13 June, 2012

Obama: a big disappointment for Muslims and Africa

When he campaigned for the presidency of the most powerful country on Earth, we watched in awe and very strongly supported him. We believed in his: "Yes, we can!" cry. When the seemingly impossible happened and he was overwhelmingly and was comfortably elected to occupy the White House - we celebrated.

During his very much celebrated visit to Cairo in 2009 we believed him, when he said: This cycle of suspicion and discord must end........I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings........the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. And when he promised the Palestinians a state within one year - we confidently believed in him.

And yet - so far, how very disappointing and what a big let down Mr. Barack Obama has been for Muslims. According to a recent Pew Research survey: respondents in predominantly Muslim countries continue to have a low opinion of Obama, and the American leader’s ratings have slipped significantly since 2009 in the five Muslim nations where trends are available, including a 13 percentage point drop in Egypt. Today - the Palestinians have never been furthest from having independence and their own statehood as they are now. With impunity, Israel continues - more than ever - to gobble up more land, expand settlements and build up more walls. From Afghanistan to Yemen - with orders from Obama, American drones continue to be used against the wishes of most people around the world: the Obama administration’s increasing use of unmanned drone strikes to kill terror suspects is widely opposed around the world, according to a Pew Research Center survey on the U.S. image abroad.

Not only do Muslims and all religious people feel that homosexuality is repugnant and unacceptable; Africans are overwhelmingly against it. Africans, have never felt so elated and elevated by the election of a foreign leader as when Mr. Obama was elected and sworn in as the first African-American president. But, that joy has suddenly turned to disappointment - not because the African-American president hasn't helped or assisted Africa economically more than his predecessors; in Kenya - not because he hasn't visited his fatherland since becoming president, so far; but, that disappointment is mainly due to Obama's recent, open support for homosexual marriages. When America's Secretary of State declares: “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights." Africans wonder: as in Africa polygamy is very much a part of its many cultures - if America is so keen and sincere about human rights, how come "polygamy rights are human rights, and human rights are polygamy rights," not being fervently preached and pushed, too?