Will John McCain have the decency to apologize to American Muslims?

Mike Ghouse

Posted Feb 9, 2008      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Will John McCain have the decency to apologize to American Muslims?

by Mike Ghouse

I turned the TV off on McCain this afternoon.

Every TV appearance I have watched in the last two months, even if it was for two minutes, Senator McCain unfailingly delivered his vitriol, “The greatest danger facing the world is Islamic Terrorism”.  McCain is not alone, Governor Romney, who is off the radar now, also used the term “Islamic Jihaad” to appease the right wing of the Republican party.

Senator McCain in his lust for power loses the basic American trait of decency and courtesy in showing respect for his fellow Americans, American Muslims who number 6 Million and I am one.  It is an ironic number to remember.

When I turned the TV off, Edmund Burke’s words came to me.  I had heard them recently when they were pointed out by a speaker at the Holocaust Museum. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Well my friends, I am doing my part. Indeed the world needs to be informed again and again about the Holocaust and how it began. Martin Niemöller’s poem (first they came for the Jews…) resonates with me every day, when I see the eerie silence on the part of Media when a linguistic atrocity is committed right in front of their eyes against another demonized group.

When our President claimed they hate us for our freedom, not one media person asked for the proof or the polls, they consumed it gullibly. “They”, whoever “they
might be, do not hate America or Americans. Just as we do not hate any people but might have serious problem with their governments, others do the same.

Manufacturing hate and fear to earn political support is shameful, but unfortunately that is the reality concocted by the Bush administration and the rightwing Republicans have imbibed it and mastered it.

I am a Muslim and I am for America like 6 million other Muslims. We are Republicans and Democrats, we are religious as well as not religious, we are conservatives and liberals but mostly moderate just like most Americans.

Each one of us is contributing towards the peace and prosperity of our nation. We are taking the initiative and putting in our efforts for one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

On 9/11, I manned a Radio station for eight hours getting the Dallas community on the air, grieving with fellow Americans, organizing blood drives, writing articles to prove to our enemies like Osama Bin Laden that all Americans are on the same side, irrespective of personal faith.

Since then, every year, with the support of the Muslim community, I have dedicated my time on 9/11 to unite people, to bring people of all faiths, races and ethnicities to come together and pray for the safety and security of America, and rededicate our pledge to one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.  To call Islam or Muslims terrorists is offensive to me; I am not one, neither the six million of us are. If there is one, we will be the first to turn them over to the FBI.  The safety and security of our nation is as important to the 6 million of as it is to the 294 million others.

The fear mongers manufacture enemies to polarize the electorate for crass political advantage; Native Indians, African Americans, Jews, Wicca, Atheists and now Muslims are being targeted by them. Such short term gains are deleterious to peace and long term prosperity. As Americans, we need to stand up for each other for the good of every American.

Our leaders should demonstrate their leadership in building goodwill among all Americans and make America a model nation for coexistence and harmony. We need to make peace and prosperity our goal and our leaders should take that pledge to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.  Every one will win at the end.

I expect Senator McCain to drop the hate rhetoric and apologize to Muslims in America, or at least have the decency not to use the words “Islamic Terrorism” or “Muslim Terrorism”.  Call Terrorism what it is, do not suffix or prefix or hang my religion to the evil acts; fear mongering is also evil. I am a Muslim and all the Muslims that I know in America are working hard to keep us safe and secure. If you do not have moral courage to apologize, the least you can do is restore decency in your language.

Two decades ago, when I chose to become an American, I found myself in tune with the Republican party; liberty, less government, fiscal responsibility, capitalism, security and peace through strength. Today, the party is not the same and it does not reflect those values any more. When the Presidential candidate and a few (or more) Republicans resort to this divisive rhetoric, it puts many Republicans like me to re-evaluate being Republicans.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator.  He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net