Donald Trump’s attack against Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star Mother of Captain Humayun Khan, and the resultant #CanYouHearUsNow hashtag campaign is still reverberating around us on social media.
But while hashtag campaigns come and go, strong, independent Muslim women in America and abroad are here to stay.
Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star parents whose appearance at the Democratic National Convention created a firestorm for Donald Trump, say they felt compelled to speak out because the welcome they felt when they immigrated to the United States nearly four decades ago is eroding in the face of this year’s presidential campaign.
Even the decision to wear a hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by some Muslim women including Ghazala Khan, has become the source of anxiety.
Almost everyone laughed and screamed, “Love!” It felt like an act of defiance against the lines that divided us. It felt like a screamed prayer.
I told Danny I had to get to the train station. We gave each other a hug.
“Thank you for talking,” he said. “I hope you are successful and find love.”
I wished him the same, wondering if people need anything else in the world besides those two things.
The Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday, and Hillary Clinton made history by officially being named the Democratic nominee for president. Sojourners Web and Multimedia Associate JP Keenan takes us behind the scenes and through the crowds as delegates across the country witness history.
While questions may not serve as effective campaign platforms, they can spark a conversation and reveal what our missions, values, and visions truly are. Americans from all backgrounds and political parties should take the time to ask: What kind of America are we making, and why are we united in this together?
True, Trump has finally rallied the crucial white evangelical Christian base of the GOP to his side. But he still has outspoken detractors among prominent Christian conservatives and he is viewed with ambivalence and even deep suspicion by many Jewish and Muslim voters and members of other minority faiths.
I’ve attempted to catch some of the Republican National Convention last week and this week’s Democratic National Convention. Some of it has been educational, others infuriating, others confusing, and still, others very inspiring.
I am listening and watching as I want to be more deeply educated and informed so I can steward the privilege of voting with care, prayer, and discernment. But thus far (and I know that the DNC has just gotten underway), one clear observation for me from both the RNC and DNC has been the amazing voices, words, leadership, and speeches from…the women.
The three that obviously stood out for me were the speeches delivered by Ann Romney, Condoleezza Rice, and Michelle Obama. Ann’s speech was heartfelt and compelling. Condoleezza’s speech was inspiring and dare I say it…”presidential.” And wow, Michelle Obama’s speech was simply riveting. I found myself in tears on couple occasions during the FLOTUS’ speech.
As I soaked in the inspiring speeches from these women, I was mindful of the incredulous fact that the 19th Amendment to the American constitution — allowing women to vote — only took place in 1920. Just 92 years ago and with that, America became just the 27th country to support “universal suffrage.”
Without any offense intended to others — especially the male speakers — their speeches were the clear highlights. I don’t care what others will do or say during the DNC from here on out, no one is going to top the speech delivered by Michelle Obama.
But this isn’t my attempt to say that women are better than men, more articulate than men, more intelligent than men, or any other nonsensical comparisons. Rather, I want to simply communicate how incomplete the conventions would have been without their voices, words, challenges, and exhortations.
Imagine if only men were allowed to speak.
UDATE: (Posted 9/6/12)
Criticized by Republicans and some members of their own party, Democrats voted to restore the word “God” to the Democratic national platform late Wednesday (Sept. 5). The GOP had seized upon the omission as a failure of their opponents to appreciate the divine's place in American history.
GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took to the airwaves early Wednesday to blast the change from the Democrats’ 2008 platform. “I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of God,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.”
Ryan also attacked the Democratic platform’s initial failure to affirm Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an issue important to some American Jews and conservative Christians. After a voice vote at the party's convention in Charlotte, language about God and endorsing Jerusalem as the capital was added.
God is mentioned 12 times in the 2012 GOP platform. The 2008 Democratic platform made one reference to God: the “God-given potential” of working people. The 2004 platform had numerous references to God.
The number of Muslim delegates attending the Democratic National Convention has quadrupled since 2004, according to a Muslim advocacy group.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations counts more than 100 Muslim delegates representing some 20 states at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week. That's up from 25 delegates in 2004, according to CAIR.
CAIR government affairs coordinator Robert McCaw said the numbers were ”a sign of the American Muslim community’s growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party.” He also said that Democrats had targeted outreach to American Muslims.
The host city for the Democratic National Convention is not a particularly political place. Charlotte, N.C., is known for three things: banking, NASCAR, and religion.
And when it comes to religion, Billy Graham’s spirit looms large.
America’s most famous evangelist of the 20th century was born on a dairy farm just outside of town and was raised in Charlotte, home of his ministry.
For the Democrats – labeled disparagingly by some Republicans as the party of secular humanism – Charlotte is not a bad place to try and raise their religious profile.
In a move that could recast the reigning political narrative about the Catholic bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has accepted an invitation to deliver the closing benediction at the Democratic National Convention, a week after he gives a similar blessing to the Republicans in Tampa, Fla.
From the start, Dolan, who is also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made it clear that he would be willing to pray at the Democratic convention. There were doubts, however, that the Democrats would invite Dolan.
On Monday, I wrote that one of the things I would be looking for at the political conventions was "whether the people of faith who are here are able to offer that prophetic role that faithfulness requires, that would hold politics accountable to real moral values, and would offer the best hope of social change."
I'm happy to report that is indeed the case. The first indication of how prophetic [...]
Excerpt from Bishop Charles Blake’s remarks at the Interfaith Forum, Sunday, August 24, 2008, Denver, Colorado:
“Our children have sacred value, and every child is equally valuable.
May I observe, as a Pro-Life Democrat, that some of us have philosophic, humanitarian and theological differences with those who put forth abortion as an appropriate, routine and acceptable birth control procedure. There are millions of us [...]