Obama Described a  'Victim of Islamophobia'

Washington, DC: Portraying Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential hopeful, as a victim of "Islamophobia", the head of an American Islamic organization has urged him to embrace his Muslim heritage with the same vigor and eloquence with which he has embraced his white and black heritage.
"While his heritage may include Muslims, Mr. Obama is a Christian, and when his religion is incorrectly identified he rightly corrects the record. Now there is even a website called 'Fight the Smears" that challenges the lie that he is a Muslim," Junaid Afeef, director of public and government Affairs at the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, said in a newspaper article.
"The problem, however, is the manner in which he corrects the record. He vociferously denies being a Muslim as if it were a slur," he wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
Obama's father was a Kenyan Muslim and his mother a white woman from Kansas. The couple divorced when Obama was two years old.
Stating that many American-Muslim voters love Obama, Afeef regretted that  the African-American presidential candidate doesn't love them back. "As a great leader, Mr. Obama should take a principled stand on the issue of Muslims and Islamophobia. While anti-Muslim sentiment in the US is substantial, it is not an insurmountable challenge," he wrote.
"Mr. Obama is another victim of Islamophobia. He is now facing what Muslims have been and still are struggling with: an irrational fear and hatred of Muslims. Polls show that as many as 25% of Americans admit to prejudicial feelings against Muslims," he said.
"Mr. Obama knows that Islamophobia has taken root in the US. Islamophobia hits very close to home for him because his father, from whom he also derives his black heritage, was a Muslim.
"Mr. Obama does not need to take this approach. He knows how to smash through barriers. He brought whites and blacks together in the primary, no small feat in a nation that still struggles with race issues.
"The vast majority of Americans are sincere and open-minded; anti-Muslim sentiments are a product of fear and lack of understanding. These sentiments can be overcome.
"If Mr. Obama simply said, 'Yes, there are Muslims in my family, and while I am and always have been a Christian, I embrace my family's religious diversity,' then surely the vast majority of Americans would move on to the real issues in his campaign."



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