Here are musings of Glenn Beck on his show just last Tuesday:
“Would I be more uncomfortable with a Muslim? Yes.”
He and his co-host, of course, were discussing the GOP Presidential debate which took place on Monday night; more specifically, though, they were discussing Herman Cain and his views on Muslims.
Cain hit the headlines before the debate because of comments he made in a March 21st interview with Christianity Today. In this interview he said that based upon his limited knowledge of Islam and Muslims he believed that “they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.”
Three days later the blog Think Progress asked him about his dim view of Islam.
They asked, would he be comfortable giving a cabinet or federal judge posting to a Muslim? “No,” he replied, “I will [sic] not. There is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.” Unsurprisingly, he fails to provide a breadth of relevant examples. He does, however, use Europe as an example, where there are only four countries with a Muslim majority that officially operate as secular states.
Beyond his figures, though, are other more telling numbers.
For example, there are only seven European countries where Islam is the official religion of more than 5% of the population. That doesn’t matter to Cain, though, as he quoted his grandfather: “I does not care; I feel the way I feel.”
Since then Cain has backpedalled a bit, saying he would appoint a Muslim to his cabinet if they were willing to disavow Sharia Law, but unfortunately he doesn’t know any that would.
At the Presidential debate, Cain was queried yet again about religion. He was at pains to clarify his position, struggling to point out that he actually doesn’t have a problem with all Muslims at all. Well, only some of them:
“And I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us. And so, when I said I wouldn’t be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us, number one.”
Yea, that clears it up. Apparently he is only uncomfortable with Muslims who are trying to kill us, adding that Islam is the only religion with which he maintains this fear.
But did any of the other Presidential candidates concur with him?
Mitt Romney said Sharia law cannot be applied in American courts because of the Constitution, which is actually 100% correct, and that the US has always welcomed people of all faiths: “[t]hat’s in fact why some of the early patriots came to this country and we treat people with respect regardless of their religious persuasion.” He followed this up by saying he would only appoint people he was comfortable with, people he knew would honor their oath to the Constitution above all others.
Newt Gingrich followed by referencing the Time Square bomber as evidence that the actions of the 1940s to defeat Nazism, as well as those from the 1940s to 1980s to defeat Communism, proved that some people were trying to harm the United States. He suggests such actions may be needed now, as well, but does not mention against whom.
Those two in mind, not one of the candidates defended Islam, or even said that the United States faces threats from any non-Muslim group.
Well, less than one percent of the United States population is Muslim. It is easy to take on a social group that has little-to-no voting power.
And so, perhaps the most important question is why haven’t any Republicans stood up for the Muslim community, a community that swung behind George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election, one that a prominent Republican even said they made the difference in Florida.
Yet now, these GOP candidates have turned away from this community, turning towards a tenuous slope of Islamophobia.