The GOP has a Muslim problem

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN

A worker changes the signs on the floor of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.

A worker changes the signs on the floor of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.

(CNN) — A Catholic priest, a rabbi, an evangelical minister, a Sikh, a Greek Orthodox archbishop and two Mormon leaders walk into the Republican National Convention.

It sounds like the beginning of a joke. But the Republican Party’s decision to invite representatives from all of these faiths to speak at this week’s convention, but to exclude a Muslim-American imam, is anything but funny.

The Republican Party has a problem with Muslims. Of course, American Muslims can take some solace in the fact that we are not the only minority group that the Republican Party hardly welcomes.

Let’s be honest, if you don’t like Muslims, blacks, gays, immigrants or other minorities, which political party would make you feel most comfortable? Sure, some Republican officials are minorities, but a recent Galllup survey found that 89% of the Republican Party is white.

To be clear, I don’t believe that most rank-and-file members of the Republican Party hate Muslims. The problem is that certain Republican leaders have stoked the flames of hate toward American Muslims, and other minorities, as a political tool to motivate people to support their cause.

For example, recently Rep. Michele Bachmann — along with four other Republican House members — asserted that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the U.S. government. Bachmann, who is in a tough re-election battle in her redrawn congressional district, even “named names” by claiming that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, and Rep. Keith Ellison were connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. read more http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/29/opinion/obeidallah-gop-muslim-problem/index.html