Saturday, June 7, 2008

OSAMA AND OBAMA: SAUL AND PAUL

On June 03, 2008, Barak Hussein Obama Jr, made history by becoming the first African American presumptive Presidential nominee of any major US political party. Beating the powerful Hillary Clinton in a close and hard fought battle for nomination, Obama appears to be on course to the Oval Office, with Clinton too gracefully throwing her weight behind him.

On September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden made history of another sort by launching the strongest and most audacious attacks on the US mainland ever. The most dramatic of these attacks was on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. These were reduced to rubble by two hijacked airliners which were flown right into these buildings in a meticulously planned and perfectly executed operation by suicide squads of the Al Qaida, the terrorist organisation created by Osama.

Obama was born in 1961 to a Kenyan Muslim father and a white American mother in Hawaii. Osama was born in 1957 to the tenth wife of a Saudi Arabian Muslim in Saudi Arabia. The parents of both Obama and Osama divorced after they were born and their mothers remarried. Obama lived till he was ten years old in Indonesia with his stepfather and his half sister, before moving to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents. Osama grew up with three step brothers and one step sister in Saudi Arabia.

Obama studied in local school in Indonesia and Puhao School in Honolulu. Osama studied in the elite and secular Al-Thager Model School in Saudi Arabia. Obama graduated from Columbia University, majoring in political science and international relations. He also studied law at the Harvard Law School, becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. Osama studied economics and business administration at King Abdulazziz University. He also got a degree either in civil engineering or public administration.

Obama married Michelle Robinson and has two daughters from her. Obama married an indeterminable number of women and has fathered between 12 and 24 children, still counting.

Obama, till a couple of weeks back, was a member in good standing of the Trinity United Church of Christ whose 10-point Vision is: “A congregation committed to ADORATION. A congregation preaching SALVATION. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION. A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA. A congregation committed to LIBERATION. A congregation committed to RESTORATION. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.”

Osama till date follows the fundamentalist Wahabi sect of Islam, believing in the restoration of the Sharia and rejecting all other ideologies and religions of the world. He believes that heretics, America, Israel and even Shias are the four principal enemies of Islam and has adopted the tool of armed Jehad to right perceived injustices to Muslims perpetrated by the US and others. His version of Islam was functional in Afghanistan when it was reeling under the Taliban. In fact Osama is so rigid in his religious views that he had called Afghanistan “the only Islamic country” in the Muslim world during those days.

Around AD 10, a man by the name of Saul was born in modern day Turkey. In his early years, Saul was strongly opposed to Christianity that was struggling to take root then. Saul was a Jew and trained to be a Pharisee, that is, a learned and strict observer of religious law. Under the influence of this upbringing, he actively tried to suppress the early Christian movement through persecution. According to some accounts, he was present at the stoning of Stephen. All that changed dramatically one day when he was on the road to Damascus to imprison Christians there. As per the Bible, a great light shone on him, and he heard the voice of Jesus asking him as to why he was persecuting Him. That experience converted Saul and from that day onwards he starting preaching Christianity and changed his name to Paul.

Paul and Saul were two individuals with diametrically opposite religious views in one body. Obama and Osama are also two such individuals in separate but remarkably similar bodies. Both are involved in their own Jehads. One is Jehad for and the other is a Jehad against: metaphorically the Jehads of Paul and Saul.

Saul was engaged in a Jehad against Christians. Osama’s Jehad is not against Christians alone. And it is being executed with much more powerful and destructive tools which do not view even civilians, including women and children, as innocents. Paul led a Jehad for the Lord and against nobody. Obama has been involved in a Jehad, through his church, for the rights and progress of African Americans. This Jehad is one of peace and reconciliation with the whites who had once enslaved blacks. This Jehad emits positive energy, tolerance and enlightened acceptance of the aberrations of history. Osama’s Jehad radiates an awful lot of negative energy, intolerance and blind rejection of all other points of view.

Obama’s Jehad has already got him just one small step short of the White House, and will most likely see him there in 2009. Osama’s Jehad has got him into a remote and inhospitable corner in Afghanistan/Pakistan, hiding and hounded, with nowhere else to go.

If ever there was a great light that could turn the Saul in Osama into a Paul, it is the meteoric ascension of black Obama in white America, facilitated willingly by white Americans. The Great Satan, as Osama likes to call the US, has shown to him and the world what can be achieved by the power of a positive, inclusive Jehad.

It remains to be seen whether Osama will be enlightened or blinded even more by this bolt of bright clear light that the exceptional rise of Obama has released.

This post was also published by Chicago Sun Times
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Readers may also like to read the following:
1. Obama and Jindal: Hanuman and the Monkey
2. Looking for India's Obama in Harvard!