The Power of Powell on Obama/Muslim Myth and on Islam

On Meet the Press yesterday, Colin Powell skewered certain Republicans for trying to play the Muslim card on Barack Obama:

I’m also troubled by – not what Senator McCain says – but what members of the Party say, and it is permitted to be said: such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian; has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, “What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” The answer’s “No, that’s not America.” Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own Party drop the suggestion he’s Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery. And she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards – Purple Heart, Bronze Star; showed that he died in Iraq; gave his date of birth, date of death. He was twenty years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross. It didn’t have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Kahn. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey, he was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he could go serve his country and he gave his life.


Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that within the Party we have these kinds of expressions.

Obama has draw criticism from some Muslims for not defending Islam nearly so forcefully as he’s been combatting false rumors that he’s Muslim (though Obama did stick up for Muslims in a summer appearance on Larry King Live). Some Mulsims are still upset with Obama over this perceived slight.

Politically speaking, however, could Obama have hoped for a better decrier of the Obama-as-Muslim myth a couple weeks before Election Day? Could Muslims have hoped for a better defender before a national audience?

Powell, after all, is the man who made the case for the Iraq invasion before the United Nations, a veteran of President Bush’s War on Terror. What he says about the Obama/Muslim myth and about Muslims generally matters a lot because he’s got solid Republican/anti-terror credentials.


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posted October 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

finally someone with some sense has something good to say. Getting fear-addicted people to listen is another story.

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posted October 22, 2008 at 12:46 am

response to those who continue to fear that Obama is Muslim:
I was going to vote for Obama, then I found out he’s a Christian. Terrifying! (actually I think Obama makes Christianity look A-OK)
I agree with Powell, why is being a Muslim such a terrible thing? But let’s go a little further than that…. What is so GREAT and COMFORTING and VINDICATING about someone claiming to be a Christian? If Sarah Palin is any indication, Christianity does not equal honesty or mutual respect or integrity. And there is plenty of horrible history attributed to Christians. Has anyone heard of the KKK? The Aryan Brotherhood? The Army of God? The Christian Identity Movement? All are Christian groups. So if we are to call one’s religious beliefs into question due to the threat of its radicals, let us begin with Christianity, the world’s largest religion. Or better yet, let’s just leave religion out of it altogether.

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Robert Bankston

posted October 22, 2008 at 12:58 am

Who knows what Obama’s faith really is. From everything that he has said, I doubt that he knows. I find it very interesting that he has the support of the muslim community see the website. If he was raised as a muslim, which according to his school records he was, then he has converted from Islam to Christianity, a crime punishable be death in many countries, still today. My question is why do muslim’s continue to support him, when he seems to have turned his back on them?

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posted October 22, 2008 at 7:22 am

Obama is better than other politician because he have world vision vista.

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Abu Ossama Binladen

posted October 26, 2008 at 5:03 am

I’m amoslem and I support Obama Binladen for president.
I urge all the moslems to cast their votes for the first moslem president of USA.
Allah O Akbar. America converted to Islam with the help of Allah
to all the haters of Islam, we win… go put beard and scarfs before the Islamic revolution starts.
maaaaaaaaan! you find a bunch of idiots in America who can wish this shit to be true.
Obama is a politician and a politician by definition is a hypocrite being with hopes to govern the whitehouse.
I’m sorry for you redneck who wrote about Obama is a moslem.
Islam and hypocrisy can not be together in the heart of a single humanbeing. if your way of glorifying cross allowed you to make hypocrisy your guidance in claiming to follow Christ, that’s not the same way with Islam.
Islam is clear. or you want it and you want practice it. or you are out of it. you don’t believe in islam that the last messenger to mankind Mohammad, had prostrated to God, fasted for God and worshiped God, later you worship him.
only the cross worshippers who read what jesus did, according to the remaining of their bibles, and sing and dance instead of following him. only the cross worshippers who read Jesus used to pray to God but they claim to pray (singing) to jesus.
may Allah guides, the time doesn’t stop and if you don’t make an effort to see the missguidance you are in, you will remain there untill you face the consequences of that in the hereafter.
excuse my mistakes here? I was just browsing different things online and I halted here to drop you few interesting words. do your best to understand them?
and….no! I’m not Ossama Binladen… I was just joking with your ass. unfortunately, I have to tell you that I joked since your stupidity shine thru your words. otherwise, you will run to the whitehouse “I found Bunladen, I found Binladen”

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posted November 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I agree with the respectable Mr Powell. America is ruled by its great constitution and not by the religious belief of its president. The president can believe in any religion. Religion is a private matter, but the constitution of the nation always prevails. I do not know any Muslim American who does not abide the constitution of the US.

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