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July 19, 2012

Romney AWOL Amidst “Repugnant” GOP Muslim-Baiting

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally Published in Politico

By David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council

It’s one thing for House GOP members to demonstrate their know-nothing approach towards policy when it comes to real science, climate change and more. But when Rep. Michele Bachmann and a cadre of her colleagues turn their ire on a patriotic American—an indefatigable public servant—apparently based on her faith or heritage, it is repugnant in the extreme, and it carries far more than a whiff of McCarthyism. Like so many others, I’m forced to make the assumption that top State Department aide Huma Abedin’s faith and heritage are what’s motivating these attacks, since there are zero facts in evidence—as Senator John McCain has rightly noted.

This is part and parcel of the most base GOP obsession of late with the supposed “danger” of Muslims in America. As a Jew and a member of a fellow minority faith community, I know that it has to stop, and I know the lurking danger herein. We saw it play out in the GOP presidential primaries, as candidates in nationally-televised debates compared Muslims in America to Nazis; we saw it on Capitol Hill, as Rep. Peter King held biased hearing after hearing seeking in theory to learn the truth about the dangers of Muslims in America; and we still see it in states across America, as local conservatives lead campaigns and spout ridiculous conspiracy theories about the so-called creeping takeover of Sharia law in America. As a member of another minority faith, I can think of a very prominent member of a third minority faith who could use the national stage this week to condemn this Muslim-baiting, and to help stop these scurrilous attacks on Ms. Abedin. I’m speaking here of Mr. Romney. He could, but I don’t think he will.