Yesterday we elected an American of African origin, Barak Obama, as America’s next President to hold indisputably the world’s most powerful office. While we voted him in we knew his middle name, Hussain, and his Muslim roots on his father’s side.
This is what America truly is: a land of opportunities, of fair-play, of justice. America offers equal opportunities for everyone to encash by the dint of his merit. A land where the rule of law prevails, where the media and the judiciary are independent; where governance is pretty transparent. You would not have missed that a vast majority of Americans, despite their terrible memories of the horrid carnage of 9/11, rose to cast off temptations and apprehensions of religion, race and color. Notice that even Obama’s opponent, John McCain, never let his racial or family background be the subject of public discourse.
Sure, some of you have felt with justification that US policies at times hurt your interests, such as in the Middle East. You have been enraged at the invasion of Iraq, by some of our missiles mistakenly targeting innocents in Sudan and Afghanistan. Many of us have felt outraged, too, and came out spontaneously on the roads protesting such policies. We organized massive public rallies against Iraq war. The incumbent President’s approval ratings have fallen to a record low.
Very erroneously, however, an impression has been created that America is against Muslims and Islam. By electing the son of a Muslim – and that, too, when we are being targeted by mindless terrorism by people like Al Qaeda in the name of Muslims – we have proved this impression as totally misconceived.
Please remember that there is a significant population of Muslims in America that came here, like many do, in hope and faith. Today they live here in peace and comfort, dignity and pride. And an ever increasing number of people from almost every Muslim nation of the world are keen to come and settle down here. They wouldn’t do so if America were all evil.
America respects Islam as one of the greatest world religions and recognizes the tremendous contribution Islamic civilizations made to our planet. The same way the world recognizes the significant contribution America and Americans make to the world today through their pioneering and painstaking work in science, technology, medicines and through their significant material contribution to UN and other global agencies.
As America inaugurates Barak Hussain Obama as its new President let’s begin a new chapter in the history of our planet and let us both start afresh on a footing of mutual trust and respect. Let the rule of law prevail everywhere, let human dignity, fair-play and justice reign supreme. Let us both respect diversity and honorably tolerate dissent. Let peace be the new weapon; not suicide bombers, nor hydrogen and cluster bombs, not missiles and landmines.
Let us both unite to hunt out the enemies of peace and the preachers of hate, let us hound out terrorists from our midst. Let us put an end to violence of all forms, whether by individuals, groups or the states. Let us in this 21st century together weed out hunger, disease and poverty from our planet. Let us prepare to explore the outer space and to probe other life forms out there. Let us in peace, trust and cooperation set higher goals worthy of the modern humans.
In solidarity and with a hand of friendship