A New York African-American Muslim teenager says he was beaten on election night by four white men furious that Barak Obama was elected as the nation's next President. The incident best symbolizes the dilemma of seven-million strong American Muslim community that apparently voted en masse for Obama with a conviction that the impending change would fully restore their civil rights which were abridged during the Bush administration in the name of "fighting terrorism."
American Muslims, who remained an outcast during the election campaign, were inspired and encouraged by Obama's message of inclusion. On November 4 night, Muslims joined millions of people at home and abroad in celebrating his historic victory as the 44th President of the United States.
Not surprisingly, African Americans see the victory as a "realization of Martin Luther King's dream." Obama even won Virginia, a state where Charles Lynch and William Lynch formalized extrajudicial murders of black slaves and poor whites in the 18th and 19th centuries, later known as lynching.
He proved wrong those who said that white Americans will never vote for a black man. Tellingly, he received much support from America's white majority in his effort to be the first black occupant of the White House, with four in 10 whites voting for him. Like other ethnic and religious communities, the American Muslim community was proud that a record number of Muslim American voters went to the polls to cast their vote and fully participated in the national political process. To borrow Tahir Ali, author of the book The Muslim Vote Counts, the seven million American Muslims--with an estimated 4.9 million of them registered to vote--represent a potent political force.
Major American Muslim organizations have welcomed the historic election of Barak Obama with great enthusiasm and fervor.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) described Obama's landslide victory as a watershed moment for the American nation. Communications Director Laila Al-Qatami said, "ADC looks forward to working with the new Administration to overcome the challenges facing our nation."
American Muslim Voice while welcoming Obama's victory pointed out as a nation we have finally been able to cross the ultimate color line and make history. "Choosing the first African American in the nation's highest office sends a strong message to the world that America is ready to create that inclusive beloved community Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of," said Samina Faheem Sundas, the Founding Executive Director of AMV.
The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Election said: "Today, as a nation we have given substance to the Declaration of Independence, especially its foundational principle that all men are created equal. Our nation has thus risen to new majestic heights."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Obama's victory sends the unmistakable message that America is a nation that offers equal opportunity to people of all backgrounds. CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said : "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."
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) said Obama's victory has raised the height of America as a nation and has sent an unmistakable message to the world about the power of American democracy as well.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said: "Barack Obama's victory is perhaps greater in that it finally allows America to practice what it for so long has preached to others. It allows America to close the gap that separated its humanitarian ideals from its social ambitions. America has for now, at least, lived up to its promise."
The Muslim American Society described Obama's victory as a historical moment for "our nation that is rooted in the epic struggle for freedom and justice." MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray said: "When I consider that in Virginia during the 50's my grandparents home was torched by a racist mob because they registered African American's to vote, this moment is not only historical but deeply personal and moving."
The Muslim Public Affairs Council described Obama's victory as an important and emotional moment in the history of the American nation.
The MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati said: "We are proud to live in a place where, as President Obama said tonight, "'all things are possible.' The enormity of these challenges is a shared responsibility of all Americans and we hope that we can work together to face the challenges."
American Muslims see Barack Obama's overwhelming victory as a sign that after eight years of the politics of bigotry, fear and senseless intolerance the American people have finally awoken from their fear-induced coma. However, election night attack on an African-American Muslim remained a cause of concern as the general level of anti-Muslim bias has been increased by the Islamophobia during the 2008 election campaign climaxed by the distribution of the anti-Muslim film "Obsession" to 28 million households in presidential election swing states nationwide.