“Obama has been consistent in his refusal to confront the racism unleashed by his his candidacy and subsequent election that came atop post-9/11 Muslim-bashing and dehumanization of people of color inherent in warmongering abroad. […] In 2010, when he traveled to India, Obama refused to visit the main shrine of Sikhism, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, because he did not want to be photographed wearing a Sikh headcovering and be confused for a Muslim by illiterate Americans back home. […] His reponse to accusations that he’s Muslim is never ‘so what if I were?’ but always along the lines of “No, no I’m a Christian like you.””
This is a really great article:
“What I always found more frightening than the noise from Islamophobic clowns was the silence of elected officials, especially Democrats who purport to uphold liberal and inclusive values. With their silence, they gave consent, and the crescendo of racist fearmongering – that targets more than just Muslims – has continued to rise.”
It’s pretty terrible how few Americans are even aware of the existence of Sikhism, even a state like New Jersey, with a large population of Indian origin. Though I generally oppose religion in public school in the USA, the lack of a separation church and state in the UK (and the large Indian population) meant that I learnt about Sikhism in ‘Religious Education’ class at a relatively young age. Given the completely unfounded paranoia about the existence of Sharia law in the USA, I doubt many Americans who favor prayer in school favor learning about Islam the way kids in the UK do.
However I have to admit I understand the electoral necessity behind the president’s actions in a general election year. It’s just unfortunate, if not tragic.