Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Barack Obama, Reverend Wright, Father Pfleger, and The Devil

So the big news is that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President. People from all over the political spectrum rush (even those who opposed Obama) are breaking their arms patting themselves on the back for how great this shows America to be. Even me, unrepentant fenian Islamist that I am, have caught myself from time to time rooting for Senator Obama. I have spent most of the last 15 years of my life on the South Side of Chicago, working in community organizations, as an attorney for children who have been abused or neglected by their parents, serving as imam (prayer leader) of a small storefront mosque. I’ve never met Senator Obama, and although we might work in the same broad environment, we run in different circles.

The same is basically true of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger. Both have been long time presences and major community leaders on the south side, both have built large church communities which provide a wide range of community services, and both have been ‘prophetic voices,’ trying to bring a point of view based on faith in God and service to humanity to political issues that affect people in their daily lives. Though I have much admiration for both men and no doubt they have done much more good in their lives than I have, they have long been involved in the realm of electoral politics and government. In the realm of government contracts and campaign contributions and bringing pressure to bear through the media. While God alone knows the heart of any individual, I do not doubt that all they have done they have done seeking nothing but the service of God and his people. They were experienced in the realm of politics, but I think it’s fair to say neither was prepared for the effect the campaign of their good friend Barack Obama would have on their lives.

Barack Obama several weeks ago gave a much praised speech on the theme on the history and current reality of racial divisions in this country. He was attempting to put some of the statements and attitudes attributed to his long time pastor, Reverend Wright in a proper context and to explain why, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the Black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother….” Of course, recently Obama not only disowned Reverend Wright but he later resigned completely from his church of 20 years. Father Pfleger, a man who has years and years of service and years and years of controversies behind him, has obviously been completely taken aback by what has happened to him since he made a few comments about the presidential race while speaking at Trinity. Pfleger has said that the recent days have been harder for him to go through than when his foster son was killed, an almost unimaginably traumatic event for any parent to consider. Now Pfleger has been suspended against his will from his pastoral duties at the faith community he helped build and is, according to today’s paper, looking for an apartment.

Meanwhile Obama has gone on his first full day as the acclaimed Democratic nominee to speak at the AIPAC convention. He told the “pro-Israel” lobby, among other things that Jerusalem must “remain the capital of Israel and remain undivided.” (To see the absurdity and wrongheadedness of this sop to Zionists in the United States see this open letter written by Israeli and Jerusalem resident Gershom Gorenberg to Hillary Clinton when she made the same claim previously.) Obama made it clear Israel’s security is “sacrosanct” while the security and rights of the Palestinians is absolutely meaningless (except of course for their right to be “led” by puppets of the U.S. and Israel, prepared to do the bidding of their masters.) To look at a longstanding and complex conflict and then to ascend to such a prominent platform of influence and use it to side completely with the powerful, ignoring the plight of the truly oppressed in order to show yourself acceptable to a powerful lobby in this country can only be called an immoral act. It is useless to try to determine whether Obama really thinks this way or is taking these postures for purposes of election. Only God knows the hearts, and it is hard to determine which would be the more despicable of the alternative interpretations.

So, what does the devil got to do with all this? Part of the nature of most human beings is that although we all do wrong it is difficult for us to simply do wrong and revel in it. We will find in history, in our scriptures, and in our own hearts the constant need to rationalize the choices we make and the actions we take. Very seldom will any of us react to our wrongs with true contrition, much more commonly we will react with rationalizations of why what we did was right or even if it wasn’t why others are more wrong than us. The devil is real and the devil is not dumb. The devil is intelligent and the devil has had long experience with the human being. The devil is also an enemy to the human being. Because the devil is not dumb, he approaches his task of trying to convince humans to do evil by making the evil seem good to them.

So, as I said before, I do not claim that Barack Obama wants to be President for selfish reasons and therefore will do anything to get elected. I’m sure he set out on his quest believing he could truly be a force for good. Once he started playing the game of politics, though, he learned quickly like any politician that the game of politics is about doing what needs to be done, saying what needs to be said. The game of politics is about doing things that you know are wrong but convincing yourself that it is all for some greater good. This is what the devil whispers to you. You do it long enough, however, and this is no longer necessary. When you become a wholly political creature, you no longer need to assuage your conscience because your conscience is non existent. There is no longer right or wrong, there is nothing but political angles.

I know many people, both in the United States and abroad have a lot of hope that if Barack Obama could be President there is at least hope that things could be better. And hope is a truly powerful thing. I pray to God that things do get better for all of those who are in need of help and assistance, to all of those who are suffering. Certainly nothing could make a reasonable person believe that John McCain is a superior choice to Barack Obama.

To Barack Obama and all those who want to support him, work for him, be like him, I can only offer this note of caution. Never do something you know is wrong thinking it is for a greater good. Never say something you don’t believe because that’s what you “have to do.” This is the greatest deception of the devil, to convince you that you can do something wrong for the right reason.

As the poet said,

Oh my mama told me

‘Cause she say learned the hard way

Say she wanna spare the children

She say don’t give or sell your soul away

‘Cause all that you have is your soul

Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple

Don’t you eat of a bitter fruit

Hunger only for a taste of justice

Hunger only for a world of truth

‘Cause all that you have is your soul

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5 Responses to “Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Barack Obama, Reverend Wright, Father Pfleger, and The Devil”

  1. MR Says:

    Obama and the DNC said they are no longer taking donations from any lobby group or PACs. This is really good news, mashaAllah, because as you know AIPAC is a large and powerful lobbyist group. Now that they can’t donate to Obama, Obama won’t necessarily have to listen to them.

    It is sad what Obama said about Jerusalem and to the pro-Terrorist (Zionist) group, but this is the reality of trying to become the next President of the US.

  2. abunooralirlandee Says:


    Jazzak Allahu Khayr for commenting.

    The attitude expressed in this comment, that this is the “reality” of becoming President –what does that mean? Does that mean, this is the reality so it’s okay? Would it be okay for a Muslim to do it? Sounds like Shaytan to me. (It’s too bad you’re not making your salats, but that’s the reality of 2008 America. It’s too bad you’re engaged in riba (war with Allaah) but that’s the reality of America) Anyways, I couldn’t be more saddened by this attitude, but I can’t express the reasons why any more clearly than I did in my post.

    Allaah knows best.

  3. m.c. Says:

    Excellent article and very insightful. Truthful and to the point. We need more articles such as this. Keep up your good work.

  4. Nairobian Perspective Says:

    is God-the Almighty really involved in this issue? or is it what many people would like to believe?

  5. mtakbar Says:

    jAk for this insightful post. I am glad I came along a fellow Chi-Town Muslim blogger. I was an early supporter of Obama, as I saw him as the best of the worst and felt that at least he was willing to sit at the table with Iran and other leaders and possibly stave off more interventionism in the Middle East, leave Iraq, close Guantanomo, restore Habeas Corpus, and some other things.

    Now not only am I frustrated with this whole process but after that AIPAC speech and his resignation from his church I find him to be disgusting. This isnt going to be change, this is going to be politics as usual. Anyway people should realise that the solution for Filisteen and other oppressed/occupied Muslim nations is not going to come from a kafir leader in the West its going to come from Muslims struggling in the cause of Allah.

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