It isn't a smear to be called a Muslim

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In the second frame of the above Doonesbury comic strip from a few days ago, being called a Muslim is the first item in a list of political "smears".

A CNN story on this subject notes,

The Obama campaign has created a special team to fight rumors like the one about his religion. He goes out of his way to deny it in speeches. His supporters do too. There is a Web site devoted to it, called FightTheSmears.Com.

But what about the underlying premise: why should his being a Muslim matter? Why is it a "smear?"

Tony Kutalyi of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says: "He needs to come out and not just simply say I'm not a Muslim, but again, if I were a Muslim, what difference would it make?"

I went to the "Fight the Smears" web site, and, indeed, it is broken down into sections that address various false statements, with one section dealing with his religion; it includes these words:
SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim
THE TRUTH: Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.
Contrary to the above, it is not a smear to be called a Muslim, and to suggest otherwise is an insult to millions of faithful Muslims around the world.

4 comments:

Jan said...

I'm glad you posted about this.

Matthew said...

Seeker,

Thanks for the link to the 'Fight the Smears' website. I've received two 'smear' eMails about Obama, and and appreciate knowing where I can offer them more information.

Matthew

Rachel said...

Perhaps the Obama camp should have named the site "Fight the Lies" instead. This would avoid insinuating that simply being a Muslim is a negative thing, worthy of being dubbed a "smear."

Of course, practically speaking, it would be nearly impossible for a Muslim to be elected president. I think that most Americans perceive the country as being at war with radical Islam, so electing even a moderate Muslim would be akin to electing an Asian American president during World War II. People just won't do it.

Obama's probably just taking the politically expedient route, which involves ignoring invitations to Mosques, avoiding being seen with women wearing head scarves, and fighting Muslim rumors as "smears."

Kinda sad, but probably smart.
-Rachel

Frank said...

He just needs to add the tag line a la George Costanza:


"I'm NOT a Muslim....

(long pause)...

not that there's anything wrong with it!"