Bigotry against Muslims: National shame

The Qur-an
The Quran

Walked away from a infuriating series of Facebook posts Tuesday because of the bigotry, hate and stupidity aimed at the President of the United States.

While I am not a fan of Barack Obama and feel that he disappointed a lot of people who voted for him, the open disrespect and outright lies posted about him bring shame upon this nation.

“He’s a self professed Muslim,” stated one post.  “It ain’t that hard to to figure out, he should have been impeached long ago.”

Both President Barack and First Lady Michele Obama are Christians.  They raised their children as Christians.  As someone who follows politicians for a living, I have not encountered any place or time where the President has “self professed” any allegiance to the Muslim faith.

For the sake of argument, however, what if he was a Muslim?  So?  Being a member of a different faith is not a crime or a reason for hate.  It is not a disqualification for election to office.

Thomas Jefferson, an honored founder of our nation, wrote Virginia’s “Statue for Religious Freedom” and asked that it be one of three accomplishments on his headstone when he died.

Jefferson felt the then state-established church in Virginia, which was supported by taxes, violated the Constitutional intent of separation of church and state and succeeded in getting rid of the state church with the statute, which passed in 1786.

Jefferson specifically mentioned protection of Muslims in his intentions on the bill.  At least 20 percent of the slaves in the United States were Muslims at that time.

Democrat Keith Ellison of Minnestoa is a Muslim and a member of the United States Congress.  Has been since 2007.  He is also a Chief Deputy Whip of the House.

Ellison was sworn into office with an English translation of the Quran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson.  That act brought a public racist tirade from then Congressman Virgil Goode of Franklin County.  Voters tossed Goode out in the next election.  Even Franklin County has limits on racism and bigotry.

Andre E. Carson, the second Muslim elected to Congress, won his seat in the House of Representatives in 2008.  The Indiana Democrat is grandson to former Congressional representative Julia Carson.

President Barack Obama is not a Muslim but there is no law or, for that matter, any reasonable reason why he could not be a member of that faith.

The man who posted the lie that Barack Obama is a “self-professed Muslim” lives in Claudville, an incorporated community just north of the Virginia-North Carolina line in Patrick County.  His comment brought praise from Floyd Countians on Facebook.

He probably is also one of those who believe Obama is not a legal resident of the United States, although the President was born in Hawaii when it was a territory and is the son of a American mother.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, the obscenity-spouting billionaire who hates Muslims who also leads polling for the nomination, is a “birther,” a conspiracy-spouting group whose claims were discredited long ago by Obama’s valid birth certificate and the law.

The truth and the law, however, does not matter to bigots who hate Muslims and the President of the United States.

I wonder if the man who spread the false information about Obama and Muslims has ever met or sat down and talked with a Muslim?  I wonder if he has spent time with Muslims who served with honor as Marines or other branches of American military service?

If he did he could find that many Muslim men and women are people of devout faith who care deeply about this country and share the shame that I feel about the hatred,, bigotry and racism that run so rampant in America today.

I have an two copies of the Quran:  One in Islamic and the other in English.  A lifelong Muslim friend gave it to me more than 40 years ago.  I’ve read the English version often and found it offers words of wisdom about peace and brotherhood, not war and death.  It sits next to my copy of the Bible, which I also read.  It has far more preachings of violence than the Quran.

Differing peoples have differing religions and differing views of what might or not be a divine power or an enduring hereafter.  It is sad that extremists of differing beliefs, including Christians, destroy the universal messages of love and peace from diverse interpretations of God.

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