Thursday, July 3, 2008

Obama Should Embrace His Muslim Heritage

File this one under undue optimism and na·ïve·té.

One young professional I know credited Muslims' enthusiasm for Sen. Obama to a perceived promise of a "brand new, informed international perspective." Other Muslims are moved by a broad and empowering message of hope and change in a tumultuous time of trouble and strife. And many see a reflection of themselves in Mr. Obama – a person who looks different, has a funny name, a sense of the world beyond our borders, and at the same time is very patriotic. That is how most Muslims in America view themselves.

As do may others: a new perspective, hope and change, someone who is different and patriotic: that is also me.

As a great leader, Mr. Obama should take a principled stand on the issue of Muslims and Islamophobia. While anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. is substantial, it is not an insurmountable challenge.

I agree: one he's elected, he should, but not until then.

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