Marvin Scott vs Andre Carson: Another Political Campaign Based on Religious Hatred
by Sheila Musaji
Marvin Scott is running against Andre Carson for an Indiana Congressional seat. Andre Carson is one of only two Muslims in Congress. The other is Keith Ellison from Minnesota. And, of course, when a Muslim has the audacity to attempt to participate fully in American society, then he needs to be reminded of his inherent inferiority.
Marvin Scott, has created a website drmarvinscottforcongress.com which lists 14 principles for which he stands. “Fight Muslim extremism & protect freedom of religion” is number eight. When you click on this “principle” you get “information” which is nothing but bigoted Islamophobia. He has a link to an article by James Arlandson which is a “Christian” polemic against Islam whose “point” is that “New Testament Christianity, when properly understood and followed, offers humanity dignity.” And, of course, for Arlandson (and for Marvin Scott), Islam is incapable of such noble ideals. He brings up a series of “proofs” using all the tired cliches, poor translations of the Qur’an, the most extreme interpretations given as the only possible interpretations, etc.
Translations such as the Hilali-Khan have been condemned by Muslims. The Qur’anic verse 4:34, as well as many other verses that some have abused have been interpreted very differently than the interpretation given by Arlandson. Mainstream Muslims have spoken clearly against any punishment for apostasy and for freedom of faith. There is no specific point made by Arlandson or Scott that hasn’t already been dealt with by Muslims, and that could not be disputed.
I’m with Scott that we must defend the Constitution, and I’m with him in the fight against extremists of any persuasion, and certainly am with him about the importance of protecting freedom of religion.
However, I am opposed to his thinly veiled contempt for American Muslims, and Islam. I am certain that Andre Carson is just as tired of this constant barrage of demonization as I am (and as every Muslim I know is). Lynn Torgerson ran the same sort of campaign based on religious hatred last year when she ran against Keith Ellison. And, Ellison faced a firestorm of Islamophobia when he used Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an in the photo after his swearing in as a Congressman.
Scott has joined the anti-Muslim Congressional mafia who were opposed to Muslim interns on Capitol Hill. And, he has joined another Republican candidate for Congress in Tennessee, Lou Ann Zelenik who is opposed to the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro, and ended an Islamophobic statement with “we are not obligated to open our society to any of them,” meaning American Muslims. She is wrong. “We” are Americans, and it is also “our society”. She, and a lot of other folks (including Marvin Scott) really need to study the Constitution of the United States to remember that the Congress represents “we the people”, all of us, not just some particular segments of the population.
American Muslims are a part of “we the people”. We are Americans. We are not going anywhere. And, I believe that it is well past time that other Americans begin standing up against this demonization of Islam and Muslims. It would be nice to know that this sort of bigotry is not shared by most of our fellow Americans.
I would hope that Andre Carson doesn’t respond to Scott’s religion baiting publicity stunt of asking Carson to stand up against Islamic extremism, as if every Muslim is guilty of extremism or support for extremism unless he proves his innocence.
Alarming statements about Islam and Muslims http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/alarming_statements_-_consolidated/