Thursday, October 23, 2008

Islamophobia on the run

(I have posted about this subject on AMillionMonkeys before, and this week had a conversation with my brother about it, so I thought I would crosspost this from the other place...)

False rumors that Obama is a Muslim have dogged his candidacy from the beginning, and at times the campaign has overreacted to the rumors by accommodating Islamophobia -- firing a Muslim outreach coordinator for no good reason, or by moving women in head scarves out of the camera's frame at a rally. It has been important to the campaign that they push back against the notion that Obama is a Muslim, but at the same time, sometimes the effect has been to give credence to the idea that the word "Muslim" itself constitutes a "smear."

So a particularly moving part of Colin Powell's appearance on Meet the Press (which also of course contained his Obama endorsement), was when he confronted this issue head-on in a way that I don't think anyone so prominent had yet done:

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?
Along similar lines, I found the piece of video below, taken outside a McCain rally, particularly compelling viewing. An anti-Muslim bigot is selling his wares and trying to "educate" other attendees with some paranoid nonsense. In response, a Muslim McCain campaign chairman from Virginia and some of the other pro-McCain attendees openly confront the man -- saying, among other things, "You don't believe in the Constitution":

Good for them.


Jake said...

I've been saying all along that there are good reasons and bad reasons to vote McCain, as well as good and bad reasons to vote Obama. I have zero problems with anyone who votes McCain for a good reason -- for example, they truly believe his economic policies will work better, or his national security credentials, or whatever. Good for some of the "good reason" McCain supporters. These people deserve more of the pub, and the "bad reason" people on both sides deserve less.

For all the (misguided) talk about a divided electorate, the "good reason" people on both sides are going to be fine, and the whackjobs (on both sides) would have been whackjobs regardless of this election.

Saxdrop said...

Lord I can't wait for this election to be over.

Rob said...

I hear you Saxy. You want to post about the financial crisis? Lately I consume almost as much news about the credit markets as I do about the campaigns, and aren't you like some kind of economics wizard?

Saxdrop said...

My new project at work actually has been focused on the financial crisis. Which is why I've never been so busy in my life.

Blogging will have to wait until at least after the election.