Digital Journal: Muslim-American community getting involved in U.S. presidential race

During the course of the 2008 US Presidential race, we have not heard much about the voice of Muslim-Americans in the news media. There is the notorious moment in which two women were told not to sit behind then Democratic Presidential hopeful and now Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama of Illinois because they wore head scarves. In an article on CNN.com today, the Muslim-American community is voicing its concern. In short, the Muslim-Americans are getting involved.

There are numerous reasons for their involvement. The most obvious would be the talk of religion. Ever since the start of the US Presidential race, there has been much scrutiny about Obama’s faith. There has been the misconception about Obama being a Muslim. In reality, Obama is a Christian.

This would be one of the key button topics with the Muslim-American community.

Like other Americans, Muslim-Americans are very concerned about the country’s economy and health care system. Most notably, one thing that has gotten their attention would be the ongoing wars taking place in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

32 year old Fatema Biviji, a Muslim-American born in New Jersey, is getting involved. The one catalyst that brought forth his involvement in the race was due to the false e-mail about Obama’s religious faith. Biviji was unhappy with the false email.

She said: “The premise of that email is a person’s religion should decide a person’s character.”

“We’re America, the melting pot, the land of diversity, and that Americans would be buying into that psychology [of the e-mails] was upsetting,” she added. Biviji adds that his American ideals were offended.

On a side note, in Florida, young Jewish Democrats have been actively trying to get their elders to cast their vote for Obama. This movement is called the “Great Schlep” which is Yiddish for “tug.”

Comedian Sarah Silverman appeared on a brief video in which she would spread the word about the Great Schlep. In this video, Silverman cleared up the misconception. Also, she added that Barack is Hebrew for “lightning.”

They too have attacked the misconception of Obama’s religious faith.

On another side note, since September, a DVD called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War” was been circulated mainly throughout the crucial battleground states such as Colorado and Florida.

There is the coincidence due to the misconception about Obama’s religious faith.

In regards to Biviji, she did a lot of research on Obama.

While the Muslim-American community is getting involved, it does not necessarily mean they will vote for Obama. Who they will vote for remains unseen until Election Day.

Ahmed Rehab, the director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations’ Chicago chapter said that neither Obama nor GOP Presidential nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona had even visited a mosque.

Colin Powell, one of the most prominent let alone prominent black members of the GOP, had given his endorsement of Obama on Sunday. He had strong words to say in regard to the misconception. However, Powell said that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim.

“What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” Powell asked. “No, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim kid believing that he or she can be president?”

On a side note, Powell is an Episcopalian.

In short, we can expect lots of involvement from the Muslim-American community for the duration of the US Presidential race. Remember, it does not mean that they will automatically vote for Obama.

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