By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-chief
Barak Hussein Obama is the 44th President-elect of the United States.
In a way, it was neither a victory for Obama, the individual, nor a defeat for McCain as an individual. Instead it was a victory of people over the establishment, new over old, of hope, peace and harmony over hatred and bigotry.
It was a defeat for those who wanted America to question the patriotism of Americans named Hussein. It was a mandate against those who wanted to rule America with intimidation. It was a rejection of the policy of blind support of big business; it was a step back to the moral highground, a victory against the politics of hate, doubt, and division.
The victory for Obama was secured by those ordinary men and women who not only donated $6.00 to $25.00 to the Democratic party campaign, but who also came out in streets, knocking on every door for the new change they were seeking for their country.
It was a powerful revolt against Bush, McCain, Cheneyand Palin and against those who imitate their worst qualities of bigotry and intolerance.
Perhaps it was appropriate for those of us who now celebrate November 5, 2008 as a day of deliverance. Many of us were thankful to God for delivering us from this past seemingly interminable eight years.
During the last few weeks of the campaign , the old establishment of the Republican party tried to use every possible trick to galvanize its ranks and file. Groups from the political and even religious fringe attempted to intervene obliquely in the election, by spreading the anti-Muslim propaganda film Obsession with an all-out assault via this nationâ€™s newspaper infrastructure.
Many Church leaders were recruited to help project Islam in the manner shown in the film, and to vilify Islam and Muslims to dovetail with the filmâ€™s work.
7 years of abuses against Muslims hovered in the background through the election, and continued in the form of taunts and rants leveled against Muslims by fringe-right talk-show hosts and even some Republican candidates.
But people on November 4, 2004 rejected the politics of fear and deception. They shocked the old establishment by demonstrating clearly that they were wise enough to reject the old political style.
It is this victory that one must celebrate and in more than one sense, it is a celebrations for the end of an era of bigotry. Obama represents the symbol of that new era politics. Not only Muslim Americans, but all those who felt that their dignity and honor were constantly challenged during the years of Republican rule, must find comfort in the fact that the overwhelming majority of the country rejected the politics of division, and moved to place the country under the stewardship of hope, beneficial change, and universal goodwill, rather than fear, anger, and secret deals.