Board candidate
March 24th, 2011
04:35 PM ET

For Muslim politicians, running for office is the American way

Rola Othman sits at her dining room table littered with papers, poring over school board minutes.

She's anxiously preparing to speak at the Reavis High School District 220 board meeting in Chicago's southwest suburbs, where 11 teachers are about to be laid off.

And she has had enough.

Othman, a mother of two, is pursuing a doctorate in education. She says that when her son's school cut Advanced Placement classes and slashed the budget for academic programming, it was time to act.

"I see my kid's school going in the opposite direction, it's kind of scary. You can only make calls for so long," she said. "You need to effect change by being in the place to make decisions."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Muslim • Politics • Uncategorized

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. 220 worker


    March 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Mustafa

      lol, that's very funny to read your comment telling others to leave America when you as a natural born American most likely will not pass the US citizenship test since you don't even know how to differentiate between there and their. So my recomendation to you is to stop talking about subjects that is out of your intellect and go back to school to gain more knowledge where as an American at least you can get your English grammar correct.

      April 6, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  2. Alfred

    Islamist want Sharia in Arizona and stoning to death for Latinos http://www.sharia4america.com/story.php?sid=36

    March 26, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  3. T-party

    as an agnostic I am free from religious hatred and ignorance. I hope more muslims speak out against terr-orism and be less religious and more american.

    March 26, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  4. Chris

    I am sorry my dear brothers and sisters but this is what religion has turned into...a group of isolationist who spew hate and confusion and use religion as an emblem. These type of people may honestly believe in their heart that they are true Christians and follow God but sadly they walk in darkness and have not fully received the message of the one they call Jesus. How can you hate a man you know very little about or based on what you've heard from his enemy. What these need to do is pick up the Quran and the Bible skip church and the biased ideologies of many of these manipulative preachers and get aquainted with each belief in its purity. To many times Islam and Christianity is pushed to people with an agenda without being taught in its purity. It especially pains me to see a black man at the forefront of this fight because I would expect to see a little...no a lot more compassion and understandnig for the downtrodden and misunderstood because forty years ago my friend your people or rather our people faced these types of torments. My brothers and sisters love each other Jesus said what good does the man do if he only love his brotheren, even the sinner loves those who love him back, therefore my brothers and sisters love in the way of the almighty. Indiscriminately and in purity.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Is this what we want, look what they advise us; Try Sharia Law in Arizona to clean your state from drug dealers and criminals. Implement Sharia in Arizona against Latin Drug dealers apply stoning to dead and against Illegal migrant just lashing and thieves cut their hands and show it on TV.....

    March 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  6. Frederica

    Ethnic groups seem to tend to create a nest. It seems just white male Americans who are not allowed to do so – openly.

    March 25, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  7. Ismail

    You people crack me up about Sharia Law, most of you dont even know what Sharia Law really is. Wake Up. It's funny that those who talk bad about Muslims would never be the ones who speak out for the terrible things that Christians have done in this country in the name of Jesus. Just to name a few, enslavement of blacks, using one race against another, manifest destiny, stolen lands, killing the natives, we can go on and on what this country has done. This country is not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish and if you research most of the founding fathers wanted nothing to do with religion period. Our first President George Washington wasn't even a Christian but but his wife was. Thats why they always talked about the separation between church and state.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed as of 8/10/2010 mostly due to the Shiite and Sunni suicide bombers. , http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – Bin La-d-en has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.

      – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      – And of course the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      March 25, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:


      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communists vs Christians and Jews)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)

      8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      March 25, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  8. jedi

    Imam Zaid Shakir said "I would like to see America become a Muslim country". Of course some people say that's not cause for concern since the pretty oblivious about the persecution in the Muslim world. We have Islamic apologist in the west such as Karen Armstrong, Norman Finkelstein, Rep John Conyer, Cathy Young and John L Esposito

    March 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Loulou

      Of course every normal person would like to see their faith expand? Your statement makes you a sound like a hypocrite, but that's expected coming from the mouth of the typical American bigot!

      March 25, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      >> "I would like to see America become a Muslim country".

      – Run by a Dictator
      – Receiving Military Aide in the Billions from Christiandom
      – Producing Nothing but Oil and Stuff Growing Freely in the Earth
      – No Universities of Higher Learning
      – No Music, No Nudity, No Adultery Glorifying Media, Nothing

      why in heavens would any Muslim want America to be like a Muslim country?

      March 26, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  9. Kregg

    cnn desperately trying to hammer the communist agenda again... this isnt news, its just a few small time no names in highly liberal areas not even elected yet, and cnn trying to make it look like some huge nation wide thing. cnn = biggest antagonists of the media world

    March 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • jedi

      @ Kregg

      cnn, msnbc, bbc, and nytimes is where Political Correctness running amok. Political correctness was created in good intentions, but is often overused, misused, or taken way out of context.

      March 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  10. T-party

    I would vote for her over Pat Robertson and any other fundie...

    March 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  11. Richard the Lionheart

    Nope. Not my vote. Ever. Talk to the hand. Nada. Zip. Period.

    March 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  12. Ed

    it stands to reason they will run for office they have joined American society and have a right to have their voice heard. It reamins to be seen what they will do with that voice and whether it will be for better or worse. I don't want to see Sharia law take over America but I have no probelm with muslim Americans running for office. I have not had a choice of vote for or against a muslim yet and will have to wait till I do to see how I will vote

    March 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • BG

      "don't want to see Sharia law take over America but I have no probelm with muslim Americans running for office."

      Therein the problem lies. Muslims elect Muslims to install the Muslim Sharia agenda. There is no such thing as a "Muslim American", If they identify themselves as Muslims, then the are proponents of the Koran which demands a Muslim state.

      Go fish, liberals. The curtain has been pulled back from the Islamic wizard. If you endorse Islam you do so at the expense of your western freedoms. Anything else is bullshi1.

      March 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • AnarchistScholar

      Western freedoms? In your interpretation, insults and US being world's bullyship? Hmm, nah, screw that. How about starting with article 1 of the declaration of human rights instead, huh?

      March 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • BG

      Article 1.

      * All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

      Yeah, how about that "declaration?" Do the Muslims know about this? Maybe you should tell them.

      March 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • AnarchistScholar

      Similarly, do so-called Americans know about it? You know, since 1.5 – 2 milliards Muslims and, uhm, a few hundred crack-pots, and plusminus 300 million so-called Americans and thousands of crack-pots...

      March 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • sassypants


      March 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • BG


      You mean to tell me that there's only a "few hundred crack-pots" among 2 milliard (you mean billion, right?) Muslims?

      March 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • AnarchistScholar

      @sassypants – http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE72N0AH20110324?sp=true

      March 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • AnarchistScholar

      No, I mean milliard. Just because you guys want to be all special in everything and expect everyone to speak english without yourself speaking barely any second language, doesn't mean that everyone else has to be putting their butt into position for you. And yes – by 'crack-pots' I don't refer to blood-thirsty and/or brainwashed youth on either fictional side.

      March 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • BG

      French, eh? Does this mean that you fart in my general direction?

      March 25, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • AnarchistScholar

      Seriously, I don't mind a bit of friendly-creative bashing especially when it has some purpose, but things are interconnected (and were already pre-internet), so while an individual/s is/are 'bashing' another group (they never had any RL contact with) even without intending any act of physical violence, someone might get all hyped up about it (/'deepen idolatry') and turn it into an act of physical violence, or be as "they deserved it" when witnessing an act/s of violence against given group. Honestly, it is not as if no eg. US Citizen ever felt any pleasure when having had read/seen or heard about, in this case, Muslims being killed, is it? (similar question the 'other way around', or with any other given classified groups)

      March 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • BG

      How many American dead from both world wars are buried in France? I've often wondered over the years why, specifically, France seemed so vulnerable to being conquered, repeatedly, over the ages. Maybe the French pride was grounded in fresh bread and mademoiselles. Or maybe everyone else came to their rescue to readily.

      You're sooo sensitive. Don't look now, but your country is being overrun with Muslims. Oh, wait. It's too late.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • AnarchistScholar

      Re early military history of WWII and France, it was pretty much like: modern-day-similar tanks and bombs against bicycles with rain-coats (with flank attacks thrown in). In such situations numbers don't count for much btw, just as eg. less than 100 elephants would easily wipe off the ground 1000+ foot-soldiers in most cases.
      I understand that a 'lesson' of WWII was to keep military-tech 'top-notch', and the hyped cold war, which btw wasn't that 'cold' since there were plenty of proxy-wars going on, 'supported' modern military mechanization globally as well, but this trend obviously hasn't been going on just since WWs.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • BG

      @ AnarchistScholar

      So, you're just acknowledging that France finally traded in a few bicycles and baguettes for a JDAM or two? I hope that the French submarines don't have screen doors like the Italian subs...

      Countries that survive have always known that military spending is a necessary evil. Now, back to the point of this discussion.

      "so while an individual/s is/are 'bashing' another group (they never had any RL contact with)"
      I'm not -bashing-, I'm making a basic objective observation. Don't mislabel to suit your propagandist agenda. Further, I've worked with muslims for the better part of 20 years. I personally watched a bunch of them stand on their toes and smile while they watched 9/11 unfold on tv.

      "someone might get all hyped up about it (/'deepen idolatry') and turn it into an act of physical violence, or be as "they deserved it" when witnessing an act/s of violence against given group."
      There are nuts out there that don't require any external stimulus to carry out acts of physical violence. Suggesting that someone 'talking about it' is responsible for someone else's actions in carrying it out is nonsense.

      "... it is not as if no eg. US Citizen ever felt any pleasure when having had read/seen or heard about, in this case, Muslims being killed, is it?"
      What an obnoxious comment. You should be ashamed of yourself. At least this gives me a good frame-of-reference in understanding your 'perspective' on Americans.

      My opinion of you has degraded substantially, and it wasn't very high to begin with...

      March 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.