Conservatives and Muslims
I have had several recent conversations with conservatives and have come away disheartened and frustrated by their irrational fear of Muslims.
From the “Ground Zero Mosque” brouhaha to Koran burnings around the country, conservatives are exercised about the phantom threats of Muslims who — LIVE AMONGST US IN AMERICA!! (Duh duh DUUUUNNN!)
The latest mouth to capture national attention for a bigoted outburst belongs to flavor-of-the-minute Herman Cain.
Cain is among the undistinguished pack currently vying for the Republican presidential nomination. With the credentials of having been CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain, Cain came away from the first debate as the surprise winner.
He said during a March interview that he would not be comfortable having a Muslim in his cabinet in this exchange with Think Progress reporter Scott Keyes:
KEYES: You came under a bit of controversy this week for some of the comments made about Muslims in general. Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?
CAIN: No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.
Historically, the GOP has been obsessed with creating various boogeymen to rally their base against. The blacks. The gays. Feminists. All have had their turns, and the newest scapegoat object of hatred and fear are Muslims.
Witness the ongoing hysteria over the non-existent threat of Sharia law.
Republican politicians use religion and wedge issues like these to motivate their base. Fear brings out the votes.
No amount of reason or evidence to the contrary will convince these folks that there is no threat from their Muslim neighbors.
It encourages their ugliest natures.
I am not the biggest fan of radio talk show host Randi Rhodes, but I do applaud her handling of this caller:
There have been many times that I have been engaged in similar conversations, and it’s like nailing Jello to the wall. Whenever you point out the fallacy of their reasoning, they change the subject — seemingly unable to process facts and form a coherent response.
That said, I do believe that the fear (albeit irrational) that they are expressing is very real to them.
Yes, misguided Muslims did attack the US. They were motivated by religious zealots misusing scripture to commit atrocities in the name of Islam in the way that the deluded assassins of doctors who perform abortions use the Bible to justify murder.
The smart response is not to embrace a strident Christianity to create a barrier between Americans of other religions (or no religion at all).
It is to put the lie to the propaganda that motivates the terrorists. America is a place where the right to worship or not is central to our strength and stability as a nation.
But as long as such lies and manipulations bring out the voters and fill campaign coffers, religion will continue to be a divisive influence on our nation.
- Herman Cain And Newt Gingrich Bring Out The Anti-Muslim Hysteria (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Herman Cain’s Islamophobia: Why does he treat Muslims the way racists treat blacks? (slate.com)
- Opinion: Muslims need not apply (cnn.com)
- Fact Check: Cain missed on use of Sharia law (boston.com)
- Republicans Debate Muslim Loyalty Tests And Sharia Courts On CNN (mediaite.com)
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