ISLAM is the fastest-spreading religion in the United States, which has been acknowledged by President Barack Obama in his Ramazan message. He also lauded the way Muslims are fulfilling their social responsibilities in the US. He has once again promised to host an Iftar dinner at the White House. His speech labelled Ramazan as a reminder for people belonging to all faiths that the common notions of humanity, justice and equality are shared by all the great religions.
However, it is interesting to note how Ramazan was linked to democratic movements all over the world. In his speech, Obama advised the protesters in the Middle East to continue their efforts for achieving self-determination and spreading democratic values.
On the other hand, the first-ever democratically elected civilian president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi urged his nation to give up lethargic attitude during Ramazan.
Compared with Hosni Mubarak, Morsi presented himself as a more approachable leader by making an impromptu speech after the Friday prayer in a local mosque.
He has pardoned 572 military detainees and has promised to help the ‘sister countries’ in Africa. Morsi alluded towards the progress of the Islamic world as a whole while defining Egypt’s mission of setting an example for the world in production, stability, security, and support for the poor. He has started a new chapter of ties with Palestinians.
Without any reference to Arab Spring or demonstrations in the Islamic world, Morsi’s message at least with regards to content was more pro-democratic.
But neither Morsi nor Obama discussed the atrocities being inflicted upon the Muslims in Myanmar. Ramazan gives the message of brotherhood and peace, which was missed by both presidents as they did not sympathise with the Muslims being slaughtered in Myanmar.
F. H. RIZVI Lahore