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The Collective
Thursday, December 21, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

For anyone in the United States to be up in arms about the fact that a Muslim (see here) has been elected to the Congress demonstrates two rather damning things.

1) It show an utter lack of respect and trust in democracy itself. It isn’t as if Ellison won his seat via lottery. He won the nomination of his party and he won in the general election in fair, legal and legitimate elections. As such, to freak out because of his religion is to assume that democracy really doesn’t work because it has, in this case, chosen the “wrong” type of person.

2) If having an elected Muslim is some sort of threat to democracy, then what is high heck are he doing in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why are we even pretending to say that those countries should be (or even can be) democratized? If our democracy can’t handle the prospect of Muslims in Congress, then how is the world can there ever be functional in the Middle East?

There are some people out there who need to think long and hard about these issue instead of freaking out because someone is Muslim or has an Arabic middle name.

It is my tendency to find calling anything a “phobia” in politics to be an overly simplistic cop-out. However, there really does appear to be an irrational fear of Muslims affecting the minds of some within the US.
(On the name thing, note also this-h/t: OTB).

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Filed under: US Politics, Religion | |


  1. It is representative democracy and he will represent those who elected him. I’m more concerned he’s a Democrat.

    Comment by Steven Plunk — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  2. Yeah, I say the same thing about people who freak out that Pelosi or Kyl or Lott or Kennedy shouldn’t be in office. They were elected, and apparently the people they represent like what they’re doing. I don’t like any of those guys (or gal) a whole lot, but I’m not about to even make a statement that they shouldn’t be in office b/c I don’t like how they vote.

    The thing with Ellison is even worse because some are trying to give a religious test for public office, but it’s along the same lines.

    Comment by Dan — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  3. The hypocrisy here is staggering. There are examples of prominent Republicans who did not take an oath of office on a Bible. One example is Linda Lingle, governor of Hawaii, who is Jewish. I’ve never heard anyone complain about how she is bringing about the end of our civiliaztion. And probably some of those complaining now also supported Joe Lieberman, who almost certainly didn’t take his oath on a Christian Bible.

    Comment by Brett — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 11:22 am

  4. Sadly, racist, xenophobic authoritarians like Goode also were elected and represent a constituency that apparently likes what he stands for.

    Comment by MSS — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

  5. “Second, Jeb really only has three real options if he wants to remain in politics: the Senate, the Vice-Presidency and the Presidency. As such, it isn’t like he has a huge array of short-term options.”

    It would of course be outrageous, meanwhile, for a sitting President to appoint his brother to a high-level Cabinet post…


    Comment by KipEsquire — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

  6. Sorry, wrong post.

    Comment by KipEsquire — Thursday, December 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

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