Team Obama has (shamefully imo) asked Rep. Keith Ellison (first Muslim American member of Congress) to cancel an event at a mosque. Presumably I guess they could claim church/mosque-separation status but given Obama giving sermons at black churches, probably not.
This comes right on the heels of his handlers moving two young women out of a photo op because they were wearing hijabs. Obama later apologized and is shown in a photo with another woman similarly dressed. In walking the fine line between saying that he is not a Muslim and that such rumors are beneath our politics while at the same time making clear that being a Muslim in America is not a smear. It is the prejudice surrounding the charge that is at issue.
So right now they are leaning far too much in the other direction and alienating Muslim American voters. But since there are at most 6 million in the US, they get the shaft.
Now Obama’s dissembling is bad (kind of the same position he seems to have relative to gays and lesbians), so let’s look at his opponent on the issue.
And there sadly it gets worse.
People probably don’t remember this kind of inside baseball from the primaries but this might stoke some recollection, from an interview with Beliefnet summarized in this Daily News piece:
GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn’t want a Muslim in the Oval Office.
Here is the McCain quotation:
“I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it,” he said. “But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”
I admire the Islam? The Islam? WTF? The kids today with the intertubes, the sports, and the Islam.
That’s some straight talk—as in Muslims need not apply. You may rent space in this white Christian nation just don’t screw around (like show up at an airport with funny dresses or a beard) and don’t expect anything from us in return.
That would be straight talk except that McCain himself doesn’t actually believe it:
McCain later clarified his remarks, saying, “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and to defend our political values.”
Though he still plays the social conservative theocratic card:
In the interview, the senator also said the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”
So either he believes that pile of steaming horse dung and he should be disqualified for not understanding a very clear point of the Constitution (pluralistic, non-state church union order) OR he’s just a pandering politician sucking up to the religious right (which is very Maverick btw).
Tactically since McCain repeatedly states that the “transcendent issue” of our time is Islamic extremism, the American Muslim community which has rejected the takfiri/caliphate/bin Laden heresy (which it is) would be his BFF or at least deserve a special shout out for job well done. But we all know that ain’t gonna happen.
Leaving the “alternative” as Obama’s wink-wink nudge nudge “just let me play this game through the election guys, you cheese it during that time, and I promise I’m really on your side but I can’t admit publicly during this campaign because you know I’m already black and liberal one more is three strikes and I’m out” thing.
Ugh and double ugh.
The full Beliefnet interview for those interested here.
Update I: Muslims, gays, and Scarlett Johannson? Come on that crosses a line man. He just lost the horny 18-24 year old Maxim reading sector of the electorate.