When former Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed disapproval over the Republican party using Muslims as a smear tactic last week on “Meet the Press,” American Muslims finally breathed a sigh of relief, reports MSNBC.com. In Powell’s interview he explained that he was “troubled” that some people from the McCain camp started rumors about Obama being a Muslim.

Wajahat Ali, an attorney and playwright from Fremont, California, said, “Muslims feel jaded by the 2008 election precisely because they see the smearing of their identity…” He added that the comments came out of “left field and stunned many Muslim Americans. The sense is that it’s about time. He said something that needed to be said.”