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Muslim candidates running in record numbers in U.S. face backlash

34 Comments
By PHILIP MARCELO and JEFF KAROUB

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34 Comments
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"A liberal woman of color with zero name recognition" "44-year-old Muslim, African-American civil rights lawyer" Wonder if these descriptions are the same?
-4 ( +1 / -5 )

We could barely stay on top of the residual love

What an utterly trite statement.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Muslim Americans spurred to action by the anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his supporters

What a crock of baloney.

What "anti-Muslim policies"? A travel ban involving a few predominantly Muslim countries?

A travel ban that also existed in very similar form while OBAMA was president?

A travel ban that does NOT affect around three DOZEN other Muslim-majority countries?

A travel ban that also involves Venezuela and North Korea? Are liberals idiotic enough to believe that those are Muslim countries?

There are travel bans in place on some countries because they are breeding grounds for terrorists. It's not because they're "Muslim countries" or because of Trump's "anti-Muslim policies."

The liberal media are such liars. It's absolutely pathetic.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

I bet this is going to give rise to calls about "Muslim's taking over the World through our liberal weakness".

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@Hakman

But didn’t Trump originally want a ban on all Muslims entering the US until the US could find out what’s going on?

He got a very watered-down version of this but his intent was clear.

I remember his supporters cheering and making whooping noises when he said this. Some Trump supporters here championed the idea.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

...followed by more fake news about Democratic support for the introduction of "sharia law" and the revocation of the 2nd Amendment...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Muslim Americans spurred to action by the anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his supporters are running for elected offices in numbers not seen since before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001

Islaam/Muslims is always like 'The harder you slam a ball into the ground, the higher it bounces back up'. It is a written fact.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I wonder what they have to say about Sharia law, and its relevance and applicability to US society, given that these people are candidates to become "lawmakers"?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I wonder what they have to say about Sharia law, and its relevance and applicability to US society, given that these people are candidates to become "lawmakers"?

Totally Agree. That’s the question they should be asking. Neither dissing on basis of religion nor unnecessary appeasement. Simple.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why should a Persons Religion or Race matter when it comes to Politics, indeed the mix of Religion and Politics as I know all too well, is a dangerous powder keg waiting to blow up and when it does....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Jimizo

I'm very curious about your position on this issue. A complete Muslim travel ban in America would clearly be unconstitutional so I fully understand why you would oppose it on legal grounds. However, in countries like Germany, or Poland and a few others in Europe with defensive democracies where the constitution explicitly prohibits advocating for any undemocratic systems of government, would you still be opposed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A travel ban involving a few predominantly Muslim countries?

No, Trump's failed Muslim ban.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wonder what they have to say about Sharia law, and its relevance and applicability to US society, given that these people are candidates to become "lawmakers"?

I imagine that they do not support it, given that they are running for democratic election in a country with a clear written secular constitution.

In this regard they are probably similar to attitudes in most other majority Muslim countries that also do not have Shariah law.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@M3M3M3

I think Trump’s desire to ban Muslims from entering the US was unconstitutional, immoral and needlessly inflammatory.

As for Muslims running for office, like the posters above, I think the candidates should be questioned on their take on Sharia. Sharia clearly has no place whatsoever in secular democracies. If people believe in ideas based on their religious faith, that cannot be stopped. I think Chancellor Merkel in your country voted against gay marriage, perhaps based partly on Christian belief, but agreed that a vote should take place.

The moment candidates start talking about implementing undemocratic ideas or bigotry based on their faith, they’ve overstepped the line. Treat them like rightist skinheads.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a crock of baloney.

What "anti-Muslim policies"? A travel ban involving a few predominantly Muslim countries?

You are right that there are no specific anti-Muslim policies, but his habit of retweeting anti-Muslim posts from racist groups such as Britain First provide pointers to his true views.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In this regard they are probably similar to attitudes in most other majority Muslim countries that also do not have Shariah law.

I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that. Even in democratic Muslim majority countries, there are very often elements of sharia, particularly regarding freedom of speech.

Anyway, if Muslim candidates in the US, and other secular democratic countries, state an acceptance of the right of people to exercise freedom of speech regarding religion, no problem.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are travel bans in place on some countries because they are breeding grounds for terrorists.

Well, N Korea and Venezuela are not breeding ground for terrorists, and a country like Pakistan which

is all but the HQ of terrorism industry on this planet is not in that list.. the ban is all but a extension of policy (eg: oil) w.r.t those countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are travel bans in place on some countries because they are breeding grounds for terrorists

Trump's Muslim ban is a joke. In these last couple of decades none of the high profile terrorist activities (including 9/11) would not have been prevented with the current watered down joke of a Muslim ban.

Anyway, if Muslim candidates in the US, and other secular democratic countries, state an acceptance of the right of people to exercise freedom of speech regarding religion, no problem.

How about devil worshipers?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The main point for me is not to give a pass to bigoted and undemocratic ideas because they have a base in any religion. Don’t allow this as an excuse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The moment candidates start talking about implementing undemocratic ideas or bigotry based on their faith, they’ve overstepped the line.

I don't think they've overstepped the line of what should or should not be allowed - a true democracy allows for candidates even with a radical line of thinking. But radical lines of thinking should be exposed so that the public can make informed decisions, and any public that respects democracy would not choose such a candidate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Jimizo

Thanks for the reply. I tend to hold the view that religious ideas should never be protected from criticism or enjoy any special privileges which are not extended to secular and political ideas. If they are deemed harmful or undesirable then I don't think banning foreign advocates of those ideas is inherently immoral or unreasonable. In the US for example, every foreigner entering the country must still tick a box declaring whether or not they had any association with the government of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 in order to determine their suitability for entry (which is obviously a privilege and not a right). I fail to see why there shouldn't be a similar box asking whether they associate with any group or association which promotes the overturning of certain rights and freedoms enshrined in the US constitution or which promotes an even greater genocide against the same groups targeted by Nazi Germany.

The moment candidates start talking about implementing undemocratic ideas or bigotry based on their faith, they’ve overstepped the line. Treat them like rightist skinheads.

I think the problem is that once undemocratic ideas motivated by religion are being openly advocated for, you've probably reached a tipping point where it may be too late to correct the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@strangerland

I agree. Overstepped the line was a poor choice of words.

I’d just add that in the UK we’ve already seen politicians playing to the religious sensibilities of Muslims. Sadiq Khan when he was an MP for a constituency with a large Muslim population labeled a reformist Muslim an ‘Uncle Tom’. He later apologised for this when running for Mayor of London. George Galloway was playing to similar sentiments in Bradford.

While I agree with your point, the idea of politicians playing to religious sentiments in a non-religious society like the UK is worrying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And this would happen in the USA if we have Muslim political leadership? We should avoid voting for Muslims?

Read what I said before. If Muslim candidates do not wish to see sharia ideas implemented, no problem.

I have no problem with Muslims. I do have a problem with the idea of sharia. I’d have voted for Sadiq Khan for London mayor if I could have voted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Muslim candidates do not wish to see sharia ideas implemented, no problem.

How can we test this to make sure?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How can we test this to make sure?

Ask them.

Mitt Romney was questioned on his Mormon faith. JFK was questioned on his Catholic faith. It’s nothing new.

Whether you believe any politician is a matter of choice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There seem to be two issues at play. The first is whether citizens running for political office should be allowed to advocate for illiberal policies or for the overturning of fundamental rights or even democracy itself. The second (and perhaps more controversial) question is whether the populace should be allowed to excercise some defensive strategies such as ideological immigration vetting to ensure that support for illiberal or otherwise undesirable ideas are less likely to ever gain traction in their societies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ask them.

But politicians lie all the time. Look at Trump and all his lies and broken promises. Imagine Trump as a Muslim.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While I agree with your point, the idea of politicians playing to religious sentiments in a non-religious society like the UK is worrying.

My initial comment was my initial thoughts. But on further reflection, I wonder if there isn't a better way. Maybe a country could have a sort of mission statement, or a statement of rights it allows, and specific affronts to rights that it will oppose, with politicians being disallowed for arguing for said affronts to rights. If done wrongly however, it could result in a useless state. It's a difficult topic, and if we as humanity are to proceed, we need to come up with a nuanced response to deal with the issues we are seeing in today's societies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even in democratic Muslim majority countries, there are very often elements of sharia, particularly regarding freedom of speech

A lot of Muslim countries have blasphemy laws, indeed. As do many non-Muslim countries today - the USA had them from day 1 and only ruled them unconstitutional in the 20th century (6 states still have blasphemy laws on the statute books). This is not Shariah law.

Having laws that reflect your religion to some extent does not make it Shariah, any more than a UK law granting Good Friday as a public holiday makes the UK a fundamentalist Christian state.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good for them to be brave in running for office.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Other Muslim-American candidates might fare better in Michigan, which has one of the nation's largest Arab-American populations, Skelley added.

These terms are not synonymous. Ask any Lebanese-American, Syrian-American or Iraq-American Christian.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The more Muslims you know, the more you learn they are regular people trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, just like everyone else.

The idea that they are all fringe, radicals is wrong. Just like there are a tiny fraction of crazy Christians, there is a tiny fraction of crazy Muslims, crazy Hindus, crazy Buddhists, crazy Jews. There might be a tiny fraction of crazy atheists too, though I've never heard of any killing others based on believing in God or Gods or Dogs.

Muslim citizens have just as much reason to run for office as anyone else in the USA. To make things better and remove the current representative who have lost their way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The more Muslims you know, the more you learn they are regular people trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, just like everyone else.

But the only ones most of us will ever know are the ones who are moderate enough to associate with non-believers, so it's always going to be an unrepresentative sample. An objective look at some of the data paints a slightly more worrying picture. In 2016 there was an ICM survey which found that 52% of Muslims in the UK thought homosexuality should be illegal. 32% would not condemn violence against people who slander the prophet. 23% thought there should be areas of the country governed exclusively by sharia law. Only 66% were prepared to condemn the stoning of adulterers. 31% thought it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife. Hopefully the situation is not nearly as bad in America.

That said, think the electoral systems in the US (and UK) actually insulate the country from the dangers of politicized religion. The 'first past the post/winner takes all' system ensures the dominance of two mainstream political parties who will obviously vet their candidates quite carefully. A vote for any fringe candidate becomes a wasted vote in these systems. In Europe on the otherhand, we mostly have proportional representation where every vote counts, and we are now starting to see Muslim politicians who were previously members of left-wing social democratic parties break away and form their own immigrant-centric Islamic parties. The DENK party in the Netherlands and the Islam Party in Belgium are two examples. DENK supports Erdogan in Turkey and one of their pledges is an investigation into whether the Armenian genocide actually happened. The Islam Party wants to separate men and women on public transport in Brussels (and they've actually pointed to Japan's women-only cars as an example of how it would work). Both parties have actually won elections with elected members in local and national parliaments. It's a bit terrifying to be honest, especially when otherwise moderate voters seem to support these parties purely on ethnic and religious affinity grounds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What Muslim would choose God’s law over the US Constitution?

Well, there you have it.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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