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  Volume 10 |Issue 24 | June 24, 2011 |


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Writing the Wrong

The Good Wife


I remember first seeing the pretty Huma Abedin nee Mrs Anthony Weiner in a photo with Hillary Clinton and feeling what Obama likes to call the audacity of hope. Abedin is the wife of the embattled former congressman and prolific twitterer, who sent numerous lewd and suggestive photos of himself and texts to various women, before and after he was married.

When I first saw Abedin I was still naive and thought the Clintons were different from their peers and actually were honest brokers for peace in the Middle East. The caption under the photo revealed Abedin was a practicing Muslim, and Clinton’s aide. This fueled my excitement and hope. Surely, this meant that Mrs Clinton was more expansive than her predecessors and colleagues when it came to Muslims and Muslim Americans. I wanted to believe that having Abedin around, working so closely with someone who has access to the White House was a testament to that fact, especially in the wake of 9/11. Then I read the article attached to the picture.

Huma Abedin (L) an aide to the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (R).

Essentially, the Jewish American Community was demanding that Clinton return all the money she raised from the Muslim community in NY for her senate bid. And return it, she did, with alacrity. After reading the article I looked more closely at Abedin’s face, and thought, how does she handle this? How does she justify it to herself and her friends and family? It is possible to effectively work in an environment where at times there are ideological differences. Healthy debate can lead to great breakthroughs. But the consistently, unequivocally pro-Israeli occupation policies of Mrs Clinton and her husband’s administration–policies that led to the deaths of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis for that matter – should have grated on Ms Abedin’s lovely nerves. Must they not have? I will surmise that her nerves are less Muslim and more wired for political ambition.

Abedin is a Muslim American of Pakistani and Indian origin. She was born in Michigan and raised in Saudi Arabia. She is educated, polished and discreet. Not to mention very, very attractive. The very essence of a non-threatening A-rab. Vogue magazine even did a photo shoot of her in 2007, where they revealed she was dating Anthony Weiner, whom some in the Democratic Party heralded as a contender of sorts. There was talk he was going to run for mayor of New York City. They married in 2010, a hot but quiet Muslim girl and a brash, up and coming Jewish congressman. The romantic in me would be so excited to see the union of two Americans, one Muslim, one Jew, taking place. Hell, I actually wrote an entire play around that premise. I look at Jewish-Muslim marriages as a viable panacea for all the pain and suffering these two groups exact on one another.

Anthony Weiner

Weiner has been thrown to the dogs by his peers–as expected. In these instances–meaning political sex scandals–there is a protocol that is followed, a play book if you will. First, the news is leaked. It is a trickle and those involved hear about it and try to figure out how to approach damage control. But they are advised to deny, deny, deny! And deny they do. Remember Ms Abedin’s boss’ husband’s exact words when his personal peccadilloes were revealed. I have it memorised: “ I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Cut to: a few days later: a contrite President with his hand in the cookie jar (I paraphrase). “Uh, well I might have had one teeny tiny, well not teeny tiny, but smallish incident with uh Ms Lewinsky.” And so it goes. So part two the preponderance of evidence piling up quickly against the politico forces them to admit that, yes, indeed, there might have been one, innocuous moment where they might have engaged in inappropriate exchanges with a high school age girl. There is a tearful press conference, where apologies abound but it is stated unequivocally: there will be no resignation. Three: sharks who suspected blood, now smell it so acutely they start circling. Some of these sharks, mind you, most likely committed greater sins than those whom they want to sacrifice, but they are simply outraged by the accused’ impropriety. There are deafening calls for resignation. The politician “friends” are more cautious. Most make flaccid statements about the integrity of the accused and simply take a wait and see stance, so they can take the side that will compromise them the least. Four: More lewdness is revealed. John Stewart of the Daily Show and various other comedians–even the atheists start thanking God profusely for the abundance of material that has fallen into their laps. Every night, we are on Weiner joke watch. His friends, who were previously lollygagging start decamping en masse. The end is nigh. There is much pontification from pundits about the cause of this kind of risky behaviour from our illustrious public servants. Is it an abundance of testosterone? Entitlement? Just plain megalomania? Five: the resignation. And so it goes.

Meanwhile, the spouse (and there is always a stoic spouse) is painted as the victim and is damned if she stands by her man or damned if she doesn’t. Abedin has taken a different route. She has sort of disappeared. Who can blame her? But, if she does not divorce him, I will know for a fact that this woman is all about political ambition. This is why: her husband is a virulently pro-Israeli Jew. Which means he does not support the Palestinian people’s right to statehood or return. Not all Palestinians are Muslim, but most are, and they are always painted as blood thirsty terrorists. MUSLIM terrorists, by Wiener and his ilk.

I quote an article from, funnily, The Daily Star in Lebanon: Consistently and avidly pro-Israel, Weiner in May 2006 called for the Palestinian delegation to be refused entry to the UN, stating that they “should start packing their little Palestinian terrorist bags” (Alabaster, June 14, 2011).

Moreover, Weiner called for the resignation of Professor J Massad of Columbia University for his critical analysis of Israeli policy. I remember that story. It is appalling how the First Amendment, the Freedom of Speech is always stymied in the US where Israel is concerned. Any criticism is declared anti-semitic. And Weiner is no different in this respect.

Alabaster states: As As’ad Abu Khalil, professor of political science at California State University and author of the Angry Arab blog told The Daily Star, when media attention focuses on issues such as Weiner’s preoccupation with photographing certain body parts, rather than those issues which affect people’s lives in the Middle East, “It says that some insults and offenses [against Arabs and Muslims] are not only permitted, but they are even encouraged in the political calculations of the US.”

How does Huma stand by this aspect of her man? His infidelity, and overall behaviour, if I were she, would be simply icing on the cake. Now, it could be that Ms Abedin does not feel she is the same kind of Muslim as those Weiner and peers would deem terrorists. But, no matter, she was raised Muslim after all. How can it not bother her? But I suppose if she can stand by a man who justified the systemic house to house rocket attacks on innocent civilians in Gaza by Israel to congress, why then could she not stand by him on this? His lewdness is problematic as it is, but how can Abedin handle his anti-Palestinian position? I find it baffling and let me tell you, though I feel her embarrassment, I am disappointed in her. She has achieved a pole position and is, it appears, simply a yes girl. Of course she is one the most popular members of the Democratic Party. She is a good Muslim. Quiet, diffident and pretty. No threats here. She is palatable, and therefore, now being deified because her husband behaved badly. I would wager that she does not have as much power as people think, because if she does, that means she, a Muslim is espousing policies and positions that are designed to undermine, jeopardise and even kill Arab men, women and children and look to strip all Palestinians of their right to live in peace, and on their land. It appears she has to stand by him, until his humiliation can no longer be supported because then it undercuts her own political aspirations. And trust me folks, she has plenty. If the above premise is true, Abedin is a classic political creature who will parlay this scandal in her favour. Some have already suggested she take over her husband’s seat. I do not think having her in congress will make an iota of difference to anyone languishing in Gaza. I do not think Abedin is the great Muslim American hope.


Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2011/Jun-14/Weiners-ignorance-more-scandalous-than-lewd-photos.ashx#ixzz1PsEmTHpo (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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