American Muslims quick to congratulate Obama

November 5, 2008

WASHINGTON – The largest U.S. Islamic civil rights group was among the first to congratulate President-Elect Democrat Barack Obama, a man who some opponents tried to portray as a Muslim because of the childhood years he spent in Indonesia.

“President-elect Obama’s victory sends the unmistakable message that America is a nation that offers equal opportunity to people of all backgrounds,” the Council on American Islamic Relations said in a statement just minutes after Obama’s victory speech in Chicago.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the group, said they hoped to offer the Obama administration some support and advice.

“We look forward to having the opportunity to work with the Obama administration in protecting the civil rights of all Americans, projecting an accurate image of America in the Muslim world and playing a positive role in securing our nation,” Awad said.

Obama, who will be the first black U.S. president and whose middle name is Hussein, is a Christian. But throughout the campaign, false rumors circulated on the Internet that he was Muslim and therefore not a suitable candidate for the White House.

Son of a Kenyan father and white American mother, Obama spent part of his childhood in largely Muslim Indonesia.

More than 20 million copies of a film called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” were included as advertising supplements in newspapers across the country, many in battleground states.

CAIR lashed out against the film, which was distributed by a private group unaffiliated with the McCain campaign and featured suicide bombers, children being trained with guns, and a Christian church said to have been defiled by Muslims.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican and African American, endorsed Obama last month saying that he was troubled by the attempts to link Obama to Islam.

“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” he asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion ‘he’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.’ This is not the way we should be doing it in America,” Powell said.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton (Obama speaks at his victory rally)

28 comments

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we love you OBAMA . Our Heartiest Congrtaulations for this historious VICTORY and Our Best Wishes For the NEW RESPONSIBILITY

Posted by ss | Report as abusive

This is a historic win for a african american candidate and Iam sure the world is pleased with it.It is the majority that counts and America has been the pillar of such opinions and ideologies and what can come better than this that a man belonging to a cross cultural race will lead the most powerful nation on earth.
God Bless Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by Sabbir h. | Report as abusive

Velcome to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Amerika! You vill love your new society, as soon as vee erase your 1st and 2nd amendment. Mit our fearless leader, vee shall transform this den of iniquity, full of your Hollyvood movies and rapping music and such perversion, and put you all to vork to support the advancement of the socialist ideals dat you have now elected to command your future. Vee knew you would one day see the light and abandon this foolish concept of freedom in favor of the absolute superiority of Marxism, Fascism, Authoritarianism, and all vee hold dear. Here is your uniform. As the Amerikan Kommunist Party has said, the election of Osama means that our time has finally come! Heil Borack!

Posted by Karl M | Report as abusive

CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA!

I knew you could do it and believed you would. You definitely proved the American dream can come true if you have faith in yourself and others. I wish the die hard conservatives would relax some, it’s not going to be the apocolypse. Why doesn’t it have to be so grim and America is coming to end just because an African American who by the way is half white is going to be President. I just hope we all can come together so we can make America great again and stop this nonsense.

Posted by Trasa | Report as abusive

Why do you all say he is african american cause he is not nor is he white. He is MIXED. This has no historic value to america at all. He played the race card and did it well. All I can say is, God help us all. Our country is going to hell in a hand basket.
Why would you want a person who has never fought for this country yet benefits from the blood, sweat, tears and lots of lifes that it took and still takes. Why would you want a person in the white house who does not even want anything to do with or be seen with any men or women that has or is fighting for HIS freedom. Yes, this is a race thing no matter what anybody says. But the questions is, for what race?

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Heartiest Congrtaulations for you Obama you give us HOPE

Posted by Hend mohammed | Report as abusive

Thank you intelligent voters. 8 years of ignorance and misery is finally ending. Congratulations to Barack, Joe, and their families … not to mention the USA and the world. Best to all. Thank God !!

We pray GOD to give you immense strength and a long healthy life to be successful in your new venture

Posted by ss | Report as abusive

[...] oli yksi ensimmäisiä presidentivaalit voittaneen Barack Obaman onnittelijoista. Uutistoimisto Reutersin mukaan Amerikan islamilaisten suhteiden neuvosto CAIR totesi pian voiton varmistumisen jälkeen [...]

I am a white middle-class democratic woman from California. I am so proud of the results of our 2008 election! I was young when John Kennedy was elected but I remember the euphoria of all of the adults in my family. This election reminds me of the mood back then. We are all energized and pleased to have Barack Obama as our new presidential elect. I believe that we have finally atoned for our bleak beginnings as a republic founded on slavery.

Posted by Janette Duncan | Report as abusive

I am really overwhelmed by the victory of Barack Obama. What it has shown the world is that if you dream big you can acheive and there is nothing that should styand in your way. In a country that has been heavily polarised on race issues for a long time this is a milestone towards showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel for racial transparency afterall and that democracy won the day in the latest historic polls.

God Bless Barack Obama

You do realize sabbir h, your new president is not even African American. His ancestors weren’t even from Africa and it is shown that his white ancestors had slaves. What Americans do not understand is that you can be black without being African and you can be prejudice without being white. I pray that America did not just make the worst mistake in history by voting on appearances.

Posted by depressed american | Report as abusive

Depressed American: Obama’s family has roots in Kenya. And roots everywhere – as a lot of Americans including me. As I know you are depressed and possibly this based upon being in America during the Bush years – you do have an atlas you can look at and locate Kenya. It is amazing when you leave your mom’s basement what you will find.

Posted by Dayna | Report as abusive

Congratulations to Barack Obama,

And thanks to all those who helped, not forgetting the thousands upon thousands of bloggers who made sure the smears and lies were debunked.

And thanks to people like Karl down there, whose hallucinations and cloddish ranting provided not only entertainment, but showed exactly what kind of lunatic fringe was hitched to the McCain campaign. You did a great deal to get Obama elected.

John McCain: In your acceptance speech, you became the old McCain again. You are right: you have yourself to blame for losing this one. Palin was one error. Misunderstanding the fact that even after the most tremendous dumbing-down effort by the GOP, Americans were still too smart was your real demise. The Depressed American here is not what we need leading the country.

Posted by Talleyrand | Report as abusive

Danya, If you were actually a Obama fan you would of read the books HE wrote. He does not admit to his white side of the family. If we were in war he said he would side with muslims. He is too young, too inexperienced and too confused about his own heritage. I am happy for you that you found your way out of your mom’s basement though that is truely something to be excited about. I will leave on that note and begin my prayers for this country.

Posted by depressed american | Report as abusive

Big Congratulations to the president elect and of course to all Americans!.
Let me remind my Fellow Africans who in my own opinion are over reacting to the US election. Barack Obama is of course an American and elected president of USA and not Kenya, Ghana or Nigeria. So if we think, we can be here wasting our resources and dwelling on planlessness and hoping on the president elect of another country for their heard earned resources then we are making the biggest mistake of the century. If anything, I think both our leaders and followers need to learn from this election that Governance is all about service to the people and not about building castles. I just hope we have learnt from the entire process.

Posted by zakariyya | Report as abusive

God Blessed America!!
At last the Bush era has come to an end.
And to all the conservative blockers out there, what’s wrong in being a socialist? England has a socialist government, Spain has a socialist government, Portugal has a socialist government,just to name a few.

Posted by charles | Report as abusive

Sad Depressed American: ‘He does not admit to his white side of the family’. So the woman who just passed away, who is said raised him and the cornerstone of his family, wasn’t his WHITE grandmother? Or is it because he didnt mention her skin colour when he mentioned her that means he doesn’t acknowledge her ethnicity? So in his books that I have not read, but clearly should because apparently he didn’t acknowledge his white grandmother except recently. For the cameras. For the election. And of course, in war (could you be MORE vague) he’d side with the muslims. Which war is that? There are a few going on. Confused about his heritage? Hmmmm. Welcome to America – the melting pot where we are are the culumination of many different backgrounds. I am of German heritage – I don’t have one that I am proud of. However, like most people, I move on. Perhaps he looks back, but not enough for you. So in order to run America, you need to be older, more experienced and know your heritage. Has that worked in the past? No wonder you are depressed. Not only can’t you come up with your own retorts (basement comment) – you obviously voted McCain. The older, more experienced, white guy who understands this heritage and recognises that he is white.

Posted by Dayna | Report as abusive

Janette Duncan – I, too, am a white middle class independent woman from the State of Washington. Ditto to everything you wrote. I have great hope for our future. Finally, we can speak words, like PEACE and WE SHALL OVERCOME. And to overcome what faces our country right now will be an uphill battle. Count me in.

Posted by Eloise Nyman | Report as abusive

People need to drop the comment of First Black American President. What’s up with this? How does one become black even though his mother was white? Same goes to Tiger Woods although his mom is a Philipino, he is “black” get over it people. He is the face of America! He is not black, white, pink, yellow, brown, or blue! In the words of President Elect Barack HUSSEIN Obama, their is no Black America, White America, Latino America, or Arab America. Their is only one America, The United States of America!!!!! Yes We Can!!!!

Posted by Joe Lewis | Report as abusive

Now the young inner city kids must look at themselves as real contributers to society. They must now stand up and ratify this anomaly that it is not just a freak event – that they have a reason to be proud. We can look up to the achievements of Obama, but they will be meaningless unless the rest of black America can show they are worthy of top leadership. They are getting their chance in the spotlight. They need to get off the street and into the library to continue to have the respect of the rest of the country. Obama and those like Tiger Woods worked their ***** off to get where they are. Now black america must do the same or we white folks will look at this as irrelevant – and won’t let it happen again. Have the respect for yourselves that you deserve. Don’t give up on life because you don’t think you have a chance to make something of yourselves – no more excuses. Here is your chance to pick yourself up by your baggy pants and make America proud of our colored brothers. I don’t want to make a business deal and see the underwear of the person as he walks away – unless it is a women. AMEN!

Posted by Nowhat | Report as abusive

I HAVE read Obama’s books and all that “Sad Depressed American” has proven is that if you lie you can start a conversation.Nothing he says about Obama is true. Obama loves his white family, and is 100% loyal to America. I wonder why the need to cling to fear nd lies is so strong. Barak Obama is a sign that the bulk of the country has become sober and sane. Thank God!
We should all pray that President Obama be protected folks like “Sad Depressed American”, because we’ve lost too many good men to confused fanatics. God Bless America and God Bless President Barak Obama.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

To the most wonderful American President
congratulation
YOU DESERVE IT.YOU ARE CREATED FOR IT.

May God help you…..

shereen,eveen,media,sawsan,dylan,noor & nermeen
damascus-syria

Posted by nermeen | Report as abusive

I”ll be very glad if you publish my supporting letter to sen Barack Obama that I wrote a few days before the vote……
Theniet el hadLogout|Account/Password My Profile Edit Profile View PublicPerform Action
Display Name: Theniet el had
Location: Astoria, NY
Slowly and steadily we win the race.
View Full Profile »
Location: Astoria, NY
Why I support Barack Obama:
Sen Obama is the man of change.He’s so active and full of hope.I’m certain he’ll do much better than those who preceded him.I know that he has come in a very crucial moment full of crisis.And he will do a lot for the country.My daughter will celebrate her fifth birthay on November fourth and my intuition has already told me that my family and I will celebrate my daughter’s birthday and and the victory of the 44 th president of the United States Of America Barack Obama Inshaalah.
Birth Date: September 21st
Issues: equality / ; civil liberties / privacy; peace & social justice; security; environment / ethics; affordable health care; education
Registered to Vote: No

Slowly and steadily we win the race

Posted by Abdelhamid | Report as abusive

OK, you are right he is NOT black and maybe race had nothing to do with it… but why did such a high pourcentage of blacks voted for him and are still cheering with Oprah and company ? Is it because a white man got elected?
Yes it was a matter of race, if you don’t believe it than you are lying to yourselves.

Posted by JOSETTE | Report as abusive

congratulation OBAMA..WE LOVE U SO MUCH..I`M INDONESIAN,,AND MANY INDONESIAN PEOPLE TO SUPPORT YOU..GOD BLESS YOU,,YOUR FAMILY…AND GOD BLESS TO AMERICA

Posted by nadia | Report as abusive

I don’t care that most of the black population is so excited over a man being elected president who is not really black. What concerns me is how everyone voted for him believed that he was the better choice just BECAUSE he is black. I mean really, what the **** has he done in his life to prove he is a reformer. Outside of being a good student, a professor for a few years and voting more liberally than anyone in the senate for a lowsey four years what has he DONE!! Don’t you people realize that to initiate change you must be able to cross party lines. How can you expect a man whose voting record shows him to be a radically left liberal to be able to reach across party lines (idiots)!! I still can’t believe that so many people have put so much confidence in a man obviously just for his skin color in a time when experience and PROVEN good judgment based on RESULTS is so critical for this country to deal with all its foreign policy, economic and domestic issues. I’m sorry but the presidency is not the appropriate place to exercise affirmative action people!!!

Posted by russ | Report as abusive

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Obama is not a black man, if his mother is white ,then he is considered white by school systems. I hope he is a good president, but the racial thing needs to go by the wayside. We need to look at ourselves as Americans! I thought he considered himself a Christian, too. Not muslim!Get on with it people! We all can achieve in our life, do your best and quit bringing in the racial stuff, the media just loves to keep things stirred up between races. We are all the same in God’s eyes.

Posted by bnb | Report as abusive

Today, the world is dire need of great leaders irrespective of the religion/faith they adhere to. The world is in turmoil because of religion and there is no way we can prove superiority of one religion over other. Every religion teaches faith and peace. Whether Muslim, Hindu or Christian we all have same aspirations. We all want peace and prosperity. We should applaud American citizen for not being driven by religious or racial sentiments.

Posted by Yamini | Report as abusive