Wednesday, January 21, 2009

THE PROMISE OF BARACK OBAMA

By: Kassim Ahmad
21 January, 2009


On that day, We will fold the heavens like the folding of a book. Just as We initiated the first creation, We will repeat it. This is our promise; We will certainly carry it out. We have decreed it in the Psalms, as well as in other scriptures, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous servants. (Quran, 21: 104-05)

The 44th President of the United States of America and its 1st Afro-American to be so elected has just been sworn into office, witnessed by two million Americans in front of the Lincoln Memorial, many more millions through t.v. in Europe and throughout the world. Never has such hopes for a sorely needed change in America and throughout the world been seen. It is history in the making.

Will the promise be fulfilled? There are no less skeptics in America itself and in the world at large. The ideological believers, affirmers in the veracity of truth, if you like, have always been few. The Abrahams, the Moses, the Jesuses and the Muhammads of history – how many followed them, in the beginning at least? But the hope, and the enthusiasm they fired in the people for a just world have displayed the deepest of sacrifices, not seen in ordinary times. It is only seen in revolutionary times. Such is our times. The American people and the peoples of the world are ready to fight for a just world on earth. As the Quran states above, “We have decreed in the Psalms, as well as in other scriptures, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous servants.”

The symbolism of Abraham Lincoln that Barrack Obama has chosen is appropriate and highly significant. It was Abraham Lincoln who said in the world-famous speech, Gettysburg Address, on 19th November, 1863, “…It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we hereby highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

As they listened to Obama’s Inaugural Speech, one can see the tears, the happiness and the hopes these millions, in America and everywhere else in the world, displayed in their faces. It is a poignant moment in history, presaging epoch-making changes. It does not occur everyday. As I said earlier, we are living in revolutionary times!

Remember the slave leader who fought the Roman Empire in 73-71 B.C., Spartacus? When the Emperor’s general asked those who became his prisoners to identify Spartacus, all of them said in unison, “I am Spartacus!” Today the oppressed peoples of the world, in America and in the wider world, identified themselves with Obama, the descendent of slaves that the American Civil war (1861-69) fought to abolish. Today the slave leader, the Spartacus of modern times, is now the President of the United States of America.

It can only happen in America, the land of the Pilgrim Fathers, the Republic that was born in an anti-colonial war against Britain. It cannot happen under any other past American presidents, including the assassinated John F. Kennedy, not to the say, the two Bushes of the last twelve years! Obama came after the great African-American leader of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, who also was assassinated. The American people, both White and Black, have had enough. The world’s peoples, in Europe, in West and East Asia, and in Latin America have had enough. From slavery to freedom! From the oppression of the world’s oppressors to the liberation by generations of revolutionary fighters for total universal freedom! That is what is happening. It is great history in the making.

Will Obama succeed when Spartacus, Abraham Lincoln, F. D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy did not? This is like saying that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad did not succeed. All these great humanist revolutionary leaders succeeded to the extent allowed by their times. Obama is a humanist revolutionary leader of a world that is a global village with Washington as its capital. Obama is a humanist leader in the tradition of those great humanist revolutionary leaders of the various nations of the human race, the God-appointed leader, the Khalifah of the world, commissioned by God Himself to change the world, as the Quranic verse we quoted above states. He must succeed, as he is supported by hundreds of millions of people in the world to do the great work of promoting good and preventing evil.

But if he should fail, others will be raised in quick order to complete this mission that Abraham Lincoln spoke so eloquently about and that God Himself promised victory to.


Kassim Ahmad is a Malaysian writer. He can be contacted at kassim03@stremyx.com. His website is http://www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com/

10 comments:

LazerJuan said...

Keep on wrting Kassim Ahamd...gems like this should be an inspiration to all ... unfortunately, man will be man, a message of peace/hope can be twisted and seen as blasphemy.

Anyway,I fill follow your advise (e-mail) not to give up.

If only more would read this blog.

Mohd said...

"...it ain't over until the fat lady sing...", don't you think, sir? Let's not all the puff-up expectations, blur our visions. Let him prove first.

Kassim said...

The younger ones need to surf this much-needed blog of people like Kassim Ahmad. Unfortunately, majority prefers to remain practicing what have been passed down from our forefathers without knowing its TRUTHfulness, be it politic, economy or RELIGION!

Perhaps we have to free ourselves from this invisible yoke, of compliance without ptotest, that remain steadfast around our neck!

bunting_laser said...

It's interesting, sometimes, to see someone who reject the 'holier-than-thou' philosophy think that he is the holiest!

Judgements need justifications - the reasonable reasons.

Siapa yang makan lada, dia yang terasa pedas. Siapa yang terasa pedas?.. dia yang makan lada. Titik.

LazerJuan said...

Bro, the key words here are respect tolerance!!!

Humility to fellow beings regardless of colour, race and religion ensures humility....insyallah `being the holliest' won't show is ugly head.

Masing-masing brought up in different surroundings, life experience etc...lets work on the universal common grouds which is respect and tolerance. Jangan suka dok meng`impose'. However there is also the time to be critical too.

Walahualam.

maurice said...

It is really unbelievable to see Obama, an African American elected by the majority of Americans to be their 44th President.

The Americans especially the middle and blue collar class have suffered so much under President Bush that they are prepared to put their future with Obama who have promised them a new approach to doing things within and outside the US.

Obama is a smart politician.The world looks upon his leadership to put the US economic system in order and bring peace and stability to the world.


We wish him every success in the historic endeavour.

Kassim Ahmad said...

Dear honourable readers,

Thank you for your comments.
I have put Obama in a panoramic historical context: the long, hard human struggles against slavery, starting from the slave leader Spartacus in Roman times; Obama coming to America from slave ancestors in Africa; the American Revolution's fight against their own slave-owners and its abolition of slavery; the long struggle of the American civil rights movevement and the ultimate sacrific of its leader Martin Luther King.
Obama arises from this long human history onto an America and a world collapsing on all fonts with a message of change and hope, not only for America, but also for the whole world, hungering for change. It is an impossible task! But it is impossible only if we measure by ordinary standrards!
God works in strange ways. America and the whole world NEED to change. We cannot live in the old ways anymore.
We must have faith in truth and justice. I believe a miracle has happened in America by the emergence of Obama. It is the task of all justice-loving people everywhere to bring this miracle to completion -- the birth of a just world! May it happen!

Anonymous said...

can pak kassim help my research
my research have done email to
pak kassim..kassim03@stremyx.com

thanks..

Anonymous said...

I am a Malay who campaign for Obama. In New Hampshire, I remember in a campaign door-to-door walk ,we were greeted with a gun and asked to walk away.
I realized the captain might change but the ship remain the same.There is also a need to build a new ship but who is the owner?

tokjanggot said...

Abang Kassim,

Pada mulanya saya juga optimistik bahawa Obama akan melakukan sesuatu yang lebik baik daripada Presiedn Bush. Rupa-rupanya tidak. Sama dengan dasar Israil,Sesiapa menjadi Presiden Amerika, tidak kira hitam atau putih,mahu selamat, buatlah apa saja, asalkan memberi keuntungan kepada Negara Amerika.Kekayaan mesti dicari, hatta terpaksa berperang,kekuasaan mesti dipertahankan dan pengaruh mesti sebarkan.