Did you know?

I read this quote the other day and found its source to be quite shocking given the firestorm raging through our country against the right of Muslims to build houses of worship and the increasingly anti-Muslim sentiment of Republican Party as espoused by many of its leading political figureheads. Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan over at The Daily Dish.

“When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that’s made brothers and sisters out of every race — out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect. Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value.”

– Former President George W. Bush

Muslim Americans have the same rights as any of our other citizens to practice their faith and build houses of worship, and the current backlash against them, going on in California and New York City does a terrible diservice to our country’s founding ideals and our current situation in the world. For those of you who haven’t read my post linking to the NYT article on Thomas Jefferson and the Middle East, I highly recommend reading it. Another little tidbit I’ve been wanting to post here for some time…

A bas-relief of Suleiman adorning the interior of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is one of 23 commemorating famous lawmakers throughout history.

For those who don’t know… Suleiman I also known as Suleiman the Magnificent was probably the most BAMF Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, which reached the height of its power and the flourishing of its art and culture under his reign. All the Sultans that came after him basically fucked everything up. I just find it pretty amazing that he is commemorated in our Capitol. Our founding documents were not just built on the ideas of Western thinkers but also great men such as Suleiman.

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