German freelance journalist Emran Feroz argues that whilst US President Barack Obama invited Muslim representatives for iftar at the White House earlier this week, in reality he continues to murder Muslim civilians with illegal drone attacks and turns a blind eye to the force-feeding of Guantanamo prisoners.
When Obama sent his Ramadan greetings to the Muslim world, I asked myself – “which Muslims is he addressing?” Those who are suffering from the US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan? Those who are murdered weekly by US drone attacks? Or those who are getting tortured in Guantanamo without any reason?
And now he has invited Muslims to join him in the White House for a so-called “iftar.” It seems that Obama‘s hypocrisy does not have an end.
Whilst he smiles about Ramadan and talks of “peace,” his drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen continue. A new report by the renowned Bureau of Investigative Journalism proved that these drone attacks are killing more civilians than the US government has told us. (https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drone-data/)
So while Obama pretends to care about Muslim issues, US drones are killing Pashtun and Yemeni families while they prepare for their iftar.
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The same hypocrisy with the Guantanamo issue. The president invites a particular group of hand-picked Muslims to join him for dinner while the Muslim detainees of Guantanamo are force-fed like animals.
According to human rights organizations, the practice of force-feeding is a form of torture. US rapper Mos Def showed this some weeks ago with a short video which was widely circulated and received a lot of media attention.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration found a “solution” for the problem. To “respect” Ramadan, the detainees are just force-fed at night, this is their iftar and suhoor. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6ACE-BBPRs)
Iraq and Afghanistan
Last but not least, we must not forget the Muslims of Iraq and Afghanistan who are living in chaos since the US-led invasions of 2001 and 2003. A quick look into Iraq is enough to see how much the country has been destroyed. Suicide attacks, car bombings and sectarian violence are part of an Iraqi’s daily life.
The situation in Afghanistan is not much different. While the US government is funding warlords, drug bosses and corrupt politicians, the neighbouring countries, espcially Iran and Pakistan, are trying to get more and more influence. The result is a country close to civil war, ethnic division and sectarianism.
These facts are the harsh reality of Obama’s foreign policy in the Muslim world. The global Muslim community has to stand together to find a solution. They have to be firm enough to say: “I don’t want to join you at your dinner Mr Obama while you kill, torture and force-feed my people.”
Those were the brave and commendable words of Professor Omid Safi of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when he was asked to join the president at the White House for iftar. But the majority of the so-called Muslim representatives did not respond like him. Those yes-men continue to nod and smile while crimes are being committed against our brethren, and that in simple terms is just not acceptable.
During the last few days, many Muslims all over the world showed concerns and outrage at the White House ifhar. These criticisms are justifiable and has nothing to to with “anti-Americanism” or “extremism”. It is just based on the political reality of the Muslim world as a result of US foreign policy, and even those “House Muslims” cannot deny that.