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Kate Orman
News From the House of Sticks
America: still in there somewhere 
20th-Oct-2008 08:56 am
HOLD ON
Colin Powell:
"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 with 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."
Comments 
19th-Oct-2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
...Well, I cried.
20th-Oct-2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Good for him. It's about time someone in his party said that.
20th-Oct-2008 02:59 am (UTC)
It's time someone said it, and keeps repeating it.
20th-Oct-2008 03:13 am (UTC) - From Open salon
20th-Oct-2008 02:10 pm (UTC) - Re: From Open salon
Loved that, thanks. It'd be nice to have kids around to give a fresh perspective on things.
21st-Oct-2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Powell has a way with words. I think he has an excellent point. The assertion that Obama is a Muslim has been debunked long since.

There is utter bullshit being circulated, especially through e-mail, regarding all the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. I've been using Snopes as a reference to check assertions made by some people I know.

I think the USA, and to a lesser extent Australia, would benefit from some depolarisation of their political debates. But I don't see that happening any time soon.
21st-Oct-2008 04:51 am (UTC)
I'm on Snopes' weekly mailing list - it's been invaluable during this election!
25th-Oct-2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
...and somewhere in all that is a man already responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, saying to his mates: "Please, don't start making young Muslims feel like they shouldn't go dying in a war for America's control of world oil, that'll cause us no end of recruitment difficulties."
This makes me so very angry. He's actually still using 9/11 to pull at heartstrings in favour of this war, and the only connection ever made between 9/11 and Iraq is a blatantly contrived idea of a worldwide Islamic conspiracy against America, and now he's actually trying to look like the good guy by using that to promote his Equal Opportunities Campaign, because Muslim kids can die just as pointlessly as Christian ones in the American Army. The irony makes me want to spit. No, I don't give him any kudos for not being a racist, he's still a murderous scumbag.
25th-Oct-2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
I see your point. OTOH, his motives and/or his personal virtues don't change the fact that he spoke out against Islamophobia in an effective way. Also, his Wikipedia entry paints a more complex picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Powell
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