Barack Obama’s speech in Egypt has been hailed by some as a new direction in policy towards the Muslim world. Although this appears a seemingly positive gesture towards the Muslim world, the actions of his government appear every bit as ruthless as the Bush administration. He differs only to the extent that, unlike Bush who spoke with frank hatred, he uses ‘soft power’ and personal charm to cover his intentions. Instead of the rhetoric, let us look at the facts:
On Pakistan: In his first few months in office, Obama’s administration has succeeded in creating 3 million refugees by pushing the corrupt Zardari regime to launch a war in Swat. Even before he took office he declared Pakistan the most dangerous place on earth, and said he would even bomb Islamabad if he had to. His whole policy in the region is driven by trying to secure America’s foothold in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and fighting a popular insurgency – except he has decided to sacrifice Pakistan’s soldiers instead of American ones. We have even seen evidence of dirty tricks of the sort used by the CIA in Iraq or Central America, to instil hatred and division between Muslims and Obama has continued US drone attacks in Pakistan.
On Palestine: Obama boasts he wants to see the ‘road-map’ implemented towards securing a Palestinian state. People seem positive because he seeks to challenge the Israeli politicians who oppose this. However, what people forget in this propaganda about the ‘road-map’ is that this so-called Palestinian state will be little more than a glorified prison camp, where the guards are Palestinian instead of Israeli – because if they did not keep Israel’s security to a standard it is happy with, it will simply invade again.
On supporting Israel: Obama appointed, Rahm Emanuel, the son of an Israeli Irgun terrorist, as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel has said that Obama did not need his influence to “orientate his policy toward Israel”. This is true because before he was elected, Obama said “We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defence relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defence programs”. Moreover, he went further than any US President saying, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.” His response to Israel’s massacre in Gaza was “America is committed to Israel’s security. And we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself against legitimate threats.”
On Guantanamo Bay and torture: Obama has promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and most people had expected the military tribunals to end. However, many of the Guantanamo prisoners will remain imprisoned elsewhere, and he has decided to continue with the very controversial military tribunals. Although he has made a lot of rhetoric of the CIA being banned from using torture, he has decided not to prosecute anyone who carried out torture in the past, and he has not ruled out using evidence gained through torture in other parts of the world.
On imprisonment without trial: In May 2009 Obama went on record supporting indefinite detention without trial in the USA. He used very Bush-like language saying there are some “very dangerous people” where there is not enough evidence to convict, so they needed to be locked up.
On Supporting tyrants and criminal rulers in the Muslim world: Obama is as supportive of the tyrants and criminal rulers in the Muslim world as any of his predecessors. In his recent BBC interview he described Mubarak, the Pharaoh of Egypt, who tortures and represses his opponents saying “he’s been a stalwart ally to the US… he’s been a force for stability and good in the region”. He also praised Mubarak’s “sustained peace with Israel” which included blockading the people of Gaza from getting help and humanitarian relief.
Muslims should not be deceived by Obama’s words. The United States of America is a Capitalist state. Its institutions are geared towards maintaining America’s power around the world, even if they have to exploit others in the process; they are geared to crush any competitor to America in the world, even if it means people have to live under occupation and tyranny. So regardless of whether it is Bush, Obama or anyone else, fundamental US interests and policies will never change.
The real reason why Obama is making these gestures is to improve America’s image as it is both economically and morally bankrupt. Its economic system has been exposed as a fragile house of cards, ready to collapse at any time. Despite their promises of creating wealth to relieve poverty, they have made poverty a reality for billions. Its superior moral tone about its political system – democracy and human rights – has been exposed as nothing more than lies, as it killed, imprisoned and tortured people without limit.
What Obama is trying to do is a desperate attempt to thwart the rise of an alternative and rival in the Muslim world. The CIA predicted that by 2020 the world would see the emergence of a new Khilafah State in the Muslim world. This would be a state that would not create the terror unleashed by the United States, but a state that would end occupation and bring stability and security in the Muslim world. It is a state that would have an economic system to help end poverty and bring tranquillity to the world. It is a state that would uphold the Shariah of Allah (swt), the dignity of His Messenger (saw), and the well being of its citizens.
What is required by Muslims all over the world is to continue working, following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw), to remove the corrupt rulers that the Western leaders court, and re-establish the leadership for the Muslim Ummah, the Khilafah State, once again.
“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked” [Translated meaning of the Quran 24:55 ]