In Obama, Muslims Trust?

(A condensed version of this article should appear in the upcoming print of The Muslim Perspective newsletter.)

Long before the ballots for the 2008 elections were cast, there was an unusual amount of optimism regarding a skinny guy with a funny name from Hawaii and what he could accomplish not only for those here in America but what he deliver for those around the globe. A large community that is going to be impacted is the Muslims not only here but around the world.

The simple rationale for the new hope behind Barack Obama could be found in his political approach to nearly every critical issue facing us today. He has been brutally honest in his assessments regarding the economic turmoil, his willingness to be patient to rally for multi-national support in determining foreign policies, bringing immediate change from the previous administration by admitting early on in the race for Presidency that he was willing to put all options back on the table when dealing with Iran.

President Barack Obama in his inauguration speech spoke to the Muslim world leaving very little to imagination. “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” he stated in his address and sought to renew a relationship built upon trust and not based on power or dissent. It has probably been a long time coming but the time is here for the Muslim world to be thrust upon the center state in a positive light by an American President.

“In Islam, there is a hadith that reads ‘None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself,” he said at a prayer service just two weeks after his inaugural address, once again showing his willingness to put asides the philosophical and ideological differences of the past administration in hope for a new beginning.

By no means has this been a smooth campaign to win over the Muslims after a tumultuous past eight years. He drew some heavy criticisms from within his own political party when in an apparent attempt to appear slightly hawkish and readiness to be commander-in-chief, he stated that he was willing to strike within Pakistan, if the Pakistani government would not align militaristic policies with him. He was quoted in saying “if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said.

Plenty within the Muslim community were also troubled with the fact that throughout the campaign and through the constant baseless attacks on his religious affiliation, he rarely spoke out in favor of Islam. There were consistent photo opportunities released by his staffers and close advisers meeting with Christian and Jewish leaders but very little was done to reach out or extend an olive branch – they seemed to be in repetitive damage control mode to dispel any Obama-Muslim rumors.

There is an unrealistically high amount of expectation for President Obama to provide solutions for not only a failing economy and housing crisis here at home but also a large amount of anticipation has been built up for how he plans to handle the Middle East situation. He has become a superhero of sorts with his intention of taking charge of critical issues and attempting to solve them in these difficult times should lead us to what great uncle Ben once stated to a young Spiderman: With great power, comes great responsibility.

He has a great amount of political capital to work with in his first hundred days in office and it will certainly go a long way to defining the rest of his presidency. His initial plans on whether to be complacent with Iran or aggressive in removing the troops from the occupied areas in Afghanistan and Iraq can be a stepping stone towards proving that he has the right intentions at heart and in mind when dealing with Muslims worldwide towards achieving a better tomorrow.

Bailout Thoughts

Well here is a brief look at how some of the markets did overnight after the massive collapse here yesterday.

It probably wouldn’t surprise me if the markets showed a positive gain here today because after the massive drop off yesterday, there are going to be plenty of bargain hunters who tend to day trade of even trade on a short term thinking they can make major gains after stocks across the board took a hit.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this failed bailout deal affects the voters because until this really starts to impact people’s wallet, I don’t think you’ll see enough people start to base their votes solelyon economic issues. Yea, you are starting to see a trend of voters asking for a change now because the incumbent party will take a hit for failed economic policies even if it is not the candidate’s fault but this race is still too close to call and until the prices of every day goods start going through the roof, until there are more layoffs that start to into effect where more and more peoplpe know someone without a job, it probably won’t affect the voters as much as people think it should.

I think for Congress it probably was a good idea not to pass a bill immediately because the last couple of times that bills of this magnitude were passed overnight, it did not yield great results (look at Patriot Act and the war against Iraq).

Also by not passing the bill, they receive mucho kudos from my buddy Krishna who found a reason to support the congressman from his district but in the same view, found a reason not to like Frank Pallone.

McCain’s Shows Off Foreign Policy Experience

Yep the very same John McCain whose campaign is based on his long-time foreign policy experience (still really looking for substantial evidence on that one), told ABC that’s he very worried about the Iraq/Pakistan border. As scary as he may try to play that situation, there is one problem with that state… there isn’t one. There is no border between Pakistan and Iraq. A small, rarely mentioned country is located between the two nations by the name of Iran. I am certain you can certainly understand how he did not know where such a small country was since it is of little importance when regarding foreign policy or issues with Middle East.

I can probably let him slide on the issue of not being able to use the internet efficiently as the previous generation wasn’t as computer illiterate as the upcoming one. I can probably let him slide for mis-speaking a country’s name twice in as many days because countries that are not in the news now but once were when he was growing up could be engraved in his head as existing now. However, I cannot let an issue that has been pretty much in the news for the past 3-4 years slide just as easily.

Here is the excerpt:

And it was McCain who owns the first big gaffe of the trip — appearing to confuse Iraq and Afghanistan.

Asked by ABC’s Diane Sawyer Monday morning whether the “the situation in Afghanistan in precarious and urgent,” McCain responded: “I think it’s serious. . . . It’s a serious situation, but there’s a lot of things we need to do. We have a lot of work to do and I’m afraid it’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border,” said McCain, R-Ariz., said on “Good Morning America.”

Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border. Afghanistan and Pakistan do.

As AmericaBlog posted earlier,

Pretty basic stuff. Pretty big mistake for John McCain.

If McCain knew how to use the internet, he could do “a google” and find National Geographic

State of Things – Lara Logan

So I finally got around to watching this Daily Show clip that my friend Evan wrote over on QuackQuack. He doesn’t update as often but when he does put up a clip or comic, it’s usually pretty good. Click the link up there or visit him from the Blogroll on the right.

Lara Logan is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News and she speaks quite frankly on the issue of war and how it is covered, really a great piece by Jon Stewart who lets her speak. For all the people who try to dismiss the show as just a comedy show, you still get the greatest interviews because no one on the major networks would have enough guts to speak like this on their networks.

Here is another clip where she just owns the CNN network.