November 14, 2012

To: My Fellow Muslims
From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

My Fellow Muslims

As-Salaam Alay-Kum,

“Politics,” wrote George Lakoff, a distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, in his book The Political Mind, “is about real world power and the way we understand morality. The bitterness in politics is partly about who has power and patronage and the control of money and resources that goes with political power. But the wider and deeper emotionality and bitterness is about morality, about whose moral system will rule. That is what public political discourse is mainly about. And public discourse has an enormous effect upon the outcome of elections.”

“Morality” is not what a politician practices in the 21st century. “Conscience does not get its guidance from a Gallup poll.” Pondering over this quip, one can safely assume that the “Morality” is instilled in the hearts and minds of humans based upon their early education first from parents, secondly, from schools and colleges, and thirdly, from their respective public relations institutions. In my personal opinion, it is the prominent American Muslim institutions, such as, CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, AIDF, IAMC, AIC, AMT and AMC who failed to encourage the “Intellectual Discourse” about the U.S. foreign policy before Election Day. In short, American Muslims have once again floundered to become a politically active group in the United States of America without exchanging “Intellectual Dialogue” amongst its members. Instead they all opted to encourage their members to overwhelmingly vote for President Barack Obama. Most of them took a “One-Sided” approach and did not find it worthwhile to analyze the consequences of Obama Administration’s foreign policy.

President John F. Kennedy once remarked, “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. This should be taken to heart. It is all the more obvious that the American Muslims did not engage in “Collective Discourse” by comparing the ideas and policies of the Democrats and Republicans. One of the most pragmatic articles penned by Farzana Hasan in Toronto Sun on November 8, 2012 titled Why Muslims chose Obama, despite broken promises must be read by those who whole-heartedly re-elected President Barack Obama. Trisha Marczak, a staff writer at MinitPress in her article dated November 5, 2012 Minority Issues: Will the Muslim Vote Have Impact On the US Election? quotes Niwad Awad, National Executive Director of CAIR, “Islamophobes wish to marginalize Muslims and deprive our community of its voice.” That’s a poor excuse given that the majority of American Muslims considers Republican Party as unfriendly.

Furthermore, the U.S. media hardly focuses on the Muslim vote as we possess a narrow vision and are not well read. What the American Muslims leaders must do is to follow the wisdom of President Kennedy and inspire the educated Muslims to acquire more knowledge about the governing principles of our nation’s two political parties with equal respect given to both. American Muslims have marginalized themselves by not assimilating and have forgotten that Muslims’ culture is “Conservative. Therefore, to have an impact in the American society, one has to consider participating in the conservative movement without any prejudice and not to count them out as the Republic Party are against Muslims. That’s sheer nonsense so to speak. Daniel Zubairi, a small business owner in Washington, D.C., endorsed Governor Mitt Romney in his article Why Romney is the Better Choice for Muslims which was posted in the Illume magazine website on November 4, 2012  is one good example of a Republican Party follower.

Comparative study is something American Muslims are not interested in. It takes away the precious time out of their own personal social affairs which is far more important than looking after the interests of their fellow Muslim brethren who are suffering due to unwise decisions by the U.S. government. In an open letter to the candidate Barack Obama dated November 4, 2008 and then on to another letter to President-elect Barack Obama dated January 2, 2009, Ralph Nader and the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Muhammad had this to say:

        Ralph Nader

“Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even
the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of
the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from
speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition
of a former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton
this year.

Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt,
but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid
Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to
sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy
Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a
stroll across the stage to “tumultuous applause” following a showing
of a film about the Carter Center’s post Katrina work. Shame on you,
Barack Obama!”

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia – Dr. Mahathir Mohammad

“Stop applying sanctions against countries which cannot do the same
against you.

In Iraq your sanctions killed 500,000 children through depriving them
of medicine and food. Others were born deformed.”

Ironically, in the Middle East Forum an article Obama Wins, Muslims Dividedby Daniel Pipes dated November 12, 2008, he reported that “American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Election” opined that “Our nation has risen to new majestic heights with Obama’s election.” During the same year, The Middle East Media Research Institute alerted that a highly reputed Sunni Scholar, Sheikh Yousaf Al-Qaradhawi in his “Fatwa” expressed preference for “A Republican Candidate” stating that “Whoever thinks that the Democrats are less hostile to (the Arabs) than the Republicans should know that the number of Iraqis killed during the siege (of Iraq) by the Democrat Bill Clinton is twice as high as the number of (Iraqis) killed by the Republican (George) Bush.” That’s quite a startling verdict, nonetheless, American Muslims merely ignored everything. Two links of “The Ornery American” website will help enlighten the role of “A Democratic President” William Jefferson Clinton. The Blood on Bill Clinton’s Hands and Clinton Worst Crimeswill shed light on a highly disturbing statement made by then Secretary of State, Madeleine Alright while being interviewed by Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes who asked Madame Albright “We have heard half a million children have died (from economic sanctions in Iraq). That’s more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?” Sadly, the reply was “I think this is a very hard choice. But the price, we think, is worth it.” How shocking of a revelation by the U.S. Secretary of State?

Four years later and after comparative studies, American Muslims needs to reflect upon the article, Clash of the Presidents: Carter vs. Obama.Herbert Dyer, Jr., an anchor of Allvoices. Mr. Dyer wrote, “Carter called Obama on the carpet because wrong is just wrong. And the truth must be told no matter whom it hurts, or when it hurts, or how bad it hurts. Those who still support the president, must allow the scales covering their eyes to fall away and face the obvious truth.” In fact, Mr. Dyer went one step further by suggesting that as a gesture of good faith, the least President Barack Obama can do is to return his Nobel Peace Prize. Such sentiments are borne out of a person’s firm belief in upholding the “Truth” and also due to the deep love of one’s country. In spite of knowing these facts, we the American Muslims decided to re-elect President Barack Obama whom David Ignatius, the opinion writer, calls The Covert Commander-in-Chief.In his article published in The Washington Post dated September 10, 2011, he concluded as follows:

“What this president dislikes – and does poorly – is political bargaining.
He’s as bad a dealmaker as, let’s say, George Smiley would be. If the
rote political parts of his job sometimes seem uninteresting to him,
may be that’s because they seem trivial compared to the secret activities
that he directs each morning. If only economic policy could be executed
as cooly and cleanly as a Predator shot.”

What is more alarming is that according to the National Catholic Weekly Drone War Under Law, the editors claim that the “Drone strikes are now conducted out of the White House, with the president himself approving targets. Let alone our fellow Americans who have been at the forefront by “Speaking Out” against the “Drone Warfare” conducted by the Obama Administration, but the most appalling press release dated October 23, 2012 was issued by American Islamic Leadership Coalition requesting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to revoke the U.S. visa granted to Imran Khan, founder of the political party of Pakistan – Tehreek-e-Insaf. Candidly speaking, what came as an utter surprise was to read the names of the distinguished members of AILC, one of them being Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who as a physician decided to be part of this unreasonable appeal in attempting to stop a fellow Muslim who speaks out against the U.S. drones. For the members who participated in approving of this move  should carefully view a YouTube video as follows:

Just listen to President Barack Obama who jokingly says, “I have two words for you ‘Predator Drone. You will never see it coming.” That’s right. The little Pakistani girl got killed by the U.S. drone and she never saw it coming, my fellow Muslims. Need I say more to those who cared less and did not made a right judgment on the Election Day.

A Cruel and Unusual Record was the title of an article by former President Jimmy Carter in The New York Times, wherein he summed up his thought by stating, “As concerned citizens we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.” President Carter as a renowned “Humanitarian” who faithfully executed his “Moral Responsibility” by expressing his well intent thought that the United States of America should not abandon acting as the global champion of human rights. Two Nobel Laureates from one political party must come together towards a mutual understanding that the “Drone Warfare” will one day tilt the “World Public Opinion” against our great country if it is not stopped. “The Politics of Responsibility, a commencement address given at the Harvard University on June 8, 1995 by Vaclav Havel, considered as one of the democracy’s most principled voices, comes as a stark reminder about “A Task for Politicians” as follows:

Politics is a matter of serving the community, which means that it is
morality in practice. And how better to serve the community, and
practice morality, then by seeking in the midst of the global (and
globally threatened) civilization their own global political responsibility:
that is, their responsibility for the very survival of the human race.

“COMPASSION IS THE BASIS OF MORALITY” proclaimed Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher. A recent display of “Compassion” in the country of Pakistan towards Malala Yousufzai has been very well demonstrated. This is a sign of a populace that is finally waking up to the ground reality of the deadly “Muslim Terrorists” in their midst. The 14-year old Pakistani girl who bravely championed the cause of education for girls was shot in the head and neck must be answered not by covering up the sins of the Talibans and freeing the guilty ones which has been the practice of the Pakistan government authorities. Merely blaming America by tearing and burning up the flags will not resolve anything. The “Evils of Terror” must be confronted and fought equally hard by all. Morally conscious citizens of Pakistan must now collectively demand that their own government bring the evildoers right in the “Public Square” for a trial by jury. It is high time for Muslims around the world to take heed to the commandment of the Holy Quran as follows:

Call on your Lord with humility and in secret – He does not love the
transgressors. Do not spread corruption on the earth after it has been
set in order – pray to Him with fear and hope. God’s mercy is close to
to those who do good. – Holy Quran: The Heights – Surah 7: Verse 55.

Finally, as American Muslims, we must always promote “Compassion” towards our fellow human beings, and at the same time, feel the compassion for those innocent ones who are in harm’s way when a “Predator Drone” strikes a suspected “Terrorist, and not to forget that, every single day, innocent young girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan are terrorized and hunted down by the “Trangressors” whose aim is not only to deprive the Muslim girls to get an education but to spread terror and create havoc in society. Our entire five daily prayers commence and revolves around the omnipotent words, “In the name of Almighty Allah – The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Well then, we need to practice it and make it a part of our lives. Never ever forget that Almighty Allah’s mercy is with those humans who “Do Good” and spread the “Good Word. Hence, THINK-A-LITTLE, read, reflect and ponder over all the articles and the videos in this letter by this humble writer regardless of any political party affiliations. Perhaps, this little contribution from my side will be an eye-opener.

May Almighty Allah bestow courage and wisdom to confront the “Truth” on all Muslims.

Compassionately yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia



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