Dream can­di­date

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“Osama bin Laden must be chuck­ling in his safe house,” wrote Shireen Burki in the Chris­tian Science Mon­i­tor May 19.

“The 2008 cam­paign could very well give Al Qaeda the ul­ti­mate pro­pa­ganda tool: Pres­i­dent Barack Hus­sein Obama, Mus­lim apos­tate. The fact that Sen. Obama — son of a Mus­lim fa­ther — in­sists he was never a Mus­lim be­fore be­com­ing Chris­tian is ir­rel­e­vant to bin Laden. In bin Laden’s eyes, Obama is a mur­tad fitri, the worst type of apos­tate, be­cause he was blessed by Al­lah to be born into the true faith of Is­lam.

“Should Obama be­come U.S. com­man­der-in-chief, there is a strong like­li­hood that Al Qaeda’s me­dia arm, As-Sa­hab, will ex­ploit his back­ground to ar­gue that an apos­tate is lead­ing the global war on ter­ror (read: at­tacks against fel­low Mus­lims). This per­cep­tion would be lever­aged to gal­va­nize sym­pa­thiz­ers into ac­tion.

“Al Qaeda, though, has strug­gled re­cently to re­cruit vol­un­teers for this ji­had. While bin Laden re­tains sig­nif­i­cant sup­port as some­one will­ing to stand up for Mus­lim con­cerns, most Mus­lims ab­hor Al Qaeda’s ter­ror­ist meth­ods, whose pri­mary tar­gets are in­no­cent non­com­bat­ants.

“But an apos­tate as head of the United States could change this equa­tion. It would be a pro­pa­ganda boost for Al Qaeda’s mis­sion. All one has to do is read Al Qaeda’s pub­lic state­ments to rec­og­nize how fre­quently it makes base­less apos­tasy ac­cu­sa­tions against fel­low Mus­lims who chal­lenge its mes- sage or ac­tions.

“That’s why Obama is Laden’s dream can­di­date.”

Ms. Burki, in­ci­den­tally, is a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at the Univer­sity of Mary Wash­ing­ton and the daugh­ter of a Mus­lim fa­ther and a Chris­tian mother. She spent her child­hood in Pak­istan.


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