City of Brass

City of Brass


Powell: So what if Obama were muslim?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have been saying this as far back as February during the primaries – the correct response to the “Obama muslim” smear was not just to deny it, but also to ask, “so what?” Colin Powell rises to the occasion by saying what Obama still has not said:

“Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correctanswer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been aChristian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is theresomething wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no,that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-oldMuslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, Ihave heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s aMuslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way weshould be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture Isaw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving inIraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photoessay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head onthe headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, youcould see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards-PurpleHeart, Bronze Star-showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth,date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of theheadstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star ofDavid, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his namewas Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born inNew Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waiteduntil he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we havegot to stop polarizing ourself in this way.

The full story of Kareem Rashad Sultan is indeed moving. But the photo of his mother at his grave – to which Powell refers, is even more so:

080929_slideshowplaton16_p465.jpg

Given the – ahem – Obsession with muslims in our political sphere, it is tragic that Barack Obama has consistently failed to say such a simple thing. I don’t think Obama needs Powell
s endorsement to win the Presidency, but perhaps he will draw some inspiration, and courage, from Powell’s example instead.

UPDATE: here’s the video of Powell’s remarks above:



  • RG

    I am so grateful for what General Powell said.
    The Republicans have had this crazy streak for a long time , where they had to have an enemy.
    This goes back before McCarthy- there were people who accused Ike Eisenhower of being soft on communism, and accused him of being Jewish. Imagine that.
    This picture should be widely distributed. It really is moving, and has a lot to say that needs saying.
    It’s about time somebody like Powell said this- it could go a long way to healing some problems we have in this country.

  • Teresa Marshall

    I appreciate Kareem Rashad Sultan serving and giving his life for this country.
    Not all Muslims are radical. It’s the ones who are radical that want to dominate the whole world, including the USA We having nothing that the raidacal group wants except us.
    I don’t trust Obama, because of his lack of support in the values this country was established upon, he does not salute the American flag which is wrong. Especially for one running for the office of President.
    I don’t trust the ones Obama is in assocation with like Dr. Jeremigh Write and others. Would you really want him for President?
    He’s for abortion. If he’s against protecting unborn children, whose next? Senior citizens who can no longer work or terminally ill and in a nuring home? Why not do assisted susicide? What about those with disabilities? If he disvalues life where is it to end? This goes against the very fiber of our constitution that supports life for everyone. Or are we going to see more cases like Terry Schivo?
    “Assisted suicide is the opening wedge in the more general argument for our culture to move on to the euthanasia of people whose lives are regarded as being of minimal value,” says Gilbert Meilaender, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and professor of Christian ethics at Indiana’s Valparaiso University.”
    (The Right to Die by Susan Jacoby; )2005-11-10 10:56:00-05:00 – AARP Bulletin)
    I fear this may begin to happen more so if Obama is elected President. He and his wife oppose this country, so why don’t they leave? Freedom of choice. Why don’t the leave, because money talks if you know the “right” connections. Obama is an extreme liberal even more so than some in the Democrtic party. There maybe some Democracts who are conservative? I write that with reservation of doubt.
    No it doesn’t matter if he is/isn’t Muslim. But what matter is he supportive of the radical Muslims? Again, consider his accocaiations. Bill Ayers Ayers was a part of Underground Weathermen. Then there is Tony Rezko–see http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoin_Rezko for information on him.
    Do you really want Obama for President?

  • Irene

    The whole notion that Obama doesn’t salute the flag has been disavowed and disproven. It is only one of hundreds of false urban legends that have been circulated about him, including the whole notion of a (false) allegation that he has a close relationship with Bill Ayers. General Colin Powell is a Republican and close associate of both President Bush’s. He is an intelligent, well informed man. Surely no one could suggest that Gen. Powell would have lent his support to a man who was not a true patriot, or who “pals around with terrorists” as has been alleged.
    The false smears upon Mr. Obama’s character have backfired upon the McCain campaign. Mr. McCain knows Sen. Obama does not pal around with terrorists. He knows that this “guilt by association” is ridiculous when people in power know tens of thousands of people. It would also be ridiculous to smear Mr. McCain for the fact that the head of his transition committee once worked for a lobbying firm which represented Saddam Hussein (an undisputed fact). No one seriously thinks this means Sen. McCain liked Saddam Hussein, and Sen. Obama has wisely not raised the subject.
    The Powell endorsement is crushing to McCain’s campaign because it makes clear that the smears on Obama are LIES, else the endorsement would not have been made.

  • Your Name

    Mr.Powell might not feel it matters if Obama is a muslim but it does to me only because of the lie. I don’t like his ties to Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers and Beverly Dorn who are all radicals. Obama took money in the Fanny Mae scandal that is now making havic with our banking system and foreclosures. WAKE UP AMERICA. This is telling us alot and most are sleeping waiting for this big change. WHAT change higher taxes, socialized medicine, decrease in security. Do you realized that not being independent in oil makes us sitting ducks? Russia is independent in oil and all they have to do is cut off our supply and we are defenseless!!!!!. Is anyone following Russia and their actions???? Is this biblical and have to happen for the new Testament to be fulfilled. WAKE UP AMERICA GOD is watching you.

  • attn:Your Name 9:31 AM

    Yes “Your Name 9:31 AM”, God is watching, and hearing, and you might want to watch your heart, check your eye, and stop judging out of some sense of ownership of how our country should proceed.
    By the way, McCain’s adultery, close associations with Keating and the scandalous criminal actions that resulted in a massive amount of Americans……senior Americans……losing their homes, life savings, and future retirement funds. If you’re intent on judging one man you had better make sure you judge the other.
    From 2000 to 2006 Republican’s owned the White House, Senate, Congress. McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time. The decisions made by not only them, but Reagan before (who’s administration shared with Bush a Republican dominance), and Bush senior have led us to these diasterous days. If anything, Obama will be cleaning up the mess they’ve made with the permission of voters like yourself. You allowed wedge issues to lead us to no other solution BUT more goverment involvment. You allowed your faith and sense of patriotism to be used against you.
    The conservative far right Republican president and his hinchmen, and the 90% in agreement reliable voting record of Bush made way for the true first step in socialism to happen which is goverment ownership of our banks.
    WAKE UP is right. You need to wake up to the lies you’ve allowed yourself to be ruled by. You need to WAKE UP to the fact that Bush, McCain, Cheney and the rest used you, used your faith, led you by fear, and want very much to continue to lead you by fear.

  • Beef

    If there is anyone we should’nt trust, it is the bunch of people who have ran our country for the last 8 years of “coffee break”.

  • http://newsrackblog.com Thomas Nephew

    Powell’s comments were also good in other respects, but the “what if he is” part was the best thing about them. He earned back a good deal of respect from me, because those words really lean into the GOP wind these days.

  • Kathaleen

    I agree with Your name. Did you realize that prior to the CHANGE of the democrats taking over the senate the country was doing well. Please write about what change Obama will provide. Convince me to vote for him!!! Tell me how Obama will keep me safe, restore the economy (he was part of the fannie Mae), help the healthcare (without costing me and you in taxes). Tell me how you feel about Bill Ayers and Beverly Dorn. My husband is a police officer and tell me about how taking a polic officers life even if it was not recent is right. Why should I be concerned about a terrorist from the past and that he thinks he did not do enough. How about abortion??? Tell me how a baby born when partial birth abortion birth is not success and the baby is born alive is not murder. Please explain to me how taxing the rich and giving to the poor (who some choose not to work) is right. Please convince me to vote for Obama and why I should be happy Colin Powell does not care about all of this and supports him. I am listening. Yes GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  • Thom

    RE: Thomas Nephew
    I am glad Powell won back your respect.
    Myself, I am disappointed in a man I really looked up to before this. I have heard Obama spout Karl Marx more than any of our forefathers and that bothers me. Does Powell believe in the same economic system or, heaven forbid, has he just thrown our system to the wind for the sake of color? You can tell the mettle of a man by the company he keeps and that means I would not cross the street to meet Obama, might cross it to avoid him, but am deeply bothered and saddened by Colin Powell’s revelation.
    Thom

  • susan

    I agree with you Aziz, its about time.

  • http://Powell Lee

    I was thrilled to hear someone finally say, what is the problem with being a Muslim? Why hasn’t anyone else been willing to say that. We are a nation of many religions, as granted by our constitution. Why has one religion been allowed to be so defamed in this country? I am not a Christian or a Muslim, but I accept Obama’s choice to embrace Christianity.

  • Mr. Man

    People, please do not vote for a candidate based on their relationships with others. If you do then America would not have any politicians left. No one chided the Bush family for their long known association with the Bin Laden family. To this day, no one ever questioned President Bush about the White House’s decision to fly the Bin Laden family out of the country within a matter of days after 9/11. I know why. They were concerned about their safety but they were also close friends of the Bush family. Everyone chides Senator Obama for, basically living in the same neighborhood, as Bill Ayers. Senator McCain accepted over $112K from Charles Keating to meet with federal regulators on his behalf. If you chide one then chide the other. Vote for a candidate based upon their vision for America and the advisors they have around them. Vote for them based upon their individual records and not the sins of the father, brother, sister, friend, friend of the friend, friend of the friend who made friends with the candidate, etc.
    This is what this country possibly faces:
    “as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America – where? where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is……. from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there.” – Sarah Palin.
    That my friends is why you should really assess who you’re voting for. If you can still vote for “that ticket” after really looking at “that Vice Presidential candidate’s” remarks and keep a straight face then these really are the last days.

  • Kathaleen

    Mr Man you are correct and if you notice the news media is not reporting much on Russia. I have been following it for about a year now getting most of the information from the Drudge report. Putin is gaining strength and all they have to do is cut off our oil supply and we are defenseless. If the news media reported on Putin and his actions John McCain would win. We need someone to keep us safe and without that domestic problems will not matter. Believe me Russia is our headache now and watch who Putin is becoming friendly with. Putin is stronger in his new postion. WAKE UP AMERICA

  • http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-oped0504chapmanmay04,0,6238795.column Wake Up

    Teresa, McCain pals around with terrorists — why no outrage over that? Look up Mr. McCain’s close friend, G. Gordon Liddy, and tell us what you find.

  • Augusta

    I don’t think you are seeing the point.
    Sure we all know that there is nothing wrong with being of a different culture, religion or race here in America. We all know that, and we all feel that. Or at least I do. In fact I regard foreigners in any way in some ways more respected than my own fellow citizens because they DONT take life here in the states for granted.
    I am one of the few people that actually don’t make ractist jokes towards the Latinos. My great-great grandmother was from Norway and I realize that it all has to start somewhere and when I get to a peaceful point in my life where I have nothing else to go for, I plan to enlist in the Air Force.
    Now: With that being said, Obama being Muslim IS a big deal.
    One because there are many rumors going around that he wasn’t born in Hawaii as he so claims. Now there is no substantial amount of evidence being brought towards the public, but his own grandmother whom died yesterday claimed he was born in Kenya.
    He was involved in Acorn, illegal sells of property, a racist African-American preacher whom he claimed had no control on his personal veiws an yet that same preacher baptised both of his children AND he attended the man’s church for OVER twenty years.
    Lies, lies, and more lies.
    America is anal about any man,woman, or child, that gets ready to go on a plane and they happen to be middleeastern. AMERICANS do the hush-hush when their around. YEAH its cruel, YEAH its prejudice, but thats just the way it is. The army is over in Iraq right now KILLING Muslims – and then America goes and votes for a Muslim president. It’s stupid – because it doesn’t make sense.
    He comes marching in with facny words and is not just a Muslim, but an African-American Muslim. Whomeven though has been trialed in court for many of the above mentioned names, whose father was Muslim and died in 86′, attended a racist Neo-Nazi church, still won the election? And you think it doesn’t matter if he’s Muslim or not?
    YOU DON’T ASK THE PEOPLE YOUR FIGHTING FOR AN ADVANTAGE.
    Because if your like America: You simply give it to them.

  • http://www.odttodoc.com Dave R

    Of course it’s a big deal. The US is a christian country. Islam comes not on it on but on the expenses of others.
    Supporting Islam in the name of multi-calturalizm is supporting all values.. which basically suggest you have no values.

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