Shariq Abdul Ghani was watching Meet the Press at his Richmond home Sunday morning when he suddenly froze with a cup of Nescafe halfway to his lips.
On the TV screen, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was telling host Tom Brokaw he was disturbed that some Republicans have been spreading rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim.
"Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim," Powell said. "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."…
Longtime Republican Tarek Hussein, 48, said he will be voting for Obama this year because of the Democrat's positions on the economy, health care, energy and the war in Iraq.
"It is very sad situation to see the country divided this way based on ethnicity and religion, because what makes America unique and a great country is that based on constitutional rights we are all equal," said Hussein, who serves as president of the Houston chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations.
As a nonprofit, CAIR will not endorse any candidates, but the organization has encouraged Muslim Americans to become politically informed and exercise the right to vote, he said.
"If you connect all these dots it will bring you to one conclusion and that's that there's a strong voice in America these days against anything related to Islam or Muslims," Hussein said. "It's going to take a strong effort from Muslims to educate the community about who we are." (MORE)