Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Be an American, Or Not To Be

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released Thursday, nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. There was also a strong linkage between those who wrongly believe Obama is a Muslim and those who disapprove of the job he is doing as president. Not surprisingly, the sharpest rise in those who say Obama is a Muslim is among Republicans (up 14 points) since 2009.

This issue at hand is not the fact that Republicans are making false accusations about the president but, more importantly, that they are fabricating stories about someone’s faith to win political points. What does a person’s religion have anything to do with his/her performance?

When Republicans say they disapprove of Obama because he is a Muslim, they make it shameful to be an American. But to be an American is to appreciate those that you may not necessarily agree with it or even understand. To be an American is to practice religious tolerance and promote diversity. That is why Obama has made strides to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and grant gay couples the same rights as every other American. That’s why Obama supports the First Amendment right of freedom of religion.

Neither Obama nor I are Muslim. But I ask you: so what if we were Muslim? Since when is that a bad thing? Maybe we should look back at Obama’s Cairo Speech in 2009, when he said, “as long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity."

When Republicans say a mosque near Ground Zero would “defile sacred ground”, they start to make the religion of Islam a criticism of American values. Since Muslims are every bit of Americans than those that make up the Republican Party, it does not matter whether the mosque will actually be more of a community center than a religious shrine; or that it will not physically be located on Ground Zero, but more than a few miles away from it. What matters is that those who have lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks, including Muslims, have a right to build a place of worship near the site.

Republicans are also endangering Americans' national security by legitimizing the claims of Al Qaeda that wants Muslims around the world to believe the U.S. is at war with all of Islam, not just the extremists.

We, as a nation, have already witnessed the horrors and tragedies that accompany segregation and intolerance of those that are different from us. It seems, however, that the civil rights movement is in full swing again. When will Republicans learn from the past? When will Republicans start acting like Americans?


  1. I also heard hypotheses that republicans were just blowing this story out of proportion on purpose to divert attention away from the fact that they just voted against lifetime healthcare for 9/11 relief workers.

  2. You just figured out that Republicans are racist? This has been the case since the party was created!

    They don't care about Muslims, let alone any American. Whether it's their proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or denying healthcare for millions. This mosque issue is just another "political game-changer" for them.

  3. This is riddiculous. Are you really saying that the Republican Party is un-American? If anything, you're un-American for not supporting the basic structure of our democratic government: a 2 party system.

    The reason they do not support building the mosque is not because they are racist, but more importantly because it will send a wrong message. By placing a shrine that is also worshiped by terrorists, it will insult those that lost their lives on 9/11.

    But since you're in favor of a 1 party system, I guess that means you support dictatorships and you have no idea what Im talking about.

  4. btw...does anyone really care what religion our president is...? i could care less if he were an atheist, as long as he's doing something in office.

  5. please don't generalize about all republicans...this is ridiculous! this is what tears the country apart. i thought obama was trying to bring all parties together, but how are the politicians representing us suppossed to work together, when our people cant even work together?

  6. The main point that I was making in this blog was simply that the Republican leadership is comparing the entire Muslim religion to those that attacked us on 9/11, and therefore, sound un-American.

  7. This whole "Obama is Muslim" thing is getting really annoying. I agree with what you said, "So what" if he is? America is showing an outright racist attitude with projecting this as a bad thing.No where does it say anywhere that one has to be/not be of a particular religion to be in office.We are built on tolerance,let's not give other countries an opportunity to question the foundation we stand on.


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