any more questions, Ali???

October 20, 2008 @ 11:12 AM

Toronto Mike

It's not a question of which is scarier, fundamental Christians or fundamental Islamics. I'd like to keep both out of the White House.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:19 AM

Argie

To all those in love with Obama: This is the same person who voted AGAINST preserving the life of an aborted baby in rare cases where the baby/fetus lives through the procedure/murder of an abortion. Most pro-choicers would say “let the bay live” but your friend Obama says “kill the damn baby”.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:22 AM

Alison

The McVeigh comment was only to illustrate that those who are radilcal terrorsits do so OUTSIDE the teachings of both Christianity and Islam...neither teaches or condones terrrorism...To be one has nothing to do with the other...

His Fathers family being Muslim has no relevance, he wasn't raised with them, nor was he ever close to them. Even if he was, that assumes a realtionship with a Muslim, familial or otherwise equals a terrorist link or something to be suspect of. Calling his realtionship with Farrakhan that of mentor and close friend is a huge leap...I think your really reaching for it here.

I'd have so much more respect for your dislike of Obama and support of McCain if it were strictly issue based not fear mongering about religion.

October 20, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

Ajax Mike

Very nice framing of the argument Argie. "Obama likes to kill babies." In actuality, his opposition to the bills in question was out of concern that they might have eroded abortion rights.

Whether those concerns were well-founded is up for debate, no question. Why not be civil about it though, rather than suggesting that Obama supports infantcide?

In regards to Islamic vs Christian fundamentalists, yes I find them both equally scary. I don't fear for being blown up. The odds of that happening, even in another 9/11, are about the same as being hit by lightning. What I do fear for are those with hidden agendas. Those who are able to get into a position of power and then enforce their "moral" standards on the rest of us. As this discussion has pointed out, there's a far greater chance of a Christian doing that than a Muslim. It's already happened. Thank goodness it'll be over by Janurary. Hopefully some of the damage can be undone.

October 20, 2008 @ 12:27 PM

Argie

Alison: My dislike for Obama IS issue based. I only brought up the issue of religion because that is the topic of this discussion.

As I noted earlier in this discussion, I dislike Obama’s stance of abortion. I realize this is a polarizing debate but his voting record on life/abortion issues is horrid. I also fear his promises to tax those who succeed even more will further destroy the economy and take away the incentive of those with drive and ambition.

I could go on at length about his foreign policy beliefs but why bore everyone else?

October 20, 2008 @ 1:00 PM

Steve

Argie,

You reason and write like a child.

There's always an argumentative twat with an inferiority complex and a poor command of English, and I'm afraid you're it on this blog. You can go on at length about anything, but it would all be bollocks, and as you say, boring.

Go Obama..!

Steve

November 4, 2008 @ 9:09 AM

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