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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Hussain_Khan_Tokyo
Full Name: Hussain Khan, Tokyo
User since: 20/Mar/2008
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Cosmetic Measures By US to Please Muslims

By: Hussain Khan, Tokyo

 

Just two weeks before the holy month of Ramadan set in; I received, as usual, for the fourth time, invitation from the US Ambassador in Japan to attend, along with my wife, an Iftar Party being hosted by His Excellency at his residence on September 9, 2009. The US ambassadors in Japan have been keen enough to makes all arrangements of such gathering for their counterparts from Muslim countries and heads of Muslim institutions, even before the start of this holy month.

The American forces are killing innocent Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and the US government is very well aware of this bitter fact that this policy has angered the Muslims around the world. The US administration can't quit such policy of shedding Muslims' blood under various pretexts but some of the US ambassadors, having sympathy with the Muslim population, try to calm their anger by hosting such Iftar parties. If they don't make even such a cosmetic gesture for Muslims, no one can compel the US administration for this; can we?

As Muslims, our role has become confined these days to just attending such Iftar parties and then just praying to Almighty Allah to bless US administration with wisdom.  Since by a slip of his tongue, President Bush had once spoken of Crusades in a Press conference in Washington, it appears as if the US, as the leader of Western Christendom, is trying to take revenge of the Crusades from Muslims, when every Christian aggression was defeated by Muslim armies in each and every battle.  It should weigh the possibility that it would be never in its own interest and that of the of the Christian European powers to take unfair, unjust and aggressive measures against Muslims for pleasing just six million Zionists of Israel at the cost of the displeasure of 1.5 billion Muslims in the world for durable and peaceful co-existence of the West and the Muslim world.

It is, of course, hard for President Barack Obama to ignore his Muslim voters.  A very considerable population of Afro-American Muslims have championed for his Presidential race. The Afro-Americans, experiencing bitterness of enslavement and segregation by the White racists, are embracing Islam, regarding it as the original religion of their forefathers before being caught as Slaves by the Western powers.  The number of such conversions is on the rise rapidly in America.  In addition to these Afro-American Muslims, there are large numbers of Muslim American citizens, originally from several Afro-Asian and Arab countries, who preferred to vote for Barack Obama, considering him as a "lesser evil", compared to the other Zionist-friendly presidential hopefuls.  Therefore, it is not strange if the President Obama feels obliged to pay some sort of lip service to their Islamic sentiments on such important occasions as in the holy month of Ramadan.  Such measures, even though they are nothing more than just cosmetic, are still better than nothing for the Muslims in general.

President Obama is unable to bring changes in the core policies of the US about Muslims, but he can send a goodwill message like " Ramadan Kareem" as the one issued on the first day of Ramadan from White House.  Using US diplomatic missions around the world, he can please Muslims with such Iftar parties in different countries. The US president tried to lure Muslim in his "Address to Muslims" from Egyptian capital Cairo. The new US ambassador to Japan Mr. John Roos also referred and highlighted the same presidential address. The US administration has also introduced a website for Muslims in the name of Ramadan:-

www.america. gov/ramadan. html?gclid= CLaWtlOm65wcFQQu pAoddW-bkA

A change is also getting roots in the American society that Muslim vote is essential for any presidential hopeful in US.  Moreover, this historical fact is also losing ground that no one can win American presidency without the financial and media electoral support of the Jewish community. I have researched and presented in my several previous articles the facts and figures of Jewish support and how they played crucial role in victory for the presidential candidates in the past 30 years. These figures show that usually only those presidential hopefuls have won the race, who got support of the majority votes of the Jews in America.  But now the situation is witnessing drastic changes.

Obama's victory has introduced new trends in historical traditions of US presidential elections. One of them is that the first ever a Black American citizen has occupied the White House as President. His victory has also changed the course of American history as well. The Blacks brought as slaves from Africa had suffered much on the American soil. The Blacks, fleeing from the fear of detention and cruel practices of the White Americans, were netted like wild animals. They had no human rights for centuries but today because of their historical struggle, sufferings and sacrifices, a person from among them is holding most powerful seat of this planet Earth as the President of USA.

The second important visible change is that the Jewish influence is gradually losing steam in US politics. The majority of American Jews opposed Obama, so much so that a Jewish former vice-presidential Democratic candidate, Joe Lieberman, openly criticized and led electoral campaign against the presidential hopeful of the same party, Barack Obama.  This phenomenon has appeared several decades after the late President Eisenhower that a presidential hopeful like Obama succeeded in reaching the White House despite fierce opposition of the majority of powerful US Jewish community.

Among several other factors, birth rate is also influencing the number of Muslim and Jewish voters in the United States.  The gradual rise in the importance of the Muslim vote and the decline of the Jewish influence in US could possibly be attributed to the difference in birth rates of both the communities. The ratio of Jews in US population was 3 percent before 30 years and it has lowered to 2 percent in recent demographic surveys and the trend is towards further decline. This situation has stirred worry and anxiety among the Jewish community and is expressed in books like "The Vanishing Jews".  They are mulling to stop this declining trend.

This worry has not only gripped the Jews in US but even in Israel their population is declining rapidly due to birth control practices.  In quite contrast to the declining Jewish population, the Muslim-Arab population has, by now, gradually increased to 20 percent within the borders of Israel.  It is because that birth control practices are strictly forbidden by the Holy Quran and the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).  At two places in the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah has forbidden killing (unborn) kids out of fear of poverty.  In Surah Bani-Israel and Surah Al-Ina'am, it is said that the fear of poverty should not prompt Muslims to kill their (would-be) children.  They are assured in these verses of the holy Quran that certainly Allah is the only Cherisher for us and for our generations to come.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH), in one of his Hadiths, has said that on the Day of Judgment, He will be proud of His Ummah being the largest one.  According to the "Sunan Nasai" ( collection of Hadiths), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that "marry such women who give birth to kids and love you." One of the benefits of such Islamic teachings has manifested itself in the form of Muslim population doubling itself in every 20 to 25 years in all parts of the world. Israel has started feeling the heat of this 'population danger' and is realizing the fact that after one or two centuries Muslims will be in majority even inside the state of Israel and Jews will turn into a minority as their population is declining.  This fear had prompted Ariel Sharon and his Likud Party to accept a 2-state solution to get rid of entire Arab Muslim population from Israel.

Whatever the reason might be for the increasing attention towards the Muslims, the Obama administration is trying hard to calm the anti-US sentiments of Muslims and we should appreciate and welcome all such efforts, as something is better than nothing.

I got opportunity to talk to the US ambassador and two other top US diplomats at the Iftar party and introduced myself as an anti-American Muslim. I tried to get their visiting cards. Two of them gave very graciously, but our host, the US ambassador, evaded the request. He inked his name and email address at the backside of my visiting card. I told the US diplomats that usually I pen anti-American articles which are published by several net newspapers and periodicals and that I will mail the clipping for their information. All of them promised to go through my articles because they wished to have perceptions and views of the cross section of communities in Japan.

But the US ambassador himself was stunned when I told him of my anti-American stance. After quite a long pause, he said, “Now there is a change in US Administration, so what do you think about the new Administration? "  I replied that Obama's father and grandfather were both Muslims, so we expect that the new Administration may have soft corner for the Muslims, but it still remains to be seen as to what steps will be taken by the Obama administration and to what extents they will have healing effects upon Muslims!

I also talked to the First Secretary for Political Affairs at the US embassy in Tokyo, Mr. Raymond E. Hotz, and reached to conclusion that being a new-comer diplomat in Japan, he was keen to enhance his social contacts and was eager to talk more on various issues.  I feel that now I have an opportunity to present the views and perceptions of Pakistani community in Japan regarding issues like detention of Dr. Afia Siddiqui in US, Drone attacks on Pakistani soil and the activities of Blackwater Company inside Pakistan, at my convenience through different meetings with him or with the Minister James P. Zumwalt at the embassy.  And if I wish to send any information direct to the President Obama, meeting with the ambassador could be requested for that purpose.  But since it is an era of emails, such things can be conveyed through this medium as well.

I have no hesitation in admitting that the new US Ambassador Mr. John Roos is absolutely free of so-called diplomatic ego or arrogance which is traditionally found among the diplomats of our country. He is really a 'people's envoy', blessed with wit and humor. He tries to extract wit out of all types of conversations. When he was writing his name and email address on the backside of my invitation card, I whispered that I have read about him that he was a lawyer in Texas or some other state and that he took active part in fund-raising for Obama electoral campaign and got this diplomatic assignment as a reward for that service. He tried, successfully, to draw wit out of this information as well. I used the word 'lawyer' for the attorney; he jokingly pronounced it as 'liar' and said 'Yes, I'm a liar'. I and all other ambassadors gathered around us laughed at his joke. Due to his 'human and humane' attitude towards his guests and visitors, I expect to have an opportunity of meeting him at will and that he will give full ear to our perception on several issues.

While going back, all guests were given a gift of Obama’s message, Ramadan Kareem, in print in all Muslim languages and the original DVD of his speech, which is reproduced below:

 

 Remarks of President Barack Obama

Ramadan Message  

Washington, DC

 

“On behalf of the American people – including Muslim communities in all fifty states – I want to extend best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.

Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with a simple word – iqra. It is therefore a time when Muslims reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.

Like many people of different faiths who have known Ramadan through our communities and families, I know this to be a festive time – a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared. But I also know that Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast during the day and perform tarawih prayers at night, reciting and listening to the entire Koran over the course of the month.

These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.

For instance, fasting is a concept shared by many faiths – including my own Christian faith – as a way to bring people closer to God, and to those among us who cannot take their next meal for granted. And the support that Muslims provide to others recalls our responsibility to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere. For all of us must remember that the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make – must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.

This summer, people across America have served in their communities – educating children, caring for the sick, and extending a hand to those who have fallen on hard times. Faith-based organizations, including many Islamic organizations, have been at the forefront in participating in this summer of service. And in these challenging times, this is a spirit of responsibility that we must sustain in the months and years to come.

Beyond America’s borders, we are also committed to keeping our responsibility to build a world that is more peaceful and secure. That is why we are responsibly ending the war in Iraq. That is why we are isolating violent extremists while empowering the people in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why we are unyielding in our support for a two-state solution that recognizes the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security. And that is why America will always stand for the universal rights of all people to speak their mind, practice their religion, contribute fully to society and have confidence in the rule of law.

All of these efforts are a part of America’s commitment to engage Muslims and Muslim-majority nations on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect. And at this time of renewal, I want to reiterate my commitment to a new beginning between America and Muslims around the world.

As I said in Cairo, this new beginning must be borne out in a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground. I believe an important part of this is listening, and in the last two months, American embassies around the world have reached out not just to governments, but directly to people in Muslim-majority countries. From around the world, we have received an outpouring of feedback about how America can be a partner on behalf of peoples’ aspirations.

We have listened. We have heard you. And like you, we are focused on pursuing concrete actions that will make a difference over time – both in terms of the political and security issues that I have discussed, and in the areas that you have told us will make the most difference in peoples’ lives.

These consultations are helping us implement the partnerships that I called for in Cairo – to expand education exchange programs; to foster entrepreneurship and create jobs; and to increase collaboration on science and technology, while supporting literacy and vocational learning. We are also moving forward in partnering with the OIC and OIC member states to eradicate polio, while working closely with the international community to confront common health challenges like H1N1 – which I know is of particular to concern to many Muslims preparing for the upcoming hajj.

All of these efforts are aimed at advancing our common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. It will take time and patient effort. We cannot change things over night, but we can honestly resolve to do what must be done, while setting off in a new direction – toward the destination that we seek for ourselves, and for our children. That is the journey that we must travel together.

I look forward to continuing this critically important dialogue and turning it into action. And today, I want to join with the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – and your families and friends – in welcoming the beginning of Ramadan, and wishing you a blessed month. May God’s peace be upon you.”

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