Speaking truth to power

Who is this student who refused to shake the hand of a US Ambassador when presented an award in his native Pakistan?  Samad Khurram is an active member of the Student Action Committee (SAC) which has been actively protesting with the lawyers movement for the restoration of the judiciary and removal of military rule from Pakistan. He was last in the news in Pakistan just a week ago when he was beaten up by activists from the Islami-Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT)  the student wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami – in a political scuffle on the judiciary issue in Lahore. He is a regular columnist for the Harvard University student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, where he has also written on Pakistan politics and why the U.S. should dump Gen Musharraf.  He was given an award for academic excellence from United States Ambassador Anne Patterson  but refused it in protest against the US bombing in an area of Pakistan  last week and its support of President Pervez Musharraf, who he said was an unconstitutional president and had destroyed Pakistan’s judicial institution.

He is another example of how the US’ strategy of winning friends and influencing people is simply NOT working!

Obama’s mea culpa

Obama personally called two Muslim women who were denied seating in a visible place at one of his rallies to apologize for the way they were treated and evidently the women were satisfied with the way he handled himself in his phone call to them.

“We both immensely appreciate the Senator’s phone call and his commitment to remedy this issue,” Abdelfadeel said. “We commend him for displaying qualities befitting an effective President.”

It certainly is a step in the right direction.  My question is as more and more Muslims support his candidacy, how will Obama address the public perception as well as his own issues raised by his opponents that Islam is bad.