Tuesday, January 29

Muslims Complain About Media Accuracy?

I believe in Islam and look as Muslim as it gets. Barack Obama, however, is not Muslim. And from this post, the point I would like you to take home is that...Barack Obama is not Muslim. Seriously, just ask him.

Recent reports of an email circulating about Obama and fabricated claims of his "Muslimness" made me ask, how out of touch do people have to be to have been fooled for even a second by this? Worse, after visiting Obama's official campaign website, http://www.barackobama.com/, I found that The Muslim Observer had issued a retraction to address this critical error.

So wait a minute. The Muslim Observer didn't realize Obama's not Muslim? Oh my God, someone hide me. I'm so embarrassed that a people so quick to judge the media (and usually with reason) failed to keep up to date with current events and presidential candidates' bios. I remember sitting in front of our tv in a state of shock when Alan Keys had taken on the responsibility (as a loyal Republican) to run against Obama for the Senate seat in Illinois. The first thing I did was google "Barack Obama" to see what the heck an Illinois Senator was doing with an Arabic name. I'm no genius by any means, but I was able to figure out that the words "religion" and "Obama" would lead to some results. Oh yeah, I also had the sense to make sure the link was to a reliable resource that could be contacted if I needed more information. And that's all it took. Two years ago. The Muslim Observer didn't figure it out until January of 2008?

The thing about this election is that choosing a candidate to support for the presidency is as exciting as it has gotten during my generation. For those of us who are in our twenties and have no idea how to deal with college loans (and all the other loans we're going to learn about as circumstances dictate), this "Election of Ideas" as so many have described is the first time something can be.

It is unfortunate that so much focus has been placed upon "race" and "gender," when this is the first opportunity not to "vote for an African American" or to "vote for a woman," but to have the choice of voting for ideas. Before these elections, race was a limiting factor, and now, because it is the first time that there is "diversity," we are finally able to look at ideas, platforms, abilities. Not as a member of any subgroup and, rather, as an individual, I can't remember a time when being able to scrutinize a presidential candidate meant something. Although racism, sexism, and all the isms that have existed before continue to exist, this election process should not be marred by the isms when we can bring the discussion of policies and change to the forum.

And yes, I do support Sen. Barack Obama for the next president of the United States. I happen to be Muslim. I happen to be a minority. My experiences, without a doubt, do inform my choices. And as a 22 year old who is trying to get a decent job that will allow me to pay my bills, have a reasonable healthcare plan, save towards my first car purchase (by when hybrids better be more affordable), and maybe, just maybe, let me be able to support a family of my own, someday, I feel Senator Obama will work with people like me in attaining these goals. I'm not asking for a two-car garage or white picket fencing around a prairie house, not a million dollars or even a penny. But someone who can ease the path that lies before me, someone who can lend a hand in moving obstacles out of the way, or, at the least, someone who can lend their voice and abilities to help a people relearn how to look forward, that someone is worth my vote.

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