Here is the famous photographreferred to when making his endorsement of Barrack Obama for president. The photograph has Elsheba Khan sitting at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. It is a very moving image...
The New York Times's news blog, The Lede, ran a short bio on the young Muslim-American soldier:
Mr. Powell mentioned Mr. Khan's death to underscore why he was deeply troubled by Republican personal attacks on Mr. Obama, especially false intimations that he was Muslim.
Mr. Obama is a lifelong Christian, not a Muslim, he said. But, he added, "The really right answer is, what if he is?"
"Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? No, that's not America," he said.
Mr. Khan's death came to his attention, Mr. Powell said, when he saw a photo essay in a magazine about the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. One picture showed a mother pressing her head against the gravestone of her fallen son in Arlington cemetery. It was the grave of 20-year-old Mr. Khan, engraved with his name, his military awards, and the Muslim symbol of the crescent and star.
"He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could go serve his country, and he gave his life," Mr. Powell said. "Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way."
There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. Those politicians who invoke religion as way to gather support for political agendas or try to disqualify others because of their religious rooting should be thoroughly questioned and challenged. Race and religion should not become a filter for who runs this great country. The most qualified should rule...