Controversy over Muslim entering congress...
Controversy over a Muslim Entering US Congress Continues
Sat, 2006-12-23 02:34 Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent Asian Tribune
Washington, D.C. 23 December (Asiantribune.com): Responding to Congressman Virgil Goode's uncomplimentary statements concerning Muslims and immigration, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation’s Executive Director sent an English translation of the Quran to the Congressman.
Congressman Goode stated in his letter opposing Congressman-elect from Minnesota at the November 7 general election expressing his desire to take his private oath-taking on Islam’s Holy Book Quran, sent early this month to his constituents in the State of Virginia and released to the nation’s 300 million population to read, that he does, "not subscribe to using the Koran in any way." Goode wrote, "We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy that allow many persons from the Middle East to come to this country".
Goode added: "I fear that in the next century we will have many more
Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."
In the letter to Representative Goode, Muslim American Society’s Mahdi Bray suggested that, "the Congressman read the chapter from the Quran entitled Hujjrat (49th chapter,verse 13) which states ' O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other).Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you... '"
He also suggested that Goode refresh himself with the biblical passage that says "love thy neighbor as thyself".
Finally, Bray highly recommended that Representative Goode read the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the portion pertaining to the free exercise of religion.
Bray further commented that, "the Congressman's statements were
prejudiced and reflected how little he knows about both the immigration policy and Islam."
In an Asian Tribune news analysis carried on 22 December edition titled ‘Election of the first Muslim to US Congress a threat to America’s traditional values, says Republican Congressman’ suggested that the Congressman needs a fresh lesson on foreign affairs, Islamic World, America’s new Global Public Diplomacy and American value system.
"It seems like 1950's style Dixie deja-vu all over again. Many Southern politicians during that era wanted to shut Blacks out of public life and warned against the integration of African-Americans into the social and political fabric of America. 'The race mixers needed to know their place in a white mans country' they would often say. It seems as if Congressman Goode is serving the same bigoted soup, just in a different bowl. The Congressman doesn't need to apologize, what he really needs to do is educate himself about Islam, America's fastest growing religion. Like Congressman-elect Keith Ellison, I am both a Muslim and an African-American."
"Many of our ancestors who were forcefully brought here to build our great nation were Muslims or descendants of Muslims. Muslims have always been in America and we are here to stay. I hope when Congressman-elect Ellison takes his oath, he not only takes it on the Quran, but requests to use the one owned by Thomas Jefferson; one of America's founding fathers, kept at the National Archives. Perhaps such a move would educate the dear Congressman from Virginia concerning the longstanding contributions that Islam has made to American life."
The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide.
- Asian Tribune -