Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Virginia Congressman Digs in His Heels in Islamophobia

In a blog post in today's USA Today, Virgina Congressman Virgil Goode dug in his heels in a response to the spate of criticism he was getting on his bigotted remarks about Congressman-elect Keith Ellison of Minnesota's decision to use the Qur'an for his "photo-op" swearing in ceremony. (Please scroll down to my blog entries of Nov. 29 and Dec. 16 for related stories.)

In the ceremony with legal binding, the swearing-in is administered to the in-coming congresspersons as a class by having them raise their right hand. No Bibles or other books are used for the legal ceremony. This is the practice only in presidential swearing-ins.

Mr. Goode reiterated today that his Islamophobic position that unless illegal immigration is curbed and diversity visa program stopped, there will be more Muslims in congress. He says this despite the fact that the debate since his letter two weeks ago that started this row, many have pointed out that Keith Ellison's ancestors came to this country in the 1760s, perhaps earlier than Goode's ancestors. Also in the debate there has been ample reference to the fact that Muslims comprise a significant segment of the religious fabric of our nation. If all borders are closed tomorrow, that will not prevent Muslims being elected to congress. The illegal immigration issue in this context is a red herring!

In today's column he also engages in the Islamophobic practice of fear-mongering. "Let us remember that we were not attacked by a nation on 9/11; we were attacked by extremists who acted in the name of the Islamic religion." We were attacked by deranged lunatics of an ultra-extremist faction. To lump all Muslims in that camp and to refuse to allow the use of the Quran by a Muslim colleague based on that reasoning is dishonsest.


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