The XX Factor

Is Nikki Haley a Muslim Too?

Since South Carolina governor candidate Nikki Haley has been on a campaign kick about transparency in government local editorialists have been circulating this cartoon Robert Arial drew about a month ago. The cartoon is the kind of thing that makes you want to poke yourself in the eye repeatedly as penance for living in a country in which a fifth of the people still believe their president is Muslim. In one frame, Haley is wearing a Miss America style bikini and sash. In another, she is wearing a chadri (the black one with the slit for the eyes).

Many commenters on Arial’s site loved the cartoon (LOL, Keep up the good work!) But to the couple who complained Arial responded that this is not a cartoon about “ethnicity or religion.” He is after all a literate man and understands that she is a Sikh, not a Muslim, and Sikhs don’t wear burqas (which this is not). Or at least she was a Sikh before she became a Methodist.

Given our nation’s less than nuanced relationship with the complicated identities of anyone who is even a shade less pasty than former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, you would think Arial could have thought up another metaphor for transparency. Particularly in a state where someone who was elected to state senate (Jake Knotts) actually said the words: “We already got one raghead in the White House. We don’t need another in the Governor’s Mansion.” But just like Knotts, Arial claims he was just being funny.

In the meantime, Haley’s sister Simran Singh is not helping Haley’s pasty campaign with her new age, visionary lifestyle. To wit, from her press materials:

The sacred geometry logo of 11:11 Magazine symbolizes the components of who we are: Energy, Truth, Growth, & Wisdom. As we bring those four parts of ourselves into alignment, we create unification within and among all beings. It is time to wake up to the truth of who you are. All you have to do is…Believe.