Those Bangladeshi-Americans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

Those Bangladeshi-Americans

I'm writing in support of what was written in The Daily Star recently about the ex-U.S. president George W. Bush with a little caveat. It is true that Bush left the office not only with the lowest approval rating, but also with a lasting damage done to the United States and the world community, in general. Particularly, he has done more damage to the Islamic countries including Bangladesh than any other US president, except, probably, Richard Nixon opposing our liberation war in 1971. Ironically, it is the US Muslim community that brought Bush an arrogant, unintelligent and ignorant individual - to the White House. It is still debated among the American Muslim community that had 537 Florida Muslims including Bangladeshi-Americans, not voted for this mediocre Texan, the US Supreme Court could not have made him the president. After a series of flawed recounts, 537 votes separated Bush from Gore, but we may never know the actual number. Although the Democratic party contender Al Gore won the popular vote in spite of the Muslim rejection, he lost the presidency due to a controversial loss in the electoral college votes resulting from a number of unfavourable and unfortunate events including the 20,000 or so discarded butterfly ballots, the irregularities in counting the votes through entire Florida and, ultimately, the refusal of the five supreme court justices to recount the controversial Florida county votes. In the aftermath of the election, the first independent recount was conducted by The Miami Herald and USA Today. They found that if all votes where the intent of the voter was clear were counted properly, Gore would have won, using any consistent standard for 'clear intent of the voter'. That's a different story.
The main reason that the US Muslims voted for Bush was Al Gore's running mate Joe Libermann being a Jew, although officially many Muslims deny it. The Muslims were motivated more by anger and hatred towards the Jews than reason and historical evidences including the fact that Bill Clinton and Al Gore had almost achieved a treaty between the PLO and Israel. It's not quite clear why the US Muslims voted overwhelmingly for Bush, whose pre-campaign speeches were full of pro-Israeli views. In his Florida pre-campaign speeches, in order to woo Jewish votes, Bush vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the day he is sworn in. He would never let Jerusalem be divided, as he promised wearing a scalp cap at the West wall in Jerusalem during a pre-campaign trip to Israel. He also expressed his disgust for the PLO and vowed never to meet Arafat, a promise he kept to the utter dismay of the Muslim community.
In retrospect, many would agree, particularly the Muslim community, that the world would have been a better place without Bush in the White House and, perhaps, 537 Bangladeshi-American living in Florida could have made the difference if they were not motivated by prejudice and hatred, but by reason.

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