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Obama Orders Missile Strikes in Pakistan

Omar Usman

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Despite the prevalence of anti-war rhetoric during his campaign, Obama apparently couldn’t wait a whole week before launching a missile attack in Pakistan. The Guardian UK reports,

Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.

Four days after assuming the presidency, he was consulted by US commanders before they launched the two attacks. Although Obama has abandoned many of the “war on terror” policies of George Bush while he was president, he is not retreating from the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

Obama has warned that he is prepared to bomb inside Pakistan if he gets relevant intelligence about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. He had also said he would act against militants along the border if the Pakistan government failed to.

The strikes will help Obama portray himself as a leader who, though ready to shift the balance of American power towards diplomacy, is not afraid of military action.

These strikes killed 20 people, and as antiwar.com notes,

The drone strikes have killed hundreds of people over the past several months, both militants and civilians. The United States rarely publicly admits to the attacks, part of what some in the media have dubbed a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” understanding between them and Pakistan’s civilian government.

And the Obama administration, despite their new call for transparency, is refusing to comment on these attacks,

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday refused to comment on reports that two missile attacks from U.S. spy planes killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border. …

“As you know, I am not going to comment on those matters,” Gibbs said when asked about the strikes.

Pressed twice more on the topic, Gibbs said, “I am not going to speak about these matters today,” then later said, “My answer was I was not going to talk about that.”  …

Asked how Obama planned to follow up on his inaugural address remark that he wanted to have a new way forward with the Muslim world, Gibbs said he would decline to address that question “until we have something to add to it specifically.” 

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It seems as if the new Bush Obama Administration is still continuing with not just the same foreign policy, but an even firmer one,

The shaky Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari has expressed hopes for warm relations with Obama, but members of Obama’s new national security team have already telegraphed their intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration, and to back up those demands with a threatened curtailment of the plentiful military aid that has been at the heart of U.S.-Pakistani ties for the past three decades.

The general media outlets are declaring these operations to be somewhat of a success since a handful of suspected militants were killed. At the time of this post, however, I have been unable to find any news article specifically articulating who was killed and targeted. Of course they say it was “Al-Qaeda” militants, but these days that excuse is about as credible as the WMD threat in Iraq. 

Lastly, as much as we’d like to celebrate some ‘cautious optimism’ in regards to his symbolic (and positive) gesture of closing Guantanamo, I think it is important to be objective and fair in also assessing the foreign policy ramifications of the new administration for the Muslim world. I was personally a bit hopeful after hearing some of his words about engaging the Muslim world, but actions speak louder than words. 

Please make dua for the innocent people who died in these attacks. May Allah(swt) admit them into the highest parts of Paradise.

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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.

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at ibnabeeomar.com.

56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Avatar

    amad

    January 24, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    If only we had Mullah McCain.. there would have been no strike in Pakistanis, Gitmo prisoners would be released immediately and given flowers and laddus, extraordinary renditions would be reversed to extraordinary immigrations of muslims to america, and we would have Kucinich as the Middle East envoy. Shame on everyone who voted for Bush Obama.

    I don’t disagree that we need to point out the nags of this administration too, but the point of my snark above was that we should keep things in perspective. This would also be a good time to use the same whitehouse link to register our complaint on this.

  2. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    January 24, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    Amad, I think you’re missing the point – it’s not a matter of whether Obama is better than McCain or vice versa – it’s a matter of reminding Muslims who are inclined to falling head over heels in love with Obama that love at first sight is not an intelligent political position.

    It’s obvious Obama wants to make a strong first impression in the first 100 days. He’s aggressively chasing after Bin Laden and pressuring the Pakistani government to allow him to use the drones while funneling aid to the people to keep them happy. I would not be surprised if he got OBL, and I would not be surprised as well if this simply worsens things.

    I am a bit surprised at the lack of sensitivity, given that the Muslim world just watched what happened in Ghazzah, but I suppose he thought shutting down Guantanomo (or the plan of it) would be enough to wave in front of Muslims so that their feelings, if not supportive, would be ambivalent in the face of what was to come.

    Siraaj

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 24, 2009 at 1:37 AM

      I did not miss the point. I fully expected that Obama would continue these policies… after all he stated that clearly. And I agree that we are not in a position to judge the presidency (good or bad), and that we should fall in love with NO candidate, let alone Obama.

      However, I keep reminding everyone to keep the relative positions in perspective. The alternative would have done this, or worse, and he would have continued to do all the other neocon activities of his predecessor. I see the glass as half-full, and others see it as half-empty.

      And yes, after Gaza, isn’t it okay to allow Muslims to take some good news for what it is: good.

  3. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    January 24, 2009 at 2:21 AM

    “I would not be surprised if he got OBL”
    brother Siraaj, you know that OBL makes his movies in hollywood right? I also hope that people are smart enough to realize that 3 skyscrapers would
    not have fallen down because they were ‘hit by 2 planes’. OBL was only used as an excuse to start the wars that they did…

  4. Avatar

    Naeem

    January 24, 2009 at 2:24 AM

    AA- Amad,

    “And yes, after Gaza, isn’t it okay to allow Muslims to take some good news for what it is: good”

    Did I miss something? Where is the ‘good’ here?

    Why even mention McCain? He’s history. Obama is the president. Obama ordered the strikes. Your logic here is bit of a stretch…

    So if anyone complains about Obama in the next 4 years, your immediate response will be ‘McCain would have done worse, so be grateful for Obama’??

    Huh?

  5. Avatar

    akhi

    January 24, 2009 at 2:36 AM

    Masha’Allah, is Amad still supporting Obama after he kills Muslims?

  6. Avatar

    james

    January 24, 2009 at 2:37 AM

    Shocking. I re-read this multiple times hoping it’s fake. Very sad news, this is not good news at all.

  7. Avatar

    AsimG

    January 24, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    Unfortunately, I think I see where Amad is coming from.

    After you put so much of yourself into the process it’s hard to seperate yourself. (not saying that’s necessarily the case with you akhi)

    You are forced to celebrate small battles and play the “it could have been worse” card when other issues are brought up.

    Obama “apparently” has killed Muslims and therefore there’s really nothing left to say.

    Does that mean we dismiss him completey and abandon the “hope of change”?

    Not really.

    But we need to put things in perspective. How can we ever praise, let alone thank, a leader who kills Muslims?

    But maybe that’s just me becoming a hizbee, I don’t know

  8. Avatar

    Abu Maryam

    January 24, 2009 at 3:20 AM

    Assalamoalaikum,
    Brother Amad, just because Obama is not an evangelical (is that what u meant by “Mullah”?) as opposed to McCain, does that make him any better than McCain? After all neither was Clinton, but he launced the “Ramadan Gift”
    http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0399/9903024.html

  9. Avatar

    Algebra

    January 24, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    @SIRAJ
    “it’s a matter of reminding Muslims who are inclined to falling head over heels in love with Obama that love at first sight is not an intelligent political position.”

    Don’t worry we are not falling head over heels in love with anybody, We always have your CYNICAL and PESSIMISTIC VIEW to KEEP us LITERALLY GROUNDED.

    salam

  10. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    January 24, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    25:63 And the servants of ((Allah)) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!”;

  11. Avatar

    abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 24, 2009 at 4:31 AM

    bismillah. ameen to the duas for those murdered in Pakistan. until the Administration can prove beyond doubt a lack of culpability in the US use of massive deadly force, i see these missile attacks as evil, and those killed as victims.

    we have had too many years of an unaccountable President. a “cowboy” in worst connotation of the word — one who killed Muslims as easily as past US presidents killed native americans. you can bury my heart at wounded knee, or in the bleakness of the Pakistani frontier. when America kills senselessly or without justice, that cannot be glossed over. that cannot be ignored.

    granted by comparison to the zionist attacks on Gaza, these attacks may seem almost as gentle as a reproof. but the standard for just action by America should not be the murderous conduct of zionist-Israel.

    and Gaza has taught the world that oppression by the powerful of the weak leads only to more oppression. and so these acts by the US must be opposed loudly.

  12. Avatar

    Abu Maryam

    January 24, 2009 at 5:57 AM

    “Our Muslim countries seem to have been able attract the US’s attention and cause it to bomb them…”

    Sure.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis84.html

  13. Pingback: Yusuf Khan » Obama authorized the Pakistani bombings

  14. Avatar

    Intelect1430

    January 24, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    I watched AryDigital news yesterday, they reported the drone bombed two houses killing 18 people, one house had a family get together.

    Obamafans, are we are going to celebrate one day then cry another day? If we start having tawakkul in anyone but Allah swt this is how it has been and will always be.
    Take ALL your efforts (physical,pschological,financial,spiritual etc…) where the real money is and that is Rabul Aalameen.

  15. Avatar

    midatlantic

    January 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    ‘We have ethics guidelines for people we hire in our adminstration…except when we choose to waive them’
    ‘Our men must follow the field manual for interrogations…except when we make exceptions’
    ‘We believe in transparency in government…except when we feel the need to keep things from you’
    ‘We will reach out to the Muslim world…but also bomb you should you happen to live near our enemies’

    The more things change….

  16. Avatar

    Mezba

    January 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Where is the Pakistan government in this? Should they not be protecting their country? I mean, of all the Muslim countries, they would be militarily the most powerful … they even have the bomb!

    So why should we stand up for Pakistan, when their own government doesn’t? And if their government doesn’t, what about the people? It seems most ordinary people of Pakistan, especially down in Karachi and Lahore, do not care also – many probably think it’s a good idea!

    I have to say if it’s militants and extremists who are being killed I can’t see much to cry about here – but it’s not for you or me to say. This is about Pakistan. They are not even crying out to the Muslim world for help, unlike Gaza.

  17. Avatar

    Ihssan

    January 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    Obama was very clear about his stance with Pakistan before he even won the nomination! This is certainly nothing new.

  18. Avatar

    Mezba

    January 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    To those who want to close their eyes to what is happening in Pakistan take a look at this BBC article.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7848138.stm

    Taleban militants in the troubled north-western Swat district ordered schools to close as part of an edict banning girls’ education. Militants seek to impose their austere interpretation of Sharia law and have destroyed about 150 schools in the last year.

    If these militants are the ones kill we shouldn’t shed tears.

  19. Avatar

    Abu Dawood

    January 24, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Who to believe? American govt vs muslim villagers swearing on the Quran

    http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/world/afghan-villagers-differ-over-15-killed-in-raid–il

    The US coalition said Saturday that an overnight raid killed 15 Taliban militants but village elders who quickly travelled to speak with government officials said the dead were all civilians, AP reported.

    A detailed US statement said multiple teams of militants fired on the coalition forces during a raid in the eastern province of Laghman, including a woman the US said was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

    ‘We know the people who were killed were shooting at us,’ said Col. Greg Julian, the top US spokesman in Afghanistan. ‘The people who were killed today were running around, maneuvering against our forces, and we killed them.’

    But Hamididan Abdul Rahmzai, the head of the provincial council in Laghman, said village elders arrived at his office hours after the early morning operation to complain that the 15 killed were innocent civilians.

    During a call from an Associated Press reporter, Rahmzai relayed questions to the village elders directly, who angrily shouted that they would swear on the Quran, the Muslim holy book, that all those killed were civilians. The elders claimed that women and children were among the dead.

    The villagers told Rahmzai that they are shepherds and have no ties to militants.

  20. Avatar

    Lemon

    January 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    “Israel just killed people indiscriminately while the US just bombed a few “terrorists”… so the world would actually stand behind the US in its action of stepping over the toe of a sovereign country …”

    Why does everyone keep saying that Obama killed Muslims? When 9/11 happened we all got on stage and said how the people who did this were clearly NOT MUSLIM. Their name was al qaida. Now if we find some of these same people in Pakistan or the UK for all we care, killing them will not be called “killing Muslims.” Now, if there was for some reason a mistake and real civilians did die, whose fault is that? We should stop jumping to conclusions about the leader.

    Also who ever said that with McCain this would not happen… they are right. This particular thing would not have happened but a whole bunch of other stuff would have. Did we already forget people, he wanted to stay in Iraq for another 100 years!!! More Muslims would have died and God knows, he might even have helped Israel to get back the last scraps of land of Palestine.

    I think it is safe to say here that we are all students of Yasir Qadhi and we don’t LOVE anyone like we love Allah, we learn this in Aqeedah 101 — so sticking up for Obama here and seeing the glass half full is NOT that kind of love. I really don’t think we should pass judgments so fast AND we should really think about what happened instead of getting over emotional. That is what we are good at right… example: Denmark.

  21. Avatar

    Writersaa

    January 24, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    It was quite interesting to read Mezba’s comment. I frequently read outrageous comments on Muslim Matters, but this one hit me the most. As a Muslim girl particularly, I am the first to affirm the right Islam gives of education to every boy and girl, but, to advocate the murder of any Muslim who stops others from going to school, alongside, inevitably, civilians? Could anyone stoop that low? Let us not reason, debate or talk; let us not even shed tears at loss of not just human, but Muslim, life? Appalling.

    That is where the problem lies with Muslims: we are so ready to kill each other over anything and that includes those who seem to find every fault in every Muslim country, of which many do undeniably exist. But the way to go forward is by handling them maturely, with Islam as our guide. And, of course, we need to do that proactively.

    But, It seems to me that Mezba’s solution is to ‘silence’ his opponents by ‘eliminating’ them, not unlike the “Muslims” he seems to criticize. Haven’t Canadian laws that abolished the death penalty more than 30 years ago even rubbed off on Mezba by now?

  22. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    January 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    It’s pretty crazy how Pakistan, despite having nuclear weapons and a really good military…is getting pushed around like America’s female dog. And yet, Iran without any nuclear weapons, a so-so military, talks back a little and immediately people are afraid.

    We need to make dua for Allah to place khawf of the Muslims back into the hearts of the oppressors.

  23. Avatar

    MR

    January 24, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    Why do Muslims feel that Obama has to be 100% pleasing to Muslims?

    He’s pleasing America, not Islam.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 24, 2009 at 2:49 PM

      Why do Muslims feel that Obama has to be 100% pleasing to Muslims?

      He’s pleasing America, not Islam.

      You nailed it. Some people feel that we should only have been happy if we had a president who would be looking for our interests. I mean even Muslim leaders are not working for Muslims’ interests, and in fact, collectively they kill a lot of Muslims in prisons and in other ways too.

      Obama always insisted on a “firm” Pakistani policy… we did not like it then, and we don’t like it now. But why this is surprising or earth-shattering news is indeed interesting. Those who were hopeful in Obama, those who were calling for his election as the lesser of 2 evils, always believed that evil wouldn’t end, and that is why it is LESSER. So, when we have positive signs that the “lesser” part may be materializing, it is like we should shut up and not recognize and appreciate them. I also love the exaggerations and hyperbole, with claims that by thanking Obama for the good steps he took, it automatically implies that we idolize him or believe that he is some god-sent, DESPITE absolutely no evidence on these MM pages that such a thing was EVER said.

      And then there are those who say that we shouldn’t appreciate these steps because they are not positive, but neutral steps. This is indeed a strange argument. When you step back from a negative step back to neutral, you have still taken a POSITIVE step ahead, even if it was bringing it back to “base” conditions. That is worth appreciating.

      The problem is that some people are not interested in discussion, rather this goes back to the original agenda of Muslims not participating in the political process. This despite the fact that it is now proven that engaging in the political process is not forbidden by most scholars, and AT THE LEAST, it is a matter of ikhtilaaf. So, then the only choice left is to keep banging away at how the results are negative of this participation. Because admitting positive results implies a fundamental problem in the position that participation leads to no good. So, the only way to get over this apparent cognitive dissonance is to keep denying that any positive came out of the process.

      If we honestly step back, and think about our reasons for the resistance to seeing positive steps, and go back to fundamental interests, not the positions we hold, we will see that it all comes back to this. On the other hand, for people who believe in the political process, like myself, do indeed see the negatives, but there is no cognitive dissonance because our position allows for that possibility.

  24. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    January 24, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    Amad, as it relates to myself, it relates absolutely nothing to the political process, simply the lessons learned of the Muslim community’s (often inept) involvement in politics. Rewind 8 years back, and Bush was the man of the day for Muslims, and I can see the same euphoria now that Bush is gone and Obama in his place.

    I don’t want to thank Obama on Guantanomo until everyone is given due process, and special exemptions are not made for using evidence extracted by torture possible evidence since there legal hurdles to overcome if they follow Geneva – THAT’s where they are right now, there’s nothing to be thankful for on that.

    Obama mentioned Muslims and Islam twice in his inauguration speech, and I suspected the apologitterati in muslim political circles would start fainting in adoration, and lo and behold they did.

    Finally, if your position is to recognize good when there is good, then please complete the thought – recognize evil when there is evil, and I invite you to write an article condemning the Obama administration for bombing pakistan and killing civilians. We need our politically oriented brothers and sisters to stop acting like Hannah Montana teenie boppers backstage at a concert.

    Siraaj

  25. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    January 24, 2009 at 3:29 PM

    “So, then the only choice left is to keep banging away at how the results are negative of this participation. Because admitting positive results implies a fundamental problem in the position that participation leads to no good. ”

    I don’t think that those who say Muslims shouldn’t participate in the political process because no good will come out of it, but because it is not part of Islam and the candidates we will be voting for are not muslims and will not rule according to the laws that Allah has set for us. Of course, some (apparent) good might come out of it, but that still wouldn’t make it good or acceptable. Take for example interest, if you put your money in the bank and get more money at the end of the year, that extra money may seem to be good, but it is still haram. Now, I know these 2 issues are not the same, but the point is that those who say that Muslims should not get involved in the political process say so not because no good is going to come out of it, but they say so because they believe that this whole process of electing a non-muslim who will rule by man-made laws is not part of Islam. Now I know some say “lesser of two evils” but some people don’t believe that there is a lesser evil between 2 candidates that no matter who is elected, will be a puppet for the Israeli lobby that runs the entire US government.
    Allah knows best.

    -Edited. Pls don’t add verses that are not related to your point.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 24, 2009 at 3:56 PM

      Thank Abd-Allah for getting to the bottom of it. Took some digging but it is nice to see where you are coming from.

      but because it is not part of Islam and the candidates we will be voting for are not muslims and will not rule according to the laws that Allah has set for us.

      Mashallah, let’s just ignore all the scholarly rulings and opinions on this and take your word for it? At least you could admit that there is ikhtilaaf on this matter. Fortunately, I think most people have moved past this point Abd-Allah, so no need for beating up a dead horse.

      I am not even sure then what we are arguing about… I mean there is no fundamental common ground between us on the political process, so this discussion is fruitless even before it began.

      Siraaj: what about thanking Obama for ordering an end to extraordinary renditions? What about thanking him for choosing a relatively neutral figure on the US envoy to Middle East? What about thanking him for taking the right initial steps on Gitmo, while adding your concerns about the need to follow through with the entire due process?

      As for writing an article of condemnation, there is no requirement that everyone who writes on one side should write for the flip too. By that logic then, everyone who hates on Obama should write a positive story too, which NEVER happens. As a realist, I look at things in a practical matter. I am happy to see small baby steps, even while there is status quo on others. You cannot change an entire military strategy in two days of office, esp. when you made that a cornerstone strategy in that region during the campaign. We may not agree with it, but most of us supported him DESPITE this issue, again because of big picture considerations (and the alternative).

      No one wants to be “Hanna Montana teenie boppers”, but let’s also stop being the perennial complainers and whining pessimists as we Muslims have metamorphosed into… we just can’t see any good in anyone. There’s a balance, and if you read my post and my comments, but that is what I am calling for that (including using the same whitehouse.gov links to register our complaint), not for backstage passes for Hanna Montana ;) I am sorry if you saw it any other way.

      wasalam

  26. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    January 24, 2009 at 4:05 PM

    Siraaj, what about thanking him for stopping extraordinary renditions? What about thanking him for choosing a relatively neutral figure on the US envoy to Middle East? What about thanking him for taking the right initial steps on Gitmo, but then adding your concerns and reminding him to follow through with the entire due process? As for the article, there is no requirement that everyone who writes on one side should write for the flip too. By that logic then, everyone who hates on Obama should write a positive story too, which NEVER happens…

    Well, that’s my point, thank you for admitting it :D You only want to write positive things and ignore the negative, as do certain others. There’s no balance – you’re asking us to thank him for everything he’s done, you’ve not yet even seen how he plans to carry out “justice” with the Guantanomo detainees, nor have we seen the results of such a move. There’s nothing that’s been delivered worthy of a thank you.

    on the contrary, we’ve seen the results of his recent attack – dead muslims. You can choose the army’s word, or you can choose the Muslims on the ground, and what they are saying about their people – fiqh perspective straight up I go with the Muslims, no questions asked if its their word against the army’s, so as far as I’m concerned, 17 Muslims, including women and children, are now dead thanks to Obama.

    So if you’re asking for objectivity, I again invite you to provide it rather than ignore or say nothing about it – tell me, do you condemn Obama and his administration for this action or not?

    Siraaj

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 24, 2009 at 5:09 PM

      Siraaj:

      You only want to write positive things and ignore the negative, as do certain others.

      Siraaj, that is an unfair evaluation of my position thus far and belies what I have consistently stated like:

      [1]I am calling for that (including using the same whitehouse.gov links to register our complaint)

      [2] And we should also specifically send our criticism when he does things that are a continuation of Bush policies. This way we are fair in our praise and our criticism.

      [3] Use the contact link, and express your angst against this action. That was the point of the post. Appreciate the good. And when it is time for wrongful actions, then criticize.

      [4] The Muslim’s attitude must be composed of a mixture of healthy optimism balanced by the sense of reality that we are indeed in a really messed up world. Let’s applaud the positive steps, and constructively criticize the negative ones.

      And of course I don’t apologize for wrongful killings, if indeed this attack killed civilians. Your question was indeed a strange one to ask, as I have never justified any attacks where civilians are killed.

      Siraaj:

      There’s nothing that’s been delivered worthy of a thank you.

      Okay Siraaj, if all I have listed are nothing to be thankful for, then I guess we live in different worlds on the subject of expectations.

  27. Avatar

    Sarah Nasir

    January 24, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    this is definitely a saddening point after seeing Obama take some very positive strides in the first days of his presidency. This Pakistan threat, and his frantic apologetic dodging of the “Muslim” label as if there’s something wrong with being a Muslim is what made him lose my vote. And McCain, I felt if he came into presidency, it would become open season on Muslims, and it would start first in the US.

    So, being said that I did not vote for this man, I still think he is going to be better for the country than what just left. What he did in Pakistan is very questionable. However I will not overlook the fact that we Muslims are also capable of being at fault. There are radical people who take things to the extreme in the name of Islam like the Khawarij did. And Muhammad (S) said that if they had arisen in his (S) time, he (S) would’ve destroyed them like the people of ‘Aad. He (S) described such folks as superb in their ibadat, but the Quran does not go past their tongues. This extreme group was easy to label Muslims as kaafirs.

    I am not for useless killing, animosity amongst any people. But back home, in our Muslim countries, worse things happen in the hands of Muslims. Whoever is at fault, I think we should make sure that we are on the side of justice and we don’t let our emotions make us biased. And being from the Southeast Asia, I know many corrupt Muslims live in that area who have no regards or respect for human life and they live as if they are Muslims by birth only.

    I am not supporting Obama’s attack on Pakistan. But this administration has a trait I like- that they seem more willing to connect to the citizens. They seem to care about hearing what Americans have to say. They want to give their accountability to the people of this country. We should hold this decision to account as citizens of this country and the world. We should demand justification as to why other methods weren’t used as citizens of this country and if we have alternate ideas that we think are better, we should offer it.

    No matter whatever our feelings are regarding the current administration, Obama is our current president, United States is our country just as much. We should hold him accountable and take active roles in helping fix the country at home and abroad for all people. We should acknowledge the good when it is done, and help fix bad when it is done. It is easier to complain than to do things.

    So what my thoughts of action are that we write to him, denounce what he did in a respectful manner, tell him why and encourage him to seek alternate approaches and offer our ideas and help.

    I apologize in advance if I offend someone with my opinions, and if I have said anything wrong, in which case I request to be corrected.

    jazakAllahu khairan.

  28. Avatar

    Lemon

    January 24, 2009 at 4:49 PM

    No matter whatever our feelings are regarding the current administration, Obama is our current president, United States is our country just as much. We should hold him accountable and take active roles in helping fix the country at home and abroad for all people. We should acknowledge the good when it is done, and help fix bad when it is done. It is easier to complain than to do things.

    So what my thoughts of action are that we write to him, denounce what he did in a respectful manner, tell him why and encourage him to seek alternate approaches and offer our ideas and help.

    Well said Sarah Nasir. I do believe there are smarter ways to do things where civilians don’t get hurt. I hope people are complaining about their deaths and not the terrorist’s deaths.

  29. Avatar

    Lemon

    January 24, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    Amad:

    And of course I don’t apologize for wrongful killings, if indeed this attack killed civilians. Your question was indeed a strange one to ask, as I have never justified any attacks where civilians are killed.

    I’m not justifying any civilian deaths either, may Allah make their passing easy…but don’t civilians die in every war? Again, not trying to be heartless. If you go out to do something good and accidentally some innocent dies does that diminish the good cause of the war itself?

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 24, 2009 at 5:53 PM

      I just don’t know enough about the ongoing issues in North Pakistan to be fair to the topic. I do know that ever since we elected a crook such as Zardari, I have lost my hopes for Pakistan… it is as if America elected Bernard Madoff AFTER his crimes came to light. With a leader like that, who is probably busy scheming, robbing and killing his own people, I feel a bit queezy about blaming other leaders.

      Regardless, it does seem that every time these drone attacks happen, more civilians die than militants. Bush’s America screwed up Afghanistan (the second time), and now Afghanistan’s ghosts are haunting this nation… I don’t know where should Obama even begin to start fixing this mess… I do agree that the terrorists need to be brought to justice, esp the Qaida joint… again how, I won’t claim to having an answer.
      wallahualam

      And that concludes my participation on this post. May Allah forgive me for any mistakes.

  30. Avatar

    SaqibSaab

    January 24, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Thanks, President Obama!

  31. Avatar

    Bintashraf

    January 24, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    I agree with whoever said this was to be expected, especially since Obama has been firm about how he would deal with Pakistan should he find reason to. But as for the innocents who were killed, may Allah forgive them and grant peace to their families. Subhanallah you would think America would be more careful and try to avoid killing innocents especially with what’s going on in Gaza. The only thing that really disturbs me about this is how the administration has refrained from commenting about the attacks. If there was justification for it, why are they refraining from commenting?

  32. Avatar

    Dawud Israel

    January 24, 2009 at 7:47 PM

    He keeps the war-mongerers and the activists happy by bombing Pakistan instead of Iraq. Only way we could fight back against this is through unity among Muslims…

  33. Avatar

    president hussein woohoo

    January 24, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    some people are saying that this was an expected part of the package, and therefore we shouldn’t criticise him. would the same not apply to closing gitmo? we knew it was coming, therefore we should not praise him for that either?

    one thing that is confusing to me: the muslims being accepting of obama doing this, and praising him for gitmo, are they not just showing politicians that all you need to make muslims happy is to throw a small bone their way, and then they will be silent about everything else? that seems to be a pretty weak position. shouldn’t the muslim organizations be encouraging people to write to their congressmen and emailing whitehouse to explain these attacks and refrain from doing it again? or are we to just be satisfied with one small favor and too scared to speak up about something else?

    just because he was the lesser of the 2 evils does not mean that we abandon forbidding the evil that he does for the next 4 years.

  34. Avatar

    Organica

    January 24, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    All I can say is “Wow!”

    I would like to find a cave and stay there.

    The world we live in…

  35. Avatar

    Qas

    January 24, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    just because he was the lesser of the 2 evils does not mean that we abandon forbidding the evil that he does for the next 4 years.

    Don’t forget to enjoin the good too…

  36. Avatar

    ERT

    January 24, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    @ Siraaj

    We need our politically oriented brothers and sisters to stop acting like Hannah Montana teenie boppers backstage at a concert.

    nailed it.

  37. Avatar

    Abu Maryam

    January 25, 2009 at 4:24 AM

    “If these militants are the ones kill we shouldn’t shed tears.”

    Subhanallah. Even if the Muslims were doing what they are reported to be doing, how shud one not feel sorry for a soul believing in Allah and the hereafter being killed at the hands of one who does not. Muslims were delighter to see the Byzantines beat the Persians just because they were closer to them in religion, as menioned in Surah Al-Rum. Here they are our brothers in faith.

    BTW, do u think the yanks killed them because they were against girls’ education….wait a minute, the missile killed some girls too

  38. Avatar

    Selected Benefits

    January 25, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    I feel that all those who supported Obama and urged the Muslims to vote for him under the guise of the “lesser of two evils” should be brave enough to admit that they got it wrong; this would be much better for them instead of begging the question: Would McCain have been any better? Many of our brethren in the United States of America not only voted for Obama, but actively campaigned for him. Some blogs or blog authors ended up being an extension of the official Obama campaign team. We are living in a day and age in which there is very little difference between most political parties, the spin may be different, but the agenda is the same. Did we really thing we could change things by entering into their politics? I hope all of this will make us not only come to realise the Prophetic method for change and for lifting this humiliation from us, but also make us of those who follow that methodology.

  39. Avatar

    Skeptical

    January 25, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    I supported Obama through out his campaign and still do to a large extent. We all have to understand that he IS the President of The United States of America, not Pakistan or any other Muslim nation. He has a huge yard stick to measure up to and in reality the world doesn’t know what to expect from him, so he’s sending out clear messages across the board of what his beliefs and expectations are.

    Nothing justifies Gaza at all. Or the killing of innocent lives anywhere in the world. Pakistan…ummm..Being a Pakistani myself and unable to recover from the disgust of it’s current President, I agree with Amad as well many others about Zardari. Having a known CRIMINAL as the president of a nation, doesn’t give a lot of credibility to that sovereign nation. Nevertheless, it is wrong and unjust in every respect. But what is even worst than that is the shifting of blame rather than individual responsibility. We have to be responsible and accountable as MUSLIMS, only then can we point fingers else where.

    In the issue of Pakistan, they really need to start communicating with the US to resolve the cord of discontention between the two nations. Pakistani leaders really have to step up and defend their PEOPLE rather than themselves. That is what at least Obama is trying to show his country as well as the international community. And in Obama’s defense, he’s upholding a US tradition. Woodrow Wilson asked Cogress to enter World War I, “To make the world safe for democracy.”

    The real criminal in American eyes is Bin Ladin. And although Bush’s Philosophy on “War on Terror” produced Saddam Hussein, it didn’t produce the real American criminal. I think Obama is driven to make his mark on his Presidency with the capture of the real American Criminal.

    Again, nothing justifies the killing of innocent people anywhere. Nothing!

  40. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    January 25, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I understand that it was ‘expected’ but that doesnt mean it should be condoned.

    by thanking obama for closing gitmo, and then saying we should accept his bombing pakistan is giving the administration a political signal of: “Give the muslims a cookie and they’ll roll over.”

    it effectively silences the muslim voice in advocating any other agenda item, because they know all they have to do is throw a small favor our way here and there, and we’ll willingly accept whatever comes with it.

  41. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    January 25, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    Why don’t we treat Obama just like any other president that came before him??

    Did we send a “Thank you” letter to previous presidents when they did something good?

  42. Avatar

    Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    January 25, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Despite heavy rain, thousands come out in Afghanistan to protest U.S. killing of civilians in Afghanistan:

    MEHTAR LAM, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Thousands of Afghans protested against President Hamid Karzai and the United States on Sunday over reports of fresh civilian deaths caused by U.S.-led troops during a raid against Taliban militants.

    The issue of civilian casualties is sensitive in Afghanistan and has eroded public support for Karzai’s government and the foreign troops backing it.

    It has also caused a rift between Karzai and his Western allies more than seven years after U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban’s government.

    The operation causing the latest controversy happened this week in eastern Laghman province. The U.S. military said on Saturday that troops, backed by air support, had killed 15 militants in an overnight operation.

    Assadullah Wafa, a Karzai adviser investigating the deaths, said on Sunday that “16 civilians, many of them children and women, were killed” in the operation.

    “We strongly condemn it and want an end to it (civilian casualties),” he told reporters in Mehtar Lam, Laghman’s provincial capital, where the protest was held.

    A statement from the presidential palace quoted Karzai as saying that bombing villages and causing civilian deaths “will not bear any progress in the war against terrorism.”

    Karzai said failure to coordinate attacks with his government would weaken its sovereignty and bolster the militants, it added.

    A spokesman for the U.S. military said it planned to jointly investigate the incident with the Afghan government this week.

    Chanting slogans against Karzai and the United States, thousands of people took part in the protest despite heavy rain.

    “If the foreign troops do not put an end to their operations, we will launch jihad,” said Malik Hazrat, a protest leader.

  43. Avatar

    I Condemn Obama and his airstrikes

    January 25, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    Kindly edit my post above: I *join* the world in condemning

    thank you.

  44. Avatar

    UmmeAmmaarah

    January 25, 2009 at 11:52 PM

    I wonder what would happen if some muslim country (IF there are ACTUALLY any), bomb a US city and say – oh, sorry, WE were after OBL too, we’re trying to get him so that US citizens can live in peace, coz u see, once we have him, ‘islamic terrorIsm’ is going to completely go away, it is SO vital, and we have ‘intelligence’, that he was hiding in XYZ city…… if wishes were horses…. (not that i’d actually wish this to happen), and yeah, BTW, does OBL actually even EXIST!!!!!!!!!???????????? WHAT should we do, apart from making du’a obviously. just feel like singing, “I wish, I wish, I wish that I could climb into the past, and live with the Prophet in Madinah.” and then i could ask him, beacause i feel so clueless, but i guess, he would never ask us to be ‘not’ optimistic.

  45. Avatar

    abudajana

    January 26, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    Get lost dajjal obama(laanatllah alaih)

  46. Avatar

    reader

    January 26, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    Gaza child victim speaks to AlJazeera.

    Listen and learn.

    He says, SubhanAllah, even in the condition he’s in.. even the age he’s at:
    I am content. I fear no one…only my Lord. If they were to do this again, I would still be content….

    His uncle (who is caring for him says):
    Black, white, or blue…it doesn’t matter what color the US president is, as long as they support and fund Israel, they are killing Palestinians and Palestinian children. Whether it’s Obama or Bush, this is US policy.

    Those of us who are Muslims here..bricks of the same wall.. let’s open our mouths with our fallen/injured heroes in front of us because that is where they will be on the judgment..in front of us and in front of Allah SWT. Support each other be strong and sincere with each other. Value each other’s opinions but do not trample on the honor and dignity of our brothers and sisters.

    Understand that shaitan loves to see us divided. Protect each other from the evil one’s grasp. If one brother or sister makes a mistake, let many secure him/her with a kind correction and move on. May Allah save us from the evil whispers of shaitan and from the evil of our own actions and blanket the Ummah with His mercy and acceptance of deeds and repentance.

    Wassalaam Alaikum

  47. Avatar

    mulsimah

    January 26, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    sheesh I bet brother Amad is real tired of always having to justify himself.

    why cant we as muslims try understand ea other, support ea other? Everyone has a right to their opinon.

    On this I totally agree with brother Amad.

    I voted for Obama. I think Mcain would do worse things. Most republicans are very greedy. At the same time I just voted for Obama bc he was better then mcain. Meaning a little less bad for the Muslims inshAllah.

    Anyhow there is update on this topic on http://www.antiwar.com. Airstrikes have been proven again and again not to work. Obama said he would be honest with us so far he hasnt on this issue because they arent commneting much on it and the old administration never would aknowledge what they were doing in Pakistan. This is really terrible. Are these villagers lives worth less than other lives? may Allah swt grant them patience and stregnth.

    This is a perfect time to write to President Obama and request a stop to this!

  48. Avatar

    Mezba

    January 26, 2009 at 12:57 PM

  49. Avatar

    I Condemn Obama and his airstrikes

    January 26, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    Bismillah,

    Siraaj, in your exchange here with Amad, I want to thank you for speaking what many of us understand to be the correct way to speak and think about the issue of Obama’s military strikes on Muslims as well as his other actions to this point. In this exchange, you have represented me and, I am confident, so many others who read these pages. Thank you.

    Amad, you clearly work very hard, for the sake of Allah, to contribute to Muslim Matters and to keep the conversation and comments productive. I acknowledge your effort, and I have conviction that you are sincere in that effort and are aware of the weighty responsibility you have put upon yourself to say what is right and be fair in this public forum.

    Yet, I am offended by your writing these 7 statements in the comments section of this post while not unconditionally condemning the Obama Administration’s airstrikes against Muslims in Pakistan:

    1) “we are not in a position to judge the presidency (good or bad)…”
    2) “If only we had Mullah McCain..”
    3) “I see the glass as half-full, and others see it as half-empty.”
    4) “And yes, after Gaza, isn’t it okay to allow Muslims to take some good news for what it is: good.”[referring to the points in the following quote]:
    “what about thanking Obama for ordering an end to extraordinary renditions? What about thanking him for choosing a relatively neutral figure on the US envoy to Middle East? What about thanking him for taking the right initial steps on Gitmo, while adding your concerns about the need to follow through with the entire due process?”
    5) “let’s also stop being the perennial complainers and whining pessimists as we Muslims have metamorphosed into… we just can’t see any good in anyone. ”
    6) “With a leader like [Pakistani President Zardari], who is probably busy scheming, robbing and killing his own people, I feel a bit queezy about blaming other leaders.”
    7) “Afghanistan’s ghosts are haunting this nation… I don’t know where should Obama even begin to start fixing this mess… I do agree that the terrorists need to be brought to justice, esp the Qaida joint… again how, I won’t claim to having an answer.”

    Then, in a similar vein, but further afield, Bintashraf and Lemon write:

    “The only thing that really disturbs me about this is how the administration has refrained from commenting about the attacks”; “If you go out to do something good and accidentally some innocent dies does that diminish the good cause of the war itself?”

    You write the 7 statements quoted above right here in a single post, and another commenter even implies the US War on Terror has a “good cause”; meanwhile, you do not clearly and unconditionally condemn the Obama Administration’s outrageous and evil murder of Muslims; rather, you persist in calling Muslims to express appreciation for Obama’s signing a few edicts about torture and Gitmo and transparency in government and his appointment of Mitchell.

    Upon your repeated mentioning of Obama appointing Mitchell, I took another closer look at the matter rather than instinctively dismissing the thought of thanking Obama. Here is Obama introducing Mitchell, and here is Mitchell speaking.

    I dismiss the thought of thanking Obama for his appointment of Mitchell. Rather, I join billions in the world in condemning Obama, and now Mitchell, for not explicitly and unconditionally condemning Israeli terror in Gaza and for not supporting the Muslims and the Hamas government whom they elected in their right to defend militarily against Israeli terror that both Obama and Mitchell continue to call legitimate defense against rocket fire.

    Amad, rightly, you do not call us to thank Obama for two other major actions to date since the inauguration–his push to fund abortion in poor nations, and Obama’s appointment of Holbrooke to oversee US efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On Thursday, with Obama (and Mitchell ) on his side, Holbrooke said : “As we speak here today, American men and women and their coalition partners are fighting a very difficult struggle against a ruthless and determined enemy without any scruples at all, an enemy that is willing to behead women who dare to teach in a school to young girls, an enemy that has done some of the most odious things on earth,” Holbrooke said. “And across the border [in Pakistan] lurks the greater enemy still, the people who committed the atrocities of September 11, 2001.” source. (Compare with what Mulla Omar has said in 2001 and what a Taliban spokesman said to the Asian Times in November.)

    Siraaj asked you twice whether you condemn Obama and his administration for this air strike. It was a “yes or no” question. You did not say yes. You did not condemn. Instead, you wrote: “And of course I don’t apologize for wrongful killings, if indeed this attack killed civilians. Your question was indeed a strange one to ask, as I have never justified any attacks where civilians are killed.”

    Amad, from my perspective, in your silence, and in your speech, you (intending otherwise, I trust) have given a conditional rubber stamp to Obama’s airstrikes in Pakistan. You don’t outright and unconditionally condemn the attacks, but only say that you do not apologize for (i.e., you do not defend or justify) wrongful killings of civilians. Are we, and the Obama administration, to understand from that statement that you don’t condemn and may apologize for this or other attacks all the victims are classified by the US govt. as “militants”? What about this case, about which US reports indicate that about a third of the victims were “militants”? Your response to Siraaj’s questions shows just how reasonable it was for him to ask; not strange at all. Thank you for asking, Siraaj.

    I unconditionally condemn these and any US attacks in Pakistan or any Muslim country, whether they kill Muslims whom American leaders identify as regrettable civilian casualties or collateral damage, or whether they kill Muslims whom American leaders identify as militants, terrorists, Taliban, Hamas, al-Qaeda, etc.

    If any of us, for whatever reason, will not come out and unconditionally condemn military strikes against Muslims–any Muslims–anywhere, then at least he should take absolute complete care when making comments that, in the pursuit of some good less than valuable that the honor of our slain Muslims brothers and sisters, he not say anything that might hurt the feelings or person or honor of oppressed or slain Muslims, or which might further embolden non-Muslim attackers.

    In that context, I deeply disapprove Dr. Ingrid Mattson’s telling Obama of “her appreciation for his inaugural address and how it liberated and empowered the Muslim community.”

    Consider the 9 parts of Obama’s speech that have direct relevance to Islam and Muslims:

    1. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.

    2. and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries

    3. Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

    4. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.

    5. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

    6. For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth;

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

    8. This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny. This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall,

    9. “Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].” America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words.

    Dr. Mattson had reasons for saying what she did, and Amad you have reasons for writing what you have and you’ve stated them. But my dead Muslim brothers and sisters trump those reasons. I condemn Obama’s killing of Muslims, and I will not thank him for any small or large thing while he is persisting in the odious enormity of hurting, much less killing, Muslims.

    Alhamdulillah

  50. Avatar

    Kwame Madden

    January 27, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    May Alllah have mercy on those who were killed by these missle strikes.Mr.obama as far back as 2003 stated his postion towards Pakistan and Iran this was before he was elected to the U.S.senate.Many of us have either forgotten or were not aware of these war mongering comments .Barrak will defintenly carry out the policies of his previous adversarys .I myself did not celebrate the election of uncle tom Barrak ,as BAM and a person of conscious i am appaled at the comments and policies that this man is willing to carry out.I ask my brothers and sisters on this blog to read the article posted on Jan21,09 on the Black Agenda Report concerning the policies that Mr.Obama wwill be inherting and will carry out on the continent of Africa,Nothing said by this man concerning Africom and the UnitedStates continued imperalistic polixcies in Africa and also throughout the globe.Paul Street in his book Barrak Obama and the future of Americam poltics lays it out about Mr.Obama .Black Agenda Report along with Counter Punch.Org have done some of finest analysis of Mr.Obama and his ideals.Also lets not forget Biden has always been a war hawk that one reason Barrak brought him along board.MrsClinton as sectary of state the wife of the man who continued the sanctions and stranglehold on the Iraqi people and government.Lets not forget his do nothing policy in Rwanda,and the bombing of a pharmaceutical in Sudan.Bottom line to be the president you have to be accompliance in evil .That just part of the job.Remember Jimmy Carter he just couldn’t do well enough so he had to go after his four yrs.he just didn’t have that American macho president mystique.May Allah raise of up a strong organized group of brothers who will set back U.S. Yankees policies there .May Allah strengthen all us in our worship and lets continue to make dua forthe opressed.

  51. Avatar

    Kwame Madden

    January 27, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Brothers and sisters there is good article on the Black Agenda Report by Kevin Axlendar Gray the title is Timefor Israel Divisenment Program .Defintenly this needed this was a tool used aganist white minority controlled government in South Africa.Also we must always remember the traditions of our beloved Prophet[pbuh]and the sayings of the noble righteous companions.The conflict is a Islamic issue sometimes not a nationalistic issue.

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