Letter to Obama on the Muslim World

Like I said in a previous post…stats from the election showed that Muslims in America overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama, and you can bet they are waiting for the chance to have him return the favor. Your proof is below, and I’ve added some comments throughout the article. [My remarks are in blue.]

Letter to Obama on the Muslim World

by Arsalan Iftikhar

(CNN) — First of all, as one of more than 66 million Americans of all races, religions and ethnicities who voted for you, your electoral victory was one of the proudest moments of our collective lives.

As our American political history witnessed the magnitude of our nation’s first African-American president, our society was also able to collectively (and finally) exhale, knowing that the mailbox at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would now read “Obama” instead of “Bush.”

With hardly a moment’s rest, as you transition toward Inauguration Day, our nation (and the rest of the world) will not wait for long before seeking your leadership on many pressing global issues.

From an economic recessionary mess to a perpetually broken health care system with 46 million American neighbors as uninsured casualties, your soon-to-be administration will face some monumental domestic and foreign policy issues that will affect us for generations.

From an ill-conceived war in Iraq to an oft-forgotten war in Afghanistan, from global flashpoints from Tel Aviv to Islamabad, your diplomatic and political interaction with the Muslim world may decide the success (or failure) of your foreign policy legacy. [MV: Really?? Why? Why, pray tell, are Muslims so special that they can make or break Obama’s foreign policy success? Think about that. And think about whether there has ever been another group in America about whom such an outlandish statement has been made.]

Your unenviable task will be to undo the catastrophic policies of George W. Bush and his fellow neoconservative ideologues, facing the specter of al Qaeda’s sinister terrorism while undertaking public diplomacy efforts addressing anti-Americanism around the world. [MV: “Neoconservative ideologues”? That’s rich, coming from a man who is speaking on behalf of a religion that is wreaking terror and havoc on almost every continent on the globe.]

Similarly, since the tragedy of September 11, the global Muslim community has continued its own daunting task of undoing catastrophic damage caused by Osama bin Laden and his creepy terrorist cronies. [MV: No, Muslims around the world have done exactly nothing to un-do the effects of radical Islamists. They have only perpetuated more violence and more oppression in the name of Islam, or else shrouded themselves in silence while claiming to be “moderate”. And I find it interesting that only Bin Laden is chalked up as a “creepy terrorist”. What about the other 300 million-plus creepy Islamic terrorists?]

From global debates on religious extremism broadcast on BBC World Television to global interfaith outreach with the Vatican, we Muslims are in the midst of our own internal dialogue condemning terrorism and reclaiming the mantle of Islam from the rusted claws of dinosaur extremists. [MV: I for one am earnestly waiting for evidence of this.]

Again, let it be known to the world that Barack Obama is not (and has never been) a Muslim. Sadly, your presidential position vis-à-vis the Muslim world is still unenviable because some Republican adversaries sinisterly tried to paint you as a “crypto-Muslim” during the presidential election, although Sen. John McCain did not join in these absurd accusations.

However, in one fell political swoop, former Secretary of State Colin Powell bravely challenged the xenophobic undertones of his own Republican Party on “Meet the Press” by highlighting the ultimate sacrifice of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq for the United States. [MV: Just one Muslim? Only one? Not like, dozens and dozens of them? Just checking.]

Regarding Iraq, it is important for your administration to keep its promise of removing our troops in a “responsible and phased” manner. Furthermore, we need to press Iraq’s elected leaders (Sunni, Shiite and Kurds) to take responsibility for their own democratic future by spending their $79 billion surplus of oil revenues on their own civil reconstruction.

Additionally, if any sort of prolonged military security presence is necessary, the League of Arab States should take an increased role and be recruited to provide some services in exchange for increased foreign aid development in education and health-care arenas for their impoverished people. [MV: Ah, but see, if this were to really happen then Muslims all over the world would have to thank George Bush for invading Iraq in the first place, for bringing democracy to Iraq, for paving the way for equal treatment and human rights for women, girls, and the impoverished…because these things don’t exist in other Muslim countries without democracy. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If Muslims really wanted a stable and democratic Iraq (or any other Muslim country) why didn’t THEY go into Iraq and remove Saddam from power themselves? It seems that Muslims want to castigate Bush for this horrible affront, but then send in the Arab League to reap the benefits of America’s hard-won democracy there.]

On Afghanistan/Pakistan, your administration must help re-launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to attain stability in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (more commonly referred to as “Waziristan”). [MV: Don’t count on it. Again, I am noting that the entire Islamic world turned a blind eye to what the Taliban was doing to the Afghan people, just as they turned a blind eye to what Saddam and his sons were doing to the Iraqi and Kuwait people, just as they are turning a blind eye to what the Islamic government of Sudan is doing. Now, only because America went into Afghanistan to do something about the tyranny and oppression there, the Muslim world wants to step in and pick up the reigns after the American forces have done all the dirty work. I don’t really get that.]

This is especially daunting because President Bush decided to support a tin-pot dictator named Gen. Pervez Musharraf for more than seven years. Thus, Bush’s acceptance of a soft dictatorship in Pakistan has increased anti-American sentiment in the region. [MV: Hey! We agree on something!]

In light of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the September 2008 bombing of the Islamabad Marriott; for anyone to expect Musharraf to deliver on his democratic promises was like waiting for a Hershey’s chocolate bar to belt out a Shakespearean sonnet. [MV: But then, that’s the case for the leaders of every single Islamic country in the world, isn’t it?]

On the subject of al Qaeda, according to a recent CNN report about a secret summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Taliban leaders met under the auspices of the Saudi king with Afghan government officials to end the bloody conflict in Afghanistan.

Sources close to the historic discussions said the Taliban representatives said it was no longer allied to al Qaeda. This sends a resounding message that even Taliban members in the bubbling cauldron of Osama are now rejecting his ungodly principles as being un-Islamic and beyond the pale of human civilization. [MV: Bin Laden is just following the dictates of the Koran and the Hadith and the example of Mohammed himself. What’s the biggie, yo? Osama Bin Laden is a GOOD MUSLIM.]

On our domestic front, we must immediately close Guantanamo Bay, implement a universal health insurance system, stop racial profiling/domestic spying, improve No Child Left Behind and overturn every unconstitutional provision of the (in)famous Patriot Act. [MV: Sure. The Islamic terror cells, which are lying asleep and dormant in America, would love to see this happen. Add that to the fact that our broken borders and our government’s inability and sheer unwillingness to do anything about the rampant illegal invasion of our soverign nation will make it a day at the beach for any Muslim radical who wants to come on in and set up shop. It sounds like a terrorist’s wildest dream, frankly.]

As proud members of Generation Obama, more than 66 million Americans (and billions more worldwide) wish you Godspeed in your administration, and we will channel our collective “audacity of hope” and pray that your presidency will be a radiant silver lining within our collectively war-ridden, globally warmed and craven dark sky.

P.S. Please send Bill Clinton as chief diplomatic envoy for the Israelis and Palestinians; plus, tell him not to come back until he has a signed peace accord from both begrudging sides. He is probably the best qualified individual in America to serve as an honorable Middle East peace broker who will be respected by all sides because of his legacy at the Oslo Accords. [MV: Is that the same Bill Clinton who allowed Muslims to build mosques in every state in America in exchange for low oil prices from the Sauds?]

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