Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain's Muslims

Here's an interesing vid, courtesy of the American News Project, of a Muslim (inexplicably) working for John McCain's campaign who confronts one of those far right loons of the type that regularly turn up at Palin rallies, spewing all kinds of anti-Muslim hate. Eventually, enough fellow McCain supporters, including several more Muslims, take umbrage to this idiot, and he's turned out of the place, box of hate-slogan bumper stickers in hand. Yay, let's hear it for common sense.

Ah, but before you get too warm and fuzzy, here comes the ironic epilogue to this whole thing:
CNN host Rick Sanchez said he was "mystified" by a last minute decision by the McCain campaign to pull a Muslim grassroots organizer from appearing on his show.

The aide, Daniel Zubairi, had been scheduled to appear on Sanchez's mid-day program after he was caught on video talking down an anti-Muslim protester outside a McCain rally in Woodbridge, Virginia. But, even after telling the network that an interview was "good to go," the McCain shop pulled Zubairi at the last minute, leaving Sanchez in limbo on live TV.

So, near as I can figure, the McCain camp looked at the tea leaves and figured that, given the choice between alienating those few Muslims that are (again, inexplicably) actually supporting him, and the anti-Muslim nutbars who spew hate at their rallies, they came down on the side of the nutbars. Don't wanna tick off that part of the base, I guess. Surreal.

As a further aside: At this stage of the game, I find it absolutely astounding that any Muslim would be so willing to vote against their own best interests in support of a John McCain administration (and, in all fairness, there are a few in my own family). Ultimately they're free to support whoever they choose, but that doesn't make it any less of a head-scratcher for me.

I mean, we're a far cry from the 2K election, where a few perfunctory, placebo promises from George Bush led America's Muslim community to block vote in huge numbers for the GOP (good call, that). This is eight years later, and if two terms of systemic political marginalization wasn't enough, if two years of "Obama=Muslim=Bad" smear-mongering wasn't enough, if the bizarre hate fest at the Republican convention -- led by St. Rudy of 9/11 -- wasn't enough, what the hell else does it take? Seriously, we're starting to enter Ike-and-Tina territory here.

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