By Engy Abdelkader
This Ramadan, with the general elections right around the corner, Obama v. McCain keeps coming up in conversation during our Iftars and other gatherings as we discuss the issues and argue our perspectives.
Iâ€™m writing to tell you why this November, Iâ€™m voting my conscience â€“ and casting my ballot for Barack Obama.
See, I donâ€™t know what you think when you hear the name George W. Bush but Iâ€™ll tell you what comes to my mind when I reflect upon the past 8 years of Republican rule:
I think of our invasion in Iraq and how it was characterized as a â€œcrusadeâ€â€¦
I think about all the suffering Iraqi men, women and children who are displaced as a result of very poor political judgment by our leaders â€¦
I think of those horrific images of Abu Ghraib and I pray for the men that survived that ordeal â€¦
I think of water-boarding â€¦
I think of the Muslim boys and men languishing in Guantanamo Bay â€¦
I think of the mis-named Patriot Act â€¦
I think of warrant less wiretapping â€¦
I think of the practice of extraordinary rendition where our government renders â€˜terror suspectsâ€™ to countries known for its torture practices to secure â€˜intelligenceâ€™ â€¦
I think of Racial Profiling, Hate Crimes, Discrimination â€¦
I think of the Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants who were subject to detention and deportations post-9/11, ripping families apart â€¦
I think of threats of physical aggression against Iran, Syria â€¦
I think of the increased instability in the Middle East â€¦
I think of our tainted international reputation around the world â€“afterall, how many of your friends and/or extended relatives overseas continue to see America as a land of freedom, liberties and opportunity?
We canâ€™t have the same party in office, and expect a different result in the coming years. The Republicans have been in power the past 8 years â€“ it is time for a change, for something new. Itâ€™s time for Obama.