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GOP Presidential Candidate “Resents” Muslim-Americans

GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain says that he “resents” when Muslims try to convert other people to Islam. In an interview with Christianity Today, Cain said:

The role of Muslims in American society is for them to be allowed to practice their religion freely, which is part of our First Amendment. The role of Muslims in America is not to convert the rest of us to the Muslim religion. That I resent. Because we are a Judeo-Christian nation, from the fact that 85 percent of us are self-described Christians, or evangelicals, or practicing the Jewish faith. Eighty-five percent. One percent of the practicing religious believers in this country are Muslim.

And so I push back and reject them trying to convert the rest of us…

I find this hilariously ironic, because Mr. Cain is, himself, an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta. If you look on the front page of the Church’s website it says: “Fellowship. EVANGELISM. Doctrine. Stewardship.” [Emphasis mine].

What is the definition of evangelism?

The preaching or promulgation of the gospel;

In other words, trying to convert other people to the Christian faith. Indeed, that is one of the main missions of Evangelical Christianity. So, according to Mr. Cain, who is considering a run for the Presidency in 2012, Christians can try to convert other people, but Muslims need not apply. In fact, he will “push back and reject” any sort of Muslim evangelizing, because that is “not their role” in American society.

One would scratch their head in utter amazement at the hypocrisy of this man, but when one reads the interview, it is not surprising why he would have such a view. Mr. Cain himself admitted he had little knowledge about Islam, but it did not stop him from making sweeping judgments and stereotypes:

And based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.

Well, then, it makes sense that he would “resent” Muslim evangelism. In fact, it is patriotic of him to do so! Of course, Christians have never converted people under threat of death…(cough)…The Inquisition…(cough).

What’s more, he doesn’t even try to hide his bias against Muslims. He recounts his story battling cancer, and he said that when he found out his surgeon’s name was Dr. Abdallah (a presumptive Muslim), he was uncomfortable. When he was told, “Don’t worry, he’s a Christian,” Cain says, “he felt a whole lot better.” Wow.

Apparently, in the eyes of Herman Cain, all Americans are equal:

People use the race card, they use the class warfare card, to divide us. And the biggest challenge we face is for more and more people to be educated and not fall for those tricks and divide this nation. Do people still discriminate in some small ways against certain people because of their color or their religion? Yes. But it is nowhere near where it was 235 years ago.

It seems that Cain is trying to say that a little discrimination is OK.

When it comes to Muslims, some Americans are just more equal than others…

Addendum I:

If any Muslim candidate had said this about Jews, his career would be over faster than he could scarf down a halal beef-pretending-to-be-pepperoni pizza.  And rightfully so.  Yet, Cain says these statements with relative impunity.  Contrast this lack of reaction from the public to the hysteria that surrounded Alexandra Wallace, the UCLA girl who ranted against Asians in the library.  It’s strange that a random YouTube girl gets her academic career destroyed by such comments, whereas Cain’s political career is not over even though his comments were even more odious than hers…and even though he–unlike Ms. Wallace–never apologized for them.  He didn’t need to apologize because the public never demanded him to.  Truly, prejudice against Muslims and Arabs is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in America.

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  • Mark C

    Cain did get significant blowback for saying he wouldn’t hire Muslims in his administration (an act of discrimination that the constitution specifically makes illegal: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office”) and he had to take that back. Most Americans don’t know who this guy is, though, and the elections are a long way off. If he’s still a contender when election time rolls around, expect a lot of attention on this.

  • CSD

    Here are some more of his opinions. Apparently he feels Muslims shouldn’t work in federal government either.

  • muhammad, I think the Onion summed up part of your sentiment, especially what your freind said, very well:,6439/

  • RDS

    @Danios: True, true.

    There have been a lot of ruckus about Muslims accusing their Christian neighbors of proselytizing in Indonesia, where, as you know, the majority of the population are Muslims. More recently, there have been heated debates on whether or not to include Ahmadiyya as “Muslims”. Violence has, alas, been recorded.

    Not to say there haven’t been any voice of reason. One imam said (paraphrased) “You cannot simply ban Ahmadiyya because it’s a faith. Even if you ban them and tear down their masjids, their faith will always remain in their hearts.” Not to mention many cries that insisted people unite instead under the banner of Indonesia rather than religion.

    I’m sure somewhere in the internet, all this interfaith clash is delighting militant anti-religionists. Sure doesn’t give a good image for our fellow followers :<

  • Michael Elwood

    Maybe I’m just jaded, but it never amazed me, Muhammad. Cain, West, Williams, the majority of immigrant Muslims who voted for Bush in 2000 because he “shared our values”. . . it just stops being amazing after you’ve seen it enough times. Some people have no scruples when it comes to trying to get over in life.

  • It never ceases to amaze me, as a “black” person, the level of Stockholm Syndrome among American and Caribbean Blacks, descendants of African slaves, for the most part. We are a JudeoChristian nation?

    The slaves that were brought over here from Africa, the majority of them were animists.At least 33%(1/3) of them Muslims. That’s right, Mooooslims! They were all forcibly converted to Christianity. Most American Muslims are African-American to this day(little known fact). The Uncle Tom, House Negro routine never ceases to be appalling. As my good friend would say “They don’t love you,boy! What do you call a Black man who is the President of the United States? A nigg$%!”

    Allahu A’lam

  • I agree in part Danios, yes obviously there is a bigger pool but at the same time, lots of Evangelicals feel under threat these days with Church attendance dropping due to the rise of Atheism/Agnosticism. Muslims make a quite nice scapegoat for this even though in my experience, very few people convert to Islam from another faith (they tend to be Agnostics). Hence all the junk hurled in our direction. They would do far better concentrating on the perceived holes in their faith of which Evangelicalism has many.

    And of course, it is worldwide, group X will, on the whole, be scared shiteless of converts to another faith. Personally, I never saw the problem, if it’s only force keeping someone in your Church/Mosque/Temple then what’s the point?

  • Danios

    @Jack Cope

    I think it’s just that minorities are able to get more converts since they have a bigger pool of people to proselytize to.

    To balance out your statement, we must point out that the Islamic religious right in many Eastern countries is deathly afraid of Christians converting people to Christianity, just as many Hindu fundamentalists are scared of Hindus being converted to Christianity in India.

    We should understand this as a universal phenomenon.

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