Fear-mongering about Islam is a global industry. Barack Obama has a unique power to break the cycle, not least by emboldening moderate Muslims to denounce terror. I’ll admit it: I’m thin-skinned about the kinds of slurs and innuendo about Muslims that have accompanied Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Years of being subjected to them while I covered the Bosnian war did that. We heard the whole gamut back then: how the European Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo were really Turks engaged in a demographic genocide (through high birth rates) against Christians, and how they were engaged in a plot to establish a Muslim crescent looping up from Turkey through the Balkans, and how they roasted enemy prisoners alive on spits. All the while, of course, said Bosnian Muslims were being herded by Christian Serbs into concentration camps that were centers of torture and systematic killing of a cruelty Europe believed it had forever banished. Roger Cohen reports.
In an op-ed to the International Herald Tribune, Roger Cohen explores Islamophobia in the United States, and why he believes it is important that Senator Obama reach out to America’s Muslim community, and visit mosques, just as he has visited churches and synagogues to reach out to their faithful. While Cohen is aware that Obama’s middle name of _Hussein’ has and will continue to draw suspicion from opponents and the fearful, he argues that Obama’s multi-cultural background may put him in a unique position to present, from his own knowledge and experiences, that Islam is not a monstrous specter. More on Cohen’s opinions can be read at the link below.