Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Threats to Obama Continue

By Nadia Ahmed

President Obama has been in office for approximately ten months. That is not nearly enough time to change the nation from the topsy-turvy state it was in, to a perfect utopian country in which everybody is at peace with each other and all is well.

If people have problems with Obama’s proposed policies towards health care, education, immigration, or abortion, they should voice that opinion. They should articulate their arguments, hold debates, or possibly join organizations that fight for their desired causes.

What Americans should not do is what Arizona pastor Steve Anderson did on August 22, 2009. Anderson publicly declared his wish for Obama’s death, claiming that Obama is set out to destroy the country and that his death would “save the nation.”

Anderson furiously preached to his congregation, “Why should Barack Obama melt like a snail? Why should Barack Obama die like the untimely birth of woman? Why should his children be fatherless and his wife a widow?” He goes on to say “Well I’ll tell you why…” and ends with a distasteful comment on Obama’s views towards abortion.

Anderson’s words are malicious and downright dangerous. They provoke more anger and mistrust within a nation that is already hotly divided. He is also inciting hate within his congregation – a group of people who believe his words and are willing to act on them.

Even if one’s views on homosexuality and abortion rights differ from those of our leaders, using such language is despicable, and possibly a sign of racism. How many of our previous presidents had Americans calling for their death? Has Obama even been in office long enough, or done anything substantial enough, to arouse so much anger?

Everyone has different opinions. Our job as Americans is to express our views— sensibly and respectfully. President Obama has at least three more years left in office. Let us make the most of these years and work together, discuss issues rationally and civilly. We don’t have to always agree – the beauty of a democratic system is that we are entitled to our opinions and granted free speech – but we do need to adhere to that self-same system that gives us our rights when it comes to our elected government and leaders. Disagree all you like, but at least have the dignity to respect the individual elected by a considerable majority of Americans to be our President.

Nadia Ahmed is a Communications Intern with CAIR-Chicago

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