Jonathan Zimmerman: Why Can't the GOP and Muslims Get Along?

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and lives in Narberth. He is the author of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" (Yale University Press). He can be reached at]

Stop the spread of sharia law! Ban gay marriage and abortion!

As the 2012 elections inch closer, GOP lawmakers and presidential hopefuls are tripping over each other to denounce the alleged threat posed by Islam to the American body politic. They're also trying to rally so-called values voters with appeals to conservative cultural themes, especially on marriage and reproduction.

Memo to Republicans: Muslims are cultural conservatives, too. And if you can stop maligning them for a moment, they might move over to your column.

It has happened before. Consider American Catholics, who voted overwhelmingly for Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, our only Catholic president. They were also widely vilified by evangelical Protestants, who warned that JFK would put America under the heel of Rome....

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John a Wilson - 4/5/2011

It's that kill you thing if you aren't Muslim. And they will come for you first, Professor.