Tuesday – Obama And All That

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

It’s Tuesday morning. I’m fortifying myself with a cup of decaf, getting ready for the day. Hubby is almost out the door, finishing his bagel breakfast sandwiches and waiting for the car to warm up. The two smaller boys are awake. My oldest is still asleep because I let him stay up late to watch “24”. The baby, thankfully, is napping in her bassinette, hopefully for more than five minutes.

I have the TV on to MSNBC at the moment. I don’t know if I’ll be switching back and forth to CNN. Right now it’s 8:30 and the soon-to-be First Family is leaving for church. I’m hoping and fully expecting that President-elect Obama will ask for grace and humility. I will be praying that he’s competent and surrounds himself with smart people who are not afraid to disagree with him.

Obama is a Democrat and a liberal. I am a Muslim and, well, a Muslim. My religion is my politics, so I don’t fit into any neat cubbyhole marked “Democrat” or “Republican”. I voted for him because I felt we needed a clean break from the disastrous policies of the Bush White House. I disagree with him on many issues, but I’ll back him where we agree – getting the hell out of Iraq, for instance.

I homeschool my son, who will turn nine in another week. Today his assignment is simple – watch the inauguration coverage with me and surf the internet for information on the US government. Yesterday we watched Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and since much of the rich language was over my son’s head, I want to look up the text of the speech today and go over it one paragraph at a time so he’ll understand. It’s appropriate for this day.

I’m proud that my son knows more about how our government works than many adults. He can tell what the Bill of Rights is and explain what each amendment entails. He knows the three branches of government and what their duties are. He knows the name of the governor of Virginia. We both have to look up the senators but, hey, at least we bother to look. He came with me when I voted in November. I’m more proud that he knows the six pillars of belief in Islam, the five fundamental duties of every Muslim, and that he is memorizing the Holy Qur’an, going to classes twice a week in addition to me teaching him at home. By instilling Muslim values in him I help ensure that he doesn’t fall prey to the moral relativism that is part and parcel of this society. I want him to understand the many freedoms we have as Americans, but I also want him to see where we fall short as a country. The “haraam-alaik’ers” (basically Arabic for “shame on you”) out there put all of America in the “demon infidel society” and discount the many good things that this country is responsible for. This country is too big to categorize as one anything. It is a country of over 300 million people. Some are good, some are bad, some are downright evil. I’m not ready to up and leave and tell the US to go to hell. There are too many good people here who need to hear the message of Islam.

I’m sure I’ll be posting as the day progresses. A lot of times, I write my blog entry in my word processing program and publish it later, after I’ve tweaked and checked and corrected it. Today I guess I’ll be more “stream of consciousness” and just publish as I go. It is a day to go along with the news, to immerse myself in the immense promise of the day, and to just share my feelings without trying to write an actual essay. We’ll see how it goes.

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