April 30, 2004


Despite civil rights complaints, President Bush still has some Muslim support (RACHEL ZOLL, 4/29/04, The Associated Press)

It was just a throwaway line, an aside in a speech to some fellow American Muslims that Muqtedar Khan considered a surefire crowd-pleaser. But when he criticized President Bush over the war on Iraq, Khan was surprised by the response.

"I was booed. They were shouting and booing at me," said Khan, a political scientist at Adrian College in Michigan. "A man came and told me, `If you think the war in Iraq is not moral then I'm sorry to say you have no idea what morality is."'

As Khan saw that day, the president still enjoys pockets of strong support among America's Muslims, despite deep resentment over scrutiny of their community following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

And while Democrats outnumber Republicans among U.S. Muslims, there is a sense that presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry has done relatively little to reach out to the community.

Among Bush's supporters are Iraqi-Americans and others grateful that Saddam Hussein was ousted, giving their fellow Shiias a chance to govern in that country after decades of oppression.

Others are wealthy, immigrant businessmen loyal to the Republican Party. They can be found among the Bush campaign's Pioneers and Rangers, who have raised tens of thousands of dollars for his re-election.

More votes could come from socially conservative Muslims, drawn into the Republican camp because of its opposition to gay marriage. "We are working hard to maintain and build upon the support for the president," said Scott Stanzel, a Bush campaign spokesman. [...]

John Kerry's campaign has been less aggressive in reaching out to Muslims, said Al-Marayati and other Islamic leaders.

There's no end of groups that vote against their own self-interest, but given that Senator Kerry can't allow any wiggle room between himself and the President on Israel or the war on terror but is much less interested in democratizing the Middle East, Reforming Islam, and remoralizing American culture, why wouldn't a Muslim vote Republican?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2004 9:20 AM

I sorta of agree with you, but you are saying that muslims want to "reform islam". Surely there are some who look at their religion and think it should be reformed, but I doubt that any would think that two American politicians or American theologians should have any input.

Hard for you to believe, but most Muslims think that the only thing needing reform is America.

Posted by: h-man at April 30, 2004 9:53 AM


They wouldn't be here if they believed in unReformed Islam.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 9:56 AM

Kerry isn't helped by the fact that the only strong stand he has ever taken (for about 5 minutes) is his promise to more or less wipe Saudi Arabia off the map. Of course he hasn't said any such thing after he said it, which was before he was against it, thus being in favor of it. Or am I not perfectly clear ?

Posted by: Peter at April 30, 2004 10:20 AM

>Of course he hasn't said any such thing after he
>said it, which was before he was against it,
>thus being in favor of it. Or am I not perfectly
>clear ?

And besides which, did you know he Served In Vietnam?

Posted by: Ken at April 30, 2004 12:21 PM

Ken, are you serious ? Did Kerry serve in Vietnam ? Why hasn't he said so ?

Posted by: Peter at April 30, 2004 1:03 PM

I think he (Kerry) is shy.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at April 30, 2004 4:14 PM


Why wouldn't they vote Republican?

Because they are the enemy, or cheer him on.

(You have to take that subset of the American Muslim population when discussing them. I have heard one America Muslim patriot state convincingly that these enemies make up as much as a quarter of Muslims in America. He went on to state that the remaining three quarters were just afraid to speak up, with perhaps 5-10 percent of people like him who could put up with death threats to defend the country they love.

I don't know about you guys, but when the calls to prayer start blasting over the PA systems in my neighborhood five times a day, I'm fighting back. That's where I draw the line.

Posted by: J. Slocum at April 30, 2004 4:56 PM


We have church bells that ring here everyday and no one says boo. What's the difference?

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 5:01 PM

As with why-weren't-the-Japanese-in-Hawaii-interned question, the difference is that 80-85% of the population is Christian. If the country were 2% Christian, think there'd be church bells ringing?

Posted by: brian at April 30, 2004 5:16 PM


Which side is that an argument for?

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 5:29 PM

Church bells are viewed positively by the vast majority of people. Therefore they ring.

Muezzin calls are viewed positively by a tiny minority, and moderately to extremely negatively by the vast majority.

You made a comment that the size of a community affects the politics which affects the decisions, which at least somewhat accounts for the differences in treatment of AJAs in HI and CA. The reference muddies the waters, however, in that unlike back then, it appears that a non-trivial fraction of Muslims today actually do support the other side.

Posted by: brian at April 30, 2004 6:01 PM

Yes, but the 85% aren't going to let the 1% trample religious rights, whereas the 99.9% were perfectly happy to see the Japs headed to camps.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 6:15 PM

You think the opposition to muezzin calls is led by the likes of Newdow et al? No chance.

Posted by: brian at April 30, 2004 6:32 PM

If anybody who comes to America is, necessarily, opposed to the unreformed place he came from, it is difficult to justify the left witchhunts from Palmer to McCarthy.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 30, 2004 7:43 PM

Alger Hiss wasn't exactly just off the boat was he?

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 7:49 PM

No, but the Reds that Palmer shipped off were.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 30, 2004 10:11 PM

Palmer and Wilson were hysterical, that's what heppens when Democrats are in the White House. Deportations and Internment camps for no apparent reason. And a good, though foolish, man like Eugene V. Debs in prison. Harding freed him too.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 11:50 PM


In that connection, I would note that McCarthyism was also a Democratic, Truman-era phenomenon, notwithstanding that McCarthy was at least theoretically a Republican (though Paul Johnson has noted that he was a old-style Radical Republican, and not really a conservative at all). Ike, once he took office, did a lot of behind-the-scenes, hidden-hand work to shut McCarthy down.

Posted by: Joe at May 1, 2004 7:27 PM

Palmer had real enemies. They blew up his house with his family in it, which is like to make anybody suspicious.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at May 4, 2004 12:30 AM

Someone took a shot at FDR (and killed the mayor of Chicago[?])--does that justify Manzanar?

Posted by: oj at May 4, 2004 12:34 AM