November 5, 2012

To: My Fellow Americans
From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
Subject: “SENSE OF RESPONSIBLITY”

My Fellow Muslims,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

“Democracy is a system based on trust in the human sense of responsibility, which it ought to awaken and cultivate. Democracy and civil society are thus two sides of the same coin. Today, when our very planetary civilization is endangered by human irresponsibility, I see no other way than through a general awakening and cultivating of the sense of responsibility people have for the affairs of the world,” so spoke late great Vaclav Havel in the New Year’s address to his nation, Czechoslovakia, on January 1, 1994.

“SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY” is something this humble writer of the blog “My Fellow Muslims” urges at this crucial election eve. Ever since I posted my letter to President Barack Obama dated October 6, 2012, my focus has remained on the subject matter “Middle East. Needless to say that many of our fellow Americans are collectively concerned about the shaky U.S. economy resulting in less opportunities in the job market to help sustain their livelihood, and with equal concern, American Muslims cannot ignore the after effect of “The Arab Spring” that seems to be heading in a wrong direction after the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi which took lives of the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three brave Americans, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Reading Islam-OpEd by Nihad Awad , National Executive Director of Council of American- Islamic Relations (CAIR), coupled with the two articles, one by Mike Ghouse, a thinker, writer and activist of pluralism in The Huffington Post, and the other by Nidal Sakr, the Chair of The March of Justice, human rights and social justice movement, I instantly realized that all three distinguished gentlemen must have surely missed reading The New York Times article by Efram Halvey, the director of the Mossad from 1998 to 2002 and the national security advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon titled Who threw Israel under the bus? Here are some of the excerpts from the article:

“Despite the Republican Party’s shrill campaign rhetoric on Israel, no
Democratic president has ever strong-armed Israel on any key national
security issue. In the 1956 Suez Crisis, it was a Republican, Dwight D.
Eisenhower, who joined the Soviet Union in forcing Israel’s founding
father, David Ben-Gurion, to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula after a
joint Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt. In 1991, when Iraqi Scud
missiles rained down on Tel Aviv, the administration of the first
President Bush urged Israel not to strike back so as to preserve the
coalition of Arab states fighting Iraq. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
resisted his security chiefs’ recommendation to retaliate and bowed
to American demands as his citizens reached for their gas masks.

After the war, Mr. Shamir agreed to go to Madrid for a Middle East
peace conference set up by Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
Fearful that Mr. Shamir would be intransigent at the negotiating table,
the White House pressured him by withholding $10 billion in loan
guarantees to Israel, causing us serious economic problems. The
eventual result was Mr. Shamir’s political downfall. The man who
had saved Mr. Bush’s grand coalition against Saddam Hussein in
1991 was “thrown under the bus.”

After the war, Mr. Shamir agreed to go to Madrid for a Middle East
peace conference set up by Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
Fearful that Mr. Shamir would be intransigent at the negotiating table,
the White House pressured him by withholding $10 billion in loan
guarantees to Israel, causing us serious economic problems. The
eventual result was Mr. Shamir’s political downfall. The man who
had saved Mr. Bush’s grand coalition against Saddam Hussein in
1991 was “thrown under the bus.”

In all of these instances, a Republican White House acted in a cold
and determined manner, with no regard for Israel’s national pride,
strategic interests or sensitivities. That’s food for thought in October
2012.”

“Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence,” so concluded John Adams (who later became the second president of the United States of America) acting as a defense attorney while defending the British soldiers in his closing argument to the jury on December 3, 1770. We the American Muslims tend to get carried away with emotions without taking all the “Facts” into consideration. For long clinging to the habit of ignoring reality and living in a state of denial, quite a handful of our prominent American Muslim leaders have failed to take notice of Governor Mitt Romney’s remarks during The Third Presidential Debateas follows:

A group of Arab scholars came together, organized by the U.N., to look
at how we can help the — the world reject these — these terrorists. And
the answer they came up with was this:

One, more economic development. We should key our foreign aid, our
direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate
it to make sure that we – we push back and give them more economic
development.

Number two, better education.

Number three, gender equality.

Number four, the rule of law. We have to help these nations create civil
societies.”

We can “Think” with all the power of our minds. We can “Write” about all the flaws of the U.S. foreign policy. We can “Debate” endlessly among ourselves the lack on part of the “Liberals” and “Conservatives” for not being able to comprehend the situation in the Middle East. What we the American Muslims needs to do is to cultivate the habit of reading and listening to both sides of the political parties. Henceforth, every intellectual Muslims around the word should make a point to listen to Fareed Zakaria on Mitt Romney’s Post American World comment as follows:

Respecting Fareed Zakaria’s viewpoint, and especially his cautionary words, “This is a book (The Post American World) not about the decline of America but rather the rise of everyone else.” I respectfully request everyone to THINK-a-little. Only by being intellectually honest, one would take into account the young Middle Eastern students who are in a state of despair. Surely, not because of the failure of American foreign policy, but mainly because of the weak American Muslim leadership. I say, “Fareed, we are in a different world now. Mr. Zakaria is absolutely right in forewarning Governor Mitt Romney by saying, “Just thumping triumphalism won’t help you secure America’s interests or ideals in a world populated by powerful new players. You can call this new century or whatever you like, but it won’t change reality.” However, in order to help raise everyone, we the American Muslims must “Collectively” raise our voices of concerns towards our fellow Americans and the U.S. Government in order to speed up the process of helping educate and enlightening the minds of the younger generation of Muslims in the Middle East. Our “Commander-in-Chief” cannot act as a “Drone Warrior” but must strive to play the role of a “Literacy Warriorwhen dealing with the leaders of the Middle Eastern countries. Billions of the U.S. taxpayers’ money should not, I repeat, should not be wasted anymore in an unnecessary warfare to defeat the “Muslim Terrorists” whose sole aim is to sabotage all the sincere efforts of leading nations of the world who have been more than willing to help the Middle Eastern countries. In short, “Better Education, Gender Equality, and the Rule of Law” is something that is sorely missing in the Middle Eastern countries. As a leading American Muslim, Fareed Zakaria should be more vocal and work relentlessly to find solutions to the Middle East crisis as he is part of the U.S. Mainstream Media and most certainly in a position to “Make A Difference.

Most importantly, let us not forget that the U.S. Mainstream Media keeps reminding Americans about President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo given on June 4, 2009. Four years lapsed by and there is nothing to show for. President Obama did not utter the word “Palestinian” in his debate with Governor Mitt Romney. Pondering over the commitment made during his speech to the Egyptians, it seems like our president took two steps forward by giving an eloquent speech, one step backward by not personally pursuing his commitment, and then a sidestep for forgetting about “The Road Map Towards Peace. Why not read a few excerpts from his speech before the Election Day as follows:

“For decades there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate
aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive.
It is easy to point fingers – for Palestinians to point out to the
displacement brought by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point
to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within
its borders as well as beyong. But if we see this conflict only from one
sides or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution
is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where
Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.

That’s in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the
world’s interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome
with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the
parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come,
it is time for them – and all of us – to live up to our responsibilities.”

Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, but no one has a right to be wrong about “Facts.With one day left to the Election Day, respective opinions of our fellow Muslims posted on www.muslimsforobama.com must be read and analyzed. The good names of the contributors are, Aziz Poonawala (co-editor of the website), Ahmed Younis, Fatima Ashraf, Zerqa Abid, Asim Mohammad, Nadia Hussain, Fatema Biviji and Ferial Masry. Knowing that the majority of American Muslims will be leaning to vote for our President Barack Obama, therefore, as a silent observer, I am not out to influence anyone but to merely bring to notice a few “Facts” which I believe are worthy to note.

Though one thing I would like to point out is that, we the American Muslims must stop blaming our former President George W. Bush. “Intelligence isn‘t necessarily a plus for a public official” wrote Karol Markowicz, a public relation consultant, however, as American Muslims we ought to apply our intelligence and wisdom when casting our precious ballot on the Election Day. Bear in mind that “The Arab Spring” was made possible by the Bush Administration. This is a plain fact and it will be unadvisable to change it no matter how much we try hard to do so. Not only this, we the American Muslims must steer far away from belittling the sacrifices of the U.S. armed forces in freeing the Middle Eastern countries from the clutches of the ruthless dictators along with their continued efforts to help Afghanistan security forces to keep the heartless Talibans from inflicting more harm to the citizens who desires to live in peace and the young ladies who yearn to be educated without any fear of reprisal.

Quite frankly, I was taken aback by reading the comment of one Mohammed Askari Chandoo whose family has known President Barack Obama since 1981. In his endorsement of President Obama, Mr. Chandoo wrote that our President has always lived with the Quranic philosophy in his politics and personal life. For sure, there has been an abundant giving away. For instance, 47 million Americans are now living on “Food Stamps, and not to mention that the unemployment rate is at 7.9% which translates into close to 23 million of our fellow Americans out of work and the ever worsening of our nation’s debt which is hardly mentioned by those who posted their viewpoints on “Muslim Americans to support President Obama.” Well then, why not without any bias take time out to listen to Bishop E. W. Jackson, President of S.T.A.N.D. :

“My Fellow Muslims” a general awakening with a “SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY” is the need of the day. We the American Muslims have neglected “Facts” and have run away from assuming the responsibilities to help better the Islamic societies utilizing our position to seek access to the U.S. Mainstream Media. Fareed Zakaria, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Mike Ghouse are three American Muslims who can make a convincing case to who ever gets elected on the Election Day. This is no time for a “Blame Game. November 6th is a defining moment for the future of America and also for the future of the Middle East. The word to the wise is sufficient. While I started this letter with a quote of Vaclav Havel, I would like to end it with another quote as follows:

“Let us not allow the desire to serve oneself to blossom once again under
the fair mask of the desire to serve the common good. It is not really
important now which party, club, or group will prevail in the election.
The important thing is that the winners be the best among us, in the
moral, civic, political, and professional sense, regardless of their political
affiliations. The future policies and prestige of our state will depend on
who we nominate and later elect to serve in our representative bodies.”

May God bless America and its honorable and humble citizens be they Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Tea Party members.

Very sincerely yours,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

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WHERE ROMNEY STANDS ON THE MIDDLE EAST

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