Friday, February 8, 2008

President of peace or war?

Will America pick a president of peace or war?
Ghazal Omid
February 4, 2008

The process of picking a president has become so lengthy, most Americans wait until Super Tuesday to choose whom to vote for. Sort of like the Friday after Christmas when everything is on sale and you take what is left. Smart shoppers know that just because there is a line for something or someone, that doesn't means it is worth buying or voting for!

On Super Tuesday, Americans will not just pick potential candidates for the White House but a president to represent them to the world; an executive to lead them in the current economic crisis and who will impact the lives of billions of people around the world.

President Jimmy Carter, disliked by many Americans, was despised by Iranians. His decision to not support the Shah has impacted the future of Iran for three decades, shifted the course of world history and left a terrible legacy for the United States. Because of that one mistake, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power, influence shifted from Iran to Saddam Hussein before returning to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his successors such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian regime starves its own people as it gives money disguised as "charity" to Hezbollah and Hamas. Carter's lack of understanding of the Middle East prompted him to take a gigantic leap of faith in the wrong direction.

To America, he seemed to be the man with fresh ideas, a man of change. He even had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House, personally overseeing the process to ensure they were oriented in the right direction. To his credit, he became a champion of environmental causes. Tragically, his monumental mistake — for which he is most remembered — changed the course of history, causing more death and destruction in the Middle East than he will admit.

If Americans had been more careful to pick the right guy rather than the softer guy with a smile, perhaps America would not now be a tired giant who deserves a rest from policing the world.

Foreign policy is not a course to be learned in office. The president needs to know it before getting there and he needs to understand that not everything American will work in the Middle East and not every military move means a victory.

Judging from the last couple of days of the 2008 election campaign, the Republican Party seems to be on the verge of making another mistake; one this party will never forget and from which it will not recover.

John McCain is called a maverick because he is stubborn about doing it his way and was able to resuscitate his campaign. Being stubborn is a dangerous trend for a president, particularly one with a military background.

He speaks softly, usually, which seems to appeal to a lot of people, who think his controlled domineering passion gives him the look of a man in charge. Scientifically speaking, individuals in their senior years tend to become calmer, and his lack of political passion will be a nightmare for those who dreamed of change in the White House. Analysis of his tone of voice suggests his type become followers; great for his wife perhaps, but not a good quality in a president, especially when his vice president will be Rudolph Giuliani.

Occupying the White House is a physically demanding, 24/7 job. McCain says, optimistically, that at age 71, he is ready to meet that demand. He is a veteran politician, trained to have answers for everything. In reality, while he may have been training for a marathon, he is about to enter a triathlon.

He knows when to say what, and that is why he has been picked by Giuliani, himself a smart "Washington"-type guy that average Americans dislike. A month ago, he did not even know McCain, who was not in his class socially; now they are best friends.

Giuliani lost his chance of winning the nomination, not for lack of money or advertising but over moral issues with conservatives and his questionable financial relationship with the Emir of Qatar, a smart businessman who latched onto one of the top Republicans in America. What does that say about Giuliani? He boasts about 9/11 and being a fighter against terrorism. Forget the intelligence reports; has Giuliani even Googled the Emir to discover his relationship with Ahmadinejad?

The Emir is one of the Iranian regime's closest allies in the Persian Gulf. If Qatar's relationship with Iran does not give Giuliani pause, his claim of Champion Terrorism Fighter smacks of a bogus tactic to get himself on the ballot. Actions speak louder than words, and based on the money he is being paid by the same people he calls terrorists, his actions are deafening.

Giuliani is a gambler, interested not in what is best for America but what is in it for him. Now that his strategy in the Florida primary did not work, he has thrown in with McCain, obviously with an eye on the vice presidency.

My condolences to those Republicans who disliked George W. Bush's policies. Welcome to the new Bush — I am sorry, I meant McCain/ Giuliani presidency.

If you were alarmed by Bush's relieving Iraq from its misery by removing a brutal dictator by force, wait until you see a commander in chief who not only speaks openly as a soldier but also lies on national television. MSNBC analyzed John McCain's words after the Republican debate when he famously said, "If we have to stay in Iraq 100 years, we will." On Jan. 31, 2008, he denied saying that.

If Republicans thought John Kerry was a flip-flopper, shouldn't they be doing the same about John McCain?

There is an expression in Farsi that may help America know who is who. "Those who lie a lot also forget a lot."

— — —

Ghazal Omid is a Shiite Islam scholar and author of the book "Living in Hell," an account of life in Iran as seen through the eyes of a woman. She is an advocate for human rights and especially women's issues in Islam, and is working on two books on political issues related to Islam and the religious foundations for Islamic law. Visit her website or for a discussion of issues in contemporary Islam. Her email address is © Copyright 2008 by Ghazal Omid.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.