We are Muslims. So what?

Gen. Powell questioned those who were stirring up anti-Muslim fervor: “I’m also troubled by … what members of the party say … such things as, ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, ‘He is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian.’ … But the really right answer is, ‘What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?’ The answer’s ‘No, that’s not America.’ Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

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US Muslims call on Obama for change

Iftekar Hussain, chairman of the Council on Islamic American Relations in Pennsylvania, says the primary marks a watershed for many Muslim-Americans as they will be participating in far larger numbers. “One of the main things I’ve seen with Pennsylvania Muslims is that four or eight years ago I’d I talked to Muslims about the primaries they had no idea – they thought it was the November elections and that was it,” he says.

“This time I’ve seen lots of Muslim participation and you will see it in the primaries which is something you didn’t have before, and this has come through a learning process in the Muslim community.”

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Dr. Parvez Ahmed, current Chairman of the Board for CAIR and professor of finance at University of North Florida, opened the panel discussion by addressing the causes of Islamophobia. Ahmed suggested that “fear without reason,” fueled by government policies and media attention, is the root cause of Islamophobia. Ahmed stated that policies toward Muslims have been driven by paranoia rather than pragmatism and that mass media continue to focus on “the narrow band of extremists.”

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