So, President Obama went to a mosque yesterday:
“If we’re serious about freedom of religion — and I’m talking to my fellow Christians who are the majority in this country — we have to understand that an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths,” he said.
Although Obama never mentioned Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the targets of his remarks were clear. “We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate bigotry,” Obama said.
Now he does hit the Republicans who have been pushing against Muslims, so let’s see what Marco Rubio says:
Rubio accused Obama of pitting Americans against one another “along ethnic lines and racial lines and economic lines and religious lines.” His comments were part of a meandering response to a question about what his management style would be like as president.
“I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done,” Rubio said. “Always pitting people against each other. Always.”
“Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque,” Rubio continued. “Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s going to be discrimination in America of every kind. But the bigger issue is radical Islam. And by the way, radical Islam poses a threat to Muslims themselves.”
The main part of Obama’s speech was about how Muslims are part of America and have been since its founding. It was mostly a typical unity speech, which Rubio finds divisive. Here is some of that divisive rhetoric:
We’ve got to make sure that hate crimes are punished, and that the civil rights of all Americans are upheld. And just as faith leaders, including Muslims, must speak out when Christians are persecuted around the world or when anti-Semitism is on the rise — because the fact is, is that there are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault –sometimes by Muslims. We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric and violence against everyone. And that includes against Muslims here in the United States of America.
If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States: You fit in here — right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too. You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American.
Oh, and Marco:
Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques across the United States have tripled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., with dozens occurring within just a month, according to new data.
The spike includes assaults on hijab-wearing students; arsons and vandalism at mosques; and shootings and death threats at Islamic-owned businesses, an analysis by a California State University research group has found.