Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Express gratitude for Obama’s stance against racism and Islamophobia.
President Barack Obama took a vocal stand against Islamophobia recently at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, invoking the Crusades and American slavery to highlight the fact that Islam does not have a monopoly on violence justified by religion. Unfortunately, as a result of his comments, he has received harsh backlash from anti-Muslim conservatives. Applaud the President for telling the truth and taking a stand against Islamophobia.
The Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS or ISIL, has become the favorite example of Islamic extremism for conservatives to latch on to and raise as evidence of Islam’s inherent backwardness and of the supposed danger Muslims pose to America and its citizens. This culture of Islamophobia has resulted in a United States that is openly hostile to Muslims and that subjects them to increased rates of hate crimes.
President Obama decided to use his visibility at the National Prayer Breakfast to provide a sober counter-narrative to this pervasive culture, saying, “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
One would think that these facts would be above reproach, but apparently not—conservatives have come out in droves to dispute them and accuse the President of blaming Christianity for ISIS. Sign the petition below to express gratitude to the President for not bowing to the dominant Islamophobic narrative and taking a stand for what’s right, despite all the negative backlash he’s gotten.
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing you today regarding your words at the recent annual National Prayer Breakfast. Specifically, I wanted to thank you for taking such a visible, sober stand against the Islamophobia and Christian favoritism that has become so dominant in our society.
As I’m sure you know, Muslims in the United States have been subjected to increased rates of hate crimes in the years since 9/11, and they spike every time there is a terrorist attack covered in the media. This problem is exacerbated by the cacophony of Islamophobic commentary by the likes of conservatives on Fox News, and even some more liberal people like Bill Maher and Sam Harris.
Too often Islam is turned into an object of inherent violence and threat by these voices, while they, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the exact same kinds of atrocities carried out in the name of Christianity historically and contemporarily. The fact that you have received so much negative backlash after addressing this selective bias just goes to demonstrate how severe the problem is, and how just how urgently information and perspective to deconstruct it is needed.
Every American deserves a fair shake, and that includes Muslims. I thank you for supporting them during the National Prayer Breakfast, and urge you to do as much as you can in the future to continue to counter the mainstream anti-Muslim narrative.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ethan Bloch via Flickr