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Published:January 28th, 2009 19:16 EST

President's Middle Name a Non-Issue

By SOP newswire2

On Tuesday, Jan. 2009, America and the world witnessed a "Change." President-elect Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and as past presidents, he used his full name, Barack Hussein Obama.

ObamaDue to unfounded rumors about Mr. Obama being Muslim, questions about him using his middle name at his inauguration prompted him to say, "The tradition is that they, (past presidents) use all three names and I will follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or another." Once again we witnessed the doubt of his Christian faith and watched in repugnance at the accusation of him being a Muslim, as if being a follower of Islam is somehow repulsive. Colin Powell reminded us of an important fact one Sunday morning when he asked, "Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that`s not America." Mr. Powell recognized that the majority of Muslims, including American Muslims, abhor those extremist elements within.

It was unfortunate that Obama`s middle name became an issue of contention, primarily as a smear and fear scheme to portray to the American public that he was a threat. Many accused him of lying about his faith. Fortunately, Americans were not deceived by this propaganda.

I am happy Mr. Obama used his middle name. By using his full name he sent a profound message to the world, that America is a land of opportunity; a country where people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can unite.

In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Obama said, "We`ve got a unique opportunity to reboot America`s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular. So we need to take advantage of that." He plans to improve relations with the Muslim world and I and many others believe he can do it. Our country needs someone with this vision, and with Mr. Obama`s middle name, his family ties to Kenya and Indonesia, and his passion, he is a perfect candidate for change and progress in the world.

Quite intriguingly, Hussein is a very common name in the Middle East and is used by both Christians and Muslim and the meaning of Hussein is handsome, a perfect name for Mr. Obama.

Altaf Ali, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations


Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service, 1/27/09

WASHINGTON -- Religious leaders from the U.S. Catholic bishops to evangelical human rights advocates have applauded President Obama`s executive order that essentially ends torture of detainees held by the U.S. government.

On This second full day in office, the president signed an executive order on "ensuring lawful interrogations" to "promote the safe, lawful and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody."

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which had requested that Obama act on banning torture in the first day of his administration, praised the new policy.

"He has rejected the use of torture as an interrogation technique and allowed the United States to again find its moral bearing," said Linda Gustitus, president of the organization...

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has sought its closure for years, applauded Obama for ending "shameful practices."
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) quoted God as saying: "O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another."

Hadith Qudsi 426