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American Muslims and Election '08

Worshippers listen to the Khutba during Friday Prayer at the 43rd annual Islamic Society of North America convention Friday, Sept, 1, 2006 in Rosemont, Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Barack Hussein Obama may have won the presidency, but it was a rough campaign season to be Muslim in America.

On the stump, on right-wing radio, in vicious DVD attacks and leaflets, simply being Muslim was made into a threat, an epithet. American Muslims were watching and listening and hurting under the smears.

Not until mid-October did a big somebody — Colin Powell — step up to say, hey, Obama’s Christian, but what if he were Muslim? It shouldn’t matter. Let’s stop the smears.

This hour, On Point: American Muslims talk about a rough campaign, and their hopes for Obama and beyond.

Guests:

Joining us from New Rochelle, NY, is Farooq Kathwari. He’s chairman, president, and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, chairman of Refugees International, and director of the International Rescue Committee. He grew up in Kashmir.

From Washington, we’re joined by Sabra Jafarzadeh. She’s a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. She grew up in Maryland, and her parents are Iranian.

And in Boston, we’re joined by Robert Azzi, a freelance photojournalist who has spent 30 years covering the Middle East.

Colin Powell, on “Meet the Press” in October, referred to this moving photograph of Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Army Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, who was killed serving in Iraq, which appeared in The New Yorker in September. Here are Powell’s comments on “Meet the Press” regarding the treatment of Muslims in the campaign (read the full transcript at MSNBC.com):

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. He’s 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 a Muslim and he might be associated 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 are 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 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can 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 nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

The Pluralism Project, at Harvard University, has collected national coverage and protest of the anti-Muslim DVD “Obsession” that was distributed in many American newspapers during the election campaign.

Here’s another thoughtful response to Muslims’ place in the 2008 campaign, from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Joyce Thompson

    Hi Tom: I hope it comes to light that 70 newspapers in swing states distributed a free video DVD in the Sunday supplements called Obsession, a hate DVD basically saying Muslims hate the west, want to destroy us, and that Obama is a Muslim. The mosque attacked in Dayton before the election is thought to be a direct result.

    The whole story was on the website of Harvard University’s Pluralism Project, http://www.pluralism.org, including a very sophisticated response article by a Muslim professor in South Carolina who had gotten the hate video in his paper and traced the funding to basically neoconservative Zionist influences.

    The video was very damaging. It was targeted to different Parts of Ohio so that my friends around Cincinnati got nothing while more economically troubled areas were distributed to. This story needs more coverage! Thanks (I won’t be able to call in, probably!)

  • izaz haque

    Dear Tom: First, thank you for this important program hour.

    As American Muslims raising children in this mean and charged political environment, we watched silently and uneasily as prime time media repeatedly gave coverage to crazed and bigoted statements directed at our community at political rallies. Most pundits or op-ed columnists often left unchallenged the insulting implication that to be a Muslim would disqualify anyone from high political office.

    Americans have shown the world once again our idealism and ability to rise above issues such as race with the election of Mr. Obama. As we speak, Harvard Law is about to give its Medal of Honor to a Muslim jurist, the Chief Justice of Pakistan. General Powell spoke warmly for all Muslims feeling the rejection of the past election.

    However, neither Mr. McCain nor Mr. Obama have told us that religious bigotry directed at a population that too is at once decent, family oriented, and people that American need not be afraid of to have as fellow citizens – is wrong and counter to American values. Shouldn’t they?

  • eric baker

    I’m so glad this is being discussed!!!

    I’m 26 years old and white, from Lancaster County PA. Almost everyone I work with was and still is against Obama. And it pushes me to the edge when people say that we will be swearing people in on the Koran, and that Obama is a Muslim terrorist and on and on.

    I hope that listeners will change their opinions, and stop the bigotry that is keeping our country from being “great.”

    Love the show! Keep it going! Tom Ashbrook 2012!!!!

  • Michael

    Hi Tom,

    I look at that picture I see the pain, pride and hope of a mother that understands sacrifice. As a vet I can only weep for our loss of another fine American who just happened to be a Muslim. He is a brother to us all.

  • Katherine Cigarran

    I am so saddened by the responses from my fellow Tennesseans. An email was widely circulated with the video clip from Obama’s interview with George Stephanopoulos. In the interview, Obama accidentally referred to his faith as Muslim and then was corrected by Mr. Stephanopoulos to say, “you mean Christian.” This video was sent out with the urgency that Obama was “guilty” of being Muslim. And yes, Muslim to them meant guilty of “terrorist association.”

    And somehow Sarah Palin’s fundamental Christian faith was acceptable — witch hunting and unsupportable literal interpretation. Anyone that has actually read the Bible should see multiple gaps — there’s not even one birth story for Jesus or one creationist story.

    Where are the religious leaders of faith to stand up against this? Do the faiths ever get together to represent tolerance? What are we afraid of?

    I hope that we can work towards ending fundamentalism in ALL faiths.

    Take care,
    Katherine

  • Darrell

    I hope this discussion about religious bigotry extends to all faiths who were unfairly represented during the most recent election cycle, including Mormons.

    Mitt Romney spent an inordinate amount of time clarifying, and even defending his faith. One could argue Mormonism is the chief reason Romney didn’t win the GOP nomination.

    I hope Islam and Mormonism are both fairly represented in the future.

    Thanks for your show Tom!

  • Nancy Berard

    I’d like to say that the ignorant comments sited today are clear examples of some American’s ethnocentric attitudes. I’d also like to say that it has bothered me that since 911 I have been waiting for the Muslim American community to loudly denounce the terrorist acts of radical muslims and I’m afraid that has never happened. What appears to be their reluctance to do so only feeds the fears and prejudices of those that are unfamiliar with Islam.

  • Aaron

    I am in the same boat as Eric. My workplace is very anti-Obama and anti-Muslim. They all just repeat right-wing talking points, like those of Michael Savage, which are all false for both Obama and those of the VAST majority of Muslims around the world.

    If it wasn’t for the terrible economic conditions, I would be seeking new employment else where. For now, though, I keep my earphones in and listening to Tom.

  • eric baker

    Aaron

    Thats too funny, I’m thinking the same exact thing!!! Earphones all the way up!!!

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    This is a great show, GREAT. Great guests and the callers are right on the money.

    I still think it’s possible for Obama to give a speech on religion as he did in Philadelphia on race. He’s quite capable of taking Colin Powell’s argument and the theme of this show and making them accessible to most Americans.

    That said, there are always going to be uneducated folks in this and other countries who look to blame others for their problems. When I hear someone say that Muslims fly planes into buildings I like to drop Timothy McVeigh’s name as a Christian who blows up buildings.

  • Wendy Babiak

    This campaign was horrible in a lot of ways, and I think the demonization of Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans was at the top of the list. I do think that most of the mainstream media was remiss in their duties in calling out the GOP on this issue, but a notable exception was Campbell Brown, who asked the necessary question, “So what if he WAS a Muslim or an Arab?”

    Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvxkNTdDHPY

    Personally, I think religion plays far too large a part in our politics, considering that we’re not supposed to have an established religion. As an agnostic secularist myself, I’m still waiting for someone to ask about Libby Dole’s opponent, “So what if she WAS an atheist?”

    We were attacked on 9/11 by theocrats, and instead of fortifying our secularism, we’ve got a large part of the country trying to form a theocracy here, with a different flavor. That’s a bad road to go down which will lead to endless war.

    Remember the Crusades? We’ve been on our knees to the past for too long. Time to move into the future, united as human beings sharing more than this focus on our differences admits.

  • http://www.mpac.org Bilaal Ahmed

    Obama actually did speak out (though briefly) on the issue of Islam and that “there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things” during an interview on Larry King.

    You can view the entire interview here:
    http://www.mpac.org/article.php?id=668

    It wasn’t enough, but speaking out more could have been a risk to his campaign.

  • http://janggolan.blogspot.com teg

    I’m so happy that you’re spending an hour on this, but I wish you would do one hour once a week. It wasn’t just Obama’s duty to set the record straight: it is the duty of every American who has Moslem friends and relatives to speak out.

    In reality, Islam permeated western culture for over fourteen hundred years; so many of us have Moslem ancestors, and we are unaware (ignorant) of that.

    Most people know about how we benefited intellectually from Islamic culture (Algebra, Astronomy, and more), but what they don’t know is that Islam protected other cultures when those cultures were under threat instead of trying to take advantage. For example, with all the craze surrounding Knights Templar, we should realize that many Knights Templar converted voluntarily to Islam and stayed in the Holy Land after they were defeated.

  • Beverly CY

    When I heard what Rahm Emanuel’s father said about Arab workers I almost melted in fury, and I’m Irish-Catholic!
    When ever you hear remarks about Muslims or Arabs I suggest you substitute with “Jew” or “Black” and watch how shocked you feel.

  • Chuck Wegrzyn

    So long as we continue to refer to people as African-American, Arab-American, Polish-American, etc. we will always have race issues in the U.S.

  • Monika

    Tom,

    Now that Obama has won the election, he has another opportunity to speak out against hatred towards Muslims.

    Over the past few months, both before and after the election victory, several hate crimes have occurred against Muslims. In two of these, the attackers yelled “Obama” during the assaults. In another, a cross was burned when a family put up a banner saying “President Obama, Victory ’08.”

    Do the guests think Obama should speak out against these hate crimes? Do they think Obama has the political space to do so, now that he has won the election?

    Monika

  • Denis Johansen

    It is interesting to note that the lady, expressing anti Arab (therefore anti Muslim) views that everyone wants to talk about was in Minnesota; yet the only Muslim congressperson is from Minnesota.

    The big issue is what does the Sarah Palin brand of “Christianity” mean? I did not hear any questioning of her about her radical form of Christianity!

  • YT

    Will NPR radio lead the US Media in stopping calling terrorist groups or freedom fighters as Islamists? This words offends every Muslim when you connect Islam to this political groups. The people are reacting to what they hear in the media.

    Thank you
    Youssef

  • Angie Manes

    In response to your last caller: I have heard that the Koran and the Christian Bible are very similar in their teachings. I have not read either, so I don’t feel I have the right to say one is better than the other. I think if a person is going to ridicule a religion they should do their homework first.

  • dave

    The gentleman self-identified as a Romney supporter misses the point about “over-reacting” to that woman in the audience calling Obama an Arab. The overall vibe created by McCain/Palin at that point in the campaign was of HATE and appealed to the lower impulses of the ignorant allowing them to feel comfortable spouting their idiotic and mean-spirited predjudices! Palin— furture Fuhrer of Amerika.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    @Beverly: “When I heard what Rahm Emanuel’s father said about Arab workers I almost melted in fury, and I’m Irish-Catholic!”

    I was shocked and I’m a Jew. It sickened me and I wish the press would kick his ass for it.

  • http://none Dotty Kyle

    In all of the lofty rhetoric concerning acceptance of the Muslim religion and Christianity and Judaism – whether we’ll reach a point when anyone of major faiths, other than Christian, can ever be elected – I have never heard a discussion of acceptance of the sizable portion of the electorate who are people of no religion.

    Why is it that atheists are marginalized? Many atheists are people who have come to their views via a long and thoughtful struggle with the faith of their forebears. They are good, productive, conscientious citizens, parents, spouses.

    When I mentioned my lack of belief in god to an acquaintance, she shrank back in horror. That’s a common reaction. Most atheists keep their views to themselves. I’ll wager that a greater than reported percentage of people in the US are non-believers. Certainly more than are Muslims and probably more than are Jewish.

    Isn’t this a topic worthy of some daylight discussion?

  • Majawill

    As mentioned above and without knowing the context, I find it interesting that Obama would misspeak about his own religion. There’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim; some of my best friends are Muslim. Why would Obama be confused about his own religion?

  • PJS

    Katherine, I have actually read the Bible for some 70 years, and your comment (concerning “not one birth story for Jesus, or one creationist story”) makes me wonder if you have actually read the Bible.
    For the record, I am very definitely “for” religious freedom for all faiths. PJS

  • Esme Kristl

    Hi, Tom. I feel there is so much to this conversation. I tried to call in almost continually during the broadcast, to no avail, and it was probably just as well because I think I would have taken the conversation onto a whole different trajectory.

    I don’t recall my original reason to contribute, but as it progressed I found myself wanting to remind your panel that in addition to Muslims and their issues going ignored during the campaign, but women vanished absolutely from Obama’s campaign almost immediately after he and Hillary Clinton participated in the much touted event where the two Senators virtually anointed each other. The way he spoke of her, the many times both individuals talked about what “we” would be doing, and the general tone of that event made me almost certain that Sen. Clinton would be Obama’s first VP choice. Then she just went away, and where is she now as we roll out names of those being considered for Obama’s cabinet?

    I should announce my own bias, here. I am a woman and I am still waiting to see a president who looks like me. My two daughters, who’ve never quite understood the difference between one skin color and another, see just another man in a suit standing behind the podium. I am frustrated and even angry that women have, essentially, gotten nowhere. Historically, we always get our rights last. I feel that we are an afterthought, and a reluctant one at that. I feel that every right we’ve ever achieved has come with s hand waving us away, the same way I can nag my husband into a new couch. Shut up and go away. We’re still at the behest of men. Will we always be?

    That was my first tangent, one that would have completely distracted the topic from the Muslim issue.

    My next tangential issue, however, spoke to the issue more directly and more relevantly, particularly at the end of your broadcast. I think the solution to this and so many issues we struggle with is education. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we had an unbiased, fact-based religion curriculum in our public schools? I don’t fully understand the Muslim religion, or Buddhism, or even Christianity as completely as could be useful to me. Unlike many, though, I never cared. In college my best friend was Lebanese, another close friend converted from Catholicism to Judaism, I had Thai friends and Korean friends and friends of such unusual combinations of cultures and religions in their ancestry that, like Obama said, they could only really be described as “mutts,” or perhaps just Americans. Perhaps I was naive, but it never occurred to me that these folks were fundamentally any different from me. On the other hand, here in suburban Boston you were either Irish, Italian, or something else altogether and religion was just a boring distraction.

    I ramble. I think education is key — an objective curriculum addressing all religions of the world. We are a bigger world than we were in the 70′s and our children should understand what words like Muslim, Islam, Hindu, catholic, and Catholic mean. What’s the difference between a Lutheran and a Methodist? Is a Baptist a Christian, or something else?

    Another thing I would love to see in our school curriculi is an American/World “Present” class. I learned world history beginning with Hannibal coming over the mountains with his elephants in September and Kennedy’s election in the spring. I was never given any reason to believe that there was any real correlation between the two events (still don’t see one, to tell you the truth). Perhaps if we began with where we are now and then traced backwards the bits and pieces of history that may have brought us to this moment would make more sense. Or perhaps Seniors in high school should be learning a little bit about politics and how it relates to current events, so their votes the following year might mean something…

    I could go on forever. I wish I could. There is so much we could do if only we were willing to throw away those 1965 text books and start all over.

  • jeff

    Joyce Thompson nice try to blame the Jews for the vile anti-Muslim DVD your talking about.

    What about the fact that the Protocols of Zion is a best selling book in a lot of Muslim countries. That anti Jewish sentiments are rife in these countries. That Arab Jews are treated as bad as Palestinians or worse.

    I’m a Jew and I never supported the neo-con political world view. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in conversations with Muslims who think that I am pro Israel and the conversation stops there. There is no discussion it is assumed that I am a Zionist. This is a two way street and if your extremely in the anti Israel camp then your not helping are you. This needs to be resolved. Israel has the right to be a country. The Palestinians also need a country, a solution needs to be worked out.

    I support a two state solution, however the Palestinians and some other Arab states make demands that they know will derail any peace talks. This happens time and time again.

    However I find the anti-Muslim diatribes that the right have been using to paint them as ‘other’ to be a vile and ugly side to our country.

    We must also remember that the year Barack Hussein Obama was born, 1961 African Americans could not vote in the South nor could they drink, sit or ride on buses in the same way white Americans could. Now he is president.

  • Eric

    Tom,
    Throughout the program you continually used the terms “This campaign” and “The campaign” as the source of anti-Muslim sentiment. These sentiments were not expressed by all involved in the ’08 campaign. They came from particular sources: the McCain campaign and it’s surrogates and the right-wing media. It was disingenuous not to say as much.

  • Jon

    The last caller, Shirley, was a fantastic clincher with a wonderful way of capturing a subtle, but real, and relevant pulse that I believe many have been sensing and needing to gravitate towards.

    It is also appropriate and not surprising that a show like yours would serve as catalyst for these fertile discussions. Thank you for your constant efforts to be a representative voice of reason.

  • Mehdy A. Zimriman

    Now that the game (read election) is over, both candidates (Obama and McCain) owe the American people an explanation on the Muslim-American and Arab-American issues as well as their stand vs. religions and ethnic matters. While I understand Obama’s distance from the Muslim community during the campaign (i.e; not visiting a mosque)and McCain’s (i.e; lack of forceful condemnation of his supporter using Arab as an epithet); NOW IS THE TIME to set the record straight and be candid in clarifying their positions. I hope that with Obama at the healm, we can move on past issues such as race, religion, ethnic background, … and start executing as a nation in pursuit of the American Dream.

  • AV

    And then there are also people of other religions that are not Abrahamic religions, and which are looked down upon. Take Bobby Jindal – who was considered electable only after he converted to Christianity.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com MOHAMMED N. RAZAVI, DALEVILLE, AL 36322

    FROM

    “BEYOND A STUPID GOD AND THE IMMORTAL MAN”

    A problem with so called moderate Muslims, in this country, and everywhere else is they almost never rise up and speak the truth. The injustices in Islamic lands against the poor are monumental but where are the voices for justice, no where. The idiots who are clamoring for their rights and recognition never speak up about the conditions of the poor and the women in their own homelands. If seventeen year old female is fed to the dogs alive in Pakistan or a thirteen year old Somali girl is stoned to death for “adultery” they don’t have the never to speak up and protest, not even from the safety of the United States.

    God does not fix anything, not the Jewish God, or the Christian God, not even the Islamic God. God does not make you do anything either, the meaning of freewill is not making money and oppressing others, the responsibility of the free will is to make sure that ALL are treated equally. So long as the Muslims and the Jews and Christians keep deluding themselves that they are the chosen ones, chosen by “GOD” no less we will have problems. Muslims from Islamic countries, if you are educated, and relatively well off, and now you have learnt a thing or two about human rights, finally, take the message back home instead of treating your women as cattle even over here, may be when the conditions of the poor and women improve in Islamic countries, some one will give you some respect here also. Don’t ask it here, for what you refuse to give others
    in your home country. May be GOD is not as stupid as you think, if there is a GOD.

  • http://www.lit.org/fritzwilliam Fred W. Bracy

    There is no way that the fragile democracy we’ve created between these shores will survive while the majority view expressed here (and wherever the topic of religion rears it’s head) is supported. Someone on air said it is perfectly natural for a voter to get deep inside the head of a candidate running for high office, and become intimately familiar with all of his or her beliefs where something as etherial as religion is concerned. But that’s not even the whole story. It’s God that’s at issue. These people are aguing, “It’s my god versus your god.” “My god is better than your god.” “My god can beat up your god.” This is where we’re at even now, children. Here in the 21st Century.

    Here’s what the human race needs to hear today: When 99.99 % of the worldwide population on planet Earth can agree on the EXACT nature of God–just as 99.99 % of the world populatio NOW believes that the earth is a sphere and not flat–then there’s a god. Until then, there isn’t one. Let’s just get over it.

    The basis for this statement CONSENSUS. Consensus–or lack therof–is the proof. GET RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS or watch the great American experiment slip quietly away into oblivion.

  • Maria R

    Tom,

    Thank you so much to bringing up this important topic. My husband and I (I am from Colombia and have dual citizenship, he is from California) watched with delight when Colin Powell expressed the same thoughts to the TV audience as we had discussed in private. As I looked at my husband I saw tears in his eyes and I could not stop weeping. I am a Democrat but I now profoundly respect Colin Powell.

    How could the crime committed by a group of 19 terrorists be blamed on Muslims as a group?

    I think that the negative feelings people have about Muslims are based on fear as much as many of the other hateful believes we espouse in our lives.

    I understand why the Obama campaign stayed away from the subject. Campaigns are full of hateful comments as well.

    All I can say to people is liberate yourself. Be open minded. Approach a Muslim you see in the street. We are all humanity. What matters is not how we are labeled by society but what we do for others.

  • Frederic C.

    Too much knee-jerk defense.
    Too little comparative religion.

  • Barrie Keegan

    Dear Tom,
    Thank you for shining a light on this particular trespass on our neighbors that we Americans feel we can perpetrate with utter impunity.
    I am a 60 year young immigrant and naturalized American citizen. I am not patriotic (a la Palin) except for two of my passions: first, participating in the National Anthem at Fenway Park and 2, participating (voting) in government and politics. I confess to being – or aspire – to be a “citizen of the world” in all other matters. For me the excitement of living in United States is the same as that of living in London or Paris except it’s cheaper! Seriously, the excitement comes from living in a multi-cultural society. By excitement I mean the bliss of being alive.
    In my book anyone who disses muslims is seriously impaired – listen up Republicans!

  • Susan D.

    I think we should recognize that we too easily conflate the terms Arab & Muslim & terrorist. Not all Arabs are muslim, not all muslims are Arabs, and not all terrorists are Muslim or Arabs. I remember when, a couple of days after the bombing in Oklahoma City, a woman on the street was being interviewed in that city, on the news that the bombers were home-grown, not Arabs or Muslims, as had been assumed at first, and she said, “Well, thank God they’re not terrorists.” But they were terrorists. As were the Americans who have bombed women’s health clinics, and those who have murdered doctors who perform abortions. We need to be much more conscientious about definitions of terms, and not let those who would be fuzzy about them sway our thinking.

  • isa

    I am a 100% disabled US veteran. I am a practicing Muslim. I first began to believe in my faith in New York at the age of 12.

    The movie Blazing Saddles shows how deeply xenophobia infects some American minds. There will always be some people who cannot put aside hate, and James Baldwin makes clear that we who are objects of that hate bear a special burden to choose humanity despite the pain and grief that those who reject humaniy inflict on us.

    It is painful beyond words to see Americans act so beneath our greatness as a people.

    From William Penn through Franklin, Lincoln, MLK, Malcolm, Milk, Eleanor Roosevelt, Chief John Ross, Rosie Parks, and all the truly great Americans who have given us, preserved and protected and sacrificed their lives for this dream, this aspiration, this this promise of the people by the people for the people: we are the people.

    When America denies its highest truest most precious heritage, it demeans all humanity.

    I am proud as a Muslim to serve my country. The ones who cannot believe in our country’s ideals are less for it. Their lives are smaller. That is the tragedy. The Palin’s never will know what greatness is. WE do. It is such an honor to have heard and realized MLK’s dream. Nothing can diminish that.

  • angela w.

    Honestly, Barack Obama was running a PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN…the last administration vilified muslims for MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS and no one heard a peep from the muslim community in america. Now because you have a minorty running for president, he’s supposed to take up every cause against every minority? it’s called picking your battles.

  • Melissa K.

    I live in Texas and am a member of a reform Jewish congregation. A few months ago, Rabbi David Saperstein, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, came to Austin to talk about politics with respect to our religion. He gave an insightful discussion of the role that this issue has played in the campaigns and excoriated both John McCain and Barack Obama for not standing up and saying that it would be perfectly alright if a candidate WERE a Muslim. While I agreed with him that it would be fine to have a Muslim candidate, it would have been political suicide for Obama to say anything of the sort. Twenty-three percent of Texans still believed that Obama is a Muslim on November 4. If he had stood up for Muslims during the campaign — which would have been the right thing to do, without a doubt — we’d be looking at McCain as president-elect.

  • Renee Kofi-Bruce

    Shame on your program for slanting today’s program towards condemnation of President-Elect Obama. Would you kindly forward this to your guests of 11/122008:

    American Muslims please fault those who besmirched your religion — not those who were busy trying to win an election and hopefully change the atmosphere to a more inclusive one. Black Americas (slaves) built the White House (it took over 200 years for a black American to occupy it. I respectfully ask that you consider before blaming those who did no proactive harm and be more wary of those who actively generated hatred and negativity. My sixty years of observing America prompts me to offer this caution: for the Governor of Louisiana (how does he handle the atavistic faction in his state: the Republican Party is notorious for using and brutally discarding its minority members. He needs your support in the years to come.

  • Doug Corrigan

    As I read through the list of comments regarding moslems in this country, and their place in the election scheme, I can only come to the conclusion that the commentors have (1) probably never looked inside a koran; (2) never read the hadiths of mohammad; and have (3) never read the life of mohammad. If they had, they would understand that islam is a cancer on the body of world society — with all the attendent problems for society that a cancer foreshadows. If you want another analogy, we could say that islam is the religious equivalent of the Mafia; both being based on murder, mayhem, destruction, theft, extortion, and rape. Those are the six pillars of islam for the non-muslim world. Remember what dear old allah said in chapter 2, verse 191 of the vile koran, “Kill the Jews and Christians wherever you find them, for their rejection of islam is a worse sin than your slaughter of them.” Also, the big guy said, “Do not take Jews and Christians to be friends. For if you do, allah will not like that, and you will be just like them.” Islam is based on the rantings of a rejected, neurotic orphan, bent of getting his revenge on the vile, filthy, unworthy Jews and Christians. Mohammad said, “I have been ordered by allah to make war on all people until all people are for allah only.” Sounds like the religion of peace to me. Maybe you and your audience should get your heads out of the lower end of your alimentary canal and do some research into this curse of a cult, instead of wallowing in your self-rightious, multi-cultural effluvium. Islam is shite.

  • Matt

    Folks, the picture is a trajedy as any soldier lost in combat is. My concern is the woman looks more African American than middle eastern. Folks I don’t know the answer to this. But I don’t see any of the suicide bombings we here about on a daily basis being done by those claiming Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior or Vishnu or Budah etc.

    In the same vain I absolutely hope that a child who is a US citizen and is a muslim wakes up thinking that they can become president of the US. It is the great strengh of our country. I can not become a Saudi, an Iraqi, a Jordanian, or an Iranian. But all of them can become American’s.

    It is foolish to ignore the fact that suicide bombings seem to be predominantly carried out by persons of middle eastern decent claiming Islam as there religion. These are facts. The question is what does it mean and why.

    The Right wants to lable all persons of the Islamic faith as terroists and the Left wants to stick their head in the sand and ignore the facts. The answer is somewhere in the middle.

  • Missa Harden

    As a somewhat hesitant Christian, this campaign made my stomach twist because it was the ‘so called’ Christians that were attacking Barack Obama AND the Muslim faith. It was the ‘so-called’ Christians that tried to tie Barack to a faith that was not his. It was the ‘so-called’ Christians that demonized this religion and made it into one specific thing (aka terrorism) and not looking at the whole broad spectrum of this religion. It kind of makes me want to take a step back and look at this whole ‘Christianity’ thing…do i want to be a part of something that slanders people and misleads the country into thinking that just because you are Muslim, then you are a terrorist, or not worthy to be the president of the United States…..of course not, but then again I am reminded that Christians supported slavery……

  • Michael E.

    Since not much time has passed since the hijackers came to the USA, pretending to be students, pretending to be peaceful, seekers of prosperity, when in fact they came to destroy and to kill people in the name of Allah and Islam, how can someone not understand how many Americans will always feel betrayed and distrustful?

    One caller made a good point about Pat Robertson’s candidacy, voters wanted to know his religious views and how they would effect his presidency, the media was relentless. I remember similar questions about Kennedy’s Catholicism, Nixon’s Quaker upbringing, Jim Carter, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Romney, Obama. Questioning candidates’ religious beliefs (or lack there of) is traditional and perhaps a duty. Since Islam is in most of the world where it is practiced, a religious, social and political system and not just a religion, it is legitimate to question and criticize its traditions, history and teachings. This is often misinterpreted as being anti-muslim hatred, it is not.

  • Frederic C.

    All I can say to people is liberate yourself. Be open minded. Approach a Muslim you see in the street. We are all humanity. What matters is not how we are labeled by society but what we do for others.-Maria R.

    When I hear someone say that Muslims fly planes into buildings I like to drop Timothy McVeigh’s name as a Christian who blows up buildings.-Richard
    __

    Maria, how would you know who is a muslim walking down the street?

    Richard, McVeigh was a (nearly) lone nut. Islamists are avowed to carry out a violent jihad against the infidel specifically in the name of their beliefs.

  • Doug Corrigan

    A muslim living in America and who considers themselves to be an American citizen, is a person who is living a lie, either in the sense that they are kidding themselves that such a thing is possible (not), or kidding America, meaning that they are actually an agent for a foreign and enemy power (islam). One cannot be a muslim and be an American; it is just not possible. The koran does not permit it. Muslims are citizens ‘only’ of the ‘nation-of- islam’.

  • http://WPLN Uli N

    I don’t believe the onus should’ve been on Obama to defend Islam’s good name…it should be on it’s adherents. On of your guests today decried the absence of a strong and forceful defence of Muslims during the campaign. I’m yet to hear strong,forceful and consistent condemnation of radical Islam by Muslim leaders themselves. That needs to come first, and will do more to counteract harmful sterotypes than any defence a non-Muslim could offer.

  • Michael Micek

    I think it would be beneficial to distinguish between “faith”, a set of beliefs, and “religion” (or “church”), the external structures that support those beliefs. For instance, in mainland China the Catholic religion (the church in union with the Roman Pontiff) is outlawed, although many with the Catholic faith practice it as members of the state-sponsored “patriotic association”. I take exception to the speaker who seemed to suggest that we in the U.S. have failed to follow our Constitution by establishing a state religion or prohibiting the free exercise of any.

    On the other hand, I agree with the caller who said that, while a candidate’s nominal religion should not prejudice the electorate against her, it is entirely reasonable to probe what she really believes.

    With respect to Islam specifically, my understanding is that the word “Islam” means “submission to the Will of the One God”, with the connotation that the One is Master and happiness (in the philosophical sense) is to be achieved by recognizing our position as slaves. While there are verses in the Christian New Testament which harmonize with this, the main thrust of the Christian faith is God’s effort to meet humanity on intimate terms: as a friend, a lover, or a Daddy (“Abba”). As the caller mentioned above stated, the extent to which these fundamental thrusts take root varies widely, but we should be able to investigate which, if either of these, is present in a given candidate, as it is easy to imagine that they would have very different consequences in the way a leader’s duty were defined and carried out.

  • Radwan Abdulrazzak

    This is my country just as much as it is every other American’s and I did not appreciate having my religion/race smeared during this presidential race. I was actually shocked over the amount of ignorance and lack of tolerance present in our “advanced” society. What happened to the melting pot? This presidential race made me feel like oil in a pot of water. Time and again people took shots against my religion and my race when neither of them had anything to do with this election.

    As a Muslim, I can honestly say i was not excited about either candidate. Although I ultimately voted for Obama, i did so only because McCain was only going to be an extension of Bush policies (which have been horrendous for this country as well as Arabs/Muslims world wide). I felt marginalized when Obama went and visited churches and synagogues but refused to go visit a mosque. I was also slighted by McCain’s reaction to that ignorant woman who believed that Obama was a Muslim (even though it had been settled long before that he was not). His response seemed to indicate that there was something wrong with being Muslim or Arab. He vehemently dispelled the rumor that Obama was a Muslim but did not address the fact that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim or an Arab!

    All things considered, Obama does have potential to be a great leader and do much to unify this great nation but until he takes affirmative steps to incorporate the Muslim/Arab population into his movement of “change” i will continue to be skeptical of him.

    May God bless America and grant all its people the wisdom and tolerance to allow us all to live in true peace!

  • Missa Harden

    to comment on Doug about Muslims being citizens of only Islam and not of any country….

    I do reflect that Christians are Citizens of the Kingdom of God and are referred to as aliens tot his life…… which is kind of along the same lines at Islam……

  • Michael E.

    I don’t personally know a single person who has said they hate Muslims and I would not have anything to do with a person who practices this. I know many, many people who question the teachings of Islam, who criticize the traditions and biases practiced in predominately Islamic countries, who critically analyze the teachings of the Koran and Muhammad, who may show the ugly side of historical Islam. It is analysis and questioning, but it is not anti-muslim hatred. Hatred against a person is simply wrong.

  • Maria R

    Frederic, Visit a Middle Eastern market in your city, visit one of their restaurants, befriend a person without a flawless English accent. Smile and greet them. They will greet you back. They are people just like you. They will help you if you need help. Look at people who are different from you with a smile and that will warm their hearts. Sounds corny but it works. Try it.

  • jeff

    Doug Corrigan’s comments are vile and hurtful.
    I don’t think comments like this should be tolerated.

    This is not free speech, it’s hate speech.

  • Bill Mitchell

    Regarding Jeff’s statement about Doug Corrigan’s comments as “vile and hateful. (And) I don’t think comments like these should be tolerated.” I say, ‘Spoken like a true fascist, Jeff. We don’t want people saying mean things, even if it is true. Truth should always take a back seat to political correctness, regardless of what the stupid Constitution of the United States says. So there! Don’t worry, Jeff, the Commicrats are in power now and they’ll fix those mean old people who tell the truth.

  • Mark S.

    Angie Manes wrote: “In response to your last caller: I have heard that the Koran and the Christian Bible are very similar in their teachings. I have not read either, so I don’t feel I have the right to say one is better than the other. I think if a person is going to ridicule a religion they should do their homework first.”

    Sorry, Angie. I have not read either and I will not. I prefer my fantasy straight up and honest, so I prefer Tolkien.

  • AV

    Are all Americans considered to reflect their President’s (Bush in this case) policies and actions? From what I’ve read on some Muslim blogs, the answer is “yes,” just as some people think all Muslims represent Osama Bin Laden and his actions. Two sides of the same coin.

    To me, the neo-con philosophy is as vile and reprehensible as some stuff in Islam, like dar-ul-harb. I read a lot of valid criticism of neo-con philosophy, but hardly any of dar-ul-harb, when IMO both need to be criticized.

    The correct approach is to criticize Bush for his war-mongering policies, as well as regressive and hate-promoting elements in the Islamic world. What gets in the way is “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” philosophy and “picking one side or the other” (and there are only two sides) instead of independent analysis – and people on the left and right side of the political spectrum indulge in this, thus hampering efforts at real progress.

    Also, criticizing certain aspects of Islam is not the same as hatred of Muslims. Knee-jerk labeling of all such criticism as Islamophobia does not promote an open and honest dialog, and instead shows ignorance and fear on the part of those who indulge in this knee-jerk reaction. It’s time Islam showed some maturity and opened itself up to some valid criticisms and embraced reform, going through the same process that Christianity – with which it shares much – went through not so long ago.

  • http://vpr.net Anne Bordonaro

    I am a Christian and my husband is Muslim. I am also a very strong Obama supporter. I justified to myself and my family his reluctance to associate with or speak out in defense of Muslims or Arabs as a strategic necessary in order to win the election. However, I can’t say that it didn’t hurt. And my children, who don’t particulary identify with either religion at this point, were very moved by Powell’s statements. Now that the election is over, I hope Obama will begin to reach out to the Muslim American community. He could start by attending services for the upcoming holiday, Eid Al-Adha, at the Islamic Center in Washington, DC, and by asking the Justice Dept. to investigate all allegations of religious and ethnic discrimination and harrassment against Muslims and/or Arabs.

  • AV

    I think if a person is going to ridicule a religion they should do their homework first.

    Angie, if someone is served a burnt dish, s/he may not have the time or the patience to read the original recipe and figure out where, why and how the chef went wrong – that’s the job of experts and academics, as well as those who run the restaurant, not the average joe. For better or worse, a religion or a philosophy is judged based on the actions of its adherents and followers and we do form certain opinions based on our personal experiences.

  • altergoista

    I am wondering,

    what about African-American Muslims? Why wasn’t this dimension mentioned on the show,

    “more than a 1/3 of the slaves brought over from AFrica were Muslims” Well what about African-Americans who make up the largest group of Muslims in the U.S? Having at last one them as a guest would have made this discussion more interesting and well-rounded.

    By not doing this, NPR is becoming complicit in the same Muslim=Arab (and by extension) conflation. Lets not simplify so much NPR. thanks.

  • Frederic C.

    Frederic, Visit a Middle Eastern market in your city,………………Look at people who are different from you with a smile and that will warm their hearts. Sounds corny but it works. Try it. -Maria R.

    What makes you think that I don’t? I believe all men are created equal and I treat everyone the same.

    Maria, it doesn’t sound corny. You do know that there are various flavors of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Druze, and Bahai in the middle east? Why would I assume that if I go into a shop that people are all muslim? Wouldn’t it be rude if I assumed that?

    The word critical is not a pejorative. Being critical will not get you shot or beheaded in the west. There are not Thought Police here, unless you consider the citizens’ Community Thought Crime Watch- the self-imposed (PC) constrictions placed on language and thought.

    It is not fantasy or slander to say that women are second class citizens in most muslim countries.

    Of course we should embrace people of all faiths, but we must also be free to speak out against injustice anywhere.

  • Marie

    Great, great show, Tom. I was happy and very interested to hear from our fellow Americans who practice the Muslim faith. They’ve been relegated to the shadows of our society and that needs to end. I expect it will too under the Obama administration.

    You know I think we are putting a lot of justified hope in this new administration because the American people are truly like an engine that needs to be turned on steered. If you tell us what we need to do and how we can help, we’ll do it! We want instruction and want to be productive. Surprisingly (and stupidly), most leaders end up leaving us in the garage and wasting our potential and collective impact.

  • Doug Corrigan

    Ann B., above, starts by saying that, “I am a Christian and my husband is a Muslim……” If she’s telling the truth, then her husband is acting in direct opposition to the command from allah, in the koran, Chapter 2, verse 221: “And do not marry the idolatresses (ie: Christians, etc) until they believe (ie: become muslims), (allah) makes clear His communications to men, that they may be mindful.”

    At least when Ann spends eternity in hell, her husband will be there with her; she for being a Christian and him for marrying her in spite of allah’s wishes. You gotta love islam; it’s such an absurd cult.

  • Ayaz Samadani MD

    Muslims in the United States are serving in every corner of the fifty states. They serve and stand shoulder to shoulder with their counterparts in medical field, law enforcement, research, education, commerce and many other trades. Muslims pray to the same God that people of Christianity faith pray. People ought to be informed and educated. Media has an obligation to present a balanced perspective. Your program did discuss some important issues. Mr. Colin Powell’s comments “What is wrong to be a Muslim” were timely and very constructive. Press need to step in and bring more programs to reduce and diffuse haltered. President Obama brings humanity, sensitivity and respect to America and hopefully to the world. There is urgent need to dispel myths and fear. Almost half of the world follows Abrahamic teachings. (there are around 3.8 billion followers of various Abrahamic religions) It is time to act as well and it is not healthy to live in a state of fear.

    Ayaz Samadani M.D.

  • AV

    Almost half of the world follows Abrahamic teachings. (there are around 3.8 billion followers of various Abrahamic religions)

    So what? The significance of this was lost on me – could you please explain? Abrahamic or non-Abrahamic, or atheism or agnosticism – why should it matter how many numbers are there in each? Religion, or lack of it, should remain a personal matter between a person and his maker, not something to be used to decide policy on or to be worn on one’s sleeve.

  • jeff

    Bill Mitchell if you think hate speech should be tolerated that’s your problem. So you believe in what that chap was saying? You support it. Free speech also has responsibility’s, something you seem to lack any concept of.

    However calling me a fascist is a bit much considering about 80% of my mothers family was murdered by them.

    You should think about what you say in the public arena as free speech, while being a right is also something that should be used with inelegance and incite into what words mean. Something you should maybe think about as you seem to use words like fascist a little to lightly.

    Do you know anything about the fascist period in Europe?

    Read some history pal. Get some education, that man’s comments were nasty, and out of line, period.
    If he has issue with the Koran and Islam he should find more eloquent ways of using language to make his case.

    By the Mr. Mitchell are you religious? Do you go to church and believe in God and Jesus. Do you believe in talking snakes and angles? I find that silly and comical. I find the catholic religion to be one that has brought centuries of pain and suffering to the human race, and still does, to be just as awful as any thing that Islam has done in the name of God. So am I now using hate speech?

    Do you find my statements offensive? If not then maybe your the kind of right wing zealot who has no moral fiber. One of those fat Republican types who wish for the good ol days when you could call your local sheriff and have all the Jews and uppity Black men arrested just for the hell of it.

    Oh did I insult you? Did I use hateful speech to define you even though I have never met you nor do I know what you believe in?

    Please use your head and think for once in your life.

  • jeff

    insight not incite sorry for the typo, funny play on words though.

  • Bill Mitchell

    Sorry Jeff, hate speech MUST BE TOLERATED for the sake of the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t say “Congress shall make no laws…abridging the freedom of speech, BUT YOU CAN’T SAY ANYTHING HATEFUL OR MEAN…” Read it! Hate speech is something you mealy-mouthed, mommy types love to whine about. The problem, of course, is WHO DECIDES what is hate speech and what isn’t. As to your personal questions about me: Am I religious? Sometimes. Do I go to church? Sometimes. Do I believe in God? Sometimes. Do I believe in “angles” (I assume you meant ‘angels’)? Sometimes. Etc, etc! I’m kind of schizoid on all that stuff, but, primarily what I am is a lover of freedom, as guaranteed by the US Constitution; and I don’t believe it should be tinkered with by Pollyannaish, peanut-brained, goody-goody types.
    Sorry about your Mom’s relatives, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a fascist.

  • jeff

    Bill I was saying that you should not use the word fascist so lightly or in context to me objecting to hateful speech that is over the top. The Constitution is open to interpretation and that’s why we have lawyers. Free speech and how it is used is also has consequences. If you stand up in a movie theater and yell fire, and cause a panic, is this protected speech? Context is everything. Being so pragmatic is a dangerous thing I think.

    Am I a goody goody type? Maybe, but even if I am so what. As a secular Jew if I hear anti-Semitic rhetoric (which by strange coincidence was heard on On Point this morning and was quickly and rightly shot down)being put forth in the public arena I find that offensive and it is the same as shouting fire in that movie theater.
    Why because it has historical ramifications. The same is true if I or you started to write racist comments about African Americans. Is this free speech? Yes. Is it hateful, yes, should it be allowed in the context of forums like this? I don’t think so for the same reasons, the history of this kind of language long and full of pain. The Constitution used to treat African Americans and women as lesser beings than white men. We don’t do this anymore do we, the Constitution was not written in stone. It was meant to be open for debate and changes.

    You may object to the tenants of the Islamic faith and find it reprehensible but I think one should find ways of using language that is more creative then insightful then blatant hate speech.

    Freedom in all it’s guises comes with responsibility’s don’t you think?

    It says more about the author than the audience or intended victims, as do your comments.

  • Bill Mitchell

    Jeff, your comment re: africans and women in the Constitution is true and the situation was remedied by amendments to it giving ‘MORE’ rights to the people; not taking rights away. Hate speech laws take rights ‘AWAY’ from people. BAD, BAD, BAD!

    As the great Jewish TEN COMMANDMENTS were writ in stone — so is the Constitution. It is BASIC. Rights may be ADDED TO it, but rights MAY NOT BE TAKEN AWAY from it. Taking your rights away, is the first act of a fascist government; and regardless of how noble the fascists may sound in their justification of the act — it is EVIL, EVIL, EVIL and they do it to consolidate their power.

    I suggest you learn to live with speech you don’t like and KEEP YOUR FREEDOM; as opposed to tinkering with the Constitution and trying to TAKE PEOPLE’S FREEDOMS AWAY from them, just to salve your insulted sense of political correctness.

    Do you debate and change the Ten Commandments just because you might think it’s ok to commit adultry, or lie?

    “I had a dream,” Big Mo(hammad) said. “And in the dream allah gave me the keys to all the kingdoms on earth!”

    “I have been commanded by allah to fight and kill until all people worship allah only,” said Big Mo.

    EVIL, EVIL, EVIL — no matter how you cut it. Islam is a malignancy on the face of the earth.

  • AV

    On the lighter side, there’s Jesus and Mo: http://www.jesusandmo.net/2008/10/24/line/

  • jeff

    Bill your wrong. The Supreme court already made rulings on what are excepted forms of free speech in public.
    I’m not telling you what to say, I’m pointing out that your being offensive.

    I’m saying you and your racist friend are spouting forth filth, and I’m not going sit here and read it without telling you and the other chap that you can hide behind the vale of free speech and degrade the Constitution if you want to, but I’m going to tell you your wrong.
    Words have power.

    I keep trying to explain why freedom of speech also comes with the responsibility of understanding what that means. If you incite violence with your words, that can be considered a crime in some states. Your words are doing just that. The lucky thing for you is that your in your home hiding behind the safety of the internet.

    Amendments are designed to amend the Constitution, you know change the law, as they had done for giving African Americans the right to vote. That’s the point of an amendment to amend. If the Constitution can be amended then it’s not written in stone. You can’t add to or change the ten commandments. I see that basic theology is not a strong point.

    I’m voicing concern for what is considered provocative speech which has been dealt with in many courts in this country. I’m checking you on your interpretation of free speech, if you don’t like it, tough.

  • AV

    Jeff, have you talked to some Muslims about their views on secularism wrt their faith/religion, or what the Koran says?

    If a Christian expressed the same views, what would be your response?

  • jeff

    Yes I have had some conversations with one Muslim on this subject and many others. Mind you he is a moderate, but he did open my eyes on the complexities of his faith. The conflicts both internal and external between the moderates and the extremist in Islam. The Islamic faith in general is not anymore extreme than any other.

    Interesting chap he was a direct descendant of Muhammad Ahmad who is considered by some one of the first Muslim insurgent leaders. Look up Major General Charles George Gordon.

    If a Christian expressed the same views, what would be my response?

    Do mean a fundamentalist Christian?

    I don’t like any kind of fundamentalist dogma be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Protestant.

  • Ahmad al-Fatoomi

    Sahih Bukhari Hadiths, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; come and kill him.’ ”

    And so we will kill every Jew and Christian and all other infidels who do not submit to our Islamic superiority as Allah commanded.

    In the words of IATOLLAH KHOMENIE,”Some fools say that islam should be TOLERANT. Well consider this . . . The Koran says “KILL, IMPRISON! ALLAH IS NOT MERCIFUL!”
    Our MOSQUES should be the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of our mosques, wars should proceed, now, just as all the wars of Islam, in the past, have proceeded out of the mosques.

    The PROPHET MOHAMMAD used the sword to KILL people.
    In the past, our PRIESTS were great military men. All of them were warriors. They used their swords; they killed people. We need a leaders who will chop off hands, cut throats, and stone people . . . in the same way that the Mohammad used to chop off hands, cut throats, and stone people. In the same way that he massacred the Jews of Medina. Because these Jews were a bunch of disbelieving people . . . the Prophet exterminated them . . . THAT is justice.

    ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION OF PACIFISTS
    Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam stands for PEACE. These people are imbeciles! They are morons!
    —Islam says: Kill all the Jews and Christians just as they would kill you! Does that mean that moslems should sit back until they are devoured by the unbelievers? No!
    —Islam says: Kill the Jews and Christians, put them to the sword and scatter their armies. Does this mean sitting back until Jews and Christians overcome us moslems? No!

    There’re hundreds of Kornic sayings of the prophet, urging Muslims TO LOVE WAR AND TO MAKE WAR ON JEWS AND CHRISTIANS. Does that sound like Islam is a religion of peace?

    I spit on the foolish morons who claim that islam is a religion of peace.”

    And if you need still more to convince, consider where the stinking Jews an Christians lie on great Grand Iatollah Ali al-Sistani’s list of filthyist things in the world:

    1—Urine
    2—Manure
    3—Bodily fluids
    4—Dead bodies
    5—Blood
    6—Dogs
    7—Pigs
    8—Jews and Christians and all other infidels
    9—Alcohol
    10—Sweat of animals

    Islam will win. Obama will help us. America will be Islam.

  • jeff

    Oh for the love of horse dung.
    Give it a rest will you.

  • jeff

    al-Fatoomi indeed. I’m the Earl of Hines…

  • Omar in Boston

    Tom, thanks for discussing this topic. The show was enlightening, and I believe that so many people who might have been unaware of this issue benefited from the dialogue.

  • http://honestpoet.wordpress.com/ honestpoet

    Ahmad, way to make the point all the Islamophobes want you to make.

    I’m left having to choose between one of two suspicions:

    1. — You are an absolute moron, that is, a religious nutbar; or
    2. — You’re someone who hates Islam and is trying to make it look bad.

    If, in fact, it’s #1, I suggest you listen to the moderate imams and learn to practice a more tolerant, peaceful version of your religion, or you will simply cause a greater and greater backlash against Islam in a justifiable defense of our liberty and lives.

  • jeff

    honestpoet are you kidding? Ahmad al-Fatoomi is a fake name. al-Fatoomi is not an Arabic name. It’s more like a cartoon name.

    This guy is a pulling your leg. He or she is a spreading anti-Islamic propaganda it’s quite clear to me I hope it is to others.

  • http://members.lycos.nl/inducedots/softwaree13.html Vorawaighgara

    Safe Software develops spatial data conversion and distribution software. Our FME solutions enable people to use their spatial data where, when and how they training database software

  • http://non Morteza

    salam sabra

    if you can email to me pleas do it.

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