Friday, January 05, 2007

Baby Steps








Yesterday the US swore in its new Congress. There were a few "NEW"s that have been topics of conversation for the last few weeks. New majority, new Speaker (and a woman too). New ideas, new standards for ethics (well, can't really call them new, but a new resolve to adhere more to ethics proposed to us for millennia), and many new faces. Many younger new faces.

Another "NEW" was that now the US has a Muslim for a congressman. Not only that, but two Buddhists as well. These, it can be argued, are very high offices in the land. The Muslim congressman took his oath (later for the pictures) on his Holy Book, which makes a lot of sense, because one should want a new officer to take an oath on a Book the he or she believes in, although the ritual itself is just symbolic because the Source of the Book, The Author, is ever present, and knows what's in the heart, making the oath (done actually together and without books), a pledge to the people witnessing the event. The copy of the Holy Qur'an used for the second ceremony, was a copy owned by Thomas Jefferson, one of the "Founding Fathers" of the American nation. This too seems to be a significant piece of information few people knew. I think it's significant that Jefferson would want to know about Systems of Belief other than his own.

NEW things signify change. Hopefully it's change for the better.

Buddhists and Muslims are among the smaller minorities in the US. Still, that in itself did not stop electing congressmen and congresswomen from among adherents of the two Faiths. This is really very good. For some reason, the Buddhist didn't make a big deal of this, but I suppose because of the current state of affairs between the Muslim World and the West, there has been a lot of attention given to the Muslim congressman.

These may be baby steps, but that is significant too. After baby steps, comes real walking.

I just hope that, even if for just a small degree, other countries also take baby steps in affording opportunities for their minorities to be "equal" citizens.

I hope that, this is not too much to hope for.

4 comments:

Dreamer said...

I cannot agree more.. it is time for people to be judged by their actions and not their faith, race or back ground.... all distance runners start with baby steps :)

Faisal said...

Thank you for visiting again Dreamer.

Anonymous said...

Yes you have made some very good points. I would have suggested that the congressman use both Holy Books, if there would have been a debate on which one is on top. it would be the same as using the Holy Qur'an alone, I say.

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نسرين said...

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