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November 08, 2012 04:26 AM UTC

Voters Reject Islamophobic Candidates

  • by: ProgressiveCowgirl

In 2012, voters were generally more progressive than their elected representatives. Two states legalized recreational use of marijuana. Four states voted in favor of marriage equality. The list goes on. Around the country, voters took matters into their own hands, often over the objections of elected officials.

Simultaneously, right-wing Republicans’ years-long campaign of Islamophobic fear-mongering failed spectacularly at the polls. Around the country, candidates bet on turning out the Republican base with threats of “Sharia law” and “radical Islam.” Voters turned out, but they delivered a resounding rebuke to candidates known for their vituperative anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Underdog challenger Patrick Murphy toppled Allen West by less than 2,500 votes. Congressman West is an Islamophobe so vicious that he stooped to attack the country’s only Muslim Congressman:

West used his time in Congress to press his case that Islam is “not a religion” but a “totalitarian theocratic political ideology,” and that terrorism is inherent to the faith-not radical Islam, but Islam, writ large. He’s accused a fellow Member of Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, of “represent(ing) the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

The Daily Beast

More below:

In the Arkansas state house, a Republican challenger, Charlie Fuqua, flamed out spectacularly in his race against incumbent James McLean. Fuqua has advocated the deportation of all Muslims.

Also in Florida, state representative Adam Hasner, BFF of infamous Islamophobic nutcase Pamela Geller, lost his Congressional bid. Apparently, voters weren’t convinced by Geller, who accused Hasner’s critics of terrorism:

As for Islamic apologists like Alex Seitz-Wald, it is only a matter of time before he is getting measured for a suicide vest.

Hasner had made headlines in Florida for skipping the state legislature’s opening prayers when they were delivered by an imam. Hasner was also friendly with Geert Wilders, the Western Conservative Summit keynote speaker known for his belief that “moderate Islam” does not exist, and his opposition to the construction of mosques.

Completing a sensible voting trifecta, Florida said no to a school board candidate who promised to keep Muslim speakers out of schools.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, Representative Joe Walsh was defeated by 20-year military veteran and double amputee Tammy Duckworth.

Watch Walsh on video accusing his Muslim neighbors  of “trying to kill Americans every week”:

Minnesota representative Chip Cravaak, a key supporter of Representative Peter King’s (R-NY) anti-Muslim hearings, also lost his seat. Regrettably, King himself was reelected, along with national disgrace Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). Bachmann was recently rebuked by John McCain for her Islamophobic comments about Huma Abeydin.

On the national ticket, voters reelected a sitting President with a Muslim-sounding name who was photographed in a kufi and subjected to Islamophobic slander as a result.

In other Muslim-sounding-name news, Maggie Hassan became the nation’s only Democratic female Governor. (She’s a member of the United Church of Christ.)

Here at home, Robert Ramirez piled on the “Obama iz sekrit Mooslem” train and was subsequently defeated. Representative-Elect Tracy Kraft-Tharp ran a spectacular campaign focusing on jobs, education, and common sense. Ramirez indulged in fear-mongering in the election’s final days and lost his seat.

Although nationally notable anti-Islamic crusaders King and Bachmann prevailed, they’ll return to Congress without key allies like West and Cravaak.  In a brave, new congressional world, where even Speaker John Boehner has already promised to work with the reelected President Obama, congressional Islamophobia’s moment has passed. If representatives reelected to the 113th Congress continue to push religious discrimination, rather than focusing (as Speaker Boehner has said he’ll do) on avoiding the fiscal cliff and implementing long-term financial reform, their constituents may not forgive them again.  


17 thoughts on “Voters Reject Islamophobic Candidates

  1. whose claim to fame was torturing a detainee, allegedly for the protection of men in his unit.  

    Simulated execution.  

    Playing the Kiefer Sutherland character on “24.”  

    Though not charged, tried or convicted, he looks to be a war criminal.  


    Is “Speaker Jim Boehner” related to Congressman John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House ?   Or maybe Jim Lehrer, USMC Vet and talking head on PBS ?  


    And what’s with the equivocation “Muslim-sounding name ?”

    Those are Muslim names; they have specific meanings.

    Hassan refers to “the good person.”  In Gov Hassan’s case, I think it is an Irish name derived from the Arabic.  

    Barack means “blessed one.”  It is also a Hebrew name.  

    Hussein is another form of “Hassan,” exclusively Arabic.  

    According to Wikipedia, the surname “Obama” comes from Swahili and refers to members of the Luo tribe who converted to Islam.

    Can you stop with the misdirection and false denials ?  The election is over.  

    1. I’m tired — was up til 3 celebrating and had to work in the morning.

      I disagree that Barack, Hassan, Hussein, or Obama are “Muslim” names. They’re Arabic names. “Abraham” is a Hebrew name, not a Jewish name. The language is Arabic and the ethnicity associated with it is Arab. The only Muslim congressman has the “Muslim name” Keith, as noted here! I think “Muslim-sounding” is an appropriate, if snarky, descriptor, because the sound of these Arabic, Hebrew, and Swahili names makes people think of Muslims, even though a Muslim can have any name 🙂

      1. …many names and other words are very similar in both Hebrew and Arabic.  Shalom, Salaam. Avram, Ibrahim.

        I think to say a name is Hebrew and not Jewish is picking some linguistic nits.  The only culture that uses Hebrew is Jewish.  

          1. But those matters have nothing to do with being Jewish or Hebrew.

            I’m Paul. “Little.” (A misnomer at 6’3″ and 250 pounds.) My brother is David (“loved one”), also my middle name.  

            My sister is Joan, from John, from Jochanin in Hebrew.

            Hebrew names are pervasive in our Western culture. And many of them are used to this day in Jewish culture.  

  2. I got so wrapped up in nitpicking, I forgot the larger point.

    There are still plenty of Islamophobes in Congress, masquerading as Christian Fundamentalists.  

    You are only considering those who are the least circumspect.  

    Golly, I’d guess that the Congressman representing the Koch brothers in Colorado Springs is one, but is careful not to let some $1.83/ hour waitstaffer catch him saying so with an iphone.  

    1. But I think the national moment for it is over. There are lots of racists and sexists in Congress too (including people who are themselves minorities and/or women) but they generally keep it quiet. There’s been an open season on Muslims the last couple election cycles where people could say horrible, horrible, unchristlike, unamerican things under the banner of Christianity and American patriotism and still get elected. That seems to be fading out.

      We can’t vet every candidate’s private thoughts, but we can refuse to return them to office if they voice the worst of their thoughts.

    1. Love and hugs to you and the family as always. Still hope to vote for a Hasan someday… as a DEMOCRAT of course! 😉

      (Speaking of which, when is your fabulous mother coming over to the D side? She is such a firebrand!)

      1. Thank you. We’ll see what the political future holds.

        My mom so far is staying on the R side. She says that someone has to stay there and show them the error of their ways. She wants to run for Governor, so that she can go to the State Convention and just give everyone there a piece of her mind.  

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