By Ali Alarabi
The candidacy of Senator Barrack Obama is a remarkable one by all accounts, from a historical perspective it is an unprecedented feat that an African American stands for the highest office in America and a candidate who was not born into wealth or political family.
For Arab American and Muslim voters, however, an Obama-Biden ticket seems like good news for they have had to endure a long arduous 8 year journey of the Republican rule of Bush-Cheney administration that wrecked havoc in their personal lives, eroded their civil rights, a futile war in Iraq, and vehemently supporting Israeli’ s occupation and destruction of Palestinian lands and peoples.
Arab and Muslim voters thought, in Obama that they were witnessing a candidate with a shot of wining, that he was not part of the pro-Israeli establishment that fills the halls of power in Washington who usually go out of their way, sometimes slavishly, to support Israel at expense of Arab and Palestinian rights.
But Arab and Muslims voters did not have wait for too long for their disappointment to arrive when they felt that Obama had increasingly started treating them like a plague avoiding them at all costs so as not to upset the racists and bigots in this country.
In Detroit, last June, Obama’s staff made sure to remove two Muslim American women from the seats behind Obama so as not to “ offend” American voters, as if Muslims voters are not “fully” Americans.
This insult to Muslims is too deep to let it go so easily, it also speaks volumes about the hatred and racism in the American society where Arab and Muslim Americans are usually at the receiving end of its repeated blows, and with no end in sight.
It appears to be that Obama candidacy feels that it has to go along with the racist sentiments against Muslims because, in America today, it is not a bad policy to discriminate against Muslims or disrespect them and demean their faith and value system and there will no political ramifications because of it. Except at the ballot box.
Obama went even further in his attempts to appease the right wing racists by repeatedly denying that he is not a Muslims, and he is not, but why does it being a Muslim or not has to be an issue in a country that the faith of the candidate is besides the point, not the point.
As for the Middle East, Obama’s trip to Israel last month as part of his world tour, was pilgrimage American politicians seemingly had to make in order to garner t he Jewish vote and financial support in this country. There, Obama visited an Israeli Synagogue a Christian Church, and, yet again, he had to show his anti-Muslims credentials by not bothering to visit a Muslim mosque. Therefore, Obama’s message to the Muslim American voters is that, “ I don’t care about you, I don’t care about your issues, and I don’t care about your vote.
Moreover, in Israel, Obama was quick to issue the now classic policy proclamation assuring Israeli politicians that if he was to be elected president he will continue America’s policy of ensuring Israel superiority and domination over the lives of all of its Arab and Muslim neighbors, a policy that defies the logic peace in the region and from the perspective America’s interests in that part of the world, it is an irresponsible policy to say the very least.
Arab and Muslim Americans should return the favor to Obama and give their support to a third candidate who albeit his or her chances of wining is next to impossible, but at least they should not support a candidate who does not care about them or about their issues
-Ali Alarabi is an award winning journalist and columnist and member of Arab writers group syndicate. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ali Alarabi