Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Should Anyone CARE if Barack Obama is a Muslim?

By Joanna (JuJuBe)

I really wish Barack Obama WAS a “secret Muslim” as so many people in America choose to believe. I wonder what would happen if President Obama and his family were found studying the Qur’an covertly in the White House. Would there be attempts to oust him from office for the offense of not being a “good Christian”?

I would LOVE to see a Muslim in the White House. Maybe THAT would be an indication that America actually embraces the ideals it was SUPPOSEDLY founded on. I thought I would never see a Black president. I cried when Barack Obama was elected because I THOUGHT it showed progress. I did not believe that his election heralded a “post racial” society, as so many like to claim, but I thought it meant we were moving towards equality and justice. Of course, the rise of the Tea Party and the virulent anti-Obama sentiment across vast populations proved me wrong. And the anti-Muslim rhetoric running rampant across this country is further proof that we are NO WHERE NEAR a fair and just society.

I wonder if there will ever be a Muslim president…. Frankly I do not see it happening any time soon. The fact that so many American’s are “concerned” that Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” is proof enough that anti-Muslim sentiment is the rule in this country. Because it is surely not Obama supporters who believe he is a Muslim. It is not proponents of religious freedom who are concerned with his religion. It is the people who HATE him, and use “Muslim” as a slur, an attempt to make Barack Obama look like evil personified.

I was reading an article today about the belief that many Americans seem to share: That Muslims are simply evil. That Islam is the religion of only the scum of the Earth. That the Qur’an advocates violence relentlessly. I have to wonder how many of the people who are SO anti-Muslim have actually READ anything from the Qur’an. Better yet, if they are so convinced that the Qur’an promotes a violent agenda, I have to wonder if they have ever read the Bible. Because from what I can see, the “Word of God” that Christians hold so dear is filled with murder, rape, and sexism.

The picture accompanying the article showed a woman, her mouth opened, screaming in rage, while holding a sign protesting the “Ground Zero mosque” I was reminded of a picture I saw of nine Black students integrating Little Rock’s Central High School after Brown vs. the Board of Ed. I saw the same hatred on the face of this protestor as I saw on the faces of the students protesting the integration of Central High. And I realize that all of the people out there who swear that society has progressed to the point where diversity is accepted and celebrated are either EXTREMELY ignorant, or are simply LIARS.

Now, I cannot lay all of the blame for anti-Muslim rhetoric on the right wing. Yes, the conservative media is stoking the flames of the “Obama is a Muslim” fire. But, the protests by the “liberal” media prove that the left is no more accepting of Islam then the right. If they were, instead of emphasizing that Obama is not, in fact, a Muslim, they would instead be, more appropriately, asking WHY IT MATTERS. Instead of letting the right wing know that anti-Muslim rhetoric is simply wrong, and that Barack Obama’s religion SHOULD NOT MATTER, they are responding as if the right is “mudslinging” by claiming that he is a Muslim. They are NOT telling the conservative media that “Muslim” is NOT an insult, they are simply refuting the claims that the President is a Muslim, as if the idea of him being a Muslim is the antithesis of the "American values" a president should possess.

In a perfect world, the proper response to “Is Barack Obama a Muslim?” is not “No, he is not! How dare you accuse him!” Rather, the appropriate response is “Why does it matter?“ But of course we do not live in a perfect world. We live in American, “Land of the Free (but only if you are white and a Christian)”


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