This is yet more evidence of an ingrained Islamophobia among the core GOP faithful that is both ugly and yet sadly predictable. At a Republican meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, the idea that muslim citizens of the United States are inherently disloyal and untrustworthy by virtue of their faith was not only entertained, it was actively promoted by a guest speaker, Dorrie O’Brien:
In her presentation to about 80 people, O’Brien said that Muslims are intent on converting the Western world to Islam. She described as “stealth jihad” a malicious effort by Muslims to subvert schools, local governments and banks throughout the country.
O’Brien reviewed the five pillars of Islam, noting that one of them is zakat, which means to give a percentage of one’s income to charity. “There is a tremendous amount of proof out there that the zakat is now funding terrorism,” she said.
O’Brien also compared the Quran to the Bible and dismissed any suggestion that atrocities committed by Christians in the past were relevant to a debate about the present.
“I am not going to get into a theological discussion tonight, but I will flatly say, no, there is no way we are praying to the same God,” she said.
The Tarrant County medical examiner, Nizam Peerwani, is muslim and requested time to rebut O’Brien’s comments. Coward that she is, she left before Peerwani spoke, but he did at least have an atempt to try and provide the assembled Republicans some measure of reality.
Imagine the scenario in which a similar proposition and comments were made about American Jews, or Catholics, or atheists. While I am glad that Mr. Peerwani was given the opportunity to speak, the idea that he had to at all is unconscionable.
Muslims are not a fifth column in America, seeking the destruction of our nation. Like every other group, we deserve, and demand, the benefit of the doubt as to our loyalty. We should not have to undergo loyalty tests or other such grotesque violations of our trust and our dignity.
This is the modern GOP – islamophobic to the core.