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In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in hot water today for failing to correct a questioner about Muslims and President Obama’s faith:

During a question and answer session in Rochester, New Hampshire, a gentleman stood and said, “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one, you know he’s not even an American.”

The man asked when we are going to “get rid of it,” and Trump didn’t correct the sentiment. He said:

“A lot of people are saying that. And a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking into that and plenty of other things,” he continued.

Really? Does he agree with the question? Why didn’t he correct him immediately? The question is quite relevant, especially if he wants to be Leader of the Free World. After all, he will deal with Muslim countries with a lot of Muslims in them. Does he really want to “get rid” of his fellow Americans who are Muslims?

Beyond the endless analysis of why a still substantial proportion of the Republican base – 43% according to a recent CNN/ORC poll – believes President Obama is a Muslim, the more important issue is the fact that there are a good number of people who equate “being Muslim” with a slur. This is the main problem.

Being Muslim is not a slur, and it is offensive to consider it so. The same is true with any religious faith – or no religious faith. The beauty of our country is that people of all creeds, colors, races, and backgrounds can live together in peace as Americans. And if anyone uses a religious belief as a slur, than this is wrong and must be called out as so.

And it’s heartening to see many politicians, including Hillary Clinton, condemning this kind of hate:

“I was appalled,” Clinton said bluntly to a question from CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux. “Not only was it out of bounds, it was untrue. He should have from the beginning corrected that kind of rhetoric, that level of hatefulness.”

We need more condemnation like this from our political leaders, pundits, thought leaders, and ordinary Americans. There are many – too many – politicians who say things about Islam and Muslims that they would never dare say about any other religious group. This is wrong, and the double standard has to be called out each and every time. “Being Muslim (or Christian, or Jewish, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Athesist)” is not a slur; it never has been, and it never should be. Ever.

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