“To Muslim Americans across our country and to more than one billion Muslims around the world, I extend my best wishes on this holy month.” – Barack Obama
August 13th, 2010 – The President hosts an Iftar at the White House & Talks About the Ground Zero Mosque
Obama’s stirring speech is going to hit home with a lot of Muslims this month, but the sad part is, it’s going to be ignored by a whole lot more. The President stresses “the role of faith in the lives of the American people”. For anyone living in a Muslim country, it’s not hard to hear the critic in the back of your head as you watch the US President.
“We are all children of God.” Indeed, Mr. President, we are. Even those you killed in Iraq, even those you killed in Afghanistan. During the Cold War – your generosity was not as puritan as you’d like to claim. Yes, you gave the Afghanis arms and ammunition to defeat the Soviets. You gave them millions and billions of dollars. But you threw them into the fodder, making no effort to minimize losses. Uncle Sam is indeed beneficent.
If religion defines “who we are as Americans” then why can’t we let Muslims define who they are as Iraqis, Palestinians, Pakistanis?
“Our founders understood” that in order to create peace amongst your people, you must “protect their freedom to practice religion“. Then why can’t we protect the freedom of those outside our borders? Every man with a beard is a victim. Customs is a nightmare for even the innocent man named Muhammad.
I’ve always liked America. I was raised in Texas, right in the thick of the Bible Belt. But moving across the world, coming to Pakistan and listening to all the propaganda from a third-world perspective, it’s hard NOT to see why people hate those bloody Americans.
In his defense, Obama does seem to be making a number of gestures to the Muslim world. There is no more ‘War on Terror’. Thomas Jefferson said: “all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion” and maybe, just MAYBE, this guy’s trying to live up to that. Maybe, by taking little steps, there might just be religious tolerance of a certain degree. Right now, I don’t think anyone should be asking for utopia, but let’s at least put an end to the killing. Let’s make little peace offerings and show a little compromise in order to stop even bigger disasters from occurring. It’s not just the United States that could do with some down-time diplomacy. The Muslim world needs to step up and help spread the message of peaceful Islam. The one thing that every Islamic country needs to be broadcasting: WE’RE NOT ALL TERRORISTS. WE STAND FOR MORE THAN BOMBS AND JIHAD.
The first amendment of the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, which is what Obama vows to ensure. He says that for US citizens of different religions to “coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for one another stands in stark contrast to the religious conflict that persists elsewhere“, he may not be 100% right, but he’s not all wrong either. With faction fighting tearing Muslims apart everywhere you look, it’s not hard to understand why there’s so much turmoil in the Middle East. So many are out there ‘fighting’ in the name of Islam without understanding what theyre fighting for. Islam does not promote violence. The WORD ‘Islam’ is derived from the Arabic root “Salema”: peace, purity, submission and obedience.
The Muslim community’s need for solidarity aside, Obama makes an effort to reach out to the Muslim population of the United States in this speech. Did you know there’s two Muslims in the US Congress? Andre Carson and Keith Elison “As President, and as a citizen, I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in their country.”
Further on in his speech, he makes a valid point:
There are those who fight in the name of Islam, but what they fight for is “a gross distortion of Islam”.
I’m not saying the United States is all holy and wonderful, I’m just saying it’s time we ALL stood up and looked at what is going wrong in our world.
Click here to watch the President’s speech.