Editorial: Not In Defense of Obama

Editorial: Not In Defense of Obama

Ayman Zawahri"s latest video release ahead of Obama"s victory comes as another episode in a series of hate speeches that further defame Al-Qaeda"s image more than it actually sends any message to what he calls "the enemies of Islam."

Zawahri used an insulting racial epithet about U.S. president-elect Barack Obama saying that "Obama is the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American Muslim convert rights leader. Zawahri called Obama a "house Negro" who does the bidding of whites, in reference to Malcolm"s speech about house slaves and field slaves, where he said that the former were more loyal and servile.

Apart from the epithet, Zawahri is absolutely mistaken if he thinks he is speaking in the name of Islam or Muslims. Islam has always reprimanded discrimination on the basis of color, just like it repudiated violence and the killing of innocent people.

In fact the victory of Obama is a victory of a civilization value endorsed by Islam and all divine religions. What should be vocally denounced is racial discrimination and terrorism in the name of religion.

The rising wave of discrimination against Muslims in the west following the disastrous 9-11 attacks is also one that must be condemned, and also the debate about Obama being from a Muslim origin has disappointing discriminatory implications.

What was possibly more offensive to an entire race than John McCain"s response to a questioner during his campaign, when the questioner asked him whether Obama was an Arab, and McCain said, "No, he is a decent family man," apparently meaning "so he can"t be an Arab." 

The differences in race, color, or religion, as Islam ordains, should be a starting point from which all human beings can build bridges of mutual understanding and respect, not vice versa.     

The U.S. foreign policy too has resulted in many aggressions against humanity in the name of advocating the ideals of freedom and justice.

Over the past few years, U.S. foreign policy has been primarily based on the so-called "war on terror" which has become a symbol of double standards and has itself resulted in the killing of thousands of innocent people whose numbers have far exceeded the victims of Al-Qaeda"s assaults. 

The "war on terror", exemplified by the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, has resulted in increasing anti-American sentiments across the universe, fueling radicalism among disaffected Muslim youth, and making all the world"s peoples disillusioned about many deeply rooted American values.  

The U.S. administration under George W. Bush was also to blame for its blatantly double standard foreign policy, topped by its unlimited support to Israeli occupation that has caused more and more injustice and extermination of the Palestinian people, whose only crime was selecting the national liberation movement Hamas as their representatives through unprecedented fair and free elections.   

The U.S. administration has also maintained friendly relations with despotic regimes in the Arab world despite claims that the promotion of democratization in the face of authoritarianism was among the basic strategies of Bush"s latest presidential term.  

Racial insults are not what have to offer to the new U.S. President. First, we should praise the American people"s historic choice that has many positive implications. A nation that triumphed over racial discrimination and sensitivities is a nation that is willing to start a new era of tolerance and mutual understanding with the other. Second, we should continue slamming U.S. unconditional bias with Israeli occupation vis-à-vis the will and freedom of the Palestinian people, as well as any form of military occupation of sovereign lands with the pretext of combating terrorism.