It's a Weird Feeling

Reading about local news in the international press. Especially when the local news agencies aren't covering the event at all.

The Guardian has the story on the goings on in my own back yard - yet I didn't even know about it until I read the article:

A protester staked out the home of a Muslim candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, holding a sign and wearing a T-shirt that mocked Islam.

Timothy Truett sat in a folding chair Saturday on the cul-de-sac outside Saqib Ali's home in Gaithersburg with a sign reading "Islam sucks," and a shirt with the slogan, "This mind is an Allah-free zone."

Montgomery County police sent a trespass notification form to Truett warning that he would be subject to arrest on trespassing charges if he steps onto Ali's property within the next year.
Mr. Ali is a Democratic candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates. I've seen his stickers on cars all over the place. I guess on some level I realized he was most likely a Muslim but it never really crossed my mind that there would be any sort of backlash against his candidacy. There are a lot of people of non-European decent in the DC metro area. A single block in many neighborhoods (including mine) may have ethnicities from all over the world. In my (limited) experience, you see very little overt antagonism directed towards any ethnic group save the GOP endorsed bigotry involving 'illegal' Hispanic immigrants.
Truett said he did not think the sign or the T-shirt expressed a message of hate.

"It's an opinion," he said. "I don't think there's anything intrinsically hateful about it."
Ok. I'll go to Alabama, sit outside of Judge Moore's house and hold a sign that says "Christianity Sucks" and wear a t-shirt declaring my mind a "Jesus Free Zone." We'll see how that goes over.

Actually, that's unfair. Mr. Ali has not made his religion a part of his campaign. My comparing him to a wingnut like Roy Moore was unwarranted and inaccurate. But the idea still holds. The sort of hateful things one can say in America about any religion except Christianity is amazing.

Mr. Ali, who would be the first Muslim to sit in the Maryland House of Delegates is sadly a long shot. The top three vote-getters in the election each get a seat and Mr. Ali is running against three incumbents.

Check out Saqib Ali's website here and his wife's campaign blog too.

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