Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Colin Powell on Meet the Press

I loved Powell's talk on Meet the Press. But the part that affected me the most I've cut and pasted here. It's a bit lengthy, but if you did not watch Meet the Press, and particularly if you are a Muslim reader this is a must read.

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said 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. He's always been 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? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way.

I almost felt like he just gave me a hug and a cup of hot cocoa. For a fleeting moment I feel just a little bit safer, that maybe things will be okay.


adnan. said...

and to think... he's republican.

Anonymous said...

As a Muslim American, I am eternally grateful to Colin Powell for saying that, for being brave enough to say what should have been said a long time ago. And I resent the fact that some people think their shared race was the only reason Powell came out for Obama, when the whole point of that part of Powell's wondrous speech is the fact that we are all joined together by our humanity and our country, although we let the other things come in the way and divide us.

You're right, it was an amazing moment for Muslims in America-- and your hot cocoa analogy is apt. It felt like someone was finally welcoming us home, with wide open arms, when all along we thought we were the unloved, misfit child.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I heard most of the talk but did not catch this part.

Shawna said...

love this and covered it on islam on my side


Dahlia said...

I have always had respect for Colin Powell- even when I believed he was mistaken about the whole Iraqi WMD situation- I believed him to be an honorable man.

Now, my estimation of him has grown even more. Anonymous 9:05 said it quite well.

mystic said...

Annony. said it so well: "As a Muslim American, I am eternally grateful to Colin Powell for saying that, for being brave enough to say what should have been said a long time ago".

Aisha said...

Adnan, makes me respect him all the more!

Anon, very beautifully stated. thank you.

Anon, thanks.

Shawna, am heading there to check it out now!

Dahlia, I agree, despite that for some reason I remained respectful of him. I feel he was duped and forced into it. He's high ranking and could've fought it though. So I don tknow hwy I maintain this level of respect despite Iraq, and his role in allowing it to go forward. Still, the fact remains, I do and more importantly, so do many many others Republicans and Democrats alike.

Mystic, indeed!

Tee said...

I'm not even Muslim and I want to give Colin a big hug :)

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