The Islamic Post Blog

New President: New Day? by Khalida
February 2, 2009, 10:14 am
Filed under: February Volume I- 2009, National

By Amina Salaam

Islamic Post Contributing Writer

President Barack Hussein Obama.  The 44th president of the United States was sworn in amid much pomp, circumstance, and security. Those who witnessed the event noted that this was just not a national inauguration; it was a global event.
More than two million people witnessed the event in person; millions more tuned in across the country and around the world. For many, the event symbolized hope. For the Muslims of the United States and beyond, it could mark the end of an era of verbal and physical oppression from the previous administration and its global allies.
Despite verbal support for Israel during his campaign, such a battle cry was noticeably missing from the new president’s inaugural speech. Instead, he noted that anyone who chooses to kill innocents will be dealt with accordingly. Conservatives jumped on this part of his speech and hailed it as a new warning against terrorism. Only, Mr. Obama never mentioned ‘who’ he was talking to.
On the first day of his presidency, Mr. Obama took the necessary steps to close Guantanamo Bay. It’s a gesture in the right direction, after 8 years of an administration that vilified anyone who believed in something other than the status quo. Guantanamo Bay is set to be closed within the year. Many prisoners will be set free; those who remain will begin proceedings for trial.
As the new U.S President sets the example for the rest of the country, Muslims have been given the unique opportunity to do the same. All eyes are on the man who carries himself with grace, dignity and humility. A man who thinks before he speaks, and considers carefully the decisions that could change the direction of the country’s current course.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, that President Barack Hussein Obama is a Syed.*
His manner of conducting business is a refreshing change from nearly a decade of split-second decisions, poorly executed plans, and smug indifference to the failings of those plans. The previous administration cost hundreds of thousands of lives; there’s an expectation that the current one may actually be able to save a few.
But there are no miracles here. No wave of the magic wand to make everything better. If Americans are not clear about anything else, they are aware that the country’s ‘change’ will not come simply because they – or Mr. Obama – will it so. He has issued a call to action for every member of society… and perhaps the world, to pitch in and take responsibility for the communities, neighborhoods, cities, countries, continents, and planet on which we live.
It will be interesting to see who answers that call.
*The title Syed is generally used before the name of a descendant  of  the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad  (peace  be  upon  him and his family) and denotes the honor with which  the  family of the Holy Last Messenger, is held.


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