Like everyone else on the planet, I was musing recently on Barack Obama’s name, in particular his middle name Hussein, which I guess he has the taste to not include in the full name he uses — at least for now. I, for one — like many Americans, who are decent to a fault — would have disavowed that name decades ago, so that anyone who discovers that I once had the name “Hussein” would also learn that I officially changed it by the age of 18.
But this isn’t the era of decency. Quite the opposite. Which, I guess, is why there’s a local doctor named Osama somebody who still gets business and advertises his name on a marquis without shame. Should an innocent medical healer practicing in America have to change his name when he personally has nothing to be ashamed of and had nothing to do with the man whose name is the icon of the current battle against civilization? Of course not. But I would. Then again, I’m American, so my sense of decency is stronger than my sense of defiance. I also know of a guy whose last name is Hittler, and I’m pretty sure I’d change that too.
When encountering such names, rather than react to them as if they were any sort of affront, we’re supposed to just shrug and embrace the diversity and act as if we’re not bothered by it, least of all have any expectation that someone would change their name over such a little thing as global jihad.
But until they do change their names, it also shouldn’t bother anyone that a lot of them miss their flights because their names appear on the no-fly list.
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