Aliran applauds the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. It was a stunning victory that recorded a landslide majority. It was a victory that brought together ordinary Americans of different shades and faiths to elect the first Afro-American in a historic decision that clearly responded to Obama’s call: Time for change.
The victory has put to an end the old prejudices of the past that have persisted for centuries. It has freed Americans from their narrow mindset that had discriminated and deprived others from the marginalised communities a chance to progress as human beings on an equal footing.
While the Americans chose to look forward to their future with hope, sadly there are others elsewhere who are still trapped in their age-old prejudices that discriminate against others based on their colour and creed. They can’t look forward confidently but prefer to cling to the past as a solution to their progress.
We in Aliran hope that Obama will bridge the gap that divides the rich and the poor, the West and the East, the Muslims and the others. We hope that he will heal the wounds inflicted by war and deprivation of poverty. We hope that he will bring about a just peace to the Middle East, end the Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, shut down Guantanamo Bay and put an end to rendition (the outsourcing of torture to third countries).
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We believe that there is a lesson to be learnt from the outcome of the American election.
Aliran Executive Committee
6 November 2008