Mus­lim over­tones in a U.S. pres­i­dent’s speech

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Dur­ing his White House years, William Jef­fer­son Clin­ton — some­one Judge So­nia So­tomayor might call a “white male” — was dubbed “Amer­ica’s first black pres­i­dent” by a black ad­mirer. Ap­ply­ing the stan­dard of iden­tity pol­i­tics and pan­der­ing to a spe­cial in­ter­est that earned Mr. Clin­ton that dis­tinc­tion, Barack Hus­sein Obama would have to be con­sid­ered Amer­ica’s first Mus­lim pres­i­dent.

This is not to say, nec­es­sar­ily, that Mr. Obama ac­tu­ally is a Mus­lim any more than Mr. Clin­ton ac­tu­ally is black. Af­ter his five months in of­fice, and most es­pe­cially af­ter his just­con­cluded visit to Saudi Ara­bia and Egypt, how­ever, a stun­ning con­clu­sion seems in­creas­ingly plau­si­ble: The man now happy to have his Is­lamic-rooted mid­dle name fea­tured promi­nently has en­gaged in the most con­se­quen­tial bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Cham­ber­lain over Cze­choslo­vakia at Mu­nich.

What lit­tle we know about Mr. Obama’s youth cer­tainly sug­gests that he not only had a Kenyan fa­ther who was Mus­lim, but spent his early, for­ma­tive years as one in In­done­sia. As the pres­i­dent likes to say, “much has been made” — in this case by him and his cam­paign han­dlers — of the fact that he be­came a Chris­tian as an adult in Chicago, un­der the now-no­to­ri­ous Pas­tor Jeremiah A. Wright.

With Mr. Obama’s un­be­liev­ably bal­ly­hooed ad­dress in Cairo on June 4 to what he calls “the Mus­lim world” (here­after known as “the Speech”), there is mount­ing ev­i­dence that the pres­i­dent not only iden­ti­fies with Mus­lims, but ac­tu­ally may still be one him­self. Con­sider the fol­low­ing in­di­ca­tors:

Mr. Obama re­ferred four times in his speech to “the Holy Ko­ran.” Non-Mus­lims — even pan­der­ing ones — gen­er­ally don’t use that Is­lamic for­mu­la­tion.

Mr. Obama es­tab­lished his first­hand knowl­edge of Is­lam (al­beit without men­tion­ing his re­ported up­bring­ing in the faith) with the state­ment, “I have known Is­lam on three con­ti­nents be­fore com­ing to the re­gion where it was first re­vealed.” Again, “re­vealed” is a de­pic­tion Mus­lims use to re­flect their con­vic­tion that the Ko­ran is the word of God, as dic­tated to Muham­mad.

Then the pres­i­dent made a state­ment no be­liev­ing Chris­tian — cer­tainly not one versed, as he pro­fesses to be, in the ways of Is­lam — would ever make. In the con­text of what he eu­phemisti­cally called the “sit­u­a­tion be­tween Is­raelis, Pales­tini­ans and Arabs,” Mr. Obama said he looked for­ward to the day “[. . .] when Jerusalem is a se­cure and last­ing home for Jews and Chris­tians and Mus­lims, and a place for all of the chil­dren of Abra­ham to min­gle peace­fully to­gether as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Je­sus and Muham­mad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.”

Now, the term “peace be upon them” is in­voked by Mus­lims as a way of bless­ing de­ceased holy men. Ac­cord­ing to Is­lam, that is what all three were — dead prophets. Of course, for Chris­tians, Je­sus is the liv­ing and im­mor­tal Son of God.

In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, it may be be­side the point whether Mr. Obama ac­tu­ally is a Mus­lim. In the Speech and else­where, he has aligned him­self with ad­her­ents to what au­thor­i­ta­tive Is­lam calls Shariah — notably, the danger­ous global move­ment known as the Mus­lim Brother­hood — to a de­gree that makes Mr. Clin­ton’s fa­bled affin­ity for blacks pale by com­par­i­son.

For ex­am­ple, Mr. Obama has — from lit­er­ally his in­au­gu­ral ad­dress on­ward — in­flated the num­bers and, in that way and oth­ers, ex­ag­ger­ated the con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance of Mus­lim-Amer­i­cans in the United States. In the Speech, he used the Brother­hood’s es­ti­mates of “nearly 7 mil­lion Mus­lims” in this coun­try, at least twice the es­ti­mates from other, more rep­utable sources. (Who knows? By the time Mr. Obama’s friends in the rad­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Or­ga­niz­ers for Re­form Now (ACORN) per­pe­trate their trade­mark books-cook­ing as deputy 2010 cen­sus tak­ers, the of­fi­cial count may well claim con­sid­er­ably morethan 7 mil­lion Mus­lims are liv­ing here.)

Even more trou­bling were the com­mit­ments the pres­i­dent made in Cairo to pro­mote Is­lam in Amer­ica. For in­stance, he de­clared: “I con­sider it part of my re­spon­si­bil­ity as pres­i­dent of the United States to fight against neg­a­tive stereotypes of Is­lam wher­ever they ap­pear.” He vowed to en­sure that women can cover their heads, in­clud­ing, pre­sum­ably, when hav­ing their pho­to­graphs taken for pass­ports, driver’s li­censes or other iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pur­poses. He also pledged to en­able Mus­lims to en­gage in zakat, their faith’s re­quire­ment for tithing, even though four of the eight types of char­ity called for by Shariah can be as­so­ci­ated with ter­ror­ism. Not sur­pris­ingly, a num­ber of Is­lamic “char­i­ties” in this coun­try have been con­victed of pro­vid­ing ma­te­rial sup­port for ter­ror­ism.

Par­tic­u­larly wor­ry­ing is the re­align­ment Mr. Obama has an­nounced in U.S. pol­icy to­ward Is­rael. While he pays lip ser­vice to the “un­break­able” bond be­tween Amer­ica and the Jewish state, the pres­i­dent has un­mis­tak­ably sig­naled that he in­tends to com­pel the Is­raelis to make ter­ri­to­rial and other strate­gic con­ces­sions to Pales­tini­ans to achieve the hal­lowed two-state so­lu­tion. In do­ing so, he ig­nores the in­con­ve­nient fact that both the Brother­hood’s Ha­mas and Abu Mazen’s Fatah re­main de­ter­mined to achieve a one-state so­lu­tion, whereby the Jews will be driven “into the sea.”

Whether Mr. Obama ac­tu­ally is a Mus­lim or sim­ply plays one in the pres­i­dency may, in the end, be ir­rel­e­vant. What is alarm­ing is that in align­ing him­self and his poli­cies with those of Shariah-ad­her­ents such as the Mus­lim Brother­hood, the pres­i­dent will greatly in­ten­sify the al­ready enor­mous pres­sure on peace­ful, tol­er­ant Amer­i­can Mus­lims to sub­mit to such forces — and heighten ex­pec­ta­tions, here and abroad, that the rest of us will do so as well.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Se­cu­rity Pol­icy.

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