Retired General Charles Krulak and Pastor Bob Roberts: Islamophobia Diminishes Us
By Joe Jenkins
In early September the White House met its goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees. President Obama stated that the United States welcomed Muslim refugees with “an open heart.”
At the same time, some politicians have called for bans on any Muslims entering the country, and American Muslims increasingly find themselves under attack. Two Muslim women were assaulted while walking with their children in Brooklyn. An imam and his assistant were shot and killed in Queens. A mosque was burned down in Orlando.
This toxicity compelled General Charles Krulak (ret.), former Commandant of the Marine Corps, to join forces with Bob Roberts, noted evangelical Christian pastor, to pen a powerful call for Americans to reject Islamophobia. “Islamophobia isn’t a ‘Muslim issue,’” they write. “It is an issue for anyone who cares about the United States and the values that undergird it.”
The pair reminded Americans that ISIS and other terrorist groups are not representative of Muslims, and in fact Muslims are often the primary victims and opponents of extremists. Muslims are an important part of the fabric of our country—they are doctors, teachers, public officials, members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
They outlined both a moral imperative and a national security imperative to end Islamophobia. Discrimination against Muslims undercuts America’s founding ideals, including freedom of religion. Despite legitimate fears of terrorism, we should not scapegoat an entire religion, and we should never “turn our back on the values that have made us strong as a people and have made us a light for the world.”