Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the Obama Victory
By, Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani


First, I would like to congratulate President-Elect, Senator Barack Hussein Obama for running an excellent campaign and winning the presidency. I guess hope did win over fear this time. Secondly, I wrote these comments down a few days after the election, but due to the demand in my live (including taking graduate level classes) I was not able to get this out sooner. Since the time I have jotted down these ideas until now, I seen that many of the things I am talking about are starting to be answered. I also think there are some issues there that no one else has talked about – such as the first point and the second. Dr. Ali Mazrui, a Kenyan professor of political science (and one of my teachers) who teaches at my alma mater, SUNY-Binghamton has just published something the other day making a very similar claims to my second point. However, we came to our conclusions independently of each other. The third point here was thought of before Ayman Al-Zawahiri (as the media calls him) made his statement about Obama. Another case in point, is point number five. At this point in time, he is setting up of a centrist-conservative goverment as opposed a leftist government. Therefore, it seems like he is not moving back to the left

US Blacks v. Black Immigrants
Obama is not an African-American but an American African. (Prof Ali Mazrui has used this distinction in some of his books). His roots are not in the African-American experience. A point to keep in mind is that not all Blacks are African-Americans. It was only about a little less than midway through the primaries when African-Americans started to accept him as one of their own. There are definitely many distinct differences in beliefs and values among Blacks from the US and those from the Caribbean, Latin America, or Africa.

Non-practicing Muslim or An Opening for Muslims
It seems that the only type of Muslim that is acceptable to mainstream America is the one who does not really practice Islam. Obama represents one who has Muslim roots yet does not practice Islam. Is this the only acceptable type of “Muslim”? On the other side of the coin, could this be the opening up of the door for there to one day be a practicing Muslim in the office of the president. I think this is what trully scared right-wingers, the Chistian right, neo-cons, and Muslim haters. It was not that they really believed that Obama was some sort of Muslim in the closet (at least the leaders of these movements did not really believe this; it was propaganda for the masses). Their fear was more based upon the breaking down of Islamophobia and Americans actually coming to terms with Muslims and perhaps electing one some day in the future. This potential is scarier to them than the reality of Obama’s Islamic roots.

What affect will this have on Arab racism?
How will racism among Arabs have them react towards Blacks? I think we are already starting to see this with Ayman Azh-Zhawahiri Al-Khariji At-Takfiri’s statement about Obama being an ‘`abeedul-bait’ (house Negro or literally ‘a house slave). The fact that a Black man has won the highest seat in the world is a huge blow to Arab racism, and I do not know if this point and its ramifications are well understood yet? Arab leaders will now have to be “subservient” to a Black president. They can no longer claim that Blacks are inferior. Or perhaps maybe this may motivate them to stop kissing the US’s butt?

President that the world can look up to like JFK
We saw that the world was ecstatic when Obama won the presidency. Simply put, people want an America that they can look up to. As the old cliché goes, “you win more bees with honey.” Bush’s cowboy politics only helped to galvanize the world and help to breed more terrorists. This (in addition to racism) is why Ayman Azh-Zhawahir Al-Khariji At-Takfiri really hates Obama.

Will he move to the left?
Now that the general campaign is over will Obama be moving back to the left? General election campaigns are known for presidential candidates moving to the center; as opposed to primaries where each side is trying to appeal to its base and are more leftist or rightist (depending on which side their party represents).

Rhetoric on War
I hope all that “tough guy” talk about Afghanistan and Pakistan was just that – talk. I hope he was just trying to appeal to the right. For me, I cannot help support anymore wars in the world; especially, when these wars have a devastating effect on the Muslims.

Racism in the US is not over.
Definitely, racism is not over. I am sure there are many out there who would like to believe it is. They want to forget that racism ever existed and sweep it under the rug. They can now condone racism or turn a blind eye to it, by saying, “How could there be racism in the US when we have a Black president?”

Is neoconservatism over?
This election was a victory for religious progressives over the religious right who like to tell religious practicing people that they should vote for nuts like Bush because he is anti-abortion, for example. While issues of family values are very important to me and I am strongly opposed to things like abortion and homosexuality, I will not vote for a war-mongering, racist, Muslim-hater just because he/she shares these values on family with me. The fact that Obama is a religious man (as are most Black folk) also means that we, as American, are strongly opposed to atheism and extreme forms of secularism. I am sure there are many secularist humanists who would prefer a president who wants religion to play no part in politics. For them, I guess, Obama was just a lesser of two evils if this is a main concern for them.

2 comments:

  1. Ibrahim Abdullah Al BoriqeeSat Dec 13, 03:28:00 PM

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
    Ya akhi, I pray that all is well with you. I always love the statements that you place on your blogsite. As always I agree with many of your points but also have some of mine as well. Regarding your first point I am in complete agreement. I would like to state that "blacks" or "whites" in the former spanish colonies is a misnomer. You coming from a the same background must realize that no one from those former colonies can call themselves "black" or "white". For example, if you go to a Puerto Rican, Cuban or Dominican family reunion, you will see all the colors in the rainbow.
    As for you second point akhi, it will be a long time before a Muslim will be elected as President of the USA. As you mentioned earlier, "It seems that the only type of Muslim that is acceptable to mainstream America is the one who does not really practice Islam. Obama represents one who has Muslim roots yet does not practice Islam." Ofcourse we can not call Barak Hussien Obama a Muslim since he IS a Christian. Akhi, we both know that one who does not practice Islam can not be considered a Muslim. This is because inorder to be a Muslim one must submit to the will of Allah. If one is a "nonpractising" Muslim, it means that that person does not pray, fast, pay zakat or fulfill any of the Five Pillars of Islam. So what the above statement is saying that the US does not find Muslims to be acceptable. On another hand, while President elect Obama's religious affiliation did come up a few times in the campaign it really was not a fore issue. Truth is that Americans voted for Obama because he knew what to say. If you look at many of the issues he said in the begining of the Primaries you will find that he changed his stance towards the end of the elections. This was to be expected since in the end Obama IS a politician. The point is he gave the American people hope not much different than what Adolf Hitler did for the Germans during the 1930s. Ofcourse this is in no way an attack on President elect Obama as it is more than obvious that his beliefs and goals are VERY different from Adolf Hitler. I only make the point that Obama knew what he had to say in order to win the elections. What the outcome of this will be I have no idea. I can only wait and see.
    Now about the whole racism thing I completely agree with you when it comes to the US. But I have to say that I am not in complete agreement as far as the Arabs are concerned. I agree that there Arabs who looked down on the Blacks and Asians as well. This is much more common in the US. I want to say that the short time that I have been the middle east I have found that the stereotype of arabs hating the blacks is not as common. I currently live in Kuwait, a country that has been unjustly charactarized as an arrogant and snobby country. This is mostly due to jealousy and envy. I know many Kuwaitis, among some of them royalty, and have yet to meet any who judges on the basis of color or even social stature. In fact I have met many Blacks here who are married to Kuwaiti women from prominent Kuwaiti families. I always hear many stories of how the Gulf Arabs are and since I have been in the Gulf I have found these to be myths. As for those Arabs who are prejudiced than I pray that Allah Ta Ala guides them. As for my last point I would just like to say that I do not believe the word "racist" should ever be uttered by Muslims. Since there really is no such thing as a race. There is only the Human race. Thats it, so it is not possible to be racist but it is possible to be prejudiced.
    Allah Salmak,
    Ibrahim Abdullah Al Boriqee

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  2. Jameelah Iman MuhammadWed Dec 17, 09:33:00 PM

    As Salaamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.....
    Earlier this year in a prominent U.S. magazine (The New Yorker issue dated July 21, 2008) there was an article concerning the cover of this magazine that depicted President Elect Obama and his wife shown as other than what is reality (refer to http://archives.newyorker.com/?i=2008-07-21#folio=C1). He stated that everyone thinks that he is a Muslim and this cover was supposed to offend him. He stated that he is not a Muslim, he is a Christian, and the cover saddened him because there are a lot of good Muslims out here who would be offended by such a cover. Nevertheless, he did state that he is not a Muslim, contrary to the belief of so many people.

    Was Salaamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

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