Muslims for McCain, Muslims for Obama: Can Muslims and the Media Handle it?
Last week I was up in DC for some government-relations work, and was a bit shocked to receive a request from FOX News for an interview on the Presidential Race.
Generally speaking, whenever the issue came up in my conversations with national Muslim leaders over the past few months, I have been relaying my personal preference for McCain over Obama, and that is primarily due to what I believe the policy progress will be under each administration. Normally I avoid the media like the plague (especially for the past few years) because I consider myself to be a policy analyst, not a political activist.
Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah
Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.
The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.
Anyway back to the request for the interview: On further investigation, I discovered that a national Muslim group had recommended my name to the FOX producers. As you’ll see in my first “aired” interview with FOX News (along with an Obama supporter, Shayan), I was quite nervous as I tried to frame my message for four simultaneous audiences. All in all, alhamduallah I enjoyed the experience (the limo ride to the studio and back was nice too!:) ). DC is obviously extremely political, as the questions framed by Brian (the FOX host who interviewed me) make very evident. So I wasn’t all that shocked when the following questions were asked of me and the Obama Muslim supporter (transcript from Media Matters):
From the June 25 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
KILMEADE: Mohamed, do you find it insulting at all when Barack Obama goes out of his way to say, “Hey, I am not a Muslim. I’m a Christian, and let’s stop these spread” as if being a Muslim is bad.
ELIBIARY: Well, of course, I’ve had issues just like every other Muslim with the way he’s framed that. I think that this is actually part of a bigger problem or challenge that Obama has, which is his image. He tries to craft it really, really tightly, while when we compare him to McCain — you might remember a controversy a few months back where Mitt Romney was asked if he would appoint a Muslim to his Cabinet, and his response was, “There aren’t enough Muslims to warrant such a position,” but McCain’s response when he was asked was, “Look, I’m going to appoint the best American that’s qualified for the position.” I’m like, what else can I really ask for?
KILMEADE: That’s who — Shayan, you’ve heard some of these things. I mean, when you hear Barack Obama come out and say, “These are rumors about me being Muslim. I’m not,” and make that effort, does that turn off for you?
SHAYAN FAROOQI: Not necessarily, because he, in fact, is not Muslim. But I feel that, as a candidate, he’s laid the groundwork down for all of us with our individual faiths to take whatever positive we can and contribute to the plurality of the American landscape.
Media Matters sent out an email about it last week (link here). Media Matters compiled some of the subtle and sometimes overt digs at Obama being a Manchurian Muslim candidate in this 4 minute video, and that’s the way DC goes. If you can’t view the 4-minute video below, I’d highly recommend clicking the link above and watching it.
Part of the American Muslim community’s challenge post 9/11 is to seem “as much American as possible” in this highly politically charged environment, and across the entire spectrum. That has been a bit hard emotionally at times due to the polemic discourse dominant today, but America does need Muslim-American leadership if it is to get anywhere in addressing its Counter-Terrorism challenges and US-Muslim World foreign policy issues.
Here is a nice article about the concept of Messaging that clearly explains the formula of M=EC3. M (Message) = E (Emotion) x C (Credibility) x C (Contrast) x C (Connection). The easiest thing for Muslims to do is respond in kind to the polemic discourse launched against us, but I believe we can do better then just caricaturing the environment simply as “Anti-Islamic/Muslim”.
As I’ve been sharing with my father, an Obama supporter and donor for over a year now, Stephen Covey suggests in his works that we must first “seek to understand in order to be understood”. For example a few weeks ago I was a delegate at the Texas GOP Convention, where I picked up this lovely refrigerator magnet. After asking the vendor how the magnet came about, you should have seen his face when I explained that “Allah Akbar” simply means “God is the Greatest”. So therefore swapping God for Obama, his magnet is actually stating that “Obama is the Greatest” – not exactly the message he intended to deliver.
I guess my point is that just like we (as Muslims) tell Americans that they don’t understand Islam all the time, because their only source is the sensationalized media, we should also recognize that we may be falling victim to the same mistake in perception. That does not necessarily mean all Muslims should vote for McCain over Obama (I’m not a big fan of Bloc-Voting anyways); rather we should at least reassess our conclusions and temper our own polemic counter-discourse. Many promoters of “Islamic Radicalism” talk are simple folk who are just scared, who don’t have a competent President to lead them, and who are victims needing our solid assistance to guide them.
Remember the “E” in M=EC3…
Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah
Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.
The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.
Leave a Reply
Cultivating Mental Well-Being In The Muslim Community [Part 2]: Back To Basics – Be Kind And Gentle To The Struggling
[Podcast] Man 2 Man: How Social Media Is Killing Your Imaan
An MM Exclusive: Interview With Tone Trump
From The Chaplain’s Desk: Serve Others, Seek Knowledge, And Study The Quran
Conversing with Allah: Reflecting On Surah al-Fatihah For Khushoo In Salah
India Hosts G20 Summit In Kashmir: A Projection Of Normalcy To Fuel Settler-Colonial Ambitions
Recognizing Emotional Immaturity [Part 1]: Dealing With The Emotionally Immature Muslim Parent
Cultivating Mental Well-Being in the Muslim Community [Part I]: Debunking Myths, Steps Toward Seeking Support
From The Chaplain’s Desk: Serve Others, Seek Knowledge, And Study The Quran
Over 130 Muslim Religious Leaders Release Statement Clarifying LGBTQ Position In Islam
IOK Ramadan: The Virtues of Reciting the Quran | Heart to Heart Ep. 1
Domestic Violence Series: Marital Disputes, Ego, And Shame
The Kuwaiti Shaykh Who Told Me A Story
The Guards Who Became Muslim After Guantanamo
My Hardest Ramadan Ever
#Current Affairs2 weeks ago
India Hosts G20 Summit In Kashmir: A Projection Of Normalcy To Fuel Settler-Colonial Ambitions
#Life1 week ago
Recognizing Emotional Immaturity [Part 1]: Dealing With The Emotionally Immature Muslim Parent
#Culture1 month ago
Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India And Israel | Book Review
#Life2 weeks ago
Cultivating Mental Well-Being in the Muslim Community [Part I]: Debunking Myths, Steps Toward Seeking Support
July 3, 2008 at 2:55 AM
Mohamed, great article, but since I’m the first to comment, let me say right off the bat that the whole article is about to be ignored because you’re a Muslim headlining on FN as a McCain supporter =) Let the flame wars begin :D
July 3, 2008 at 7:04 AM
I never knew there was a Muslim person that supports a man that wants to kill Muslims. Like Siraaj was saying I was about to ignore it but as soon as I found out your a John Mccain supporter I decided to read the whole article.
Let me just say I am very dissapointed in any Muslim that supports John Mccain because of where he stand with the Muslims. I mean he’s a man who insults our religion. He said I quote “I’ve been to Iraq eight times, I know the leaders, I know the situation on the ground. I know that Sunni and Al-Qaeda are closely tied”. So he’s saying we sunnis are terrorists makes me angry at anyone who supports him specially our fellow Muslims. The fact that John McCain would basically call millions of Muslims terrorists is appalling to me.
What I want to know brother Mohamed is what made you be a supporter for a man like him. What is he doing for the Muslims for you to support him? What will he do for us if he wins the election because all I heard was he’ll stay in Iraq for 100 years and go to war with Iran.
And fox news… they’re always saying negative things about us and I hate them for that. If I had tv at my house I wouldn’t watch fox news because of the way they make us look.
July 3, 2008 at 7:45 AM
I am extremely excited to know and see that there are high profile muslims, who are voting for McCain and not Obama.
To Aminah Muhammad, if Obama wins (and he would landslide), kindly give me your mailing address so I can send you 100$ check if Obama ends Iraq war without starting any new in next 4 years. (btw Iraq war would not end in next 4 years).
July 3, 2008 at 8:27 AM
4 years in Iraq is better than 100 years in Iraq (McCain’s plan)
This Mohammed guy is getting $$$$$$.
July 3, 2008 at 8:47 AM
salam… brothers/sisters: lets be careful about personal attacks and questioning sincerity/motivations of the author. This is not only wrong in any medium, but is especially wrong Islamically. Let me say, and as you all know, I have written a lot against Republicans, including McCain. I am not thrilled with Obama, but I would take him quite easily over McCain. BUT still, it doesn’t mean that I believe anyone who supports McCain is an agent!
Lets remember that Br. Mohamad is a well-known, respected figure among Texas’s Muslims. He didn’t suddenly appear on the scene or started some uncle tom organization like Juhdi or some other butt-kissers. Please read his past articles and also check out his website to see how much good he has done for us. He also is a regular speaker at Texas Dawah.
Instead of ad hominem attacks, lets stick to facts and substantive arguments. It is no sin to go on FOX Noise as much as we hate it and despite it (a sentiment which I am sure even Br. Mohamad shares). However, even our boy Obama has appeared on FOX many times… CAIR individuals have appeared on it too. So, you cannot run away from a medium when it asks for you.
So, in the spirit of discussion, I would like to ask Br. Mohamad why he feels that McCain will be better for “policy progress” than Obama? As far as I can tell, McCain will be a continuation and possibly a worsening of the Bush presidency. Enlighten us! :)
P.S. The article is appropriately titled, “can the Muslims handle it”, i.e. can we handle difference of opinion in a respectable manner? Can we at least try?? :)
July 3, 2008 at 9:50 AM
Well here we are again in 2008 worrying who will be the better candidate and our Islamic center has already started feeding us the fact that Obama is the Muslim choice. Let me ask this, what difference does it make if its Obama or McCain? Before the election they need to be good to everyone and be very careful of what they say. Until at least one of them gets into office. Bush was supported by Muslims in the 2000 elections. And now most of them have animosity towards him. Have we not learned from our mistakes? There is no need to support or endorse these candidates because none holds what we are looking for.
I mean why endorse a republican or a democrat? What is it they have promised? No good for us. Why should we be even looking up to them? They do not reflect me as a muslim and I do not want to be identified with them because they just don’t represent me.
The fact of the matter is that we should just stay away from this age old rhetoric. We have bigger stuff to worry about then worry about who it is that we should be endorsing. I suggest reading the khutbah on voting in the US by Jamal Zarabozo.
May Allah Guide us to whats right and Protect us from Shaytan and his evil tactics.
July 3, 2008 at 10:33 AM
MR, John McCain was fool to speak the truth (that US intends to make permanent bases in Iraq and stay there for 100 years (like they are in Japan, Germany etc). My point is Obama would not/ can not change it. If US military leaves Iraq it would be for different reasons.
Obama definitely seems better candidate, but I do not expect much from him.
July 3, 2008 at 11:31 AM
To Hasan…. I am not saying Obama is all that good himself but I know he’s better than Mccain. Insha’Allah if Obama wins since he has a Muslim background he might become a muslim, Allah can do amazing things if you didn’t know. I just think fox news aka Muslim haters will do anything to have Mccain elected and that idea is scary for me.
I know Obama doesn’t have a chance but you never know man. And like MR said 4 years of Iraq is better than 100 years in Iraq. I will send you my address if Obama wins so you can send that $$$$$.
I hate fox news and how they make us look. I still remember when they broke the news of Obama attending a madrasa haha to many Americans that word sounded very scary but they never said madrasa meant school and not anything more than that.
All I know is Mccain will be worst then Bush if he’s elected president. Lets pray that doesn’t happen insha’Allah.
As muslims we have to elect the person we think will go easy on our fellow Muslims and that person is not Mccain.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 11:34 AM
You ask, As far as I can tell, McCain will be a continuation and possibly a worsening of the Bush presidency. Enlighten us! :)
You are talking to someone who actually supported Bush in 2004?! That would seem to be what he is interested in.
Personal insults are not good adab and beyond that are a waste of time. When anyone is involved in politics for a long time, basic standards of morality and decency are gone from the mind. Br. Mohammed’s views are going to change because of some comments on an internet site.
May Allaah (swt) reward you for whatever good you may have done and may do, Mohammed. But the Muslim community should not listen to people who take positions so adverse to the interests of our community. I don’t listen to anyone who told the Muslims to support Bush and I’m not going to listen to anyone who tells the Muslims to support McCain. They should neither be given platforms by sites like MuslimMatters either.
I’ve been critical of Obama supporters, but this is just too much. I honestly don’t believe it, but at the same time I shouldn’t be surprised.
Allaah knows best.
July 3, 2008 at 11:39 AM
As salaam alaikum,
With all due respect, will the brother who is pro-McCain explain what advantages McCain has over Obama? As an influential blog, this website has the responsibility of educating its readers and raising the level of dialogue regarding these critical issues.
For example I can name a few reasons why Obama would be better for America in general, and Muslims in particular:
1. End Guantanamo Bay – Barack has called for its immediate closure, whereas McCain supports it
2. Torture: McCain supports the torture tactics used against many of our innocent bretheren in Gitmo and other secret prisons across the world
3. Iraq War: McCain supports the “surge” – which essentially also is yielding ‘surge’ of deaths. Hundreds of thousands of our Iraqi brothers and sisters have died. Obama was against the way since day one!
4. Habeas Corpus – Obama supports the protecting of habeus corpus- Mccain in fact was appalled and against the recent supreme court decision that simply gave Muslim prisoners in Gitmo the right to a fair trial.
5. Civil Liberties and Rights – McCain has supported the Patriot Act, wheras Obama is against it
6. Foreign Policy – McCain continues the right wing rhetoric which would not help our standing in the world, wheras Obama is willing to actually talk to our global neighbors and would help restore America’s once great image across the world.
7. Tax Breaks for the Rich – Obama would end the tax cuts for the ultra rich, and change the tax system so that it would favor the real working class and those struggling to get by
8. health care – although Obama’s plan is far from perfect – he actually has a plan that would move towards insuring more Americans. It is a travesty that over 1/3 of our fellow Americans are uninsured or underinsured.
I would like to hear any argument on how McCain would be a better president based on the issues listed above. In fact, aside from superficial social issues which really have no affect on Muslims (like gay marriage, abortions, etc.) on what issues is McCain better than Obama at all?
July 3, 2008 at 11:52 AM
Kindly re-read my posts, you totally got it wrong. I am convinced that Obama is going to win election, landslide (not Reagan landslide though). I am not sending you money on his win, I would send money if he at the end of his first term, you would not have a war going (either Iraq or somewhere else).
Allah can guide McCain as well, Abu Talib who was so close to Prophet Muhammad PBUH did not become muslim, while his greatest enemies did.
July 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM
What if brother Mohamed is simply taking our status as a political liability and trying to make McCain lose? Did anyone consider that :D
July 3, 2008 at 12:13 PM
Hassan Insha’Allah he will end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan before his term is over. Sorry I misread your post.
July 3, 2008 at 12:17 PM
Small point – the picture is the same as that used for another recent article, and therefore almost didn’t read it thinking it wasn’t anything new.
July 3, 2008 at 12:24 PM
H. Ahmed, I have different perspective, from my experience, ofcourse I can never say with absolute certainty that I am right, but I believe I am right that why I believe what I believe. Now we would never know how McCain presidency would look like (as he is going to loose), but basically these issues, are more related to circumstances and mood of country rather than individual candidate of president, so lets look at ur points:
1. Gitmo would close, even if Dick Cheney become president. Gitmo would close before Bush leaves office.
2. Torture would not exist in gitmo, as gitmo would be closed, but there would be incidents here and there, without approval of higher authorities. McCain would not be different than Obama. McCain has spoken against torture as well during debates.
3. Iraq war would not go away under either presidents.
4. Habeas Corpus, McCain be off on this issue, but so is Bush, and he can not do anything about it, because judges overrule him. But McCain appointing future judges can be scary scenario.
5. Patriot Act was actually born during Clinton era, it just hit puberty after 9/11. Obama like any other senator would have voted for it, if he was there, its easy to say now that I am against it. It would not go away completely, may be there would be slight modifications. But that would be largely due to democratic majority congress (senate projection 55-60 Democrats)
6. Obama may look good to europeans, but for muslims it would be same, worse for Pakistan though.
7. Obama may be better in taxes, as long as it does not increase my taxes, and again it would be democratic majority who would help it
8. Health care, Obama seems better, but again it would be democratic majority who would help it.
August 1, 2016 at 2:02 PM
We will have socialized medicine as it stands now with the democrats. Benefits have been cut in medicare and Medicaid already…more is to come. With republicans we’ll have spending accounts and be able to choose our doctors and treatments/meds unlike socialized medicine. If you are sick, old or disabled right now Medicaid and medicare both are limiting what treatment you can have and from who. This will continue and the ‘value based system’ will be complete in 2020 and if government panels don’t like your doctor’s treatments for you, the doctor won’t get paid. Then the doctor will drop you and you will have a clinic similar to the veterans clinics. I’m not debating politics. I’m just posting facts. Check with CMS (centers for medicare/Medicaid) if you want proof. This is the future if we continue with the same politicians. Not arguing…just commenting on the future of medical treatment if the people stay the same in government. You must choose what you want. Just FYI.
July 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM
abu noor and h. ahmed – jazakallahu khayr for your comments. the influence and value of sites like this increases when we have readers who provide valuable comments. it is especially refreshing to see people who can disagree without resorting to name calling or childish remarks :)
as far as MM goes, there is no official endorsement of either candidate, this post helps to show that there’s 2 sides of the issue – though i think its fairly obvious from previous articles that some of the MM staff support obama – see amad’s post on mccain that just went up earlier this week.
i personally was very intrigued to see what reasons would motivate someone to support mccain and i am not so quick to dismiss the arguments. if there is any lesson i learned from the bush fiasco, its that we really dont know which candidate is going to be better for the muslims so we shouldn’t be so quick to jump to assumptions – hear the other side out :). i’m not thoroughly convinced obama is going to be any better than mccain in that respect. i think his trying to be “im not a muslim” may end up doing more harm. however, i still think he would be less antagonistic than mccain.
as far as domestic policies go, i think obama wins no contest. his tax policies, healthcare, etc are all far better for the country i think than mccain’s agenda.
lastly, regarding the original article. i agree with br. mohamed’s sentiment that mccain at least overtly is saying he would just pick the best person and this is fairness – however, the overriding issue for me (and i believe many others) is the war issue. i also don’t think obama will be able to easily end it, i’m pretty sure most of it is rhetoric, however, i will take the rhetoric of anti war over “100 more years” any day :)
July 3, 2008 at 12:39 PM
I think if the muslim community is going to avoid making another Bush mistake, then it is important that Mccain supporters such, as Muhammad, are given a platform on this site to explain their viewpoint. Its a worldly issue, and therefore its wrong to be closed to the idea that Mccain could be better – at least listen to the argument. As long as they are arguing in context of the policies we care most about, then what harm can there be in it?
July 3, 2008 at 12:43 PM
I think you need to give a proper explanation. It’s one thing to say, “Don’t vote for Obama” but it’s another to then say “Vote for a man who wants to stay in Iraq for the next 1000 years.” What happened man?
July 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM
You have a sound point when you say we should think about it carefully.
But how in the world does that mean you should endorse McCain?!!!?!?
You mentioned only this to support McCain and used the anti-Obama as another support which doesn’t really get you anywhere either.
This is all you really have to support him:
“There aren’t enough Muslims to warrant such a position,” but McCain’s response when he was asked was, “Look, I’m going to appoint the best American that’s qualified for the position.” I’m like, what else can I really ask for?”
July 3, 2008 at 12:49 PM
Given that Muhamad comes from a long line of madrassa educated Egyptians, and there are few other Muslims savvy enough to penetrate McCain’s racist Christian-nationalist base, there is probably no one better to spread Wahabeeism to the GOP. Radical Islamic extremism will never prosper unless we sincerely communicate global Wahabeeism to all corners of society, even those who pride themselves on jingoism and callousness toward the poor.
We Salafists need to adopt a bipartisan approach or we will never be able to impose shariah law on the West.
July 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM
musa that was hilarious :D
July 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM
Musa, you got it buddy! Imagine that…. a wahhabi-influenced McCain… he would be a killer, dude!
On a serious note, I have reminded Br. Mohamad to stop by and answer the questions raised here, because he committed to that. I am especially interested in the justification because I just can’t imagine that McCrazy will be better than Obama, regardless of the latter’s shortcomings. Especially on the domestic front, I want someone sorting out the mess that the basic services are in.
At the same time, as Ibnabeeomar points out, after our 2000 experience with Bush, I just have this serious nagging at the back of my mind if we are getting on the wrong bandwagon again. So, OPEN MINDS please. If we believe in our choice, then someone’s opinion should not be able to disrupt it, rather it should strengthen it if we can respond to the doubts.
July 3, 2008 at 1:17 PM
Right, GOP is very weak now, neo-conservatism may be in “last throes”, and there could be vacuum in GOP, that muslims can fill.
July 3, 2008 at 1:32 PM
I see NO LOGIC at all in you endorsing McCain. A 70-year-old amnesiac man who sees more logic in taking his Presidential campaign to Canada (no we can’t vote for your president) rather than a US state. And then you went on a US TV station and said THIS which just makes me wonder what is going on with you.
Here us brothers are doing whatever we can letter campaigns and what-have-you to ease the suffering of Muslims. And then you just waltz into a limo and just drive up and say, “Hey vote McCain!”
How can any of us not be angry?
I don’t want to talk to an Iraqi brother and have to tell him you did this and it just makes me angry to no end that you had a crack at mainstream media and then did THIS! Of ALL the things in the world–you went and did this!
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 1:54 PM
It was people like Mohammed Elibiary that were telling the Muslims to vote for Bush in 2000. He even supported Bush in 2004. So, now you’re saying we should be open to listening to him now because he was so wrong then? That’s some strange logic.
I don’t have any doubt that Muslims will mainly go for Obama, and that if he wins he will do many things which would make one regret it. I personally am not telling people to support Obama or McCain, but with Obama at least there is an argument. With McCain I have no idea what it would be.
This is someone who thinks the biggest issue not only in foreign policy, but in domestic policy is amping up the U.S. War Against Islam and Muslims. On top of that, his domestic policies couldn’t be more out of line with the Muslim community here in the U.S. (Other than a few super rich immigrants who are afraid of losing their Bush tax cuts.)
The problem with this article is that there is no argument. Muslim for McCain is something which belongs in The Onion. Have a real debate with a Muslim supporter of Nader, or of Bob Barr, or of not voting at all if you won’t to examine closely the reasons most of the community is supporting Obama. But don’t let credence to this kind of stuff. Please.
Allaah knows best.
July 3, 2008 at 2:07 PM
I suppose it all depends on perspective. Al Qaeda truly wants the American army right where it is so that they can bleed it out in afghanistan and iraq (and from what I’ve read, they’re succeeding). Supporting McCain means supporting keeping the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, which means supporting the Al Qaeda position.
Sneaky sneaky Mohamed ;)
Sorry, was channeling Michelle Malkin there for a moment.
I’d be interested in understanding why a Muslim should support McCain myself.
July 3, 2008 at 2:09 PM
It’s pretty clear that Obama has a reason to avoid being associated
with Islam–he doesn’t want to start that whole fiasco again. So
from that point, sure we may feel hurt by him not being all politically correct
about how being a Muslim isn’t a bad thing–but come on his FATHER is Muslim.
Do you think he needs to even say that there is no problem with being a Muslim?
Why does he need to appeal to your inferiority complex?
Use your head. His dad is a Muslim–do you think he hates his dad or something?
Secondly, whereas Obama has his previous problem with Islam being skewed into his religious beliefs
as a reason to do little work with Muslims– McCain has NO reason to explain for his lack of support
of the Muslim community. All he said was “appoint whoever is qualified” and that is
exactly what you would hear just about ANY politician say. In other words, McCain has nothing to
make himself a better candidate.
So if you are considering McCain to be an angel because you see one little snag in the Obama
that you thought to was an angel and so you make him out to be a devil than I think you have a problem.
In other words, you are being reactive with this whole thing and using one man’s small shortcoming as another man’s greatest virtue.
July 3, 2008 at 2:15 PM
I like Siraaj’s idea :D
July 3, 2008 at 2:32 PM
It seems muslims in south (specially texas) may think differently than muslims in north. Can that be the case as well.
July 3, 2008 at 2:34 PM
Dawud, we GET your point, you don’t have to make it in 10 comments :)
Wait for Br. Mohamed to respond, and then I am sure you will have an opportunity to respond.
Br. Abu Noor, interesting info. regarding the brother’s past support for Bush, though he makes no secret of his strong distaste for him now (which I guess many do). Let’s see what he has to say inshalah.
July 3, 2008 at 2:35 PM
Hassan, I am still from Texas (mentally), and being in Texas should make one only despise GOP even more, courtesy Bush :)
July 3, 2008 at 2:41 PM
You know what is surprising? It shocks me how so many of you are convinced that Obama will win…Are you kidding me? America is ready to embrace a black President????????? I highly doubt it, however i am still voting for Obama, even if i think that his chances of winning are slim.
I wouldn’t vote for McCain just for his scary looks, my mom says he looks like 70’s villain from Indian movies, lol! So my family and i are voting for Obama (thats 8 votes right there for Obama =)
July 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM
Hidaya, as of now Obama should win comfortably, unless in next few months he breaks and says, he has been secret muslim and want to implement shariah, then McCain may have slight chance…
July 3, 2008 at 3:20 PM
Or he choses hassan to be his vp candidate. That would have a similar effect.
July 3, 2008 at 3:23 PM
American politics are whacked!
In all seriousness, however, I’ve given up on politics altogether – even at my tender age I’ve realized that all politicians are crooks and liars.
July 3, 2008 at 3:33 PM
Actually Obama is well liked in most of the Muslim world.
And Anonymouse: yes, american politics are whack, and flawed on so many levels – however it is what it is – u can either help to bring real change and improve it, or let things remain the way they are. However as Muslims it is our religious obligation to act out, speak out, or at least feel in our hearts all that is wrong and work towards improving all that is ‘whack’.
And no- not all politicians are crooks and liars (great blog btw), just look at Rep Keith Ellison. Mashallah, he is a great human being and should be commended for his difficult work and is a great example for all of us.
July 3, 2008 at 3:57 PM
First of all my apologies for not having the time until now to reply. Awoke this morning to an AP report that DOJ was pushing for new profiling guidelines on the FBI, so I had some research to conduct and a conference call to get on.
I’m a poor negotiator I guess, because sad to say I didn’t get any $$$$$. :-) Thanks Amad, Musa, Siraaj and anyone else for standing up for a civil discourse, but anyone who’s followed my career or read my other posts would know that I take a whole lot of hits from the right in order to mainstream Muslims and their policy perspectives. I am the guy after all that Michael Savage called a “Verbal Murder” on the air, because I was one of the first and harshest attackers of our President when he used the Islamic Terrorist terminology stuff.
Now moving on to McCain v. Obama. With all my networking amongst the American political scene, 17 years and counting now, I’ve learned never to base anything on the media image whether positive or negative but to network and investigate. I’ve been roundly criticized by friends in the past for not emotionally reacting to the bigotry amongst some on the right in a matter that’d satisfy the average Muslim, but just like I refuse to play the terrorism condemnation game I also want to win the war and not just Novocain myself through a battle. Short of blaspheming our Prophet or something like that, I will sit down and try to understand where someone with hostile views towards Islam and Muslims is coming from instead of writing them off. Christians would call that having the heart capacity to love the sinner while hating the sin. Sheikh Waleed would say that the default state of a believer approaching all is from a position of dawah, seeing even Dobson, Land or any other Christian Right leader I’ve discussed this stuff with as a “future Muslim” if Allah wills it and not my enemy. The civilizational or identity separation is promoted just fine already by others whether militant or civil.
As I told NPR in an interview in late 2004 when I decided to vote for Bush over Kerry, I simply grab a sheet of paper, split it down the middle and identify the issues important to me. That list is not any different then any other mainstream Muslim. The difference again is that I don’t use any media created perceptions whether positive or negative to form my conclusion. For example in late 2004 I informed my dad who was running a Muslim get out the vote operation from Dallas to get Muslim voters in Florida out to defeat Bush in November that Bush will win, why and that he’ll be the best president for Muslims at home and abroad in his 2nd administration. I based that conclusion on how elite opinion in DC, including at the Pentagon and the Intelligence community, had written him off as untrustworthy and would not follow him into any other wars or grant him any new legal authority like a Patriot Act II. In other words he’d be a lame duck president from day one of his 2nd administration, which indirectly aids the American Muslim community’s campaign to educate all of America that our foreign policies oversees need adjustment if we are to get anywhere in the post-Cold War 21st Century. I had read John Kerry as simply what I see Obama now as, an unprincipled politician after power and nothing else. Even Malcolm X back in the 60s broke down the wisdom of preferring the wolf over the fox, for those who see McCain as the Dajaal or something. I see McCain, not as a neo-con or Christian Right, but as a patriot who’ll stand up for what’s right and against even his own President in order to do the right thing. I would submit his bucking Bush-Rumsfeld to get a new military policy for Iraq disengaged from the neo-cons calling the shots. (more info on this later)
For the record as I mentioned in my post, I’ve never done anything to support or oppose the concept of a bloc vote, but I have worked to get many Muslims registered and was awarded the Invisible Giants Award years ago in Selma, Alabama for following MLK’s footsteps in doing that. The bloc vote approach by some of our national leaders is largely futile, amateurish and only succeeds at disempowering our community psychologically. We, as Americans who are better educated about certain foreign affairs issues, should make our positions clear on policy ground to the rest of America and support the candidate who’ll support more of what our priorities are on a principled basis. I say all that because some have chosen to fault me for the Bush 2000 mistake, but sadly maybe I should have spoken up then but I didn’t care for the potential backlash fitna reactionism that would have unleashed. For the record I was supporting McCain in 2000 over Bush, whom those of us more familiar then the national Muslim leaders then knew was unqualified. Two weeks ago I was in Florida and in a meeting with some Mosque leaders there, you can be sure I laid that debacle at their feet. I’ve never issued any declaration in my 17 years advising even my family members, much less all Muslims, whom to vote for whether Republican or Democrat. If that 17 year history isn’t enough for folks to recognize that there is a difference between a Muslim running around thinking they can think for all Muslims, caricaturing our entire community as manipulatable sheep, and one simply stating his personal opinion in 2004 and in 2008 whom he personally will vote for you; then may God help you because I can’t?
When I first met with the McCain campaign folks now three months ago as part of a group of Muslim leaders I told them that I didn’t vote for their guy in the primary and laid out the issues he needs to address. I also shared that he’ll get no where with Muslim audiences so long as he ignores the machine twisting his words about staying in Iraq 100 years. I even recalled to them how my apolitical mother came one day and asked me if the 100 year quote was real after seeing it on an Arab Satellite Entertainment channel. Shortly their after McCain did start to stand up and defend himself from such distortions. Read the speech where the quote emanated from and tell me which American policy maker except Kucinich-Ron Paul-Nader would disagree with it. Anyways I’ll write a different post on the Iraq War and what I’ve found Americans, including those Muzzlim ones, can realistically expect under each administration. Keep in mind that like Obama, I too have public statements in the TV media saying the invasion of Iraq is misguided and will be counter-productive and numerous other lobbying efforts.
Nothing personal against Obama, but he’s not the messiah many Muslims are hopping for. And from the data I’ve seen it’s not all that far fetched that McCain will be our next President.
July 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM
As salaam alaikum
Im glad you have a 17 year track history of being involved in public policy or politics. However the very fact that you voted for Bush in 2004 makes me want to discredit anything you say. Nonetheless, I will respect your opinions and would like to ask the following simple question:
Your comment did not in any way answer why you felt McCain was better than Obama. And also, I brought up a list of about 8 issues (scroll up) in which I i feel that Obama is much better than McCain on. Can you please share any issues where you think McCain would be better than Obama?
Moreover, you are strong in your defense of McCain despite the fact he has changed completely since 2000, yet are quick to dismiss Obama as “an unprincipled politician after power and nothing else”. You view McCain as a man of integrity who will stick up for what is right. But who will stick up for our muslim brethren being tortured in Gitmo and other secret prisons across the world that we dont even know about? McCain has infamously switched his views on torture. Is this the same man you are describing in such a positive manner? Why should your portrayal of him be accepted with any credence?
Again – I am trying my best to understand where you are coming from. So please, i humbly ask, as a person with far less experience with American Politics, who is well aware of the fact that much of what i read/hear in the media is biased, – please give us a simple list of issues on which McCain would be better than Obama.
July 3, 2008 at 4:51 PM
H. Ahmed, it seems like you work for Obama…:D
BTW brother Muhammad did answer why he voted for Bush in 2004. It was his understanding (right or wrong) that Bush with all distrust would not be able to do much harm to muslims and muslim world. You know to think of it, John Kerry would have to do something macho if he had been elected to not appear as weak.
July 3, 2008 at 5:17 PM
A Muslim voting for McCain is like a Muslim voting for Israel to Bulldoze Palestinian Homes.
Joe Lieberman the Jewish Zionist is a staunch supporter of McCain. He is seen with him in Iraq and in Israel together. In fact McCain kissed him in DC one time. Just do a Google search for it.
The yahood hate Obama. AIPAC will not vote for Obama. J street is pro-obama. AIPAC is anti J street. Thus AIPAC is anti-Obama.
So to all the Muslims who plan on voting for McCain, how will you justify the fact that you know you are supporting AIPAC by voting for McCain.
BTW I don’t think I’m voting this year.
July 3, 2008 at 5:27 PM
Obama was sucking up to AIPAC as well, neither would go against Israel’s interests.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 5:28 PM
You are now my favorite Muslim Matters author.
Don’t listen to the rah rah politics supporters. There’s a million more beneficial things to spend one’s time and money on if you want to improve your community and this country than messing with politicians. As George Carlin said, if you vote, you have no right to complain.
As I said before may Allaah reward you for your sincere intentions and all the good you have done that I am unaware of. Your last post was, to me, a strange and bizarre mix of justifications for your past endorsements along with a statement that you don’t really make endorsements and people should vote for whoever they want (thanks.) Although you stated you are a policy analyst who bases your decisions on who will bring more progress on policy, every reason you’ve given for both 2004 and 2008 choices has been a mixture of Machiavellian voting for your enemy will help you more than voting for your friend type arguments and insider everyone could be Muslim, don’t believe the media hype type arguments. First may Allaah (swt) guide everyone to Islam. Second, I hate the Machiavellianism and I hate the political games. Our primary goal here has to be to present the Prophetic Message, and such tactics and dishonesty/disingenousness are hampers to that in my analysis. Your arguments on behalf of McCain would be ridiculous coming from any non-Muslim political analyst or commenter so I’m afraid I can’t give them more credence just because you’re a Muslim. So the last four years it was good to have Bush because he was a lame duck and he couldn’t get done the craziness he wanted to, this also made the country realize it was craziness. But after that four years is over, don’t vote for the change in direction we were supposedly paving the way for with the lameduck Bush, but pull a fast one and vote for the dude that the whole time’s been calling for more crazy than Bush has. Huh? What?
But I do love you for the sake of Allaah (swt).
Salaam wa Allaahu ‘Alim.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 5:34 PM
“A Muslim voting for McCain is like a Muslim voting for Israel to Bulldoze Palestinian Homes”.
I was thinking of dear brother Hamada at a McCain rally and McCain is giving his speech about crushing the Muslims being the “transcendent struggle of our time” and indefinite occupation and the neocons are there and the professional Islamhaters and everyone’s holding hands and singing “Bomb bomb bomb Bomb Iran and everyone looks around and suddenly realizes that there’s a Muslim at the rally.
It may be think of the classic Dave Chappelle bit where he’s a blind Klan leader speaking at a rally who doesn’t realize that he’s Black.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 5:35 PM
Sorry, the last line should read “it made me think….”
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 5:57 PM
I’m sure we all know the facts but they seem to be misstated in your post.
Obama has said that his father was not a Muslim, but an atheist, unless you’re talking about his stepfather, who he said was a “secular Muslim.” His step sister, the daughter of his stepfather and his mother, is a Buddhist who denies the family was Muslim when she and Barack were children.
His father’s father did convert to Islam, but his step grandmother has said that that was only his personal decision and was not for the whole family. She has also been quoted previously as saying she was Muslim but was quoted earlier this year saying she was actually Christian.
July 3, 2008 at 6:00 PM
Terrible article and man how are we suppose to trust your judgement anyways. You supported bush in 2004 and see what he has done to the muslim ummah. Destroyed two muslim nations and left countless muslims dead. Now you are talking about us supporting Mccain so that we see more muslims dead. Sorry your judgement was flawed than and it is flawed now.
Amad please let the author defend himself rather than you defending him left and right. Even if he thought that Bush will be exposed as he is a weak president he was wrong because we have seen what he has done to the muslims.
I am not suggesting Obama is a good choice for muslims but Mccain please spare me.
July 3, 2008 at 6:08 PM
I never defended Br. Mohamad in his support of McCain. But I do defend his right to express his view and not be insulted and have his sincerity questioned.
July 3, 2008 at 6:13 PM
H. Ahmed and others, its not a matter of a list of issues. Like I mentioned above, I’m a policy guy so therefore I also look at who can pass what and how other political forces will respond. For example my top issue is the GWOT and by extension Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and all other geo-political theaters we’re engaged in along with what’s often termed “Democratization”, especially how Islamic and Islamist movements and our policy towards them. My second most important issue is Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the immigration court policy issues attached to that like deporting non-citizens based on political ground. My third issue is federal government reform, especially shacking up the Congressional pork barrel system out there so we can have a transparent legislature that works and can get more than just 1 Senator to vote against a Patriot Act that no-one read. Issues like language in the GWOT I see as symptoms that won’t really get resolved until you address the cause which is our nation’s incoherent and schizophrenic strategies dealing with all the aspects of the GWOT. Like I stated before, I don’t vote based on who offends me more in the media but choose to research why they think how they do and whether we can find a middle ground to build from.
On the first issue, as Admiral Mullen (Chair of the Joint Chiefs) stated yesterday at a Pentagon briefing we’re drawing down in Iraq. I shared this with my dad as well as even friends in the Federal Law Enforcement community (ex. FBI) when this decision was made at the White House last year. The Admiral couldn’t talk at a Pentagon briefing as freely as he did about starting to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan unless the Commander in Chief had granted him that latitude already. Obama’s rhetoric on the Iraq deployment started from a position of come home asap to by 16 months and a shift to Afghanistan where he’d fight in the NW Frontier to now where he’s not saying any end dates and just said yesterday that he’d grow the combat brigades. Grow the force for what you should ask; unless there are dynamics at play here he’s not being honest with his supporters on his ability to change them.
I truly understand the Muslim sense that the occupation of Iraq is counter-productive and the US should get out, and as one of the loudest voices against the war during the congressional authorization I certainly don’t want to be misunderstood as in any way supporting the initial invasion. I also recognize the reality of Iraq at the moment, having met, trained and chastised Iraqi leaders from the largest Shia and largest Sunni parties for many issues I don’t need to list now. I also recognize what’s the official and unofficial stands of all the regions’ governments and influential groups with our government. We as Americans whether Muslim or non have never had a serious conversation on what’s best for Iraq to minimize civilian massacres and what’s the real position of the region’s governments. Some of us are still looking too far back and are still pissed off at Bush, and as a resident of the city hosting his Presidential Library and Think Tank I too plan on making my perspectives known during his legacy debate but now is not the time. I’m really trying to look forward at January ’09 and beyond.
There are some who see a straight withdrawal from Iraq as great. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that, for I’m not invested in any presence there, future bases or whatever. I would however open their eyes to the facts Sen. Obama was enlightened to, which is that we can’t withdraw from the Persian Gulf region for a whole lot of reasons over the next 10+ years. So if you withdraw from Iraq and end up making the Persian Gulf the conflict fault line, whether with Iran or Al-Qaeda, how much global stability and economic prosperity do you think an Oil barrel’s price will get you.
I’d understand if there was a benefit to Muslims in that scenario, but in actuality you’d have a destabilized Iraq with open blood-letting spilling over into Jordan and Syria and a worsening of the Palestinian population’s situation and no progress anywhere. The only happy Muslim I can see is Bin Laden celebrating the fracturing of the Saudi Royal family’s hold on the Peninsula.
On the second issue, the short answer is that McCain can bring moderate republicans to join the already present democratic bloc who are ready to approve any comprehensive immigration reform bill before them. While in an Obama administration, moderate republicans will come under tremendous grassroots pressure to resist or have Conservatives run against them in the Primary. It doesn’t take much to filibuster or derail reform legislation in the Senate. Look at what happened last year, simple talk radio networks were enough to galvanize enough Americans to kill the reform effort because Bush had no credibility on the issue with conservatives or moderate republicans upset with him on Iraq policy and Rumsfeld. Every couple of generations in American history, a seismic socio-political shift happens and Comprehensive Immigration Reform of a largely Catholic Hispanic population is the page turner many Muslims are searching for today. McCain can get it passed, while Obama can not and will actually enable the reactionary right (Tancredo, Peter King, etc.) to rally millions and grow their political clout. Don’t know about y’all but whenever I get an opportunity to weaken a guy who wants to nuke Mecca as a deterrent (Tancredo) or one who claims that 85% of our Mosques are run by extremists (King), I take it.
A good rule to remember is that when the White House is run by a different party then the Congress you have an opposition party to raise your concerns. If Obama were president then I promise you that the “Muslim issues” generally outlined will find no opposition party to champion them, while a McCain administration will force the Congressional Democrats to actually differentiate themselves from the White House and be honest on their promises to their constituents. And finally as much smarter folks then I have pointed out over and over with studies, this is a Center-Right country and in the past 40 years we’ve only had 2 democrats elected president and both got a whole lot of help.
July 3, 2008 at 6:17 PM
Can you tell me what disaster Bush has been able to unleash upon the Ummah, whether here or oversees, since his re-election in 2004; because from where I sit he hasn’t been able to do anything but indirectly help Muslims at home due to his incompetence since becoming a lame duck President in January 2005?
July 3, 2008 at 6:30 PM
Bottom line from my vantage point is that I don’t see the “change” you’ve convinced yourself is coming policy wise, though I would expect Obama to make us “feel better” as minorities along for the ride to some multi-cultural utopia God only knows where. Please see the brief crack I outlined above in my 6:13pm post. My fiqh approach on voting is that one should vote for the best candidate who’ll deliver the best result according to our morally arrived at interests and objectives. I do as much due diligence as possible to ascertain who’ll actually deliver what they’re pitching, and any reasonable and informed Muslim activist will tell you that if it wasn’t for the negative incompetents of Bush in Iraq and his lame duck status the American Muslim organizations would not have been able to impact the bureaucracy as much as they have in order to correct their misreading of what’s a threat in our community or where extremism really comes from.
Abu Noora (Hamada)
July 3, 2008 at 6:37 PM
You didn’t address anything at all really.
I don’t see any of that as sufficient backing for McCain.
Obama isn’t a messiah and we all know that. You calling him “a man after power” is just pathetic–he’s a politician, what do you think politics is about? They are all after power. McCain has been after it longer than Obama–so what’s your point?
Watch these videos
THIS MAN IS A LIAR!!!
Pingback: Mohamed Elibiary - The Muslim who supports John McCain | MR's Blog
July 3, 2008 at 7:09 PM
Br. Mohamed (Hamada),
First, I think the rest of the people commenting here are actually a little too nice when it comes to the responses they have toward your post. Let me first tell you congratulations for being manipulated by mainstream media. Coming from a media background I see that you fell into their trap of using you for their own agenda. Seeing as you are a republican supporter, you may not see the problems that arise from stations such as Fox News. They have agendas and that they have been a staunch driving force (along with other mainstream media) in the hatred, the murder, and destruction of Muslims and their land.
I’ll state from the beginning that I am neither a supporter of Obama nor McCain.
Did you ever think closely about the question that were asked in the interview and maybe think that they perhaps used you for their own agendas?
KILMEADE: Mohamed, do you find it insulting at all when Barack Obama goes out of his way to say, “Hey, I am not a Muslim. I’m a Christian, and let’s stop these spread” as if being a Muslim is bad.
The people at Fox News DO think being Muslim in bad, you posted the second video yourself! But in this one instance they go and make it seem like they are sympathetic to Muslims.
The SAME GUY who interviewed you is the same guy who is saying that there are reports of “wahhabism” in an elementary school in Indonesia.
The second Issue is the issue of knowing the bounds Islam has places and not transgressing those bounds. Do you not have any concern for the Muslims or have any gheerah for the deen?
in the beginning of Islam a war was waged and was started because of the honor of just one woman when her garment was lifted revealing her. Are you aware, akhi, of the horrendous crimes done against Muslim women in places like Iraq?
WAllahi if this gets posted or not posted, you and me both will be responsible for our own actions on the day of Judgment. This will be on your conscious. Imagine for every person you convince to vote for McCain, and if elected for how many Muslims that will be tortured and killed. How will you be able to stand in front of Allah?
You, akhi, have a lot to learning to do in terms of your deen. And the ONLY reason I am not equally reprimanding those who are voting Obama, is because it may be that they are doing it for the intention of warding off a bigger evil (i.e. McCain)
But who am I? No one.
Go to Iraq in the front lines just to observe what’s going on over there. And see if you’ll support McCain or anyone else that allows this to happen.
WAllahul Musta’an. May Allah protect us from His wrath, ameen. And May Allah guide you and us all, ameen.
July 3, 2008 at 7:19 PM
I guess people are simply missing Mohamed’s point and accusing him of Iraqi deaths or what not. He is just sharing his judgment based on experience, which can definitely be wrong, but he is sincere. As he has said repeatedly, end results matter, and according to him, our end results would be achieved by voting McCain. And his hope and wishes for ummah are sincere. Now I disagree myself with him, despite hating Obama myself, I would still prefer him over McCain for same reasons Mohamed is supporting McCain, to get the end results.
I guess muslims were not able to handle it. I think Mohamed may be thinking innovative and outside the box here. Atleast appreciate that.
July 3, 2008 at 7:43 PM
Maybe it’s a simplistic and/or ignorant attitude that I have, but the way I see it is – why waste so much energy getting hyped up pre-election, when no matter who is elected, we’re going to have to deal with anti-Islamic/ anti-Muslim sentiments and policies no matter who gets elected?
Rather than deciding who to vote for, shouldn’t we focus more on how to deal with the situation post-election? Instead of arguing about who is the lesser of the two evils, shouldn’t we just develop a strategy to deal with the evil we’re going to face, period?
July 3, 2008 at 7:45 PM
Shrien, I am not convinved anything will change in Iraq with either Obama or McCain… I prefer Obama for other reasons, some of which Haseeb mentioned. Let’s remember that neither mccain nor obama are responsible for iraq– the neocons are. So, why you would make the whole issue about iraq and make such strong assertions mystifies me a bit. You could have made the other solid technical media points more effectively without dressing them in emotion.
Really, is it too much to ask if we can have a discussion based on facts and logic, and avoid emotional outbursts? It isn’t like we are deciding between mohammad obama and mccain? Chill out. Relax. Be kind. You never know what you will learn if you keep an open mind. Go obama!
July 3, 2008 at 7:56 PM
It’s simply about the gheerah i have over Muslim and the Deen. Sure they are not responsible for Iraq, but one strongly has no problem staying there for a while and allowing the massacre of Muslims while the other would like it to stop as soon as possible.
how then is it not about Iraq?
It’s interesting that even in voting for McCain, could make the state of US the muslims who live in the US a lot worse than it already is. The Brother mentioned that he is looking forward, but subhanallah forward looks bleak for the Muslims if McCain is elected.
I’m not into politics, i could care less about voting, but when it comes to the blood shed and the unjust detention of our brothers and sisters..forgive me for actually speaking up when others are afraid to be “politically incorrect.”
July 3, 2008 at 8:03 PM
Br. Shayan Farooqui is a former YM Teaneck, NJ member…just as a side note.
July 3, 2008 at 8:49 PM
Thanks for the you tube videos. Now I’m not Karl Rove or anything, but I am a graduate of both the leading political school on the Right as well as the Left. I can tell you that attacks such as these from the left of a candidate from the right, won’t make a dent on the election but are a good grassroots viral networking tool for the attacking side. If you want to destroy a candidacy, then attack him from his base. For example for Obama, attacks coming from the left like A. Huffington on his movement to the Center as a brand image undermining strategy, will have the resonance necessary to synchronize with attacks coming from right defining Obama as untrustworthy to woo the center (independents) away from Obama as well as depress the excitement amongst his base which hurts get out the vote (gotv) efforts. The same issue can be mapped out from the right in order to derail a McCain campaign, but as of yet those forces are more disciplined then their counter-parts on the left.
July 3, 2008 at 9:08 PM
Br. Mohamed – i guess my main question is, if GWOT is the primary issue of concern, isn’t mccain pretty much – by all accounts – a 3rd term of bush in this respect? at the least, i feel obama would make an ideological change (if not the physical policy change) in reducing american presence there and ending the war. if we’re agreed the war is not a good idea, then it seems logically, obama is the one to endorse. even if he cant get the troops out, it would at least be a start correct?
In regards to what bush has done since 2004 to the ummah, i would contend that his increases in troop levels in iraq is disaster enough to the muslims in iraq, and the fallout from it is disaster enough for those of us here – i haven’t seen any indirect help to muslims by his lame duck status. bringing in mccain would simply be bush again, but without the lame duck status.
i understand your argument about the destabalization that would occur if we pulled out – but the area is already unstable to begin with
a) americans leaving isnt going to make it THAT much worse, and
b) as muslims i do believe we need to support whatever anti war effort there would be, no matter how small, so that the intervention in their affairs is stopped. even many nonmuslims have expressed the sentiment that its time to let them handle their own affairs.
anyway, in the end i do agree with anonymouse. its a lot of hullabaloo. if i vote, it would be for obama – but i dont think ill be voting at all. its clear neither candidate is going to be ‘good’ for the muslims, but mccain being a lesser evil seems fairly clear to me.
i have read through the discussion here, but i personally still do not see anything i would consider any kind of a compelling reason to favor mccain in any respect, the guy has war-monger written all over him.
July 3, 2008 at 9:16 PM
Thanks for the insult. It’s funny how you jumped to the conclusion that I’m neive and don’t know what I’m doing when engaging with the media. I’m not perfect, but I would have hoped to come off as a bit more sophisticated. I recognize the fact that the grassroots has by and large only seen either neo-conish Muslims or sell outs do right wing media since 9/11. My dear sister, I would never insult your own understanding of your deen or question how seriously you take your Islamic identity. I would like to however inform you that I’m a brother who’s studied every Poll, Survey and Study of American attitudes towards Islam and Muslims conducted since 1988 beginning with the American Jewish Congress.
In very simple language, it benefits our community’s image amongst the entire spectrum of Americans to see our community as diverse and non-monolithic. For example that’s why after 9/11 every Muslim group was touting that Arabs are a minority of Muslims and we’re ethnicly diverse. How many stereotypes and counter-messages did a four minute segment to millions of conservative Americans dispel by having two articulate, non-accented and obvious Americans debating rationally as happens in every other community who they’re personally supporting for President. Do I live under a rock to not know what Fox News does or doesn’t do?
A long time ago I learned in political school that the average American only thinks about politics an average of 3 minutes a week. Only a minority of Americans follow political current affairs in order to expect your messages to resonate outside the disempowered opposition groups. If you’re content with simply feeling bad in your heart that Muslims are facing injustices, then so be it. I’m trying to change it by changing American attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, and as every policy maker will tell you “no policy is sustainable without the informed consent of the American people.” Which takes me back to the point I made in my post about the elements of a successful “Message” and “credibility” is certainly a vital component as well as the “Emotion” part. I don’t know you and from a quick skim of your blog, I sense a strong anti-war sentiment. Imagine the emotional sense of comrodery an anti-war non-Muslim American feels when they find an anti-war Muslim American. Now for better than half of our fellow Americans, patriotism defined as loving our country and desiring its safety as priority one is similar.
July 3, 2008 at 10:23 PM
Hey did anyone notice that the button of Obama said “Obama Akbar” and not Obama al-Akbar… so even these red-necks are sensitive to the usage of the infinite form of “al” – “the” as being exclusive for Allah! Gotta give it to them for their sensitivity to this matter of Tawheed ;)
On a serious note, I have a few more thoughts. I hope I don’t need to remind readers of my political positions. You can easily go to the history of my posts and see my strong democratic, liberal (politically) tilt. However, the more I was thinking of this post, the more I can actually see a lot of positives with having minority, but visible contrarian positions. Let me expound:
Did you notice that in the FOX clip, the brother Shayan actually seemed relatively “more important” when placed in contrast to a McCain supporting Muslim (our br. Mohamad)? Consider an Obama campaign viewpoint. That Shayan, “that Muslim”, suddenly became “something interesting”. Now imagine two Obama supporters on the same program. How interesting would that be to an Obama surrogate screening FOX? Not that much I contend. You see I am taking this class in Negotiations these days. And when you add relative differences, when you make a case for the “other side”, suddenly your vote takes more importance.
Think about this. If you are selling the car, and two buyers show up at the same time…. what happens to the value of that car? It suddenly looks very desirable to both buyers and your car will get top dollars. It’s not much different here. Two parties (two candidates) are negotiating with you for your vote. If all Muslims lay their votes down for one party (like we did in 2000), then our vote is a “given”, and there is no need to pay attention to us. But, if suddenly some voices start signaling a reaction to the other party, Muslims suddenly start to look a valuable commodity. The Jewish community is using this quite well…it seems that every time, they have strong, vocal Jewish big-wigs supporting the Republican side, even though the Jewish vote is largely Democratic, and as my last post pointed out, didn’t move much even after Bush’s overtures to court them for 4 years from 2000 to 2004.
So, IMHO, I think having some vocal supporters for the “dark side” can only make Muslims look more politically mature, more sophisticated, and actually quite a bit more “desirable”. You can bet that Obama’s camp took note of this interview, and you can bet that this will allow/urge them to court the Muslim vote with far less fear of the right-press, because after all, if McCain can court us, why can’t Obama? So, for the sake of the Muslim vote taking more importance, I LIKE IT!
July 3, 2008 at 11:06 PM
Talking about Iraq, “Obama was forced to call reporters back for a second news conference in Fargo, North Dakota, after he initially left open the possibility of revising his 16-month timetable for pulling U.S. combat forces from Iraq.”
So, as I said, I don’t think the two candidates will be much different on Iraq eventually– I don’t believe Iraq is the defining factor for me. There are a lot more reasons to prefer Obama over McCain… but Iraq isn’t one for me. So, all the emotions about what is happening in Iraq is well-taken, may Allah help our brothers and sisters there, but how we somehow think that it is McCain’s fault, goes over my head. I think a better position will be that McCain may be more trigger-happy than Obama, and that is more defensible and arguably a better reason to avoid him (as Omar mentioned).
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 3, 2008 at 11:15 PM
Jazzak Allaahu Khayr for the clarifications. I don’t think I have really argued any change will come foreign policy wise from Obama, but an argument could be made that he’ll be better than McCain. Personally, I have been clear that I don’t believe voting or politics should be a priority for Muslims. Sorry to insult your life’s work :)
I actually think that what is being displayed in this whole dialogue in addition to the hot button emotional issues of anti-Islamic war mongering rhetoric from McCain and U.S. foreign policy in general is the difference between people who are professionally involved in politics and people who are not. You seem to be relying a lot on your personal experience and what you believe it has taught you about how politics work and how all the political insiders seem to ‘know’ that somehow they have been effective in making things better for Muslims since 2004.
The average Muslim out there doesn’t see things as better — the charities were shut down, brothers are locked up in Guantanamo and secret prisons all over the world in the thousands, being tortured, the U.S. is has remained at war in two Muslim lands throughout that time, has also killed Muslims in Somalia and Pakistan, and is threatening Iran. You think we on the outside just don’t understand how the game is played.
I would just say to you without making an accusation at all to keep in mind that of course it is entirely in the interest of all the politicians you talk to and the system as a whole to convince you that you’re making a difference. It’s also in your own interest to convince yourself of that. The system, like any successful system is powerful in providing incentives to those involved to convince them it is in their own interest to perpetuate itself.
In short, I don’t believe the myth that this is a country where the “people” have the power. I don’t believe, with all due respect to MAS, that “voting is power.”
I came across an interesting quote today, “rather than demonstrating discourse, rhetoric provides a public impression of discourse when in fact there may be none.” (Robert Paine, “When saying is doing” from Cross Cultural Studies in Rhetoric Robert Paine ed.) I believe the main purpose of the political system especially as it has developed to its current state is to provide the public impression of democracy when in fact there may be none.
But even if I am completely 100 percent wrong it is indisputable that there are much more important ways to influence society than electoral politics and that Muslims do not have the numbers, the cohesion, or the weight of resources within society to influence electoral politics. We should be focused on building those resources and strengthening our communities, something we could be doing without having to play games or compromise any of the Prophetic Message to unabashedly speak nothing but the truth in the way we want to express it. Instead we have spent the last six and will spend the next six months in these types of debates.
Anyways, again Jazzak Allaah for the clarifications.
July 4, 2008 at 12:05 AM
Br Dawud nice videos. Might I suggest something of that sort for Obama please? jazakAllah khair
Anonymouse makes a very good point. I mean they are liars and cheats. How can we get pulled in to this pre-election hype. Our job living here in America, is to give dawah and educate people about Islam,not to endorse them and accept their system.
The candidates do not have our best interest at heart. And dont say that we have to choose the lesser of the two evils. Both are evil if you ask me.
July 4, 2008 at 12:46 AM
Meh. Lol… I still feel this election is overrated. Neither candidate seems to be sincere in there goals and plans, especially in how they relate to Muslims.
July 4, 2008 at 1:51 AM
you stated, “Imagine the emotional sense of comrodery an anti-war non-Muslim American feels when they find an anti-war Muslim American. Now for better than half of our fellow Americans, patriotism defined as loving our country and desiring its safety as priority one is similar.”
are you by any means suggesting i should post pro-iraq war sentiment on my blog? I am not attacking you, but one book I recommend you study is Kitaab At-tawheed. Particularly in cases of tawheed ar-rubobayyah.
Also you mention “for better than half our fellow americans…” You said that you studied all the polls done in terms of what Muslims believe here in america, have you not brother looked to the polls and seen that close to 70% of American are opposed to the war? The reaction will be no different than if an American posts the same things.
so how would my anti-war, anti occupation, anti killing of muslims and innocents at all instill a sense of deep emotion against muslims in the hearts of non-Muslims. wallahi if that’s what they feel then that’s what they felt before they read my blog. I’m not trying to please anyone but Allah. I’m not a sugar-coating Muslim.
Also, you mentioned that you would like to show people everywhere that like any other community, Muslims are divided when it comes to politics. Muslims should NOT be divided when it comes to politics, and again inshaAllah when one studies tawheed ar-rububayyah in depth they will understand that.
I commend you on the style in which you present yourself. However, I hope, inshaAllah, Allah guides you to that which is pleasing to Him and saves you from the path that leads to His anger, ameen.
July 4, 2008 at 2:15 AM
Salaam alaykum Mohamed,
Didn’t I say you’d get flamed for your McCain support =D
So let’s apply Habit 5 (or is it 4, I always seem to mix the order up with Win-Win, but anyway, doesn’t matter) – if I’m understanding your position correctly, you have a vision of what you want to accomplish, and after careful analysis of the effect of a particular candidate, his or her stances, and the effect of such stances if they come to fruition, you endorse according to what is in the best interests of the vision you have in mind, even if on the surface it comes off as controversial and counterintuitive.
If that is the case, I can emphatize with trying to look at the problem from a bigger picture perspective and choosing a strategy that is appropriate to satisfying such goals. However, I didn’t feel as though you made a strong case for your position in supporting McCain’s position on the GWOT. Your position seems to be, Obama’s not going to followthrough, and even if he follows through, he shouldn’t because it’s bad for Iraq anyway.
Regarding comprehensive immigration reform, the idiots in talk radio are keeping a vigilant eye on McCain and company – I doubt the talk radio mouthpieces will change their tune anytime soon.
For issue #3, I believe McCain is the guy to get that done, but why would I want that to happen? I’m a firm believer in your point about not allowing one party rule all branches of government, but not because I want representation of my grievances – I just know that so long as no one truly dominates, both parties will snipe at one another constantly, and that keeps them too busy to bother us.
July 4, 2008 at 2:18 AM
FYI – a comment was posted here by “Abu Zubair” making it appear that it was abu zubair from islamicawakening forums. however, the comment was not made by him, but by someone posing as him so it has been deleted.
July 4, 2008 at 2:23 AM
PS – last word on obama is that he re-iterated 16 months due to repeated media scrutiny and questioning.
July 4, 2008 at 6:57 AM
Br. Hamada, I understand your criticisms of Obama and quite frankly, I don’t trust him either. Truth be told, there is a history of presidential candidates failing to deliver on their campaign promises. That notwithstanding, I am at a loss to understand why you believe McCain to be more principled. I don’t believe you will have forgotten the great show he made of his opposition to the White House’s position on torture, only to essentially agree with them in the end.
As far as I can tell, that wonderful piece of theatrics was just his way of building his profile, leading up to the primaries.
What amazes me is that in the long, sprawling replies you have written, you have said alot of things but it does not seem you have actually given substantial reasons for supporting McCain.
Finally, on a side note, I don’t see why people are making a big fuss about Obama trying to distance himself from all things Muslim. Obviously, he is trying to win an election in a country that has declared a war on Isla… I mean terror. Given the rumors that he is a Muslim, coupled with the acute ignorance of the average American voter, it is obvious why he has chosen to do that:
“For Whitehair, the highway worker, the turning point in 2000 was the Democrats’ fight to save the northern spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. He will vote Republican again because McCain was a Vietnam POW. Also, he “heard Obama was a Muslim” — a false rumor”
Ahh, the educated and well-informed American electorate!
July 4, 2008 at 7:50 AM
I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into another 1,000 comment post…inshaAllah
July 4, 2008 at 10:23 AM
All I know is anyone that supports Mccain knowing his policies towards the Muslim world doesn’t care for his/her fellow Muslms. As Muslims we have to care for other Muslms more than ourselves.
Lets not look what Mccain will do for the Muslims in the US because frankly we don’t care weather he gives us tax break or not. Lets look at what he’ll bring to the Muslim world. Thinking about Him winning makes me very sad but what makes me more sad is my fellow Muslim brothers supporting him.
I still don’t see any good reason to support a man that wants to destroy the Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Reading some of the comments made me understand some people are just hard headed and don’t care for their Muslim brothers, sorry to say this but it’s true. Some of you think it’s ok to have your own opinion? well I don’t if your opinions are hurting other people specially your fellow Muslims.
At this point I see no one can change their minds so lets just pray to Allah their minds will change.
Allahu ta’ala A’lam….
July 4, 2008 at 10:41 AM
Don’t worry, you didn’t insult my life’s work just inaccurately caricatured it as electoral politics but then again you did indirectly admit you didn’t understand the subject matter you’re pontificating about (essentially how our government works). It’s a bit difficult to have a conversation when folks don’t keep the facts straight. I do however recognize the disempowered psychology and moral soothing at play. My friend Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a much worse environment then us didn’t pull himself out but actually engaged in social justice action to fix his society. Recall Hilf el-Fodool. When you choose to take yourself out of the voting game, then you simply just make it easier for the forces of evil to win. Now that’s a rational argument for an average Abdul. Do get so high and mighty and intellectualize yourself into a spinning dryer. MAS has a lot of issues, but even I who’s a million miles away from political approach recognize their civic engagement campaign is a good thing in that it gets the Islamic message out to the non-Muslim population. Sorry for the harsh words, because I fail to see how one can claim to care about Islam and Muslim suffering and intellectualize to the point of paralysis.
P.S. I too have read many a philosophical works and even have a quote about how democracy is simply the system that allows the most number of people to dream of possible progress down the road. Its cynicism to then translate that as an excuse to not attempt incrementally small progress steps. Remember the hadith about planting the seed right before the end of times. Renew your intentions and thrust your energies into anything constructive but action oriented.
July 4, 2008 at 10:57 AM
Just looking at these comments gives me a headache and I didn’t even read them…I can only imagine what will happen if I actually start listening to presidential debates, and policies and future plans and what not!
So, its easy…vote for whoever the husband suggests…I am a perfectly obedient wife when it comes to politics! :)
July 4, 2008 at 11:06 AM
It’s silly to suggest that I said you should put pro-war pictures on your website, so I’m not going to address that because it actually degrades the public conversation to distract that low. Sister you need to recognize that human nature allows for varying perspectives and stop trying to assume their is only one political perspective. I have read the book you mentioned, a lot more and have even studied with scholars oversees who’ve taught at Al-Azhar and U. Mecca. This isn’t an Aqeeda question we’re discussing here in a strict sense, so my language has been intentionally simple and rational. Please stop trying to beat me up with your religious authority stick. I’m open to being corrected and of all the Muslim activists in my public policy field, alhamdullah I’ve been told many times that I consult with scholars just about more than anybody.
Now please recognize that their are multiple segments of society that we need to deliver Islam to and that means we send credible salespeople to each. Recall from the sunnah how the prophet sent ‘credible folks’ to various regions of Arabia. Your website can speak to whatever segment of Americans you choose to target, whether anti-war or whatever, but understand that it will not ever be seen as credible to every segment of society. Others need to pick up the slack, and your challenge is how to handle the diversity amongst Muslims at that point.
Not everything is a theology question, and our religion is must bigger then you’re pigeon holling it to be. Again in the sunnah, the prophet was asked to set the price in the market place – do you remember his responce? The sahaba during the khulafa alrashideen, didn’t human nature and perspective offer us multiple approaches to politics and governance issues. We find four different administrative and electoral approaches, yet we recognize all as Islamicly valid. The first khalifa was picked by sahaba consensus, the second by appointment of the first, the third by selection from a group of six picked by the second and the forth but what can be classified as a broader based vote.
How human beings choose to administer their day to day affairs is a faulty and imperfect social science. Let’s recognize its faults, do our diligence to learn, always renew our intentions and then support right and oppose wrong as best as we can decipher it. Belittling each other is not productive in anyway I can see, but I stand to be corrected when presented with stronger arguments.
July 4, 2008 at 11:48 AM
You summarized well my friend. Unfortionatly because of how controversial the Iraq War is amongst our community as well as Obama making it his #1 issue, we ended up talking about it really way more than I intended. Iraq is not the only issue and I would argue not the biggest issue in the national security issues our country faces, sometimes lumped together as the GWOT. Next month will mark my 10 year anniversary listeneing and reading the Al-Qaeda movement’s work; and I see their actions as extremly corrosive to Muslim societies as well as very dangerous. All McCain provides over Obama is that he recognizes them as a threat and will make it a priority of his subordinates.
I don’t think McCain fully understands the Islamic movements out there nor how to fully deal with them, but that’s not his job anyways as the President. At the tactical level the various agencies analyst armies is where policy is crafted on how to deal with the various threats, what’s a threat and what’s not, and how to best tackle those threats. Until our government gets an accurate understanding of the threat matrix and how best to tackle it, then we as Muslims will still complain that there’s too many wars in Muslims lands, curtailments of civil liberties at home and repulsive rhetoric directed from official posts against our faith.
Since 2004, the Pentagon has been pushing back against the Bush administration’s neo-cons primarily out of self-interest. The Neo-Cons overly depend on military solutions to political conflicts, or hard power as analysts call it. The military by 2004 when it fought an insurgency with Sunnis and one with Shia simultaneously, came to the conclusion that it can’t win militarily and that it was unfair to burden the military with the entire objectives of the GWOT. Amongst the many things it pushed back on, got the GWOT changed to the Long War and recently the Pentagon has even dropped the terminology of War at all.
A McCain administration won’t be perfect by any means, but he’ll have the clout that an Obama administration vulnerable to attack as weak on terror won’t in order to reform the GWOT strategy. He’s also not a neo-con and on his own multiple times has recognized American Muslims as fully patriotic, so he marginalizes the Christianity Crusaders from the Christian Right you’ve seen him fight with over and over in his career. Earlier a statement was made that 70% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq, that’s a very surface and inaccurate reading. Because when questioned deeper Americans don’t care where our troops are deployed, so long as they’re not seeing them killed on their TV screens. The soft spot of American public opinion is that Americans don’t like to be hated oversees.
So I expect McCain to have the political cover due to his service record to say that we’re now going to fight the GWOT smartly and not just overburden our military by making them the only tool in our toolbox. The same demographic that’s upset about national security on the right is the same core demographic on the immigration reform issue. So you are correct that talk radio folks are watching McCain and will attempt to oppose him. Here’s how that’ll work, McCain will cash in with conservative voters his national security credibility while going over the heads of talk radio folks via the presidential bully pulpit to get this issue passed. That’s not going to win over most of the hosts or even half, but all he needs is to win over part of the conservative grassroots in order to build the necessary coalition on capitol hill to get it done. Obama on the other hand has no issue credibility with which to fracture opposition on the right to comprehensive immigration reform, so he leaves the field open for the right wing opposition to sabotage his attempt as happened with Bush last year.
The reason you should care about #3 has to do with how Congress works but I don’t have the time to lay that out now. Take my word for its vital, because when push comes to shove Muslims and Civil Libertarians get shafted on the Hill all the time by the senior democratic and senior republican leadership. Check out what’s called the Gang of 4 and the Gang of 8, the top two dems in the house and senate as well as their gop counterparts (4) sometimes expanded to included top 2 from each side in each house on Intelligence committees. These are the folks who authorize all kind of things from charities closures to detainee policy until the public is rilled up in a multi-million dollar campaign. Reforming Congress and making it transparent will give us the checks and balances on the executive branch we as a country desperately need. Check out Seymore Herch’s latest article in the New Yorker Magazine on Iran covert operations funding.
July 4, 2008 at 11:55 AM
I’m sorry you feel that way Sr. Aminah.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 4, 2008 at 1:14 PM
While I have disagreed with you vigorously I don’t believe I have ever questioned your knowledge or accused you of not knowing what you’re talking about although many of your comments have made it seem that way (they’re just comments and you did not get to fully explain why you said what you said).
I would sincerely warn you against adopting the arrogant position that anyone who doesn’t agree with what you’ve been spoonfed in your “political schools” is ignorant. You have simply proved perfectly the point I was making in my last post about the attitude that people who become involved in politcs adopt.
Allaah knows whether I am ignorant about what I am speaking about or not and you will have to answer to Him for your insults against me.
Obviously, you are someone who no matter what happens will continue to believe the path he has chosen is correct since you not only supported Bush in 2004 but still believe you did the right thing. Ajeeeb! And don’t worry, all of the “Muslim leaders” are with you and you guys will continue to bestow awards on each other until you are old men and women.
Hamada, the issues are important and I stand by my position vigorously. Still, I ask you to forgive me for any personal offense from my comments as that is not my intention or desire.
My strongest hope and my dua’ is that one day we will be able to sit together in al-jannah and remember and laugh with each other about this discussion. Ameen.
July 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM
Wow, you know how everyone says not to talk about religion or politics… this very post and its comments is a perfect example as to why…
We all need to learn what adab is and how to respect those who have different views than others. Even if we believe we are 100% right, we need to learn to respectfully express our disapproval against that we are trying to prove wrong. (This is general advice and i dont mean to offend anyone) Lets judge others less, and try to discuss issues with an open mind. Having a ‘holier than thou’ attitude doesnt make your argument stronger, it just makes you look arrogant. It is a shame that the thread above is filled with ad homimen attacks, guilt by association arguments, and other simply ignorant or overtly simple statements that are counterproductive to any progress in better educating ourselves about the current election.
– Barack Hussain Obama ’08!!!
Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî
July 4, 2008 at 8:05 PM
WAllâh without taking sides, or vouching for anyone’s sincerity, I have to say that that was beautiful. BârakAllâh fîkumâ. Âmîn!
July 4, 2008 at 9:39 PM
jazakAllahkhair for the reminder H. Ahmed. And concur with Abu Musa on the last beautiful point.
July 4, 2008 at 9:42 PM
Salaam alaykum Mohamed (do you prefer Hamada, by the way?),
Jazakallaah khayr for taking the time to write back, I greatly appreciate it.
That’s an interesting perspective. If the goal in mind is to take out Al-Qaa’ida, I would think an Obama administration would make more sense. As I recall an interview from Michael Scheuer, Obama is the only one proposing an assault on Al-Qaa’ida in Pakistan rather than Iraq. I would think if you wanted to continue strengthening Al-Qaa’ida, the McCain strategy (as I jokingly alluded to earlier) would be the way to go.
Hmmm, again, I think your perspective varies from mine. I think theoretically, this is how it’s supposed to work, but practically speaking, I believe the US intelligence community has a fairly strong grasp on what they’re dealing with as it relates to Al-Qaa’ida, I believe they’ve simply used the opportunity of 9/11 to pursue other policy objectives as it relates to Iraq, Iran, Syria, supporting Israel, creating military bases, and controlling their oil interests (nothing new there), and I haven’t seen John McCain, at least from what I have read from him objectively and seen of his many debates, that he is bringing about a change in direction. Yes, he did stand against Rumsfield, but only because DR’s execution of strategy was so poorly conceived, only an idiot (read: hardcore neo-con) could support him throughout his blunders.
Yes, McCain has been more the maverick republican reaching across the aisle as and when needed to bring about greater good and better ethics into government, much to the chagrin of the far right corners of his party (I don’t think we’ll ever hear the end of McCain-Feingold), but I don’t seem Obama as a problem for Muslims either. Yes, he is distancing himself from the label of Muslim, and yes, it does sound offensive when someone says that being called a Muslim is a smear, but truth be told, in this country, in this context, IT IS A SMEAR. I can completely understand how important it is to be definitive on a sound byte that can literally crush the life out of your campaign, so I don’t begrudge him the point. It’s true, he is a political chameleon (who isn’t?) the same as anyone else as needed (hot rhetoric at Ohio debates on NAFTA comes to mind), but I believe his core message of change isn’t simply directed at the way Washington works, but that it will have echoes of Jeremiah Wright, Pfleger, and others attending his congregation – it will be a revolution against all types of establishment. And, I believe as part of that revolution, the way Muslims he identifies with and treats Muslims will change once he’s in office.
FYI, I’m not an obama supporter, that’s just my perspective on his direction now and in the future.
I don’t see how this was different from Bush when he had the pulpit? True, Bush’s approval ratings were low then and are lower now, but McCain pushing through comprehensive immigration reform as President doesn’t seem any more likely now than it does with him as Senator – I’m not sure how unless he works with Pelosi and Reid to push through the Fairness Doctrine (that would be a sight to see [or hear]). I would also disagree with the assessment that obama cannot move republicans to his side – i think he very well can and has already done so to beat hilary clinton (and I don’t just mean the Rush Limbaugh Operation Chaos republicans).
I’ll table discussing issue #3 since I don’t know your full perspective =)
Let’s take a moment to look back to Habit #2, Keeping the End in Mind. The key analogy for me in that chapter was, if you’re ladder is leaning on the wrong wall, it won’t matter how quickly you get up that ladder, you’re still going in the wrong direction. Were I you, I may not (can’t say with 100% certainty, of course) focus my attention on the evil of Al-Qaa’ida, firstly because no matter our disagreements with them, they are Muslim, and secondly, they exist as a defensive reaction (with questionable tactics) to exploitative western foreign policy as it relates to Muslim lands. I would think using Ron Paul’s libertarian / Goldwater-ish approach of being a fiscal conservative and foreign policy conservative (cutting off aid to all dictatorships, muslim or nonmuslim, leave the world to fight its own battles) would be a better political ladder to climb in order to defuse the root cause of the issues that plague the world as it is now.
July 4, 2008 at 10:17 PM
Jazzak Allahu Khairan for your comment and may Allah bless you brother. I needed that to calm the anger in my heart for the hypocrisy I’ve witnessed.
It’s one thing to have a political discussion, but it’s a whole lot different to face worse then I’ve ever experienced on Jihadwatch. And before anyone here at MM thinks I’m talking about you, I’ve just spent the past couple of hours reading posts and links on other Muslim websites calling me everything from being Gay to a long debate on whether I’m now a Kaffir or simply a Mubtadi (innovator) for agreeing to do a TV interview to show America the more sophisticated reality of the American Muslim community then the stereotypes they’ve been fed. May Allah heel the ummah’s numerous diseases of the heart. Here I think the worst I got accused of is simply supporting the killing of Muslims, every thing’s relative I guess. :-)
July 5, 2008 at 9:06 AM
Finally a comment made by akh Hassan,
Akhi I really believe that remark is quite offensive to all the brothers and sisters who posted their comments expressing their disagreement with akh Hamada. It proves exactly what someone already mentioned, that those who follow and study western politics to an advanced level, begin to develop a somewhat elitist persona, whereby they begin to view themselves as superior to other Muslims.
Allah knows best.
Edited. Please leave out links irrelevant to the post, esp. when that link has been mentioned several times before. jazakallahkhair.
July 5, 2008 at 10:08 AM
Abu Ninja, insha’Allah I would listen to that lecture, I am huge fan of Imam Anwar Al Awlaki hafidullah.
See disagreements are fine, even I disagree with brother Hamada and I think that McCain is not the right person. But people were accusing of everything short of kufar here, and even as he pointed out that at some other sites they are already accused him of that. I have not studied politics at all, I am just regular FOB software engineer, and what I disapprove of others was not arguing against his points (like Siraaj and Ibnabeomar debated very well, and I agree to their point of view), but they argued on content, and did not attack his islam atleast. And what I defended is Hamada’s right to think differently, and giving him some benefit thinking he is in field, so he is definitely more experience than rest of us.
But again, I hate both candidates, and I prefer lesser of evil, Obama (unlike Hamada who thinks lesser of evil is McCain).
And kindly criticize people who are defending Obama like he is innocent like prophets and who can make no wrong. Atleast I was defending a fellow muslim.
July 5, 2008 at 12:42 PM
Mohamed Elibiary (this is where you chuckle at the sound of your own name lol!) you are from Texas so I think that has an influence on you. I remember Sh. Yusuf Estes saying something about supporting Bush so…yeah. There is something in the drinking water in Texas.
You yahoos are excused although this topic will rage on in discussion for a very long time!!! :D
I suggest you post a second topic based on the discussions here about why McCain is better than Obama so that you get something more productive out of it.
Now as to your point as Muslims getting out of the “paranoid” mentality than I think you got to understand that is not even the start of it–we have just started to get involved in the political scene in all western countries. Nothing happens overnight and I think you saying “Vote McCain” without giving clear reasons why in your very first post is going to push Muslims AWAY from the political process rather than encourage them. The post at MR‘s website was something that could’ve been prevented IF you explained yourself more thoroughly and did it so that normal people would be willing to relate and listen in your very first post rather than letting everyone attack you for 40 comments before you finally replied! This should’ve been moderated and watched by you from the very beginning. At this point, I think it has done some serious damage to the reputation of Muslimmatters.
If you want to vote McCain than FINE but please go about explaining in a clear and thorough manner. Otherwise, people are going to attack you and say all sorts of things–part of your role is to make people understand and at this point, you have failed to carry across your point effectively and so some of this damage is self-inflicted. The goal is to empower Muslims and the execution of this post did anything but. You just pushed people closer to wanting to vote Obama (was that your goal btw?)
It’s a step-by-step process and I can tell it will take more than a lecture by Anwar al-Awlaki (who is chilling out in Yemen now) about the horrors and evils of the USA (that is all he talks about) is not going to make anything happen. He is not an activist but a scholar. In fact, it just shows how lacking our political prowess is. But at the same time, a growing portion of the world IS paranoid and so Muslims aren’t the only ones checking into the clinic.
In short, please be detailed in your explanation and TRY AGAIN with a DETAILED post on this same topic.
I hope I have made myself clear. :)
July 5, 2008 at 12:52 PM
Please be sensitive to the topic and take the needed responsibility in dealing with it.
The adab of the Islamophobes is to say whatever the hell they want, with no regard to how others will pick up on it (usually anger all Muslims) and then say freedom of speech. Amad’s line of although I do not agree with you I defend your right to say it is a clear indication of you going down that road. Be sensitive to how people will react and structure your words to make sure it is understood properly.
Please do not make that mistake of saying whatever you want and then not being responsible enough to ensure that people aren’t angered by it. Be sensitive and hold the hands of the Muslims and walk with them step-by-step so they see clearly what direction you are going rather than run off somewhere where no one is going (voting for McCain) and calling them all “paranoid” for not thinking the way you do.
I think I’ve made myself clear. :)
July 5, 2008 at 7:14 PM
Thanks for the lecture, and I’ll think about your suggestion of doing another post. A few points for you brother:
1. I never said “Vote McCain”. All I did was say I was voting McCain. Just proves my point further how reactionary our general state today is as a community. Like I’ve stated, I think for myself on whom to vote for and have a 17 year track record of allowing others the same right.
2. Responding to the Texas comment will degrade the conversation further which is not my goal so I’ll pass, but I am a proud Texan and make no bones about it.
3. This post as well as others, much worse than MR’s, prove that we have a lot of community members who simply can’t handle a fellow Muslim thinking differently. Any psychologist could clearly identify that as a symptom of group think and disempowerment, but I still love all my brothers and sisters and wake up every morning thinking how can I help protect them as I’ve done now for over 6 years. I don’t know what’s worse, short of violence, then calling a fellow Muslim things ranging from being Gay to a Kaffir; all for just saying they’ll vote for a different presidential candidate. Is a violent assassination what’s in the work if I was to actually say “Vote McCain”. No shortage of dogma, but certainly of akhlak (manners).
4. Like I mentioned in an earlier comment as well as my email to Tx community leaders the morning this post came up. I was tardy getting to respond first time, because I was busy working on the surprise new DOJ guidelines for FBI investigations. My apologies if you feel I made the wrong decision in prioritizing keeping Muslims out of jail ahead of starting my MM responses by a few hours.
5. Call me neive but I was secretly hopping that we had progressed as a community to the point where theologically conservative Muslims like many of us here would have celebrated our community being able to manage the media in order to present all of America an impression that we’re civil with one another despite our political difference and whether we’re liberal/democratic or conservative/republican we sound just like all Americans on TV. Guess theologically conservative Muslims still prefer a neo-conish or self-hating former Muslim to be utilized by conservative media producers in an unbalanced manner and keeping the narrative of the War with Islam clear in the eyes of the audience. Hannatized America is proud.
July 5, 2008 at 7:48 PM
A recurring theme in my responces has been “focus on execution and not rhetoric”. McCain is for decentralization in governance both in Iraq and Afghanistan and alignment of the locals in order to create a wedge between localized insurgencies and the Al-Qaeda types who simply hide themselves amongst the grassroots resistance sentiment. Another issue as I say in my public speeches to the West Point Society type of audiences is that there is actually 3 GWOTs. The first is against violent extremists (primarly but not exclusively Al-Qaeda), the second is against resistance/radical regimes (ex. Iran, Syria, etc.) and their allied grassroots resistance Movements (Hamas, Hizbullah, Sadr Militia, etc.) and third is what I call the global culture war to promote Liberalism at the expence of Evengelical Islam (Ikhwani, Salafi, etc.).
Every democratic administration due to their party’s make-up elevates the 3rd war’s importance and that creates a backlash at home and abroad. For example during Clinton’s administration and Carter before him, as with Obama after, socially conservative Muslim countries face arm-twisting and end up partnering with the Vatican for example at the UN as happened in the 90s in order to push back against various “family planning” programs being forced upon them. It’s also under the Clinton administration that the president signed an executive order declaring that any opposition to the Oslo peace process is a ‘national security threat’ to the US. That process is what led to the closure of the Muslim charities and a lot of other things. The NS policy folks in a democratic administration will target domestic Muslim leaders and institutions, not me or my group because we’re small fry, just like they did in the 90s simply due to advocating differing political views on ME policy. Oversees not only will a democratic administration push the secular humanism stuff down conservative Muslim society’s thoughts, but their approach to handling Afghanistan and Pakistan will be different.
Like I mentioned above, McCain understands local governance, a product of taking over Goldwater’s seat in the Senate. Today in Afghanistan and the FATA in Pakistan, many groups are supporting the Taliban insurgency and fighting the US and Kabul not because they’re Taliban but because they don’t like foreign occupiers as well as centralized administration out of Kabul. We as a country can cut a deal with these folks just like Patreaus with McCain’s support were able to do in Al-Anbar province and elsewhere in Sunni Arab regions of Iraq. Obama’s policy folks want to draw down in Iraq, move a whole lot more troops to Afghanistan thereby counter-productively increasing our footprint and counter-resistance to our presence both in Afghanistan as well as in a more destabilized Pakistan, and fight more agressively the “bad guys” themselves. Next to the promotion of secular humanism oversees, more targetted government prosecutions at home you can expect a democratic administration to be sensative to the charge of being week and overdoing it militarly. When I was in school studying public policy, we learned about how the Dems were beat up under Truman for loosing China to the Communists and from that point forward they’ve been over-doing it in order to not show that they’re weak on NS. Look at the history of Vietnam under democratic administrations mostly and a super-majority democratic Congress.
The key to our success in Afghanistan as it is becoming in Iraq is decentralization (i.e. local governance), driving a wedge between the locals and the foreigners and drawing down our footprint (withdrawing) as Adm. Mullen recently made public. McCain gets it, Obama doesn’t.
July 5, 2008 at 8:15 PM
Yes the US Intel community has a good grasp on Al-Qaeda’s opperation tactical capability, meaning they do a good job of identifying and disrupting operations. The Intel community is not responsible nor capable of pursuing other policy objectives. In my opinion all the side policy issues were attempted by the White House, but that was and continues to be over the objections of the Intel community as well as the Military’s top brass. That’s why you have senior intel community folks leave and not only write books but make a career of waking up America that the White House is dishonest (ex. Richard Clark from NSC, Michael Scheuer from CIA, etc.). Did you know that all the top Generals within a few months of our invasion of Iraq resigned, because they weren’t for the occupation, permanent bases, oil contracts, etc. stuff. Some even got behind Kerry in ’04 though they’re not democrats. Amongst the domestic intel community (ex. FBI), they’ve also shown their opposition to the Administration when its tried to pursue other non-legal objectives. For example last year in the HLF trial the DOJ Criminal Division decided to release a list of 300+ unindicted coconspirators that included CAIR, ISNA and NAIT (the deed trust holder for over 300 Mosques). The FBI was and continues to be against that obvious political move meant to smear these groups and has nothing to do with legal prosecutions.
To say that McCain was against Rumsfeld simply because of his incompetence only is to neglect the facts. McCain pushed for not only replacing Rummy but also a change in counter-insurgency strategy. One that today’s Iraqi Sunni leaders, not just the Shia, all agree has empowered their grassroots to govern themselves, diminished the need for a nationalist insurgency, lessened civilian and military loss of life and has put America on a course to start decreasing its footprint later this year. Entirely different strategy (decentralization), not just new executor.
I’ve already explained my understanding of how comprehensive immigration reform can be more likely passed, so I won’t rehash that. There’s a huge difference between a McCain as President pushing immigration reform legislation and him as one senator amongst 100. I think your assessment of Obama’s support amongst Republicans is way of an over-estimate, speaking as one who’s been amongst the party for 17 years.
You’re last paragraph raises a perspective question if you don’t mind me asking. I don’t see Al-Qaeda as a reaction, that’s how their ideology is framed, but I actually see them as a symptom of a disease and not a neutral forces as you state that can be left alone.
Do you believe America with all its faults (especially in execution) is a force for good and progress or do you view it as inherently an obstacle to the Muslim world’s empowerment?
July 5, 2008 at 10:48 PM
assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah
The fact of the matter is, the majority of the Muslims are not well versed in American Politics. If you can’t tell me three policy issues McCain stands for, and three policy issues Obama stands for, then our debate ends right then and there. End of story.
With all due respect, if you’re going to bash br Hamada or having an opinion, then at least read up on both candidates and the issues. (I personally will not be voting for either candidate- but that’s another discussion)
I’ve read each and every comment in this discussion, and I’d say I’ve only read 2-3 people who are actually informed. (And by informed I mean on the candidates, on the issues, and on their differences, and on politics in general)
Forgive me if I’ve offended anyone.
July 6, 2008 at 12:52 AM
I read your response, and I wanted to start with where you ended, because I think that will offer more in terms understanding the thought-process behind my own direction and their consequent ramifications. The question:
When you say “America”, I understand this to mean “American government”. When you say, “…force for good and progress,” then I can only say, that entirely depends on how you define “good and progress.” When you say, “…an obstacle to the Muslim world’s empowerment,” then again, I have to ask, what do you mean by empowerment?
For me, the meaning of “good and progress” would mean that the ultimate policy objective of laa illaaha illallaah AND what it entails in a worldly sense (daw’ah, shari’ah law, etc) is what we’re working to achieve. That policy objective takes precedence over ALL other forms of good which may or may not be achieved.
In this sense, America is an impediment to Muslim world empowerment because both Republicans and Democrats are united (albeit for different reasons) that shari’ah law and Islam are barbaric, backwards, and best repressed. Regardless of who is calling for Shari’ah law (al-qaa’ida, hizb ut tahreer, random peacenik Muslim, etc) and their view of it, it is all bad and must be stopped. If I were to ever inject myself into the political system, it would be in the tradition of Nu’aym ibn Mas’ood Ashaja’i during the Battle of the Trench, approaching Ghatfan, Banu Quraydhah, and the Quraysh, causing doubts and clashes between parties.
That’s not to say that there aren’t good and decent people in America that just want to live life harmoniously, get a house, car, family, live comfortably and be left alone. there’s plenty of people like that and in fact, I’d wager (if it were allowed) that the overwhelming majority of people are like this. I simply think the government, which doesn’t serve it’s own constituents well, will serve Muslims and their interests far less than that, if at all.
So what to do? You described Abu Noor’s position as paralysis, implying that either you’re participating in the system in some way, or you’re doing nothing about it. I don’t agree with this dichotomy either. The purpose of life is to worship Allah subhaana wa ta’aala and we are reminded repeatedly that straying away from this objective will come with consequences both in this life and the hereafter. We are reminded in al-Baqarah of Musa’s rescuing of Bani Israel, only to watch them turn to worshipping a calf when he left them briefly, and likewise many other times after this, the similar disobedience occurred and punishment ensued until they turned back to Allah subhaana wa ta’aala.
My position, then, is that while there may be some value in participating in politics, in the grand scheme of life (and death), at best it offers band aid solutions to effects and does not place squarely the blame where it belongs (ourselves), nor does it propose a means to get out of said mess. As we are often taught, if Allah subhaana wa ta’aala wishes harm for us, not even the if the whole world wished to give us benefit, would we get said benefit. So how will we, a largely disobedient, unethical, low standarded, lazy ummah benefit if America turned all its resources to raise us up if Allah subhaana wa ta’aala is displeased with us?
It is my position that to the extent we take this question seriously will we then start to see cause and effect patterns personally, communally, nationally, globally in a completely different light, and we will then be able to exert that proactive spirit (Habit 1) in the right direction (Habit 2) in the most proficient manner (Habit 3).
In light of how I view good and evil, and America’s position as it relates to the Muslim world, I see their position as a force to destabilize any and all steps towards shari’ah. So in some instances, America will condemn, sanction, and generally go after Muslim non-allies (syria, afghanistan, iraq, iran [democratically elected, by the way], palestine, and so forth), or prop up dictators to keep Islam down (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, at one point iraq, Pakistan, etc). I believe many of the groups you named earlier work as they do today precisely because of this. I do believe there are many individuals leaving the intel community and condemning American foreign policy for specifically these reasons.
America is a poison upon the progress of Muslims, and the first step forward for Muslims is to remove that poison out of the equation. To be fair, America has provided some positive aid towards Muslims, but accepting some of it does not mean that we now must accept everything else America does as well and turn away from it. Feeding me bread after raping and massacring my family is hardly what I would term as net-net “good”.
So from your position, McCain is a good choice because he won’t draw down troops and will work to decentralize the government? Isn’t that one half the original problem – centralized government being one, occupation the other? I know that was said in the context of Pakistan / Afghanistan, but I would imagine the same rule applies – no one likes an occupier. Is not McCain’s agenda to set up bases? I’m not sure I completely understand your position in Iraq vs Pakistan.
Man, I need some sleep. Maybe I’ll write some more tomorrow, if there’s more to mention. in any event, don’t let the negative comments from around the muslim world bother you. Time will pass, people will forget, life will go on. You’ll always have brothers who love you fee sabeelillaah (even if they don’t agree with your political position ;))
July 6, 2008 at 1:29 AM
brother hamada, I love you for the sake of Allah!
comment edited for ignorance
July 6, 2008 at 1:39 AM
brothers, please forgive any rude comments I make, I’m not in control of my emotions.
July 6, 2008 at 1:42 AM
:D Smile! It’s Sunnah! :D
Comment edited yet again ;)
July 6, 2008 at 1:48 AM
Since I’m not a scholar, I probably shouldn’t pass fatwas :D
Comment edited because internet takfeer is sooooo ’90s
July 6, 2008 at 1:50 AM
If I were married, I’d never be such an awesome internet jihaadi ;)
Comment edited for exposing too much information
July 6, 2008 at 2:01 AM
Poor Horatio, I knew him well!
July 6, 2008 at 2:01 AM
LOOOL. I love the edited comments. Hilarious.
And somewhat on topic, I find it quite interesting to see some of the reactions to a muslim who happens to have a different viewpoint than the majority here. As Hamada stated, it is somewhat reminiscent of group think and that sort of thing. I find it odd to accuse a man of supporting the killing of muslims based solely on who he plans to vote for. I think some here really need to get off their high horse, or better yet do what Hala said.
July 6, 2008 at 2:07 AM
i dont have any personal viewpoint when it come to islam the viewpoint of the qu’raan adn the ahadith prevail
i’m not from the so called private judgement rather from ahlu hadith
July 6, 2008 at 2:08 AM
Why is it that muslims get so upset about being portrayed as one giant group that thinks exactly the same and that only gets people like Manji/Hirsi to “speak for them” on media forums etc.. Yet when someone who actually seems to have a clue what he’s talking about when it comes to both Islam and politics, actually practices his faith (I’m assuming from the comments), but offers up a different political view (ie: does not think exactly the same) that is still not good? I just find it extremely perplexing. It seems as if many would like a mouth piece for them that practices Islam as they do and thinks exactly as they do. But if muslims are not a monolith how exactly can you really expect something like this.
July 6, 2008 at 2:11 AM
It’s not haram to vote for me as internet mujaheed of the week!
Comment edited to reflect possible (though unlikely) thoughts of commentator
July 6, 2008 at 4:58 AM
Asalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu,
Ok these comments are getting crazy but I like the last ones.
Let me just say br. Hamada if I wrote anything that was hurtful please forgive me because that wasn’t what I was trying to do .
I never meant that to happen. Sometimes I let my emotions take over and that’s not good but khair insha’Allah. May Allah forgive all of you guys. Those that agreed with br. Hamada and those that didn’t. But let’s remember before our poliitcal views we’re Muslims first and that’s what important. Lets remember to stick with one another.
I respect each one of you even those that support McCain hehe :-) and I hope you guys do the same. I personaly won’t be voting for anyone even though I can vote but that’s another story that I don’t want to get into.
It’s always good to sleep with a clean heart towards one another. Let’s be an example for those that want to divide us like Fox News (aka Muslim haters) :-) and let’s show them we’re united no matter what our political views are.
Let’s be nice to one another no matter what. My dad use to beat when I was younger everytime I got into fights, he would say to always say sorry to the other person even if it was my fault but I never did that :-) because I felt that if I did what my mother wanted everyone would look down on me. What I am trying to say here is we’re not here to please each other rather to please Allah.
So brothers/sisters lets remember that Allah has promised forgiveness for those who repent. In the Qur’anic message and the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it has been clarified that bad deeds are to be exchanged and counted as good deeds. This happens when the person submits in repentance, asking for forgiveness.
Always remember that Allah has decreed Himself to be the Most Merciful and the Most Forgiving. Accordingly, He decided that one good deed could be counted as ten good deeds or more, not to be limited in count to the number “one”, as sins are. Allah has decreed this merciful system out of His love to His creation and His understanding to our need to be forgiven.
If I hurt anyone by what I wrote please forgive me and I’ll do the same. You never know if you’ll see to live tomorrow so why not ask for forgiveness before it’s to late?
May Allah forgive all of us for our sins.
Subhanaka-Allah humma wa bi hamdika wa ash-hadu al la Ilaha illa Anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.
Wa Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatu
July 6, 2008 at 10:36 AM
Subhanallah I see that my post has been edited by someone with editorial control at MM.
However let us analyze the reason given for editing my post by MM,
‘Edited. Please leave out links irrelevant to the post, esp. when that link has been mentioned several times before. jazakallahkhair.’
Yes I did quote a link to another website, where fellow readers could download a lecture that without any doubt whatsoever, was relevant to the issues being discussed.
But why remove my other comments regarding the lecture itself? The slight justification which you believe you had for editing my post, as you thought the lecture was irrelevant, and that the link had been mentioned several times before. If that truly was the case then you should have just removed the link, without removing my other comments. Isn’t that being just and allowing someone to express their feelings and freedom to express their opinions?
Here are the comments below which MM thought had to be edited and removed. Please note I have removed the infamous link which caused me to be censured by MM. So InshaAllah there will be no need for the powers at MM to unleash their powers of censure one again.
I advise akhi Hamada and his ardent defender akh Hassan, to listen to the first lecture Imam Anwar al-Awlaki gave after recently being released from prison, entitled, ‘The Battle for Hearts and Minds.’
Honestly people, my wife and me could hardly speak for an hour after listening to this lecture, due to contemplating over what we heard.
In the lecture it completely destroys the thinking, mindset and ideology of our brothers like Hamada and Hassan, and those of similar thinking.
In my opinion, every Muslim in the world should listen to this lecture. Especially those Muslims living in the West.
The lecture can be downloaded from *******************
Now coming onto some comments made by akhi Dawud Isreal,
Akhi Dawud the above comments, whether it was your intention or nor, are tainted with slight disrespect and lack of knowledge on your behalf regarding Anwar al-Awlaki. To say he ‘is chilling out in Yemen now,’ what do you intend? Do you know the history why Anwar al-Awlaki had to relocate to Yemen? It was because he was visited by the FBI/CIA who came to his house and told him, that if you work with us, we will make life very comfortable for you, and if you refuse, we can make your life very difficult.
Allhamdulillah like any person of [real] ilm, he refused. A short while later he visited the UK to give some lectures, and while he was in the UK, he was informed by the US State Department that he will not be allowed entry back into America. Where his wife, children and home was. Imagine that? So he went to Yemen from the UK and called his family over.
Then you say akhi that all Anwar al-Awlaki talks about is ‘the horrors and evils of America.’ Akhi this only shows your lack of knowledge. Have you ever heard any of the audio sets by Anwar al-Awlaki on the ‘Lives of The Prophets,’ ‘Life Of Abu Bakr,’ etc?
If he does talk about some of the evil policies and actions of America in some of his talks, ask yourself, how many other people of knowledge do you see today who do?
On a side note to MM, please don’t unleash the fury of the editing wand again as the comments I have made are relevant, by correcting some incorrect information already made and a reply to comments made by others
If you do decide to edit my comments again then truly I feel sad in my heart, and I don’t think I will ever visit here again. Which InshaAllah I hope wont happen as me and my wife really like reading our lil sis Anonymouse’s articles. She always brings a smile to our face and has wisdom beyond her age MashaAllah.
p.s. Anyone else actually listened to the lecture ‘Battle for Hearts and Minds’ yet?
p.p.s Any thoughts on how it relates to the issue of who Muslim Americans should vote for in the next elections??
The link to Shaykh Anwar’s lecture can be found in many comments on MM (unedited). So it wasn’t his lecture or anyone’s lecture that we have an issue with. It just seemed to be out of place on this post. And then you went on to make an indirect personal attack on two other brothers, one of whom had actually himself linked to the article! It would be nice if we not conflate everything. jak -Editor
July 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM
asalam aleikum brothers and sisters,
I’ve been a bad boy – I have an addiction to using the word taghoot. Can you recommend a 12 Step program to help overcome this addiction?
Comment edited for sounding like a broken cliche
July 6, 2008 at 10:53 AM
I am sad that I have nothing intelligent to add to the discussion
Comment edited because it really need to be :D
July 6, 2008 at 10:55 AM
Brothers and sisters, I love you for the sake of Allah
Comment edited for condemning MM staff to hell
July 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM
La hawla wa la quwata illa billah. May Allaah azza wa jall save you from being humiliated like I am now with all these edited comments ameen
Comment tweaked slightly to reflect reality
July 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM
Yes thats what I did immediately, I am huge fan of his. May Allah protect him. I still defend hamada right to be sincere and work for muslims (although perhaps incosequential efforts according to Sh Anwar’s lecture).
mujahid alkhalifa reminds me of Wahabi Misanthrope
July 6, 2008 at 1:15 PM
After reading the article and watching the clip I am ASHAMED of my fellow American Muslims. You guys have stooped to the lowest of the low.Avoid Ad hominem attacks? This is disgusting and outrageous.
Do you guys have ANY FEAR of ALLah (SWT) left in you?
Subhanullah! Supporting someone who openly calls for the blood of the Muslims to be spilled??? Just when you think the Ummah can’t descend any lower…
July 6, 2008 at 1:25 PM
May Allah reward MM and those who contribute to it for all their good efforts.
I was a little surprised that our MM Editor thought I made an indirect personal attack on two brothers, so I went back and re-read what I wrote. An id just like to say I apologize if anyone felt I personally attacked them [we Ninjas already have a bad rep for our attacks], however in no way was that my intention.
MM I believe is a unique place, where everyone should be allowed to express their views, as long as they conform to proper Islamic etiquette.
I leave my fellow MM readers with the following saying to reflect over, made by Kesuke Miyagi, which I think should be viewed in light of this whole issue.
“Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land.”
July 6, 2008 at 4:34 PM
I’ve listened to that lecture and I am telling you that ILM is not the same as political awareness and action! He isn’t going to get us anywhere in the political playing field so stop doing the Ilm-dance and start tangoing the amal-dance!!
Anwar al-Awlaki would agree that he is not one to judge on this matter of politics and the presidential election. It’s a great thing he’s a scholar and records lectures. Think about reading some books dear brother and you’ll see that free audio downloads on the Internet aren’t the only guide to islam. :)
My point was that we need YOU to inform us. To lead us.
Giving your opinion is something any Muslim can do and requires no talents. But if you want us to actually think critically about this issue–you have to start educating us on this sort of stuff. Yes you are naive to believe we are going to be open-minded.
Take a look at Amad’s “Tips for talking to Media” posts and that is the type of stuff we need to hear from you regarding politics. The basics and the advanced stuff. Like it or not, not everyone understands politics here nor the political procedure nor do they know where to get their information from. You should think about building us up. Most people won’t understand what you are saying (I’m Canadian btw so I’m excused!) and why you are saying it so keep things simple!
Please use this as an opportunity to educate and not one to back down and take the beats.
My apologies if I insulted your Texas-ness, that was not my intention.
mujahid alkhalifa: Whoever the editor of these comments is–you are my hero!
July 6, 2008 at 6:44 PM
Dawud Israel said,
First of all jazakallah khair for telling me that political awareness and action is not the same as knowledge. Even though I never said it was, but what surprises me akh, is rather than apologizing regarding the disparaging tone and incorrect comment you made about Anwar al-Awlaki, you reply back ‘telling’ me that political awareness is not the same as knowledge?!?! Quite strange.
Subhanallah what a beautiful thing to say about another brother. Walaahi akhi I dont know what you have been taking but I can assure you I have not been doing any dance. That maybe something you do in your pastime but its surely not mine.
MashaAllah you are so quick to jump to assumptions about someone you dont know, and have never even met. In fact I enjoy reading and read more books than listening to audio lectures. However overall I actually prefer to sit with the ulamah, students of knowledge and duaat and learn from them direct, as this is the best way to acquire ilm. So jazakallah khair once again for passing judgment on another Muslim akh.
A Muslim should be known for his exemplary manners, which includes thinking the best about his brother. From reading your comments, it appears to me you are quick to make assumptions and pass judgments on others, like what you say actually counts for anything.
Please dont be offended by what im about to say akhi, but your comments are slightly abhorrent and you come across as someone who seeks to be known and someone who seeks attention.
Once again akhi, please don’t be offended by what I said, just try to refrain from passing judgments on other Muslims in the future.
July 7, 2008 at 11:23 AM
Amazing everybody here jumps to help Hamada when he is being targetted by people for supporting Mccain. But when Dawud Israel makes sweeping comments on Shaikh Anwar who has gone thru so many troubles from Jail to Solitary confinements nobody except Brother Abu Ninja said anything. Really a shame and shame on you Dawud for using such language. May Allah guide us to the straight path. Ameen.
July 7, 2008 at 11:42 AM
My policy objectives are the same both in Iraq and Afghanistan, just like all Muslims I’d like to see the wars ended and safety, security and progress return to those Muslim societies. First stabilize via the decentralization strategy instead of the Bush “wanted dead or alive” pursue strategy– the “on the offense” macho rhetoric. Second is draw down (i.e. end the occupation). I don’t think I said anything different about Iraq vs. Afghanistan, though I stand to be corrected if you’ve got evidence. I think you might have inferred that from my saying a withdrawal now from Iraq would make the Persian Gulf region the fault line.
We’ll probably maintain some kind of troop presence in the deserts of Iraq, but if that’s agreed upon with the Iraqis then I don’t see where I have a right to object. Imagine my surprise some years back when I rented a car and drove it from Cairo to Sharm El-Shaikh and found US Army units stationed nearby apparently going back three decades. Nobody in Egypt thinks of them as an occupation force, so I would assume that a similar base in Iraq would be looked at like the one in Turkey that starts with an “i” and is used by our air force. If the Iraqi government objects and wants 100% of US forces out, that’s a different situation and not the line their political leaders (Sunni or Shia, secular or religious) are currently requesting. We would withdraw if the Iraqi government asked us, rest assured.
Sr. Aminah and all,
Also from me, if I said anything to upset anyone then please accept my apology since that was never my intention. I also love all my brothers and sisters for the sake of Allah, and didn’t take anything personally.
You’re absolutely right on the need for more education. That should not be misunderstood that I think those who disagree with me are some how uneducated, but that certain information sources I’ve learned to value as more credible and informed then general media might be helpful in aiding others understand where I’m coming from. And I’d be happy to learn from others also isa. But I’m beginning to think that Br. Siraaj raised in his reply comment a much more important issue for us to discuss before a political workshop post. That vital question is Whether America is an impediment to the Islamic way of life and Muslim empowerment? If we can’t agree on this question then we’ll never find somewhat relateable perceptions of reality to co-analyze on common ground from.
I’m open to other suggestions, but reading much of the crazy reactionary posts around the net to this simple MM post reminded me of a story I learned from Dr. Marc Sageman, the famous Psychiatrist and Counter-Terrorism Consultant who wrote “Understanding Terror Networks” and “Leaderless Jihad”. While in Hamburg preparing for their 9/11 operation, Mohamed Atta and company had their toilet backwash. As they were frustratingly dealing with the problem, they damned the party they thought responsible for their plight — the Jews!
May Allah bless the ummah and guide his many loyal but misguided subjects. Ameen.
July 7, 2008 at 12:18 PM
Why would a kaafir country would help islamic way of life and Muslim empowerment knowingly? I think America may have helped muslims unintentionally because of the mistakes they committed.
Yus from the Nati
July 7, 2008 at 1:38 PM
Q. Are we really supposed to believe that there is a lesser evil between these candidates?
Has anyone ever heard of the Trilateral Commission? or Zbigniew Brzezinski as one of Obama’s Foreign Policy advisors?
This world is deeper/crazier than you think. Please believe there are powers greater than your vote. And ya…sounds like conspiracy theory and this and that, but really, we are just being distracted from what really is going. Listen to Noam Chomsky.
There’s my little random thoughts.
Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
July 7, 2008 at 2:05 PM
Jazzak Allahu Khayr for coming to the defense of our brother and teacher Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki. Perhaps few people have commented on that because we are so far down the thread and few are still reading. Alhamdulillaah the love of the ummah, especially here in the U.S. and especially among the type of Muslims who are reading Muslim Matters is inshAllaah strong and not in danger. I don’t really understand Dawud Israel’s comments but it does relate to the type of schizophrenia that exists among many of us in that we find it difficult to connect our understanding of Islam to our own environment and how to interact with it. I find that most of us, sometimes even consciously but not always make a complete separation between our understanding of our deen and how we “get things done” in the “dunya.” May Allaah (swt) give us the wisdom to be able to do a better job of taking guidance form our deen and applying it in the dunya.
Allaah knows best.
You want to dial down the “go on offense” rhetoric of the Bush administration so you vote for McCain? These arguments are beyond parody. You realize that most of your friends in the “conservative movement” are saying that people should vote for McCain precisely BECAUSE he understands the need to be on offense and the “transcendent struggle of our time” against Islamo-fascism.
See, for example this NRO editorial: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Mzc5MGEwNWU4ZWRlZmI4YTkyM2MzNTNhYjI4MThiZjk=
Allaah knows best.
July 7, 2008 at 5:10 PM
If either candidate was wise they wouldn’t touch the presidency with a ten foot pole. I don’t think either one is suited to handle the challenge. Although It would be interesting to watch Obama try to walk the walk as they say.
I can’t imagine how horrible it would be on judgment day to be responsible for any nation let alone this one.
Remember the letter of Muhammad peace be upon him to Heraclius where it said “..and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your subjects”. If someone being guided through you is better then all the world and what’s in it then imagine the sin of misguiding an entire nation.
July 8, 2008 at 12:27 AM
Let’s recall the statement by Imam Ahmad (rahmutallah alayh) regarding those who aid oppressors, inshaAllah.
July 8, 2008 at 6:02 PM
No no brother Jinnzaman, Imam Ahmad only matters when we want him to matter. Don’t you know times have changed?
July 9, 2008 at 8:08 PM
This is just a suggestion, and it is at the discretion of the MM staff, but perhaps it would be best to delete this post, not in disrespect to the author or his point of view, but seeing as it is only generating so much ugly tension and conflict? I just hate to see these things occurring in the Muslim community, especially on the blogosphere, and it seems that everyone is very passionate about his/her point of view. Far more destruction has occurred than benefit, and I wouldn’t like to see anyone’s reputation further damaged.
July 12, 2008 at 8:15 PM
Cynthia Mckinney is running as well:
I can totally vote for her.
July 12, 2008 at 8:50 PM
mckinney sounds totally kosher but the alternative to obama HAS GOT TO BE nader
the man has every single
obama’s campaign is a farce. hes flip flopping on every serious issue.
why doesnt nader have the muslim vote!?!?!?
There is absolutely no valid criticism of the man’s campaign.
in my view, the candidate to vote for has GOT to be anti-corporate, and obama fails miserably on that count
July 12, 2008 at 8:56 PM
shouldve previewed that post
i was saying “the man has every single critical social issue on the table. most of which the other corporate-backed candidates are too afraid to touch”
July 26, 2008 at 1:19 AM
When asked if as president he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee unequivocally stated, “Yes.” Asked when, he said, “Right away.”
“I’ve been committed to that proposition for years,” he said.
McCain said he wouldn’t discuss hypotheticals when asked whether he would support an Israeli attack on Iran, but did say, “I can tell you this: The United States of America is committed to making sure that there is never a second Holocaust. That will be what I do as president of the United States.”
His quotes like this are day to day, HOW can anyone support this guy?
July 26, 2008 at 1:25 AM
And the other guy Obama is doing this:
Wake up, smell some smelling salts if you have to.
Teh Muslims guy
August 20, 2008 at 2:08 PM
Nothing is going to Change, Barrack claims change but NOTHING HUGE WILL CHANGE.
McCain meant he would stay in Iraq as long as possible to secure that it does not go down the drain.
Its like this:
You see a kid drowning in a river (the kid represents the Iraqi people and the water the possibility of a horrible Government/A horrible Government). You (you represent the United state of America) jump into the river to save the kid…so you got the kid out of the deep water, now what? do you let him go even if he is in there river still? hes ok the deep part is over there? or do you take him all the way to shore? The answer is obvious, you don’t want to risk the kid drowning again and having to go in there AGAIN to save him…(IE; George HW Bush, who invaded Iraq and followed the popular vote and ultimately got nothing done)
If many of you haven’t noticed most countries the US has invaded within the last century(and won) are strong countries.
Japan and Germany for example, and even to a lesser degree the Philippines and Vietnam (whom is blooming into a mini-China). Iraq is a rich country now, and if they are smart with their money (Hint hint: smash a good part of it in Universities and make a Harvard out of a few Iraqi universities) improve the standard of living and they could be a 1st world country like Japan. IT is ultimately up to the Iraqi people, whether they have guts to stand up to their own ‘fellow Muslims’.
We must sacrifice sometimes to gain a chance for the greater good. McCain is not going to send troops to Iraq to blow up random people because they’re Muslim. The people he wants dead ARE MUSLIM, which puts a bad reputation on us all. These people he wants dead are crazy and if you consider them a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ thinking that blowing up Christians, Jews, and who ever isn’t Muslim (or as a matter of fact their own sect. of Islam) is good. then I’m sorry you got problems.
IT may not seem like it now but Iraq is getting better, you must remember before the invasion was Iraq really a stronghold of peace with dancing flowers and happy people? NO!
I’ve seen pictures of Iraqi civilians kissing pictures of Bush (it doesn’t please me either) but Iraq is something I decided to support because a strong Muslim country would help the Islamic community GREATLY… and Saudi Arabia doesn’t count, Jordon also looks promising though :).
What is more so Bush is not against Muslims, many of you have forgotten our Brethren North of Greece. hmm??? the Albanians a predominantly Muslim group, we supported them against CHIRSTIANS (hmm…odd…you thought Bush was all abut Christians huh?) and now look Kosovo a ALBANIAN majority country has its independence. And our Brethren in China? who are discriminated against by CHINESE and our Central Asian brethren who are getting ready to be trampled by the RUSSIANS. Bush(as much as I dislike him) speaks for the forgotten Muslim victims the once who have been victimized by our OWN fellow Muslims.
I want a job well done in Iraq not “let pull out ASAP”, they started it they must finish it.
Lastly, Many of you have forgotten Red Russia is rising once again the Godless communist have returned, and Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Ba’hai etc. is better then a godless communist.
Barrack doesn’t know what to do… he wants ‘forceful diplomacy’ which is what?… “oh mr. Putin sir I’m really unhappy with your invasion of Georgia (or any former Soviet Republic which like HALF are predominantly Muslim)”
Putin doesn’t care, Putin will run Barrack over. He is a pretty face… McCain hates Putin and we can feel more secure about out country knowing that McCain will press the Red button if need be and not whine to the useless UN and Putin on how unhappy he is.
Many have forgotten this is more then Iraq, Russia invaded Afghanistan and turned them into GODLESS communists, another predominately Muslim country. The Discriminate against Muslims a good example is the Chechens, another predominantly Muslim group whom the US supported.
McCain is by no means killing Muslims, i frankly think the opposite. The Republican party is serving Muslims around the world better even if they don;t realize it. McCain is less of a threat to muslims then Russia, there is more Brethren getting Killed each day in Sudan, China, Russia, former Yugoslavia, Kashmirthen Iraq. Yet we choose to whine about Iraq while the US is supporting the majority of Muslims around the world…
how Hypocritical I have to say to you brothers and Sisters, open your eyes.
August 27, 2008 at 10:51 AM
Hmm. maybe you muslims who are supporting obama need to go read the Quaran and sunnah. Ask yourself did the holy prophet pbuh support abortion. also what was said about people who have knowledge of islam and reject the islam. you could logically make the argument that obama was a muslim at one time and now he is a christian. what does the sunnah and quaran say the penalty is for that? do you really think obama is gonna wave his arms and get the soldiers out of iraq? also one last thing 75,000,000 muslims are free because of president bush.
September 3, 2008 at 11:17 PM
subhanallah!… I never thought the day would come when muslims are debating which kafir is better to lead them ( and actually lol’ing and debating about it with vigour).. la hawla wa laa quwata illah billah,
everything in this world is a difference of opinion now, what a disgrace to the muslim ummah, i wouldnt be surprised in a few years if pork, alcohol, zina, and blantant shirk are all “differences of opinion”
i hope we all ask Allah everyday to relieve the ummah of its tyrants, revive the true scholars and mujahedeen, and stop the disgrace of the muslims at the hand of the kuffar ,accursed are the kuffar , may allah give them what they deserve
and the sadder part is someone will comment on this post with the usual dont you know about the “lesser of two evils”, “learn your fiqh ul waaqi'”,” some scholars said voting is good,” etc , etc ”
wallahi if i posted some of the comments of the sahaba and tabieen about how harsh they were to people of innovation, hawaa, and sins, some of the muslims on this site would probbaly be offended at the language used thats how washed up we have become… may allah forgive us for our weekness and pathetic state AMEEN
September 4, 2008 at 12:10 AM
yayni…your knowledge has engraven a large crescent in my soul ibn bukhari … verily
September 6, 2008 at 6:45 PM
I think neither party are going to do any good for Muslims so why vote? I don’t see a worthy third party to vote for either. Maybe we need to create our own party to show Americans what values Muslims represent.
Pingback: Sarah Palin and Osama Bin Laden Agree on Holy War | MuslimMatters.org
October 26, 2008 at 4:11 AM
McCain’s Pastor: US Should Destroy Islam
November 1, 2008 at 9:40 AM
How can a true muslim support mcscame who jokes about killing all iranians with selling them tobacco so they can die of cancer and who sings about bombing iran.