Friday, June 20, 2008

It’s not all of them, you know.

During a June 16 rally held in Detroit, Obama’s campaign workers prevented two Muslim women wearing headscarves from sitting behind the podium. The obvious and unstated reason being to prevent any further misguided and fallacious thinking that Obama is (gasp!) Muslim.

And so it continues.

Throughout the democratic primaries, Senator Obama was forced to go on the defensive, insisting time and again that he is not Muslim, often ending each clarification with a laughable “[not that there’s anything wrong with Muslims.]” I cringed each time he had to disavow any connection to Islam to reaffirm his Christian orientation. I couldn’t help but wonder about the Muslims being alienated and stigmatized by his actions. What were their thoughts? How did they feel? Granted, we reside in a tough political climate where each day brings more news of some Muslim radical or terrorist blowing up themselves and dozens others in the name of Allah. And who in America can forget September 11, 2001? But these terrorists are just a faction, people; a very small and extremely radical faction. The actions of some loose canons have irreparably marred the populace’s view of what should be a peaceful religion. Such that the outright hatred, distrust and ostracization have spilled over and into a political campaign that promised to bring Americans together, to heal and to renew hope.

But perhaps we should not castigate and write-off Obama or his campaign staff for their actions at the June 16 rally. After all, is it too far-fetched to postulate that their actions were products of monsters bred by too often irrational fears and prejudices?

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