Republicans need to learn that Muslim and American are not mutually exclusive
published in The Guardian on 1/30/2015
In many parts of the United States, if you want to win an election, you need talking points full of misinformation and bigotry towards Muslims to scare the wits out of non-Muslim Americans in to voting for you (and others to fund your campaign). Events in the Middle East simply provide more fuel to an already-raging fire, and convince officials elected to serve all of their constituents that their inappropriate and bigoted comments will not only go unchallenged but will be applauded.
Take, for example, Texas state Representative Molly White’s idea of southern hospitality: as American Muslim Texans descended on Austin for an Annual Capitol Day to celebrate their civic right to free expression, the freshman Republican posted on Facebook:
Most member including myself are back in district. I did leave an Israeli flag on my desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representative form the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws.
A McCarthy-esque welcome to her Muslim constituents by a right-wing politician is disgusting – but White’s not the only Republican to try to convince the general public that American Muslims are not patriotic, do not integrate into society at large and have no idea how to engage the civic process. She’s just the one most lacking in irony, given that she did so while the Muslim Texans she apparently dislikes were engaging in the civic process. Continue reading....