muslims, obama, politics, Uncategorized, war on terror

Disgrace: Muslim complacency regarding Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s administration openly announced that the phrase “War on Terror” will not be used anymore. Barack Obama went on a trip throughout the Middle East and openly announced in Turkey that “America is not at war with Islam, and will never be at war with Islam”. Barack Obama was elected on a platform that offered change and hope for American citizens on a host of issues—especially those concerning American and Middle Eastern Muslims. Barack Obama has not worked to fulfill these promises, which is to be expected.
The phrase “America is not at war with Islam” is a lie. The residue of the Bush administration has spilled over to the era of Barack Obama. It was only through massive protest and civil activism that Obama decided to promise a closure to Guantanamo Bay. The process will take a lengthy 365 days, with approximately 18,000 detainees still languishing in CIA prisons all over the world. Many of these prisoners suffered extraordinary rendition (illegal under anything you can find) and were taken from their families without habeas corpus and due process. For example, Maher Arar. Obama has not ruled out this illegal method. Domestically, things cannot be more transparent. Elected through a frenzy of fear and confusion, the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove Quartet struck a chord with Conservative Amerikkka and passed the Patriot Act, an act that has entrapped many American Muslims, like Sami Al-Arian of Florida. Terrorism, or Muslim rage, as a result of Islam’s “hatred of American freedom” supposedly justified a witch hunt analogous to the Red Scare. America was at war with Islam at home and abroad. America continues to be at war with Islam as long as Obama overlooks the Arars and Al-Arians, and America will continue to be at War with Islam unless the President seeks to undo the horrors of the past 6 American administrations.
This begs the question, why should North American Muslims be satisfied? After all, it could be anybody that falls into entrapment, illegal detention, and torture: all you have to do is fit the bill. Take a look at the boys of the Toronto-18, and it is quite clear that the difference between them and the “typical” Muslim youth is not visible. With such systemic and institutional prejudice still strangling America, and with countless Muslims still unaccounted for, I find it utterly startling and disgraceful that many Muslims have seen Obama’s policies (so far) as yielding significant change. It’s as if the fact that he lived in Indonesia when he was a kid with a middle name of Hussein excuses his inaction on righting the wrongs for American Muslims. In fact, since he declared the closure of Guantanamo Bay, conditions in the prison has turned worse (
The actions that President Obama has taken so far to restore America’s image throughout the world may be enough to satisfy the fanatical and the naïve, but it cannot escape the scrutiny of actively thinking citizens, and those who still suffer from previous injustices. Closing Guantanamo is a band-aid solution. The operation does not claim high priority, and the CIA complex of torturers/prisons will not go on trial. Obama is not addressing the roots of the problem. There is no systematic addressing of America’s political prisoners, nor compensations and apologies for those who have been wrongfully accused. In other words, Muslims should distinguish real change from the imagery of change.
Take the recent appointment of Dalia Mogahed on Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for example. People rejoiced at the sense of accomplishment that such an appointment brought, cheered Mogahed’s example for young Muslimahs, and saw it as generally a step in the right direction. Other than the fact that Mogahed is indeed talented, worthy of praise, and a fine example, any Muslim who views this move as a result of the brilliance of Barack Obama ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is, in fact, a useless gesture; a crumb off the table if you will, something the President has used to cover his ass. Relentless protest by active American citizens has evidently sparked something in the Whitehouse, and the sad conclusion is that instead of addressing the structural and material problems (those mentioned above), Obama has settled for another band-aid solution by decorating his pathetically useless “faith council” with a Muslim woman. Are Muslims supposed to be satisfied with this gesture? For those who claim that “change is slow and gradual” in order to justify their lame and stupid compromises, consider the fact that none of Obama’s policies regarding ending the War on Terror are unique and original. They are for the most part urged by the voices from the outside, from citizens who refuse to give into the silence that make criminal behaviour possible (the rest are lazy, half-assed gestures also made possible by the same activists). And for those who claim that Obama should be applauded for responding to these calls (unlike Bush), consider not spending your time searching for openings leading to unconditional praise, but rather realize that if you do not initiate action, President Obama will not bother to respond.