President Barack Obama probably irritated some of his critics today, when he praised the “achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation.” Many Americans have expressed their feelings of confusion over why the president dedicates so many of his speeches to Muslim Americans, when they only make up one percent of the population.
The President has hosted a Ramadan dinner at the White house every year since he was elected, while his detractors complain he deliberately skips the National Day of Prayer because he is biased against Christians. When he stood before the United Nations after the travesty in Benghazi and said, ‘The future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam, many Americans were absolutely outraged by his words.
When it comes to American history, we the people have been taught in our schools – either public or private – the United States declared its independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. Fifty-six signatures were attached on an important piece of paper known as the Declaration of Independence affirming that the thirteen colonies were now independent of the rule of England’s king.
Over the next two centuries, the United States would thrive. First, came expansion as the nation’s borders stretched westward to California during the Gold Rush. Alaska and Hawaii would join the nation as land purchases and achieve statehood in the 20th century. Innovation brought bring the nation to new heights of progress. Automobiles and the telephone come to mind.
Apparently, Barack Obama doesn’t take into account numerous school history books, thousands of written articles and documents, and historical studies as he states that Muslims built America. There were only a handful of Muslim Americans until the Middle Eastern and Asian immigration surge of the 20th century.
In a statement on the official website of The White House, Barack Obama made a statement for the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr, which is designated as the conclusion for the month of Ramadan:
“In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”
To be fair, the United States is a nation that mostly had its origins from people indigenous to Great Britain and Europe, but the very fabric of our great nation can be branded as multi-cultural. We have Americans who originate from Italy, Spain, England, France, Germany, China, Japan, India, Mexico, Canada, Korea, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and of course, many countries in the Middle East… and that’s probably just a small percentage of all the ethnic groups here represented in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Perhaps, we would all be better off if our President spoke about Americans, instead of dividing us into neat little demographic groups for political purposes.
[Featured Image via White House]