Ramadan and Republicans in the U.S.

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: George W. Bush Views: 1904

The month of November this year proves to be a significant crossroads for a considerable part of humanity. For one-fifth of the global population, this month symbolizes a cleansing of their souls through fasting during daylight hours. For Americans, this month brings about a shift in our governmental structure, which gives the president's party control of both houses of our legislature. Both of these occurrences are important to many people and for many Americans, including myself, we feel the effect and impact of both of these occurrences in our lives.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar year. This month for Muslims is the equivalent of Lent for Catholics and Yom Kippur for Jews. This month serves as a time for self-reflection, gratitude and atonement. The religious concept of fasting symbolizes many things. First and foremost, fasting allows one to truly appreciate the great bounties bestowed upon us. By abstaining from what we love and survive on, one garners a greater appreciation for the blessings bestowed upon us. It serves as a remembrance that there are many people on Earth who do not have the same luxuries that we normally take for granted in our charmed lives. 

One aspect that many of us take for granted in our charmed lives is the free will and ability to select those who will govern us. With the Republicans regaining the majority in both houses of Congress, President Bush has received a flimsy mandate, which will allow much of his agenda to pass through a Congress that may not have acquiesced a few days ago. His tactical delay in nominating Supreme Court justices may now reap major dividends for those sympathetic to the conservative agenda. A Republican majority almost assures any Supreme Court nominee of his to pass Senatorial confirmation and revisit issues such as abortion, prayer in school and the marginalization of our constitutional liberties. Many analysts also believe that had the Democrats remained true to their opposition of President Bush's unlawful war song on Iraq that perhaps Senatorial control may have remained with the status quo. It is sad to note that Democratic opposition to the war on Iraq may have been stronger had this not been an election year. 

As most Muslims use the month of Ramadan as a time for pause and reflection, I earnestly hope that our elected leaders will use that same pause and reflection in deciding which path on the crossroads our country will take. We must not forget that our country is one based on the essence of law and where individuals' rights are paramount to those of the government. Although I am saddened to see that the checks and balances that were once in place have all but disappeared overnight, I have faith in the collective will of my people. As I use this time to contemplate how I can better myself as a person and protect the beauty of my faith, I hope that our elected officials will not squander this opportunity to protect the beauty of our country.

Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar is the Midwest Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He is a native of Chicago and currently attends Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: George W. Bush
Views: 1904

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Older Comments:
Personally I place the blame for the deaths of four sisters from my wife's Muslim discussion group on 9/11 at the feet of Bush. If upon coming into office he had of told Israel that they would either give the Palestinians their human rights or he would cut off all their military and foreign aid those four Muslims and many Americans like them would still be alive. Instead he has demonstrated with his push for unreasonable demands in the UN that he prefers expediency for political gain above both morality and humanity. Surly more Americans and peoples of many other countries will die due to his moral ineptitude and political selfishness. He makes a mockery of the words our founding fathers fought under "we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" Instead of taking the strength of the moral high ground he has preferred to become the servant of self professed war criminals. He has spearheaded the weakening of our constitution and its moral legitimacy. It is a sad state that the people of the United States would rally to the beat of an unjust war drum, but even more so that our leaders would use that for selfish reasons. While 11 Sept. 2001 was a distressing day for humanity, this November may be recorded as the moment that humanity lost faith with itself.

Posavac, i think a lot of us got the point the writer is trying to make. Yes there are no vacancies in the Nations high court as of yet, but there are few empty positons on the federal bench and thats where the battles that end in the the Supreme Court will be wage , moreover in a few years, one if not two of the supreme cout justices will be retiring..........

very well explained

What does the writer mean by the President's "tactical delay in nominating Supreme Court justices"? FYI, Mr. Iftikhar, there haven't been any vacancies yet during Bush's term, so what are you talking about?.

sometime you reap what you sow many islamic organizations came out in support of bush during the election.......now you must deal with the results a war on islam and muslims........

i just like your article about Ramadan.

Very good article!