To The Bama-Bashers: Thanks For Overplaying Your Hand
As it turns out, anti-Muslim smears against Barack Obama energized Muslim voters. Muslim-Americans were angered by whispers about anti-American extremism and false charges that he is a Muslim; and they were encouraged by Colin Powell’s “not that there’s anything wrong with that” message.
“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” Powell asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The answer’s no, that’s not America … Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion ‘he’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.'”
More than twenty million copies of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” were part of an advertising supplement in various newspapers during the campaign showing suicide bombers, children being trained with guns, and a Christian church defiled by Muslims. The insert, which came off as a subtle attempt to link Obama to Islamic extremism, targeted swing states where many Muslims were offended and may have caused them to turn out to work for Obama and vote for him in greater numbers. Roughly sixty-five newspapers refused to distribute the supplement once they got wind of its content.
Sociologist Jen’nan Read of Duke University says Muslim voters, who turned out more heavily for Republicans in 2000, have been gradually moving toward Democrats, and the anti-Muslim sentiment in America helped push them in that direction.
Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Muslim American Political Action Committee, said at the briefing that support for Obama among Muslims “changed dramatically” in the last three to four weeks of the campaign “when people started calling Obama a terrorist” in the crowds at Republican rallies.
One has to wonder if other sectors of the population were similarly driven to support Obama more passionately because of the constant drumbeat of negativity served up by his detractors. As campaign 2008 is deconstructed, perhaps its low points will be a civic lesson that will enable us to conduct future races on higher ground.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2008 Liberaland