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Published on Oct 20, 2008
Colin Powell on Meet the Press, Sunday October 19, 2008.
After making an endorsement for democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemns his Republican Party and the tone of the current election for the Anti-Muslim bigotry.
Powell denounced the inaccurate suggestions by some Republicans that Obama is a Muslim, and that - by implication - there was something wrong with a Muslim running for the U.S. presidency.
"It is permitted to be said such things as, 'Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.'" Well the correct answer is he's not a Muslim. He's a Christian and he's always has been a Christian. But the really right answer is: what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7 year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be President?... This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about his particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington cemetery. And she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards: Purple Heart, Bronze Star. Showed that he died in Iraq. Gave his date of birth, death of death. He was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. His name was Karim Rashid Sultan Khan. And he was American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11. And he waited till he could go serve his country and he gave his life. We have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way."