Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell Asks - What If He Is?

I think what he said below bears repeating especially in light of the hubris peddled around about anti-Americanism and the pro-America parts of the country including that spell about "Real Virginia." I mean really - doble caramba!! Is this back to the 50's?

"I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life."

Colin Powell Secretary of State 2001-2005

More on Khan from Time, the New blog, and the Arlington National Cemetery. The photo of Khan’s mother, Elsheba at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan that so moved Powell can be seen here.

Click here to offer condolences to his family.

Click here for Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan's legacy Guest Book. Ten of its sixteen pages have been written in just the last 24 hours.

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