["I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."
McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:
"No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with (him) on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."]
I think if I were an Arab, I'd be rather offended. As a European-American, I just feel very sad.
I know some Arabs and Muslims. My friend Noor identifies with Mohammed Atta about as much as I identify with Tim McVeigh or Bull Connor. The Arabs and Iranians I know are peaceful, honest, hardworking, "decent, family" people.
I give credit to McCain here for trying to correct the impression about Obama, and I don't think he was intentionally speaking out against anyone. Yet by choosing not to confront the comment about Arabs, he reinforced a stereotype that Arabs can't be trusted, and implied that they aren't decent, family people, as well.
But the saddest of all is that this attitude is common in my country. I am glad I'm not an Arab-American right now, but I want all Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans to know that I support you. I believe in you. I will speak in your defense. I will judge you by the "content of your character," and not by your religion, your ethnicity, or the color of your skin.
And right now, I grieve for my nation. I feel so sad to see this violent rhetoric split us apart.
Blessings upon you all, and on us. May there be peace.