A Very Telling Gaffe

In the Name of the Kind and Beautiful Precious Beloved

A gaffe by a Rick Santorum staffer says a lot. Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday, spokeswoman Alice Stewart said:

There is a type of theological secularism when it comes to the global warmists in this country. That’s what he was referring to. He was referring to the president’s policies in terms of the radical Islamic policies the president has.

She quickly called MSNBC after the segment and said she misspoke, actually meaning “radical environmental policies.”

Ohhhh, I see! She meant environmental rather than Islamic.

This makes me wonder about a couple of things: first, does the spokeswoman’s slip mean that – deep down – she thinks that President Obama really is a “secret Muslim”? And second, is the association between “radical” and “Islamic” so ingrained, so natural, that it can easily slip out of one’s tongue? In either case, it makes me very sad.

It makes me very sad that still, in 2012, associating President Obama with Islam is used as a smear. It recently happened at a Rick Santorum campaign event, in fact, and Senator Santorum did not correct the person making the assertion. This is wrong. It is wrong to try to smear someone by wrongly accusing them of being Muslim (or Jewish, or Christian, or any other religious faith). We should have better respect for religious faith and choice than that.

It is equally sad that the association between “radical” and “Islamic,” it seems, has indeed become so natural. Yes, the Muslim worldwide community has its radical elements: but so does every other religious community. Yes, extremists who called themselves Muslims attacked the country on 9/11: but so did extremists who were Christians in 1995 in Oklahoma City. Yes, there are Muslims who have been caught plotting terrorist attacks, but as a recent study shows, their numbers are dwindling and the threat from American Muslims has been exaggerated.

I wish religion and religious faith would be taken out of politics and the Presidential campaign. Whatever religion we choose to profess: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, or no “-ism” at all, it should not matter. That is a personal choice, and we must all have respect for each other’s personal religious beliefs. That is what makes our country so wonderful: that we can live and work with people of all faiths in peace, harmony, and brotherhood.

It is the way that the Lord wanted us to live on earth, and so let us work to make His desire a reality.
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/commonwordcommonlord/2012/02/a-very-telling-gaffe.html#ixzz1my7M7STD


Voting: My Right, My Obligation, My Religious Duty

To be honest, I am glad that Election Day is coming upon us. I am tired of the constant bombardment of campaign ads by Democrats, Republicans, and third party interest groups. And I CAN’T STAND the seemingly unending robocalls to my home and cell phones. I will be so very glad when this is all over. Yet, despite my distaste for all the ads and phone calls, it has not soured my desire to participate and vote on November 2.

As far as I am concerned, voting is a religious duty, plain and simple. The Quran commands me to “enjoin good and forbid evil,” and there is no better way to do so than participating in every election, big and small, and making my voice be heard and counted. The Quran also says that I, as a believer, am charged with making the world a better place and helping stand up for justice even if it be against myself. One of the most important tools to help achieve these goals is exercising my right to vote.

The Prophet Muhammad was reported to have said, “If any one of you sees something wrong, he should seek to change it with his hands; if he is not able to do so, then he should speak out against it; if he is not able to do so, then he should at least hate it in his heart, and this is the weakest level of faith.” In no way, shape, or form does Islam condone “seeking to change [something wrong] with [one’s] hands” by turning to violence. Never. In no way, shape, or form did the Prophet ever mean that you can “change evil with your hands” by plotting to bomb Time Square or the Washington, D.C. subway system. Never.

This is not religiosity; it is barbaric thuggery. In fact, turning to violence against the innocent is the height of treachery and treason. And no Muslim must ever be dishonest, treasonous, or ungrateful. Killing innocent people in the name of Islam spits in the face of its letter and spirit, and it spits in the face of its Prophet and all that for which he lived and died.

As citizens, we have a right to disagree with the conduct of our government and those officials who act in our name. To redress those grievances, however, we must never turn to violence and murder. There are no “Second Amendment remedies,” as some are wont to say. If we do not like what our elected officials have done, then we show up on Election Day and replace them with other officials who will properly represent our interests. That is the American way. That is also the Islamic way.

As a child of the late 20th Century, I am not heedless of the sacrifices of the scores of men and women who stood up to secure their right to vote, frequently facing grave danger to life and limb. I am not heedless of the scores of men and women who faced the rage of the police dog, or the sting of the fire hose, or the searing pain of the baton to the face and body. I am not heedless of the fact that scores of men and women died to secure not only their rights, but my rights as well. As an American Muslim, it would be the height of ingratitude and discourtesy to ignore that legacy and forgo voting on Election Day. It is conduct unbecoming of a good citizen, and as a Muslim, Islam demands that I be nothing short of a good citizen.

And so, God willing, I am going to vote on November 2. No matter how busy my work day may be, God willing, I will do whatever it takes to cast my ballot and make my voice be heard. It is my right; it is my obligation; it is my religious duty.