A couple weeks ago I wrote about how Barack Obama isn’t a Muslim—but what if he was? Who cares? Sometimes it’s nice to be backed up. In this case former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell has my back:
“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.” (Meet the Press)
Powell went on to talk about a 20-year-old soldier who died in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. His name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan and he was a Muslim. He was 14 on a 9/11 and wanted to show people that not all Muslims are fanatics. He served and died for his country, proving that point.
“When he joined, his dad was devastated,” said [family friend Joe] Hawk, “but I told him you can’t fault him for that. His father raised him to give, and he gave his life.”
It’s time we acknowledge, as Barack Obama has (and Christian fanatics use it against him) that “whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
It’s time Christians in this country understand that freedom of religion applies to everyone’s religion and we stop being fearful of Muslims or atheists or whoever. Otherwise we’re in danger of negating one of the principal reasons this country was founded. And we’re in danger of wasting Khan’s sacrifice.
And to be a little less partisan, it’s encouraging to see John McCain supporters stand up to this kind of religious intolerance at a recent rally.