By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-chief
It is now well known that four Republican Congressman did not hide their feelings against Islam and Muslims when they expressed their deep concern about Muslim interns and staffers in Congress.
They were obviously targeting CAIR, suggesting that anyone close to this mainstream Muslim organization is not worthy of trust. this is an irony that those who are elected to protect Americans are calling fellow Americans suspects based on their religion and race.
This is contrary to constitutional law. But who is going to challenge them openly when they know they are safe in their districts and they would win no matter how do they treat their others?
What is interesting to note is that all four congressmen happen to have reportedly strong support of Christian right and Pro-Israeli lobbyists. What else one can expect from such office bearers?
We believe that everyone who works in the federal government goes through a background check.
Their credentials are verified and their past history is minutely studied. They get to their position after close scrutiny. To say that people who have endured such scrutiny are still suspect because of their religious identity and closeness to CAIR is nothing but political bigotry.
Such people are still living in the Bush era that was famous for its anti-Islamic rhetoric.
But why are they afraid? The reason is very simple. they have yet to adjust to the changes that have taken place in America in the last two decades.
Young Muslims through their educational credentials and hard political work have proven that they are no different in their commitment to their country from blue-eyed, white protestant Americans.
They have proven their worth to the country. The four Republican Congressmen (and who knows how many more are hiding behind them), have refused to acknowledge their existence and see their worth, simply because they have a political agenda that relies on Islamophobia.
They try to view Islam as a religion at war against America, and Muslims as enemies. They view their presence in the countryâ€™s highest political institutions as dangerous to the interests of the country.
Interestingly, they have not been able to point a single example in defense of their argument. When did you hear last the name of a Muslim selling countryâ€™s secrets to a Muslim country, unlike the regular drumbeat of souls either caught spying or caught attempting to spy for China, Russia, or Israel.
We would like to suggest something positive to these four congressmen. Give placement to a few Muslims in your office and see how efficient and useful they to your work.
You will surely be able to change your perspectives about young Muslim interns.
As far as CAIR is concerned, they can certainly hold a one to one meeting with CAIR officials to clarify issues.
In civil societies, the only way to overcome oneâ€™s doubts and apprehensions about the other is to develop a dialogue with the opponent.
Seemingly, Republicans are so immersed in their partisan politics that they are not willing to acknowledge that they also need to critically examine their own policies and agenda.
But, if Republicans can say Nancy Pelosi is working for the nationâ€™s enemies, and call President Obama an ineligible President, they are certainly capable of accusing Muslims of any number of crimes or sins.
It is unfortunate to see some of our politicians going so low in their eagerness to get re-elected that they are willing to sacrifice the constitution and the long standing American tradition of being fair and balanced.