City of Brass

City of Brass


A Muslim for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have long argued that as muslims, we must avoid allowing ourselves to declare an allegiance in politics. The Democrats have never seen Muslims as anything other than yet another swing vote to be courted when convenient, and in the case of the Dubai Ports World affair actively fearmongered against the specter of Islam for political gain. There is also an antipathy towards spiritualism and faith among the activists of the left with which a devout muslim can never fully reconcile.

However, The Republican Party is overtly hostile to Islam, and in this cycle as never before that Islamophobia has gone mainstream – Herman Cain rose from obscurity to prominence by exploiting Islamophobia, Newt Gingrich fulminates about Shari’a as a “mortal threat” to the US, and Rick Santorum is clearly trying to invoke the muslim smear against President Obama in order to gain traction. Simply put, the GOP has declared war on Muslims, and I reject them utterly.

I voted for President Obama in 2008 not as a muslim but as an American, a liberal, and a patriot. I never expected him to be the progressive saviour of politics, or any kind of political messiah, and in fact he has governed largely as I expected he would. He has been an economic and social centrist, and has governed with an eye towards the good of the Nation rather than mere political advantage.

Though far less than the previous Administration, the President’s continuing over-reach on civil liberties is disquieting. My concern here is tempered by the fact that I am all too aware of the continuing threat to my nation by radical Islam, which is why I did not shed tears for the death of Anwar al Awlaki. And though he failed to close Guantanamo, it was not for lack of trying – he was stymied by Congress (including Democrats). Yet I vociferously disagree with the President on his policy of using drones as instruments of warfare. I am a radical in this regard, because I believe the United States must renounce the doctrine of collateral damage.

However, these are difficult choices that a President must make with the safety of the entire Nation in mind. The important thing is intention, and on that front I have seen that the President has refused to engage in warmongering rhetoric about Iran, and that he has reached out to the Muslim world with sincerity and respect (most notably in his Cairo speech and the Science Envoys program). My own attendance at the US – Islamic World Forum in D.C. last year proved to me that the Administration sees the Muslim world as a mutually-beneficial relationship and not an adversary. And of course we cannot forget that the President ended the war in Iraq, and is ending the war in Afghanistan.

The bottom line for me is that President Obama has done his best. He hasn’t given me everything I wanted but even when he made decisions I disagreed with, it was out of a calculus that I can understand and appreciate. And the legacy of the Bush Administration on every front, domestic and foreign, has not been a negligible obstacle. I believe in the President’s leadership and his sincerity, and I think he represents the best option for Muslim Americans to see our aspirations realized. This is why I am declaring my support for President Obama for President in 2012.

I encourage other muslims to decide for themselves whether or not President Obama has been better than President Bush, and whether he would be better than a President Santorum or a President Romney, and act accordingly. If you are muslim and you decide to support Barack Obama for President, then I urge you to donate via the official Muslims for Obama donation page, which will let us concentrate our voices and make ourselves heard more effectively than if we remain disunited. You can also follow Muslims for Obama on Twitter or the official Facebook page. Join us, and let’s win this thing.



Previous Posts

Video: (muslim) Mehdi Hasan interviews (atheist) Richard Dawkins at the Oxford Union
This is an excellent debate between the most emphatic atheist of our time, Richard Dawkins, and political journalist Mehdi Hasan. Hasan is brilliantly prepared for the debate and treats Dawkins with utmost respect, but methodically defends belief and religion as a force for good. https://www.you

posted 11:46:28am Apr. 08, 2014 | read full post »

Two Bohras come to aid of Frenchwoman attacked in Mumbai
In the past two months I've traveled to India three times, to attend the funeral and other events after the passing of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra). This quite shocking story happened in the Fort area of Mumbai, which is quite close to where I spent much of my time and is considered one of the b

posted 6:20:59pm Mar. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Amidst the grief, solace in the succession of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani The forty day period of mourning has now elapsed, but the profound sadness at the loss of the beloved head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a spiritual mo

posted 9:48:33am Mar. 16, 2014 | read full post »

NYPD's illegal spying on Muslims was legal, says legal system
This is profoundly disappointing but not entirely unexpected: In a decision filed Thursday in federal court in Newark, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismisse

posted 12:44:10pm Feb. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Valentine's Day and Islam - the virtues of mohabbat (love)
Happy Valentine's Day! I am biased towards appreciating Valentine's Day not just for it's Gujarati origins but also because it's my birthday. However, not all Muslims share my appreciation. Here's a typical example: In its official Friday sermon text distributed to mosques in the Muslim-major

posted 6:04:27am Feb. 14, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.