Why Can't Politicians Just Lay Off Muslims Like Me Already?

The most unpatriotic Americans are those who will stop at no bounds to scream about their patriotism at the tops of their lungs. Why? First, they trip over themselves trying to protect certain “freedoms”: [Hate] speech, possession of firearms, maintaining an ethno-exclusive country, limiting the rights of women, homosexuals, immigrants (documented and undocumented), non-Christians, non-whites. Everyone theoretically agrees with the concept of “freedom,” but we differ on its basic definition. Secondly, they sow the seeds of inter-American strife. We already live in a country that is rife with racial and class tension and to prove their “patriotism” some people want to entrench divisions and maintain a status quo of haves and have-nots.

This year we arrive at an election season once more. So far the pattern looks disastrous. We began with Michele Bachmann’s (R - Minn.) accusations that Muslim members of the Department of State are infiltrating the U.S. government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. The alarm of fear that she raised trickled down to the American people; our authorities give Islamophobia the stamp of approval. Another example of Islamaphobia came when the mosque in Joplin, Missouri was burned on July 4 and on August 6 of this year. In 2008 the sign at the entrance of the mosque was also torched. 

Of course there was also the tragic massacre at Oak Creek that targeted the Sikh community. It too is a side effect of the climate of hate that is created by Republican candidates during every election season. Six people were killed in this American Sikh temple. Where can this community ever feel safe? How can all communities of color, especially Middle Easterners and South Asians, feel safe when they have been flagged as dangerous by political leaders?