The Miami Herald reports that some American Muslim leaders say Barack Obama’s Web site aimed at countering rumors that he is a Muslim – fightthesmears.com – sends a negative message about their religion:
Vanessa Alikhan was at a Democratic ”unity party” when she overheard another guest indignantly refute the rumor that Barack Obama is Muslim, as if it were a racial slur. She later recounted the conversation to a friend.
”She told me that this is politics and that I should just deal with it,” said Alikhan, a Fort Lauderdale graphic artist who converted to Islam about five years ago. “To me this is the same as telling an African American or a Jewish person they should deal with discrimination because people aren’t ready to embrace them as a group.”
She and other American Muslims are speaking out, as the Obama campaign pushes back on widely e-mailed and patently false claims that he is tied to Islamic terrorists. The rumor could be particularly damaging in a must-win state like Florida, which has a large Jewish population.