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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gen. Colin Powell Endorses Obama; challenges Islamophobia

I have to say that I have yet to come to terms with Colin Powell's loss of credibility due to his shameful role in the invasion of Iraq. Whether he was tricked by the neo-cons or he willingly chose to manipulate the world into supporting an immoral and illegal war, the fact is that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as well as thousands of Americans have lost their lives; our world is polarized and its economy is destroyed; and we all certainly live in a more dangerous places.

Powell today endorsed Obama for President.

In all fairness, one has to commend Gen. Powell for his rational and fair position today against Islamophobia, especially in politics.

He chastised the Republican Party for smearing Muslims by attempting to portray Obama as un-American or un-patriotic. He said:

"Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian," he said. "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."

Powell charged that the Republican focus on William Ayers and Obama's religious affiliations were damaging America's image abroad.

Following the interview, Powell told reporters outside NBC's Washington studio:

"Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world," he said. "And we have got to say to the world, it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are, if you're an American you're an American. And this business of, for example a congresswoman from Minnesota going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro America or not pro America, we have got to stop this kind of non-sense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and diversity. That really was driving me."

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