Goodbye George Bush: A Letter from Aa’ed AlQarnee | Inauguration Open Thread

Written & Translation by Haytham Soliman and edited by Amatullah.

Pls also use this space for any comments pertaining to the Obama Inauguration.

war-is-peace-bushI came across a very interesting farewell letter written by a scholar residing in KSA, Shaykh ‘Aa’ed AlQarnee, to the soon-to-be-former President George W. Bush. My intention of translating this letter is to show most Americans are joined by people from around the world in their bitter memories of the outgoing President.

Though I personally don’t agree with everything the Shaykh said, I wanted to perform my “journalistic duty” to convey the letter in its entire form, and to translate it to the best of my ability. So take what you wish, and leave what you wish.

Translation of Letter:

Saying goodbye is difficult, and tears betray the eyes when a beloved person is leaving. I thought about the the shining President, the one with the renowned legacy, the successful one (George W. Bush) so I remembered the statement of Ibn Zaydoon:

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ودّع الصبرُ محباً ودعك ـ ذائعاً من سره ما استودعك

He will leave the Presidency and the White House, and he has left the world in a dilemma ‬after his achievements that were not preceded by one. He destroyed the American economy, He cut the bridges of international relations and he degraded the reputation of the United States of America. He destroyed Iraq, and vandalized ‬ Afghanistan.

He helped in the siege of Gaza, and promoted democracy using tanks, and upheld justice using rockets. He distributed food with bombs, and spoiled the water, and even blocked the air. He spilled blood and prevented food and medicine. He imprisoned the innocent, widowed women, caused children to become orphans, tortured honorable people, betrayed the loyal ones, disobeyed the true advisers, and obeyed the stupid ‬ones.

He predicted that the U.S. army would receive flowers and smiles, however he was received with flying shoes, the cries of mothers as well as the anger of the living and the dead,. His soldiers were diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, delirium, nausea, diarrhea, anemia and AIDS. Add to that the  physical deformities and amputation of hands and feet and broken nose, skulls and bones.

Now President Bush leaves and I ask God for his longevity so he can see for himself the fruits of his achievements, the results of the breakthroughs and taste the sweetness of his work.  (He will sip it unwillingly, and he will find a great difficulty to swallow it down his throat, and death will come to him from every side, yet he will not die) Quran Surat 14: 17.

Bush desires a good reputation and sweet memories and the love that he planted in the hearts. I suggest that a memorial be built for him in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Tora Bora and Gaza. And I send the highest of thanks to him on behalf of Arab Nations from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf (one nation with an eternal message), as it will always be, stable and strong.

And I thank him on behalf of the resistant and challenging countries, and I thank him on behalf of the Iraqi fighters and the elderly people of Afghanistan and the elderly and children of Gaza, the handicapped people Palestine, and I thank him on behalf of environmentalists whose work he eased since he destroyed the environment, and on behalf of the economists (and business people) because they are now on a long vacation, and on behalf of the auto industry because it shrunk, and on behalf of banks which he bankrupted.

Also as we have to recognize him with our deepest gratitude, because he made the USA vulnerable and brought it down from being the biggest power to being the fourth world power, and helped in spreading the U.S. military and then wasted its wealth and energy. Thank him for his aid in implanting the psychological defeat in the hearts of his people, and we send to him bouquets of flowers, as many as the bombs that he dropped on Fallujah, Basra, Kandahar, and as many roses as the toxic gas that he spread in the Gulf and Kabul.

On behalf of each disabled child, disfigured young girl, handicapped young man or woman, disappointed elderly, all the orphans, and the displaced persecuted and imprisoned people, we wish him happy days, and a delight when he sees the shattered bodies, burned faces, chopped noses, the faces with missing eyes and ears and broken hearts. We thank him for his proficiency in speaking, and his quickness in answering the questions, with his handsomeness, high stature and the magnitude of his importance, adding to that his attractive charisma, and his enthusiastic personality which does not come to anybody but the one of deserves the wrath of God.

Now we give our farewell to Bush, and our promise to you is a dua’a  and a beautiful memory, we’ll not forget you, and the shining history that will remember you till the end of time. So now die when you wish to die because death is a good cover and the grave is worthier.

The letter in Arabic:
الفراق صعب، ودموع الأحباب تخونهم عند فراق الحبيب، فقد تابعت كيف ودع العالم الرئيس اللامع طيب الذكر والسيرة والسريرة الرئيس المجدد الموفق (جورج بوش) فتذكرت قول ابن زيدون:
ودّع الصبرُ محباً ودعك ـ ذائعاً من سره ما استودعك
سوف يترك الرئاسة والبيت الأبيض ويذهب وقد ترك العالم في حيرة بعد إنجازات لم يسبقه إليها أحد، فقد دمر الاقتصاد الأمريكي وقطع جسور العلاقات الدولية وداس سمعة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، ودمر العراق، وخرب أفغانستان، وأعان في حصار غزة، وصدّر الديمقراطية على دبابة، وأرسل العدالة على صاروخ، ووزع الغذاء على قنابل، وأفسد الماء، وحجب الهواء، وأسال الدماء، ومنع الغذاء، وعطل الدواء، وسجن الأبرياء، ورمل النساء، ويتّم الأطفال الضعفاء، وعذّب الشرفاء، وخذل الأوفياء، وخالف النصحاء، وأطاع الأغبياء، وتنبأ بأن الجيش الأمريكي سوف يُستقبل بالباقات والبسمات، فإذا هو يُستقبل بالجزمات، وغضب الأحياء والأموات، وصرخات الأمهات، وأصيب جنوده بمرض الوسواس القهري وانفصام الشخصية والهذيان والغثيان والإسهال ومرض الأنيميا والأيدز، مع التشوهات الجسمية من قطع الأيادي وبتر الأقدام وجدع الأنوف وكسر الجماجم وتهشيم العظام، والآن يرحل الرئيس بوش ونسأل الله له طول العمر ليرى بنفسه ثمار إنجازاته، ونتائج فتوحاته ويتذوق حلاوة أعماله «يَتَجَرَّعُهُ وَلاَ يَكَادُ يُسِيغُهُ وَيَأْتِيهِ الْمَوْتُ مِن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمَيِّتٍ»، وعزاء بوش السمعة الحسنة والذكر الجميل والحب الذي زرعه في القلوب، وأقترح أن يبنى له نصب تذكاري في كل من غوانتنامو وأبو غريب وتورا بورا ومعابر غزة، وأرفع له الشكر باسم القوميّة العربية من المحيط إلى الخليج (أمة واحدة ذات رسالة خالدة) لكنها راكدة جامدة خامدة هامدة جاحدة، وأشكره باسم دول الصمود والتحدي والتردي (والمهليّ ما يوليّ) وأشكره باسم قتلى الرافدين وشيوخ أفغانستان وعجائز فلسطين وأطفال غزة، وأشكره باسم علماء البيئة على أن أراحهم من العمل بتدمير البيئة، وباسم علماء الاقتصاد لأنهم أصبحوا في عطلة، وباسم صناعة السيارات لأنها تقلصت، وباسم البنوك التي (نيّلها بنيلة)، وطيّنها بطينة، كما نرفع له أسمى آيات الاعتراف بالجميل، لأنه أضعف (أمريكا) القطب الواحد لتكون القطب الرابع، وساعدنا في تشتيت الجيش الأمريكي وتبديد الثروة وتضييع الطاقة وغرس الهزيمة النفسية في قلوب شعبه، كما نرفع له باقات من الورد بقدر القنابل العنقودية التي ألقاها على الفلوجة والبصرة وقندهار، ونبعث له بغرشات الورد بقدر الغازات السامة التي نثرها في الخليج وكابول، باسم كل طفل معاق وطفلة مشوهة وشاب مقعد وشيخ مخرف وعجوز كسيرة حسيرة كان بوش السبب في شقائهم وتعاستهم، وباسم كل يتيم ومشرد ومضطهد ومسجون، ونتمنى له أياماً سعيدة يتلذذ فيها بالنظر إلى الأجساد الممزقة والوجوه المحرقة والأنوف المقطعة والعيون المفقوءة والآذان المشرومة والصدور المحطمة، كما نشكره على براعته في الخطابة، وسرعته في الإجابة، مع الوسامة وارتفاع القامة وضخامة الهامة، مع (الكريزما) الجذابة الخلابة، والهمة الوثابة التي لا تجتمع لأحد إلا بخذلان من الله، والآن نودع بوش وعزاؤنا في فراقك دعاء منا لك بظاهر الغيب، وذكرى جميلة لن ننساها لك، وتاريخ مشرق يبقى لك أبد الدهر، والآن مُتْ متى شئت فالموتُ أستر والقبر أجدر.

shoes-bush

Shoes thrown by protesters litter a driveway entrance outside the White House in Washington January 19, 2009, one day before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.
REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES)

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51 responses to “Goodbye George Bush: A Letter from Aa’ed AlQarnee | Inauguration Open Thread”

  1. Amad says:

    I wonder if George Bush will go down in history as one of the worst presidents that this nation has ever had…. or at least find himself up there in the ranking of worst. While Sh. Aed nails a lot of it, here are some of my thoughts… feel free to add your memories/thoughts:

    1) Failed to capitalize on nearly 90%+ popularity after 9/11, which he could have used to make a real change in the world… instead he let the opportunity slide to end up below 20% popularity at the end of his 2-terms.

    2) Completely destroyed America’s image abroad and destroyed 2 nations in the process, while helping to destroy Palestine as well.

    3) Totally and utterly incompetent as a President. He depended more on his loyalists to keep him in a state of myopia than he depended on what little brain God had given him.

    4) Promoted a state of Islamophobia in this country, and helped breed and foster the vultures of neoconservatives, who will continue to haunt this nation for many years to come.

    5) Became the first Evangelical leader to be a president of this nation, and brought with him what he believed was a prophetic duty to rid the world of evil… dangerous when you don’t use your own brain and rely on chicken-hawks to do the thinking.

    6) Put America 10s of years behind in world diplomacy, damage that may take another 10 years to recover from. Easily the most hated leader in the world, which is a remarkable thing to say when you have people like Putin around.

    And finally, on a lighter note:

    7) A total disaster for the language of English. Kids can always retort back when pushed to master the English language: why should we when you could become a President and not know how to say terrorist??

  2. Hassan says:

    Seriously, how can you have any disagreement with this letter? What part of it you did not agree, or has it become standard to put disclaimers to save oneself from getting in trouble?

    • Amad says:

      JFK was Catholic, but he wasn’t really a “Catholic leader”. If you read the book by Kevin Phillips, “American Theocracy: Perils of debt…”, Kevin makes a compelling argument that Bush indeed was the first President AND religious leader, because that is the way the evangelical community saw him…

  3. Hassan says:

    Amad (Author) said:

    5) Became the first Evangelical leader to be a president of this nation, and brought with him what he believed was a prophetic duty to rid the world of evil… dangerous when you don’t use your own brain and rely on chicken-hawks to do the thinking

    I thought Jimmy Carter was Evangelical as well.

  4. islam blog says:

    The shaykh has a way with words!

  5. Bint Yussuf says:

    Good, strong letter from the Sheikh.

    May Allah grant Bush the same fate of opressors like Firaun and Sharon, ameen ya Rabb

  6. Amad says:

    Since we don’t have a “Goodbye Bush, Welcome Obama” post, we’ll use this for any inaugaration comments…

    Interesting blurbs in Obama’s speech:

    For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers

    What a blasphemy… mentioning Muslims before Jews. I think Obama will get a lot of hate-mail for that one, moving America from a “Judeo-Christian” nation to one that is more inclusive :)

    To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

    I like the separation. He first mentions the Muslim world, but then does not continue the sentence with warnings, as others have done before him. Rather, he begins a new line with a separate message. Important construction.

  7. Amad says:

    This was also a solid quote and touched on many nerves, including the draconian laws against personal privacy, i.e. Patriot Act and the like. As well in essence touching on torture and extraordinary renditions.

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

  8. AnonyMouse says:

    That was great stuff from the sheikh, hafidhahullah.

  9. Amad says:

    Interesting that Cheney is on a wheel-chair. May Allah start his recompense with this and much more for all the evil he sowed in the world. May he be buried in the annals of history as an evildoer in the likes of Pharoah, Hitler, Sharon, etc. and may he not sleep one night peacefully.

  10. intellect1429 says:

    I JUST WANT TO ANALYZE THIS QUOTE REAL QUICKCLY HERE:

    “To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

    WOW, EVEN THOUGH HE’S TALING ABOUT “MUSLIM COUNTRIES”, THIS STATEMENT SOUNDS ALOT LIKE TO POLICIES OF THE US, DOESN’T IT. Judging from how Obama refused to comment on the deaths of 1,300 palestinians, we citizens of this country (muslims and non-muslims who smell the coffee) will judge what the US can build and not destroy ( in light of how much destruction around the muslim world the US is aiding).

    Past administrations (and I’m guesing Obama as well – since he himself is in the pocket of neo-cons), “silence dissent” all the time – you can’t even criticize the Israel Lobby without receiving a public crucification (literally).

    Coming off of so much blood and carnage in the Muslim world, its hard to believe that this past administration (and inferring from Obama’s silence) are on the right side of history.

  11. osman says:

    I have a hard time believing that Bush made his decisions due to his religion. He definitely used religion/democracy/justice to get support for his decisions, but for the most part his decisions more due to the neo-conservatives, who wanted more influence in critical oil-rich areas of the middle east and around the world.

  12. abumoosa says:

    @ sis AnonyMouse

    That was great stuff from the sheikh, hafidhahullah.

    I hope you didnt mean ‘sheikh’ Obama!!!

  13. intelect1430 says:

    To Intelect1429,

    Point well made, its the same filthy dead body, just got a new cofffin today, will smell and look like a new car for a while and the people without intelect will only limit their vision to what they see and smell.

  14. WM says:

    “This was also a solid quote and touched on many nerves, including the draconian laws against personal privacy, i.e. Patriot Act and the like.”

    The same patriot act your beloved former Senator voted for?

    “To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist. ”

    The very same rulers America aids, succours, abets, clad and feed?

  15. anonymous says:

    First muslim president!!! Lets just hope inshallah he makes better decisions for muslims around here and around the world than the other two muslims in an elected office

  16. Algebra says:

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I LOVED the LETTER in every way. I would ONLY CHANGE it to GOOD-RIDDENCE instead of goodbye.
    salam

  17. haytham says:

    wow.. I am glad you guys liked it.. i had a feeling that some people will be like WTH are you doing… but Alhamdulillah.

    I must say i hesitated a little with the translation.. but alhamdulillah Sr. Amatullah helped alot.

  18. Amad says:

    Added a photo at the bottom of the post, emblematic of what Bush meant to so many Americans… symbolized by the Iraqi show-throwing journalist.

  19. Mohammad S. says:

    First muslim president!!! Lets just hope inshallah he makes better decisions for muslims around here and around the world than the other two muslims in an elected office

    He’s Christian. He got sworn in on Lincoln’s Bible.

  20. I wanted to perform my “journalistic duty” to convey the letter in its entire form

    akhee, there is no such duty. in fact, most people want journalists to reduce long texts to their essentials. on the other hand, many journalists (or their editors and publishers, more often) would reduce such a letter to a soundbite. one aimed at furthering the agenda of the journalist and/or attacking that of the shaykh.

    so, i do not have a problem with reproducing the whole letter — just ascribe it to the integrity a Muslim would show :) instead of a nonexistent duty in a profession much to blame for inaccurate information disseminated in the West.

    that said, you did more poorly on a different score: though you are responsible for introducing the words of this shaykh, you give no information at all about his background, nor the context of his letter. those omissions, sadly, have become hallmarks of modern American reporting. may Allah Guide you to what is better, and may He always be pleased with you, and may He always ease for you the way to good wherever you may be.

  21. Farhan says:

    He was the president my entire adult life, and now its come to an end. I don’t mean this in the trite, Obama sloganized way, but I’m glad to see change. Even if McCain won (who, btw, seemed like a very decent, respectable human being)

  22. intelect1430 says:

    @ Abu AbdAllah H………….

    Intresting read…..here………. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat

    Is making some one “scapegoat” halaal or haraam?

  23. intelect1430 says:

    @Anonymous,

    Aakhi, Do you even know what Muslim means? How many muslims swear by Bible? A Muslim name does not makes you a Muslim its just a label. Grow-up pal.

  24. SoS says:

    What a blasphemy… mentioning Muslims before Jews. I think Obama will get a lot of hate-mail for that one, moving America from a “Judeo-Christian” nation to one that is more inclusive

    Mistah Savage’s already got that covered. On the way home from ‘Isha, he was ranting about how Obama added Muslim after Christian, apparently President Obama doesn’t realize that this country is “Judeo-Christian.”

  25. UmmeAmmaarah says:

    What i’m really confused about is that as muslims, we must yearn to learn the truth, and make sure we have the facts, know about what’s really going on in the world, but AFTER that, are we allowed to criticize, ridicule, and poke fun at our enemies? without doubt, we bear no good-will towards these people, but is it good for OUR aakhirah to let our tongues loose at them? Allah is The Most Just, and will indeed dole out His justice, but are WE allowed to curse these people, and wish ill for them? Didnt our Messenger Sallallaahu-alaihi-wa-sallam, still pray for the people of Taif, when he had the option of bringing destruction upon them? So how far are we allowed to go in our criticism of the enemies of Islam? I honestly want a fatwa on this one. any shuyookh?

  26. mulsimah says:

    salaam! I absolutely loved the speech. I thought I would be dissapointed but I was not at all! I was not very excited about the inauguration bc of Gaza and I was mad about the silence but today morning I got excited again.. and the inauguration was emotional just like when he was elected.

  27. A Sister says:

    @UmmeAmmaarah

    I’m no shaykh so I can’t really answer your question…however, some things to think about…

    1) Hassaan ibn Thaabit – may Allah be pleased with him – disparaged in his poetry those who harmed the Prophet – peace be upon him – with the Prophet’s approval – google Hassaan/Hassan ibn Thaabit (good posts on almaghrib forum and qaryah blog) & check section on poetry in sahih al-bukharee

    2) The Prophet – peace be upon him – cursed those who killed the sahaabah in his qunoot

  28. Abd- Allah says:

    I will miss Bush… for real. He used to always provide some free, good quality entertainment, just google ‘bushisms’ and laugh your head off, just don’t waste too much time on them, they can get addicting, and excessive laughing is bad for your heart. As for Obama, I wouldn’t think he will change much, especially not in the matters of foreign policy, as we all know that it is the Israeli lobby that really runs the show and not the president, so I wouldn’t expect any positive change in the foreign policy… but then again how bad can he be… No matter how bad he is he can’t be worse than bush.. but bush did provide us with humor whenever he opened his mouth and tried to talk. But lets wait and see, as time will tell, and it wouldn’t be fair to make assumptions about Obama, as obvious as they might be, but lets wait and see if he really will change things, and time will tell, and only Allah knows what the future holds.

  29. Abd- Allah says:

    Here are some of my favourite Bushisms! Now don’t laugh too much, you might burst an organ..

    1) “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

    2) “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

    3) “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

    4) “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

  30. mofw says:

    Thank God for Obama!!!

    The long wait is over! Now we can experience justice after the long nightmare that was Bush. A new age of prosperity and peace has come!!! Let the choirs sing as the heavens part and cast upon us the soft warm light of change.

    Let saint Obama shade us with his wings and with his luminescent halo light our glorious path to the future!

    Let those tears of happiness flow freely and rejoice. Lament only for those before us and after us that were deprived of this most excellent day!

  31. Algebra says:

    Aslamu-alaikum
    @Abd-Allah

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for those jokes………….they were toooooooooo funny. I didn’t even know he said those things.
    thats too funny.
    salam

  32. intelect1430 says:

    @mofw,

    Sounds like you are submitting yourself to OBAMA rather than Allah SWT.

    If you ask the creator (Allah swt) he will answer what is good for you in this life, Hearafter or both. BUT if you ask from the CREATED you will feel like you are banging your head on the wall. (never satisfied on the return)

  33. Miako says:

    You got that as “the oppressors” meant Muslims? ayiyi.
    I didn’t get that at all.

    I believe the Muslim world got addressed specifically because they have been the most wronged. Iran, who was reaching out to help America in Afghanistan, was subsequently labeled as part of the “Axis of Evil”. Not a good thing for relations.

    Let alone the massive numbers of Muslim men women and children who have died.

    As a Jew who lives in a majority Christian country (America), I am glad to see Obama mentioning Muslims before Jews — and even more glad to see him mentioning unbelievers!

    Strength in diversity
    Together in hope
    May we lead by Example

    And I pray, in a not so distant future, that we may lead the Middle East to the same conclusion, where Jew and Muslim can coexist peacefully, in states with translucent borders and no walls.

  34. A Sister says:

    @intelect1430

    I think mofw was being sarcastic…

  35. Miako says:

    George Mitchell (former Democratic Senate Majority Leader) as special envoy to the Middle East. Interestingly enough, his dad’s of Irish descent, and his mum’s from Lebanon.

    Trust obama to pick someone interesting (and with a legislative bent, no less!)

  36. haytham says:

    @ intelect1430

    @mofw,

    Sounds like you are submitting yourself to OBAMA rather than Allah SWT.

    If you ask the creator (Allah swt) he will answer what is good for you in this life, Hearafter or both. BUT if you ask from the CREATED you will feel like you are banging your head on the wall. (never satisfied on the return)

    He said what he said in a sarcastic way…. you have to know him to appreciate his humor .. LOL

    MOFW… next time put a smile or something

  37. intelect1430 says:

    @haytham,

    Is “sacasm: HALAAL or HARAAM? :)

  38. haytham says:

    @intelect1430

    Allah knows best… regardless of it’s halal-ness or haram-ness … thats off the point…go re-read your first reply to him.. :)

    Anyway…

  39. Muhammad Nizami wrote:

    As Obama addressed the US as well as the wider world, the hype that has proceeded his election victory seemed to dissipate as he affirmed in the most unambiguous way to date that he shall continue with Bush’s policies towards those who refuse to fall in line with American dictates.

    Of course, the many Muslims of both the East and West who called for Obama’s support, with his every word on the tip of their tongues, will undoubtedly be overwhelmed with a sense of shame while many commentators both Muslim and otherwise resist the urge to say “told you so”.

    The inaugural speech, prepared by Obama’s writers and edited by himself, left more to be desired resembling a sermon more than a speech. There is no doubt that Obama, being evidently more intelligent than Bush, managed to address issues that affect the wider citizens of the world, yet the leaders he criticised for oppression and terror wouldn’t necessarily evoke names such as those Obama intended.

    As well as addressing the economic, healthcare, and environmental problems facing the US, he spent an important part of the address discussing foreign issues. As the first (semi) Afro-American president, it was quite ironic that he mentioned the ‘founding fathers’ who “faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations”, especially given that most of those founding fathers were slave owners and in no way would they have accepted, nor intended in the charter, the presidency of a black man.

    In keeping with the contradictory state of US presidents, Obama said, “We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.” Having accepted the irresponsibility of Bush and Co in attempting to occupy Iraq and milk it for its oil’s worth, Obama apparently isn’t ready to afford Afghanistan the same amount of dignity in letting Afghani’s decide the future of their own country. If anything, it will renew the call of the mujahideen of Afghanistan with fighters gathering once again reminiscent of the Afghan-Russia conflict.

    Obama also indicated that in similar fashion to Bush, he intends to continue with the Israeli instigated accusations that Iran is building nuclear bombs. Of course, Iran were not as quick as the Gulf states in welcoming the Obama presidency, Ahmadinijad saying earlier, “If changes are fundamental, genuine and based on respect… we wait and see and do not make premature judgement”. However, more aptly, if Obama intends to “work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat”, then I suppose he’ll be commencing with Israel.

    Turning his attention to so-called ‘terrorists’, he claimed “We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence”. It is extremely poignant to note that such rhetoric has been continually utilised by neo-cons (such as Bush) who have attempted to portray fighters as those who want to destroy the US, where in reality, individuals such as Osama bin Laden have repeatedly stated that if the US were to cease from imposing their oppressive policies in the Middle East all acts of violence would also discontinue. Thus, the mere fact that Obama has resorted to such propaganda evidently proves that although there may be ‘change’, it certainly won’t be in the Middle East. In continuing with his Bush-like rhetoric, he said “those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” Spoken like a true neo-con, Obama managed to resemble his Zionist colleagues egotistically assuming that the US will manage to eradicate all forms of resistance to their colonial oppression. Moreover, his statement concerning those who “terror and slaughtering innocents” highlights the theme of contradiction running through all neo-con discourses, as if any nation could surpass the US and Israel in the massacre of innocent civilians. The mere fact that Obama failed to mention the current carnage of Gaza by the terrorist apartheid state of Israel clearly demonstrates that pro-Zionist policies will continue to dominate both the bias of the US president and the policies of the White House.

    In an apparent attempt to imply states such as Iran, Venezuela, and others who openly disagree with US policies, Obama said, “To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West…To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Yet, any individual aware of the oppressive regimes littering the Middle East would promptly apply the above descriptions to leaders such as Hosni Mubarak, the Gulf monarchies, Mahmoud Abbas, and many others. Yet in keeping with the American colonialist mindset, Obama has clearly indicated that support for wicked dictators shall continue in similar fashion to the killing and torturing of those who dare to resist. What was quite notable was the fact that Obama didn’t refer to the ‘axis of evil’ nor the ‘war on terror’, an obvious bid to distance himself from Bush terminology. However, in using the Shakespearean phrase in the current context, “a war by any other name is just as evil…”

    As was clear from Obama’s speech, the continual support of pro-Zionism and pro-Middle Eastern dictatorships shall continue, with the intensified oppression of innocent Muslims continuing in Afghanistan once again. In the end, Obama is a politician, and as one he chose his words carefully, ambiguously mentioning nations and leaders. Overall, the tone of the speech was sombre, imparting no great news nor informing us of any change, but instead affirming the reality so well known to all those who despise both Zionism and those who wage war killing innocent Muslims in foreign lands.

    The eminent companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), once famously said, “if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad , then Muhammad is dead, but if (anyone of) you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die.” He then recited “Muhammad is no more than an Apostle, and indeed (many) apostles have passed away before him…”1 Similarly, if anyone had trust in Obama then it is incumbent that s/he know that he cannot even help himself, as Allah stated “And those whom you call upon besides Him (Allah) cannot help you nor can they help themselves.”2 But “whosoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.”3

    Footnotes:

    1 Qur’an 3:144
    2 Qur’an 7:197
    3 Qur’an 65:3

  40. Miako says:

    to prior commenter,
    Saudi Arabia is a place that seeks to pin much of it’s ills on the West. And we’re allies!
    GRR… We’d do much better to be allies with Iran. There at least the clerics are allied with the middle class, and not dictators.

  41. Abu Abdullah (the houstonian)

    “akhee, there is no such duty. in fact, most people want journalists to reduce long texts to their essentials. on the other hand, many journalists (or their editors and publishers, more often) would reduce such a letter to a soundbite. one aimed at furthering the agenda of the journalist and/or attacking that of the shaykh.

    so, i do not have a problem with reproducing the whole letter — just ascribe it to the integrity a Muslim would show :) instead of a nonexistent duty in a profession much to blame for inaccurate information disseminated in the West.”

    Actually, I’d have to disagree akhi. Sometimes it is journalistic to post the transcripts of lectures or articles as they appeared somewhere else– I agree this is usually rare, but it is done, based on certain occasions.

    Take the Inaugural speech, that was posted word by word everywhere, without reducing it to soundbites.

    So based on a journalistic perspective, I think Br. Haytham actually did do a “Journalistic Duty” especially since the article was timely and not previously published in english.

    Wallahu alem.

  42. mofw says:

    Intellect betrays his namesake.

  43. Anti_Shaytan says:

    I heard one of his first acts as President is gonna be to shut down Gitmo, is this true?

  44. Al Iskandarani says:

    @ Anti_Shaytan

    Yep, Pres. Obama is indeed closing Gitmo.

    Between the measures he took yesterday to begin to help the economy & his executive orders coming up over the next week, is it just me, or is he planning to do more in his first 8 days than Bush did in 8 years??

  45. intellect1429 says:

    “Intellect betrays his namesake”

    JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS: I was originally intellect 1429, the Islamic year changed, so I became intellect1430. But I only used Intellect1420 once on this post since the new year. SOMEONE ELSE decided to use the name INTELLECT1430, so don’t confuse this person with me.

    I will let him/her continue to use my name, and I’ll find a new and creative came (or just stick with intellect1429).

  46. nania says:

    The shaykh forgot to add he was part of 911 evil plan.If still someone beleives 911 was not an inside job and was done by muslims ,you are being deceived by the evil corporate media.checkout ae911truth.org

  47. @Shirien Elamawy

    alhamdolillah, i thought i was clear that Haytham did a good thing by reproducing the letter, and by translating it. and may Allah increase him in good for it.

    but the comparison to the inauguration speech only highlights why it was essential to tell us more about the shaykh and about the context of the letter, was it spontaneous, etc.

    seriously — no person who has had any interest in reading the inauguration speech — and i freely admit that i have neither read it, nor did i watch it, nor do i have much desire to do so — no person who might stop and read the speech of Obama has any doubt who he is. nor would that person have much (if any) doubt about the context.

    i still have no clue who this shaykh is, except that he is my brother in Islam, that Haytham and a worthy sister translated the speech, and many of us have stopped to consider his words. that if Obama does not turn to Allah, that the shaykh has more reason to be raised above him on the day of Judgment, and only Allah Knows the outcome of any of us. maybe Haytham wants us all to google the shaykh — fair enough, but that would be “the duty of care of a blogger” not the “duty of care of a journalist.”

  48. shirien says:

    Abu Abdullah,

    My disagreement was not in the fact that there should be some background on the author of the article, when and why it was written… my disagreement was just merely from a journalistic perspective in saying that it’s not uncommon for articles to be published as a whole without being reduced to quotes or sound bites.

    I think why it was written is clear in the context of the article itself, when, it irrelevant because it is timely and had to have been written at least 2 weeks or less ago, and the sheikh is very well known to many Muslims, but I agree that many Muslims may not know who he is and the great respect he has around the world.

    I guess it comes down to another journalistic duty of establishing some sort of credibility to the words. Some bloggers are in essence just freelance journalists. wallahu alem.

  49. Organica says:

    حياك الله ياشيخ!!!

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