What’s in a name? A lot if it sounds “Muslim”!
Should Barack Obama’s middle name—Hussein—appear in school textbooks? This issued was hotly debated by the Texas State Board of Education, according to CBS. Conservatives wanted to include Obama’s complete middle name. Liberals said no—concluding it was derogatory.
Shame on both these groups. Why would conservatives want to include “Hussein”? I surmise that it’s because it would make Obama appear to be Muslim. Maybe there would be the added benefit of some vague association with another well-known Hussein, Saddam Hussein. Why would the liberals oppose including Obama’s middle name? For the same reasons. That’s why I say: Shame on both.
The message both sides are sending to Muslims in America is that they are tainted. J. Samia Mair, a Muslim writer at Examiner.com, concluded: “The fact that including the President’s middle name was hotly contested sends a clear message to Muslims and demands action on our part.”
I think the decision about middle names should rest on convention: What does the person typically use? Is the middle name or middle initial included? George W. Bush included his middle initial to distinguish himself from his presidential father. His middle initial became the title of Oliver Stone’s movie, “W.” Obama typically does not use his middle name or middle initial.
Take a look at the White House website, for example. He did, however, intentionally include “Hussein” in his swearing-in ceremony. What’s your opinion of the debate about “Hussein”?
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(Originally posted in www.OurValues.org)