Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meet Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Source: Spread The Word

Source: www.arlingtoncemetery.net

Source: The New Yorker
Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.

As an immigrant to the United States, I'm always appalled by racial attacks against Americans who don't sound, look or have the same religious beliefs as the "other" Americans.

Today, Nancy A. Youssef wrote in an editorial titled, "Enough Joe the Plumber; here's to Kareem the Soldier,"

On Sunday, Powell said that Khan's sacrifice and service had swayed him to discuss the way that Muslims have been portrayed in the presidential campaign, and the contention that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama "is a Christian," Powell said. "He has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, 'What if he is?' Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That is not America." He added: "I am troubled that within the (Republican) Party we have these kinds of expressions" suggesting that Obama is a Muslim, and that if he is, he likely associates with terrorists.

Powell said that he felt strongly about the issue after he saw a photo of Khan's tombstone in the New Yorker magazine. In the black-and-white picture, Khan's mother is resting her head on her son's tombstone. On each side of the stone are flowers, and in between is a copy of the Quran. On the face of the tombstone is a crescent and star, indicating that the soldier buried there is a Muslim.

"He was an American," Powell said.

I have nieces and nephews who were born in the United States. They are Catholics. But, they still carry the curse of their parents originating from the Middle East. They're probably considered Muslims until further explanation. I encounter this situation all the time.

I want my nieces and nephews to grow up and live the American Dream. I don't want them to feel or be treated less American. So unless you're a pure Native American, don't claim to be more American than the "other" Americans. It's getting sillier by the minute.

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