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Author Topic: Obama's forgotten heritage  (Read 1885 times)
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nuh
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« on: Nov 09, 2008 12:37 PM »


Imtiaz Muqbil
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I am not among those who have clambered aboard the bandwagon of euphoria following the election of Barack Obama.

A man who could not muster the courage to acknowledge his roots, his heritage and his paternal pedigree, and in fact openly sought to distance himself from it for the sake of political expediency, is to me just another wily politician surrounded by the usual clique of hangers-on.

The man's middle name is Hussein. I wonder if he knows what the name means, and in which language. He could have dumped the name as a potential political liability, but he didn't. One likes to think that he maintained it for a reason not related to a legal issue.

He lived in Indonesia as a child. Both his real father and step-father had Islamic family origins, and his white mother had no problems marrying them. The religion no doubt shaped the parents' character and outlook towards life, which they passed on to their children, either genetically, socially or culturally.

In pursuing the presidency, Mr Obama faced two huge handicaps: a) being a mixed-race African-American; and b) having Islamic family roots.

Of the two, he sought only to convert the first negative into a positive.

His message to the American public was to move beyond the archaic parochialism of skin colour. His handlers pushed racial unity as a sign of a new-found American maturity in a globalised world. No such luck for Muslims and Islam, however. This side of Mr Obama was downplayed with the same off-handish disdain and prejudice as the blacks themselves would have faced a mere 20 years ago.

Today, being a Muslim in the deep fundamentalist Christian heartland of the US is the same as being a nigger in the erstwhile white supremacist southern states in the 1930s or '40s.

Various offensive attempts were made to attack Mr Obama's Islamic roots and question his patriotism. The digging up of hi friendship with the Reverend Jeremiah A Wright, Jr, senior pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, is a case in point.

While he vigorously positioned himself as a committed Christian, patriotic American and proud African-American, never did he say there was nothing wrong either with being a Muslim-American, or having roots in a religion followed by 1.2 billion people of the world and countries that supply the US with most of its oil.

The reason is not difficult to establish.

A politician is beholden to three groups: his/her financiers, voters and the immediate team of strategists, planners, communicators, speech-writers, etc. Of these groups, it is the latter who control the candidate, prepare his script and make sure he sticks to it.

In recent weeks, members of this team have been identified. Mr Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, is a Jewish-American. His chief adviser on Middle East issues is Dennis Ross, a Jewish-American. His chief-of-staff, the first person Mr Obama is set to appoint, is likely to be Rahm Emanuel, a Jewish-American.

Analyse Mr Obama's pre-election June 2008 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or his July 2008 visit to the Middle East (all easily found on Google), and it becomes quite clear that, like all good politicians, Mr Obama knew well which side his bread needed to be buttered.

On the campaign trail, he visited a number of synagogues, including one of the larger ones in Florida, but he never, ever came even remotely near a mosque.

By contrast, two Muslim women wearing a hijab were removed from the backdrop of the photo-ops at the August 2008 Democratic National Convention where Mr Obama won his party's nomination.

Jimmy Carter, the former US president who has done so much to try to bring peace to the Middle East, including his mediatory role in the Camp David accords, could not even get a speaking slot at the same convention because his views on Palestinian suffering and statehood were considered to be offensive to Mr Obama's rich Jewish-American backers. According to one media report, convention organisers honoured Mr Carter with only a short video clip highlighting his work with Hurricane Katrina victims and a brief walk across the Pepsi Centre stage.

In his victory speech, Mr Obama thanked his immediate family, his brothers and sisters and remembered his late grandmother, but never once mentioned his mother or father(s).

Instead, one line sounded eerily reminiscent of George W Bush's sabre-rattling war on terror rhetoric. ''To those _ to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you.''

As Robert Fisk, probably the best-informed Western correspondent in the Middle East, pointed out in an interview with Aljazeera, the word justice was not uttered once in the speech.

So, America may have changed its outlook towards African-Americans, and will reap a huge payback as its image rises worldwide, and American companies will win contracts in the world's next energy frontier, Africa.

But at the end of the day, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Promising change and delivering it are two different things. Those who are affected by the change to come will fight tooth and nail to thwart it.

After all, didn't George W Bush promise a Palestinian state all through his presidency? So where is it? He also appointed the first African-Americans as secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Neither proved to be great peacemakers.

A great politician gains power by making great promises, and winning the electorate's trust. He becomes a great leader only by earning that trust and fulfilling those promises, even if it means putting principle above political expediency.

In electing Mr Obama, the US public overcame its racial prejudices. But he still needs to help the US public overcome its prejudices against 1.2 billion people whose religion is also part of his heritage, whether he likes it or not.

Given his track record so far, that is unlikely to happen.
lucid
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 10, 2008 12:18 PM »

this is a rubbish article.  obama's dad ditched him while he was still in diapers.  he doesn't owe anything to his dad's side of the family.  yet he still expresses warmth with regard to his dad's family and even named his book in his father's name.  if it were me, and my dad ditched me -- i would have flushed his memory out of my brain, as would most of you.

as regards to israel -- if you become the president of the united states, you have absolutely NO choice with regard to this.  jewish americans are prominent in his campaign, not because of an israeli bias, but because jews tend be very liberal, and they make up a large fraction of the liberal intellectual establishment.  almost every teacher in my  university is/was jewish. 

as regards to muslim affairs: he has hinted in many ways that he is very sympathetic to muslims at times when it is idiotic to appear so.  did you see his 60 minutes interview?  do you know he grew up partially in indonesia?

as regards to palestine, why should it be his priority to sort that mess up?  some problems don't have a solution, and until israelis and palestinians stop wanting to liquidate each other, no settlement can ever be lasting.  and until they figure out how to live together in ONE country (not two) there will never be a lasting solution.  Jews who were born in israel have no other home and have every right to live there, and palestinians who were kicked out of palestine, also have every right to live there too.  but neither side wants to accept this.  they simply realllly, realllly, realllly, hate each other. 

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 10, 2008 03:20 PM »

salaam

I wanted to add that Obama likes to mention that he was shaped more from his dads absence then his precense. Im glad he also does mention that his dad went on to be agnostic because if you read his book then one who grew up like that could easily develop animosity to Islam. But alhumdlilah he didnt

I agree with you mostly Lucid but I do disagree with you on the Israel Palestine issue because the fundamental problem is that the government is bias and the fact that we send billions of dollars to Israeils is totally unfair which helps them kill more palestinians and treat them clearly unfairly. Im 'hoping' in this gov we will be little more fair considering Obama has grown up hearing all points of views different than other presidents.
nuh
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 10, 2008 05:07 PM »

As salaam alaikum.

It's fine to poo poo the parts of this article that deal with heritage and family dynamic it's subjective.

But what about....


In recent weeks, members of this team have been identified. Mr Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, is a Jewish-American. His chief adviser on Middle East issues is Dennis Ross, a Jewish-American. His chief-of-staff, the first person Mr Obama is set to appoint, is likely to be Rahm Emanuel, a Jewish-American.

Analyse Mr Obama's pre-election June 2008 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or his July 2008 visit to the Middle East (all easily found on Google), and it becomes quite clear that, like all good politicians, Mr Obama knew well which side his bread needed to be buttered.

On the campaign trail, he visited a number of synagogues, including one of the larger ones in Florida, but he never, ever came even remotely near a mosque.

By contrast, two Muslim women wearing a hijab were removed from the backdrop of the photo-ops at the August 2008 Democratic National Convention where Mr Obama won his party's nomination.


Masha'Allah!

nuh
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blackrose
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 10, 2008 05:18 PM »

salaam

Ive heard some really bad stuff about the guy and Ive also heard some good stuff. The bad stuff does seem to overweigh the good. But also it was not done by him, I hear but the mans father. Allahu alim.

Hes also appointed some other people that have bad background and that dont go with his theme, 'change'

At the same time because of his character, background, and the way he thinks and acts Im willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Again lets overwhelm him with our thoughts, ask him why he appointed these people if hes for 'change'

 Go to Change.gov
do your part

well about the speech he gave I think it was to get elected also he did correct what he was saying and said that is not what he meant.
 
yah he didnt come near a masjid. Again i think it might be because even after telling people numerous amount of times that he wasnt muslim, polls showed that many people didnt believe him and thought he was muslim

about the muslim girls, well volunteers did that, not him and the fact that he personally called them to apologise and say that is what hes truly against is extremely commendable


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« Reply #5 on: Nov 11, 2008 06:15 AM »

I had heard Hussein was not origionally his middle name, it was changed to that when he was older.
Has anyone heard this story and does anyone know if it's truth or fiction?
nuh
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 11, 2008 11:31 AM »

As salaam alaikum.

Good luck in getting the truth out of the 'Barry Obama' p.r. machine.

nuh
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