Tale of two Hussein’s

Hussein: Arabic for Good or Handsome

Two prominent Hussein’s are leading markedly different lives at the moment. Saddam Hussein, has been sentenced to death for his role in mass murder. Meanwhile in the country which overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime, Barack Hussein Obama is leading a life of messianic promise.
Barack Obama hasn’t yet confirmed his intent to run for the President of the United States, but his popularity rivals that of a rock band like the Rolling Stones (incidentally formed during the cometh of the last messiah). His multicultural background, the son of an immigrant Kenyan black man and a white kansas woman, his harvard background and his charm rivalling the late JFK seems to have America caught up in the Obama fever. Irrespective of the lack of political work and breakthroughs shown in his brief stint as a senator, Obama is dangerously coming close to fulfilling the role of a saviour to take America out of its political and economic gaffe’s and put it back on an even keel on the world stage. If Barack Obama does decide to enter his hat in the ring (and not just endorse the chicago bears to win the superbowl); it will be an interesting race to observe if America, in its vote for the best man or woman, chooses to ignore its past of never electing a woman or a minority as President.

The end of one Hussein’s legacy may mark the beginning of another’s.

Religion and State

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Keith Ellison, the first ever Muslim to be elected to the US Congress has caused a sort of a stir in political circles by refusing to take oath on the Bible and instead choosing the Koran for his oath. Unfortunately the debate has now focussed to the use of religion in matters dealing with the state instead of the more pertinent discussion of seperation of religion and state. One of my friends gave the example of Saudi Arabia (amazing how often saudi arabia crops in a conversation related to religion) where all its citizens are expected to be muslims and follow the muslim way of life, including for government matters.

I’m actually glad that America is not following the Saudi Arabia model. Infact americans should move as away from religious intolerance as possible, and not follow the example of Glenn Beck (a particularly hawkish anchor on CNN) who actually asked Keith Ellison to “prove that he is not working with the enemy”- I dont see that question being asked to any of the other non muslim Congress Representatives on the Glenn Beck show.

My two cents on the matter is, since Congressmen are asked to serve and protect the constitution, the oath should be taken on the constitution and not a religious book. Its high time we have a seperation of State and Religion and ne’er the twain shall meet.