Muslim prejudice counterproductive

So what if Sen. Barack Obama’s middle name is Hussein? He was named for a man who came long before Saddam, a military general from the Book of Judges in the Bible. He has the name of a great warrior and soldier, a leader who refused to go to war until an overwhelming majority of his people called for it. He lost his life doing the wishes of his people. If there is even an iota of that character in Barack Hussein Obama, we should be one of the most blessed nations.

If someone has a problem with him because he could be, but isn’t, a Muslim, it is prejudice, plain and simple. We are at war with Islamic extremists. Extremists are people who are so convinced of their view that they hate others who feel differently. What makes them extremists is that they demonize others, then kill them. Some extremists kill with a vote. There are sheltered, spoiled extremists who let others fight wars they called for. Other extremists put their lives where their beliefs are. At least you can’t call them hypocrites.

To associate a man who was born in the U.S. and has devoted his life to public service with terrorist groups is the same thing as me calling Sen. John McCain a baby-killer for fighting in Vietnam. It is being so stuck in your political party that you forget you are not the only American in this country. To call Barack Hussein Obama a threat is to assume that all 1.5 billion Muslims in the world a threat. Prejudice – plain and simple.

Muslims are a group in the U.S. that have a right to be heard and represented. If Obama helps American Muslims, then that’s good. That is the duty of politicians, to help their constituency. Anyone who has a problem with Muslims in charge should be so lucky to realize that Muslims have come to the U.S. as immigrants in one generation, then doctors, pharmacists, engineers and business owners the next. They have been productive and increased their family status every generation.

The American Muslim is one demographic that doesn’t suffer the drug abuse that backcountry methamphetamine lab-running folk do. They don’t suffer the abject poverty of Christian whites in Mississippi and Arkansas. They don’t wilt under the problems of being uneducated, because to them, education is a gift, not a thing to be taken for granted. The American Muslim is a force to be reckoned with; they produce. They may very well live the American Dream more than any other group.

The U.S. should be so lucky to give these people their share of the equal rights that white Christians wrote down. Just because you don’t understand your founding fathers doesn’t mean they were wrong. The worst part about it all is that as citizens, we have the power. Our politicians reflect our biases. The worst part is how many people continue Jim Crow style, white supremacy with snide little jabs that any 2-year-old can see as racist. You’re not fooling anyone. Most people who really feel this way are too scared to say anything to a Muslim.

Look around you. How many of your fellow Muslim Cougars do you think are a threat? If you knew anything about Muslims, real Muslims, you would be shocked at who they really are.

But truthfully, I wonder why certain people fear Barack Hussein Obama. White supremacists claim Jews took over the financial aspects of this country. "Barak" means "lightning" in ancient Hebrew. If he were Jewish, the fear and hatred would be the same.

Khan, a political science and history junior, can be reached via [email protected]

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