Overcoming Islamophobia in the American Elections

Islam has become an important part of American discourse leading up to the 2012 federal elections and candidates everywhere appear eager to take a position on Islam for political gain.

Across the country, rising Islamophobia has made it difficult for some Muslims to build mosques and practice their faith, although their right to do so is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the current race for the presidential nomination, some presidential candidates are invoking Islam and Muslims in a negative fashion in an attempt to bolster their popularity with populations they perceive to be suspicious of Muslims or Islam. For example, if elected, former presidential candidate Herman Cain promised not to appoint Muslims to his cabinet.

This is representative of recent trends. In 2010, some Republican congressional candidates used the proposed Park 51 Muslim community centre, famously branded as the “ground-zero mosque,” and fear of sharia, the principles from which Islamic law is derived, to rally voters to their cause. And elected Congressional leaders, such as Peter King (R-NY), have used their committee appointments to argue that American Muslims are deeply radicalized, a fact repeatedly debunked by several surveys and reports.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST

How Muslim Bashing Loses Elections

By Stephan Salisbury

During the 2010 mid-term election campaign, virtually every hard-charging candidate on the far right took a moment to trash a Muslim, a mosque, or Islamic pieties. In the wake of those elections, with 85 new Republican House members and a surging Tea Party movement, the political virtues of anti-Muslim rhetoric as a means of rousing voters and alarming the general electorate have gone largely unchallenged.

It has become an article of faith that a successful 2010 candidate on the right should treat Islam with revulsion, drawing a line between America the Beautiful and the destructive impurities of Islamic cultists and radicals.

“Americans are learning what Europeans have known for years: Islam-bashing wins votes,” wrote journalist Michael Scott Moore in the wake of the 2010 election. His assumption was shared by many then and is still widely accepted today. 

FULL ARTICLE FROM ASIA TIMES 

Cain’s Message – Muslims Need Not Apply

Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah is an award-winning comedian who has appeared on various TV shows including Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, ABC’s “The View,” and CNN’s “What the Week” and “The Joy Behar Show.” He is executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and The Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival. Follow him on Twitter.

(CNN) – Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate and winner of this year’s Arizona and Georgia Tea Party straw polls, has a campaign slogan: “Lets Get Real.”

So I guess he was just keeping it real when he recently declared that he was not “comfortable” appointing an American-Muslim to his Cabinet or to a federal judgeship

FULL ARTICLE FROM CNN