3.13.2008

Sticks and stones…

This past Saturday afternoon as I waited for my connecting flight home, I passed the time by watching CNN news on the overhead monitors and caught Iowa Republican congressman, Steve King’s comments regarding Barak Obama’s middle name, Hussein.

In case you missed the headline, King predicted that Al-Qaida would be “dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror" if Obama were elected President. Even more shocking, Congressman King wasn’t joking. In fact, he has since defended his prediction by adding Obama would be seen as a “savior” to the Muslim world.

Excuse me?

As I watched King utter such hateful words, I could only shake my head at his ignorance. I felt dismayed and ashamed that a representative of the United States Congress could use his access to the media to make such comments without sanction or censure. His words also offended me personally because like Senator Obama, I am an American with a Muslim name. Unlike Obama, it’s my last name, one which I voluntarily took as my own when Max and I married. In the real world, I am not Diane Mandy, rather Mrs. Max Mahmoud.

I wish I could ask Mr. King if he thinks this makes me less American somehow. Would my name disqualify me from seeking elected office or representing the country if I so desired? Even though I am not interested in pursuing a political career, I tend to think I’d represent better than the Congressman, whose words come across, to me, as small-minded and embarrassing.

But then again, Mr. King would say that’s because I’m Muslim or sympathetic in some way even though I’ve never stepped foot in a mosque, studied the Koran, or prayed to Mohammed. It’s all about the name, you know.

And if names are all that important in revealing a person’s character and ability to govern, voters in Iowa might want to examine Steve King a little closer. The name Stephen comes from a Greek word “to crown.” Couple this with his last name, King, and Iowans might suppose they have a not-so-benevolent monarch in the making rather than someone who upholds the principles of democracy or the Constitution. Judging by his words and actions, rather than his name, I’d say this is a safe assumption.

12 comments:

Sizzle said...

Wow. That's awful of him to say! You make a really good point. I'm glad you posted about this.

traveler one said...

This kind of thing is just plain nasty and unacceptable. Grrrr.

meno said...

Why oh why do we elect such idiots?

Cheryl said...

I got to say, amen. I am so sick of hearing this kind of stuff lately.

kenju said...

That man should be dismissed from his job with dishonor. I've been taking to task two men who email me often (old school friends) about sending stuff that is so horrifyingly terrible about Obama and Hillary, too. They are rabid republicans, of course. If I believed everything in the emails that they forward about Obama, I'd be ready to leave the country if he won the nomination, let alone won the presidency.

I told them both that if they cannot personally verify everything in the email, then they should not send it. One of them got mad at me and the other one was too dumb to get mad. I now delete nearly everything I get that is political in nature.

Danie said...

That's ok. Mr. King and many other will eat their words when Barrack Hussein Obama gives us a reason to finally be proud of the American government.

swenglishexpat said...

What a dinosaur he is. Has he perhaps ever thought of the fact that he, himself, shares his surname with the great Dr Martin Luther King? What's in a name? What an idiot he is. I hope he only represents himself!

running42k said...

You have one trying to spread a message of hope, another trying to spread a message of fear and bigotry. I know who I want to win.

AmyD said...

Aw, SNAP!!!! Tell it, Diane!! Good for you! I agree wholeheartedly...we don't need one more small-minded leader making decisions for us, that's for sure...

Shelly said...

Your mention of dismay and shame...seems like we get to feel that pretty much every day about our elected officials here in the good 'ol U.S of A....our tax dollars at work....creeepyyyy.

GMG said...

It happens that one may find idiots anywhere, but the US Presidential campaign seems to be a flourishing field... ;)

ms chica said...

"'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." -- Mark Twain


Shall we say Congressman King from Iowa has removed all doubt?