Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Different Angle on the Same Story

In my post on the racism of the McCain / Palin campaign, I didn't even touch on the Muslim issue: the use of Barack Obama's middle name (Hussein) or the uncertainty they are trying to breed on whether or not he is Muslim (he is not). Khaled Hosseini, author of the The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns does a way better job at this than I ever could in this article. Key quotes:

Regarding how offensive these tactics are to all of the peace-loving Muslims in this country:

Never mind that this evokes -- and brazenly tries to resurrect -- the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama's middle name makes him someone to distrust -- and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama's middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there's something wrong with my name?

Regarding the inaction of McCain and Palin when the crowd gets angry:

What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies...Is inaction tantamount to consent? The McCain campaign certainly thinks so when it comes to Obama and incendiary remarks from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By their own inaction, then, are McCain and Palin condoning these slurs? Or worse, are they willfully inciting the angry and venomous response that we have been witnessing at their rallies? If not, then what reaction are they hoping to evoke by their relentless public suggestions that Obama is basically an anti-American liar who won't put "country first" and has an affection for terrorists? Do they not understand the kind of fire they are playing with?

In these turbulent times, their campaign is being so irresponsible. When are they going to be held accountable for their dangerous rhetoric?

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