Obama’s Tweet to Ahmed is pure political pandering

Many people will see this and likely think something along the lines of “Obama invited this kid to the White House, what a great person, what a great president, he stands up for Muslims and against discrimination… how heartwarming,” but, no. Looking at how Muslims have been treated because of policies promoted and implemented by the Obama administration and Obama himself, the picture looks significantly less heart-warming.

Before we turn yet again to the pathetically superficial feelings of happiness and joy that all too commonly and most unfortunately come when we see a powerful person defend (or appear to defend) someone who has been oppressed or discriminated against, we should remember that Obama is the same person who, this past February, gloriously revered the Department of Homeland Security’s “Countering Violent Extremism Program” as something that will keep the nation safer when it is that initiative that largely targets Muslim communities, and perpetuates much of the fear and suspicion of Muslims that inevitably winds up creating an episode such as the one in Irving Texas where a brilliant kid gets arrested because people thought he was making a bomb.

As Arjum Sigh Sethi from the Washington Post points out, in an address at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2014, Obama’s homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco, explained that part of the counter terrorism measures needed to keep communities safe from terrorism particularly relied on members of these communities to be sensitive to subtle behavior changes among their youth, or as she called it, “warning signs” of radicalization:

Like us or we’ll blow up your house. Just kidding, don’t believe the media!


 
What kinds of behaviors are we talking about? For the most part, they’re not related directly to plotting attacks. They’re more subtle. For instance, parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home – becoming confrontational. Religious leaders might notice unexpected clashes over ideological differences. Teachers might hear a student expressing an interest in traveling to a conflict zone overseas. Or friends might notice a new interest in watching or sharing violent material.

Suspecting someone because someone wants to travel to Syria in its current conditions? Okay, maybe that’s a little suspicious. But what does ideological differences mean? And what is that about suspecting a child for being radicalized because that child suddenly becomes confrontational? That’s essentially suspecting every teenager going through puberty of being a terrorist. These are exactly the types of measures that encourage the type of hypersensitivity and ultra-suspicion of Muslims that leads representatives to support the completely unnecessary and highly inflammatory anti-sharia law bills in their state Congresses, or mistakenly brand a clock as a bomb just because a brown kid named Ahmed made it. But, sadly, it doesn’t end there.

Obama is also the President who nominated former senior vice-president of Lockheed Martin (amongst the largest weapons manufacturers in the world) James Comey as Director of the FBI. As I pointed out in this article, under Comey’s tenure, the FBI has actively and consistently persecuted innocent Muslims and unfairly framed them for terrorism charges, only to justify the overly inflated budget of their counter terrorism branch, much like how Comey’s old associates in Lockheed Martin substantially benefit from the overly inflated military expenditure of the United States, largely propelled by fear mongering and anti “Islamic” terrorism propaganda.

So yeah, by all means Obama, invite Ahmed to the White House, but when he’s there don’t apologize because some stupid teachers and cops thought that his clock was a bomb, apologize for all of the oppressive and discriminatory measures you have created or actively supported that encourage the type of irrationality that Ahmed, and thousands upon thousands of other young Muslims, fell victim too.

Written by Sebastian Jimenez

Sebastian Jimenez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, did his senior year of high school in Miami and is now a soon to be Sophomore in New York University studying Politics, Economics and Public Policy.