Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Muslims shunned by Obama


Last week, two Muslim women wearing head scarves were barred by campaign volunteers from appearing behind Mr. Obama at a rally in Detroit.
While the senator has visited churches and synagogues, he has yet to appear at a single mosque. Muslim and Arab-American organizations have tried repeatedly to arrange meetings with Mr. Obama, but officials with those groups say their invitations — unlike those of their Jewish and Christian counterparts — have been ignored.

What's the strategic political calculation? In American election politics it hurts to spend time with Muslims or Arabs, if for no other reason than they constitute a very small slice of the electorate. But George W. Bush has met with Muslim and Arab-American organizations.

Obama is the putative Democratic nominee for the US presidential race. Many American believe he is a Muslim although he is not. So many Americans were turned off by the remarks of his minister at Trinity United Church of Christ, and by other events at the church, that Obama resigned from the church a few weeks ago. Apparently it is true that a sign of modernity that one can hold contradictory thoughts in your head at the same time.

In other news, most Americans -- regardless of religious denomination -- believe there is more than one means of salvation. That applies to Southern Baptists and Catholics.


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