October 10, 2012
Obama, Madonna and us
By Marieme Helie Lucas
I was utterly delighted when Madonna labelled Obama a ‘black Muslim’* ; she paid him back, quite unvoluntarily, for his Cairo speech in which he dared call ‘Muslims’ all the inhabitants of the Middle East, i.e. all the free thinkers, agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, etc… who are citizens of these countries.
A ‘mistake’ for which he is still to apologize to us – while Madona had the grace to pretend she was just being facecious and always knew he actually was not a Muslim.…
I won’t comment on present day ignorance of what ‘Black Muslims’ stood for. I won’t recall the unforgettable, formidable, political figure of Malcom X (and the distance he finally had to take from his party), a figure which inspired many struggles of the oppressed in the rest of the world.
But let’s look at the reasons for the confusion. Obama was labelled ‘Muslim’ because one of his name is Hussein . As we all know, this is an Arabic name and all Arabs are Muslims, and all Muslims are…. No ! I won’t say it, for Republicans may quote me and label Obama …a terrorist…
But Obama should indeed reflect on the automaticity of religious labelling, that he himself indulged in, against us, not so long ago. He should realize that what happened to him is exactly what happens to us all the time, and why we have to fight against such erroneous labelling. It is a denial of our freedom of thought, freedom of conscience.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what tyrants such as Muslim fundamentalists, GIA, FIS, Taliban, Al Quaeda, AQMI and the like do : they force us into a religious identity ; then they also re-define religion, its rules and rituals, from dress codes for women to how to pray or burry the dead. And they implement the supposedly religious rules they just edicted.
So, the worst thing Obama did when calling us all Muslims is not to deprive us of our most fundamental human rights, but actually to reinforce Muslim fundamentalist ideology, to give it credentials, and to comfort its claim that anyone born into a family or a country that calls itself Muslim is automatically a believer in Islam.
Considering that renouncing Islam entails, for fundamentalists, the obligation to carry a death sentence, it is to be hoped that Obama will not speak so lightly, next time he visits one of our countries.
Faith should not be a matter of where one was born, nor what first name one was given at birth… Obama, as a Christian named Hussein, should understand that.
As for us, free thinkers, we just don’t need any religious label, please spare us that disgrace..
My most sincere thanks to Madonna, for raising such a crucial question.
(Russia Today via Moscow and Washington DC) ~ 26 September, 2012
Madonna on Obama: 'We have a black Muslim in the White House'
US singer Madonna (AFP Photo/Valery Hache)
Pop star Madonna endorsed US President Barack Obama during a performance in Washington, DC. And even if the Material Girl found herself only a few blocks from the White House, she apparently has a few things to learn about the commander-in-chief.
In-between singing tunes to a sold out crowd at the Verizon Center in downtown DC Monday night, Madonna made a plea for concert goers to re-elect President Obama during November’s election. Video has since circulated of her spontaneous on-stage endorsement, though, and the footage suggests that Madonna might not be exactly well versed in her candidate of choice.
"Y'all better vote for fucking Obama, okay? For better or for worse, all right?” Madonna insisted to the audience. “We have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that's some amazing shit."
While the parts about being black and the president of the United States are indeed factual, Mr. Obama does not now, nor has he ever, considered himself a Muslim. In 2009, President Obama told his aides that he’d be worshiping at the nondenominational Evergreen Chapel near the executive retreat in Camp David, Maryland, and two decades earlier he was baptized at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.
Even if he is manning the helm of the United States, Madonna isn’t the only one confused, though. According to a Gallup Poll conducted earlier this summer, a large percentage of Americans sampled in the survey knew that the president subscribes to some sort of Christian ideology, while 44 percent said they simply had no idea.
Of those that did claim to know the president’s religion, 34 percent said it was either protestant or Christian, and 11 percent picked Muslim. Eight person of Americans sampled in the study said they though the president has no religious affiliation.
Elsewhere during her expletive-laced rant Monday night, Madonna said the president’s place in the Oval Office right now “means there is hope in this country,” and said Obama’s advocacy for LGBT rights is reason enough to “support the man, goddamnit."