–By Daniel Greenfield CFP
Obama himself created the problem, by being vague and misleading, Muslim, Christian, Ground Zero
The media is all worked up over a poll that shows the majority of Americans don’t think Obama is a Christians and nearly a 1/4 of Americans think that Obama is a Muslim. Naturally the “mainstream” conservative blogs are embarrassed by these results. Politico is calling it a new Birtherism. Left unasked is the question of why people might think that.
There’s Obama own statements on the topic in which he emphasized his family connections to Islam. This is what he said in Turkey;
Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country – I know, because I am one of them.
This is what he said later in Cairo
“Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk.”
This time Obama included the mention that he is a Christian, but his emphasis was still on Islam.
There was Obama saying in an interview that he had a basically Muslim childhood…
“I was a little Jakarta street kid,” he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office. He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics—and more likely to be aware of their nationalism—if he once studied the Koran with them.
Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
There Obama was also documented as attending a mosque and his religion was listed as Islam.
In short, Obama’s family on his father’s side is Muslim. He grew up with a Muslim stepfather in a Muslim country. Then he went to Trinity Church and found a mentor there in the form of Jeremiah Wright. Wright was a former Black Muslim, his sermons still sound more Muslim than Christian, with their rantings about America, and obvious bigotry. Obama’s church was Muslim influenced, which may have attracted him to it and to Wright.
Take all this together, and it’s not too surprising why some people would have the perception that Obama is Muslim, in part or in whole.
The media would like to pretend that this is a smear and bigoted. Some of the “mainstream” conservative blogs would like to pretend it’s stupid and contemptible. But Obama himself created the problem, by being vague and misleading. When speaking to Americans, he emphasized his Christianity. When speaking to Muslims, he emphasized Islam. Both sets of audiences could be forgiven for thinking that Obama was feeding them an identity that they would find more compatible.
Obama tried to use his Muslim background to bolster his foreign policy credibility to the likes of Kristoff. But as it turned out, he’s actually quite bad at the foreign policy thing, and his invocation of a Muslim background only came back to bite him in the ###. When the man himself variously emphasized and deemphasized his Muslim ties when politically convenient, it’s not surprising that he has spawned some confusion in that regard.
Then there’s Obama’s own middle name, Hussein, which generally references Hussein Ibn Ali, Mohammed’s grandson and a revered figure within Islam. Obama was given that name supposedly in honor of his own Muslim grandfather.
With all this litany of available material, it’s not too surprising that many people think that Obama might be a Muslim. Or aren’t sure what he is.
~Snippets (long article)…
* By labeling the perception that Obama is a Muslim, a “smear”, the media is implicitly suggesting that to be thought a Muslim is a bad thing. Yet isn’t that exactly the kind of bigotry, the press takes great care to condemn?
If Obama being a Muslim is as value neutral as him liking Chinese food, then why get all hysterical over the perception? A perception that Obama himself has fed by repeatedly mentioning his ties to Islam. When some thought that Goldwater was Jewish, the media did not launch into a crazed frenzy of accusations about bigotry. Goldwater himself simply stated that he was not Jewish. His campaign did not label such claims, a smear. Nor did Goldwater feel the need to assure everyone that he prays in a church every day.
* For example the media insists that using Obama’s middle name is an act of bigotry. Obama doesn’t use it himself and dropped it. Yet when Obama gives a speech in a Muslim country, he uses Hussein. This sends a completely schizophrenic message, that his middle name is a bad thing in America, but a good one in the Muslim world.
It’s no wonder that this kind of thing causes people to wonder just who and what Obama really is. Because if Obama himself seems a tad ambiguous on the subject, what conclusions can the public be expected to draw?
Finally as to the question of is Obama a Muslim? In Muslim eyes he might well be, since he recited the Shahada and still remembers it by heart. That declaration is what it takes to become a Muslim. Under Muslim rule, Jews were convicted of heresy and executed, on the mere accusation by a Muslim that they had recited it.
* The mere supposed utterance of those words that Obama describes as the most beautiful sound on earth, was enough to doom her to a horrible death. Under Islamic law. (This while in the United States, freedom of conscience had long ago been enshrined into law.)
So from a Muslim perspective, Obama is either a Muslim or a heretic. And heresy carries a high price.
* However culturally, Obama is more Muslim than he is Christian. Because religion is also culture. And growing up in a religion, shapes you culturally, not just spiritually. Had Obama grown up a Catholic or a Buddhist, he would undeniably see the world somewhat differently than he does today. I doubt that Obama himself would deny that. Indeed Obama has repeatedly boasted about his cultural exposure. But cultural exposure works both ways.
You do not just look out at a culture, you are also shaped by it. As Obama has been. So while Obama is not a Muslim, he has been influenced culturally by the Muslim world. That is what he tried to bill as an asset. And it is part of why his statements to Americans feel off, and why some Americans question where his allegiance lies. The media can choose to call this bigotry, but had the President of the United States during WW2, been raised in Germany, Japan or Russia—similar questions would have been asked. And such questions are not unreasonable in a time of war.
Obama’s doubletalk and the media’s paranoid reaction of shrieking that everyone is a bigot has done the rest, feeding the perception that there is a cover-up. And that can be laid at the door of Obama and his own media backers.
~Important FYI on the GZ Mosque:
And while the media tries to practice its “art of silencing”, construction workers are saying they will refuse to work on this project.
A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero.
“It’s a very touchy thing because they want to do this on sacred ground,” said Dave Kaiser, 38, a blaster who is working to rebuild the World Trade Center site.
“I wouldn’t work there, especially after I found out about what the imam said about U.S. policy being responsible for 9/11,” Kaiser said.
The grass-roots movement is gaining momentum on the Internet. One construction worker created the “Hard Hat Pledge” on his blog and asked others to vow not to work on the project if it stays on Park Place.
“Thousands of people are signing up from all over the country,” said creator Andy Sullivan, a construction worker from Brooklyn. “People who sell glass, steel, lumber, insurance. They are all refusing to do work if they build there.”
“Hopefully, this will be a tool to get them to move it,” he said. “I got a problem with this ostentatious building looming over Ground Zero.”
MUST finish this read…
Anyone really want this near Ground Zero?