I wouldn't hesitate to make the case that Obama is indeed a Muslim on the available evidence. He almost certainly "converted" to Islam early in his life and was raised in Islam (whether or not he was technically converted, and it's hard to make a plausible case that he wasn't). His only claim to not being a Muslim is his membership in a "Christian" church...which church is openly based on "Black Liberation Theology", a movement drawn almost entirely from Islamic Nation and socialist thought with the thinnest gloss possible of biblical terminology.
By the Koranic injunction against judging anyone to be an infidel so long as they give an Islamic greeting and revere the name of Allah, Obama definitely qualifies as a fellow Muslim.
Whereas by the common Christian test of expressing a definite faith in the unique redemptive power and divinity of Christ and His teachings, Obama totally fails to qualify as a Christian.
With all of that being said, it really wouldn't bother me that he's far more Muslim than Christian if he were just honest about it. I don't regard Islam as being any more false than Shinto...and frankly I think it would be kinda awesome to have a Shintoist for President of the United States.
Of course, Shintoism, because of its hyper-polytheism, is naturally tolerant of other religions, while Islam is rather less so. But the Presidency doesn't have a religious test, and it really shouldn't need one. As long as the guy means it when he swears to uphold the Constitution, I don't care if he privately would rather this or that be different.
But when he has so little personal honor that he feels the need to rely on bald-faced lies about his religious beliefs to get into power, and then aggressively oversteps every Constitutional limitation on his office in the active pursuit of abolishing the role of the Constitution as the foundation of American law...well I find it hard to believe that he's taking that oath of office very seriously.
Man...now I really wish there would have been a Shintoist running for President. That would have been so awesome.
Well, I'm just trying to give the poor b*stard the benefit of the doubt. Lord knows he needs it about now, and things most assuredly will not get any better for him.
That Hussein is sympathetic towards Islam, and that he has ties to Islam has always been enough (though hardly the only factor) to disqalify him from the presidency as far as I'm concerned, and in spite of what Colin Powell believes to be authentic Americanism. And speaking of Colin Powell, why is it that every time I think of him lately I begin to be filled with righteous indignation?
I've always believed that totalitarianism, not Islam, was the real danger to liberty. Of course, Islam is clearly a totalitarian philosophy as much or more than a serious religion.
Clarification, by religion I mean a path towards God (or gods, in the case of Shintoism). Many people do use the teachings of Islam as a way towards the divine. But I sense that more use it as a justification for unlimited rule.
Of course, most Muslims use it for neither. Sadly, many people are too busy with "life" to examine it and, happily, many aren't really interested in devoting themselves to oppressing others beyond what's personally convenient.
But while Islam is clearly totalitarian, it isn't the philosophy that most endangers Western Civilization. Fascism, then Communism, both far more significant threats, have been cast on the dust-bin of history (only kooks dig them out and dust them off anymore). Islam would inevitably suffer the same fate if it weren't for the resurgence of Progressivism.
Progressivism is different from other totalitarian philosophies. See, the other philosophies were exclusionary and competed with each other, often fiercely. But Progressivism has always been friendly to every identifiably totalitarian philosophy. That is because those other philosophies viewed totalitarianism as a means to some end.
Progressives understand, whether implicitly or explicitly, that totalitarianism is the end. Communism, Fascism, and Islam all hate and fight each other and Progressivism, but Progressivism loves and fosters each of them in return.
Because Progressives understand the great secret of totalitarianism, revealed by the ancient question, who shall watch the watchmen? Once you get into power, the theory that justifies your power doesn't matter. Nobody is in a position to question, or even know, your actions. You can do whatever you want at that point.
I agree with everything chiu_chunling said. Just let me relativize this detail:
"But when he has so little personal honor that he feels the need to rely on bald-faced lies about his religious beliefs to get into power, and then aggressively oversteps every Constitutional limitation on his office in the active pursuit of abolishing the role of the Constitution as the foundation of American law...well I find it hard to believe that he's taking that oath of office very seriously."
I don't think that "personal honour" is something a Muslim cares much about or even understands. Obama is clearly well-versed in taqqiya. The much-hailed Europe trip has frightened the living daylight out of me and I am not easily frightened. That man is clearly aiming to drive your country up against the wall to the fervent acclaim of the world. I hope I am wrong.
Terry & all, I have reservations about questioning anyone's claim to Christianity. That said, I couldn't help noticing, however, that in the early days of his campaign, Mr. Obama's conversion to Christianity was couched solely in terms of it's advantage to him as a community organizer, in that it gave him access to the Christian networks of volunteers to help his cause(s). Also, I'm sure that most Muslims would find my comment about converting them all to be more offensive than Anonymous' statement. Good! Perhaps it would cause some of them to think about their current faith and perhaps come to the conclusion that they must resolve the inherent logic flaws in their view that Jesus Christ was only a prophet.
Editrix, You said "I don't think that "personal honour" is something a Muslim cares much about or even understands." Why do you think that? I'm just curious.
"Taqiya", the practice of denying that one is a Muslim when confronted with possible persecution, is one of the pragmatic tenants of Islam. The term is Arabic for "prudence".
That Islam teaches such doctrines, along with convenient betrayal of treaties and agreements with infidels, tends to create two standards of honor which are distinct and contradictory. It may become a Muslim's religious duty to do things that are abhorrent to ordinary personal honor. For instance, telling a bald-faced lie about one's beliefs to gain the trust of an infidel, then betraying that infidel to death. That makes having personal honor very difficult for Muslims who take Islam seriously as an ethical system.
America, by the way, is overwhelmingly non-Muslim...you can draw your own conclusions about what that implies even if it weren't for all the Muslims constantly chanting "Death to America" and calling us "the Great Satan".
I would be more concerned about that aspect of Islam if I sensed that Obama had any personal honor to sacrifice to his Islamic faith. But he clearly doesn't. To quote Darth Vader, "There is no conflict."
Judging from his statements, Obama is a Christian only in the sense that every Muslim is also a Christian. He believes that Jesus Christ was a good man who taught many moral truths. Such is an official tenant of Islam, found right in the Koran.
I've defended Hussein Obama against accusations of his being a covert Muslim. My only basis for defending him in this way has been his word. Since I believe in freedom of conscience, the fact that he was raised a Muslim during his formidable years does not mean to me that he is necessarily a Muslim anymore than my being raised a Oneness Pentecostal during my formidable years means I am one now. Yes, I am an apostate from that branch of the faith which seems to doom me eternally in the eyes of some. (Happily none of them think I should have my head cut off as a just reward for my apostasy. Perhaps that's because there's nothing in the book of Acts requiring such a return on my deeds? Hmm.)
But I have to say that taken as a whole Hussein Obama's actions speak louder than his words. The recent obeisance he paid to the king of Saudi Arabia (right in front of God and everybody!) is very troubling indeed. As I said in another post above, his intimate connections to Mohammed's religion have always been enough in and of themselves to disqualify him from the presidency in my view. Everything else aside, I could never have voted for him on that basis alone ... not for dog catcher, much less POTUS.
Irrespective of that, I'll not be defending Hussein Obama against these accusations again. If it walks like a duck and all that, it probably is one.
"Editrix, You said "I don't think that "personal honour" is something a Muslim cares much about or even understands." Why do you think that? I'm just curious."
Mom, isn't "personal honour" a thoroughly Western thing? Our personal honour is not the loudmouthed, cocky 'honour' Muslims are claiming. Islam, like any totalitarian world view, doesn't know the individual, just string puppets to further the cause of Islam. Can we compare our understanding of honour with one that asks for the killing of erring daughters and sisters?
Honour is the outward expression of what we call our conscience. It is defined as the moral sense of right and wrong. It was born at Mount Sinai with Moses as birth attendant. The Decalogue pretty much still covers everything we need to know about ethics and morality. Is this, our, personal honour comparable to the honour of killing for Allah?
Not to speak of Buddhism which snares mankind in reincarnations in a world of suffering or Hinduism where they are trapped in reincarnation due to ignorance and karma, whether one sees those belief systems as another expression of totalitarianism or some sort of perverted individualism with its concept of individualistic salvation.
As an aside: I believe that the modern attraction those alien belief systems hold for many Christians is a symptom not of a failure of Christianity but of the inconvenient burden of conscience with which we Westerners are, depending of one's personal view, lumbered or blessed.
Here is a statement by chiu_chunling with which I clearly disagree:
"But while Islam is clearly totalitarian, it isn't the philosophy that most endangers Western Civilization. Fascism, then Communism, both far more significant threats, have been cast on the dust-bin of history (only kooks dig them out and dust them off anymore). Islam would inevitably suffer the same fate if it weren't for the resurgence of Progressivism."
That is wishful thinking. Both, fascism and Communism, are ideologies based on Western concepts, one being a perverted idea of social justice, the other a similarly perverted concept of traditional national identity and values. Islam is something entirely different. Islam has conquered already a considerable part of the world, a part that never had any defense mechanisms. Peversely, as long as the Cold War lasted and Western (and Eastern) defense mechanisms were up, there was no room for too obvious Islamic expansionism. Now, where we are all supposed to get along with each other (but don't), Islam's hour has come. Don't you see what is happening in Turkey, the once stalwart of secular values? It has been re-conquered by Islam already. Islam was once stopped at the Gates of Vienna, at Tours and Poitiers, at Roncesvalles. Muslims have never forgotten that. Every spot where Muslims once trod is Muslim ground forever. What about the re-Islamisation of the once pretty well assimilated Turks in Germany? Yesterday, I listened to the discussion on the wireless about the re-introduction of religious instruction in Berlin schools. Although it wasn't about Islam at all, they had invited a Muslima (but not a Jew), a highly articulate young woman with a Turkish name and without any foreign accent, who dominated the entire discussion and the entire discussion became one about Islam with the representatives of the Christian denominations totally in the defensive. They are creeping in our heads now, so we will hardly notice or mind anymore once they have conquered us physically.
Sorry to rain on all the righteous conservatives', eager to point out the similarities between the current and the last president, parade: The partly helpless, partly opportunist, politically correct bull Bush talked about Islam has nothing, but NOTHING, to do with Obama's active promotion of it. If I say that every spot where Muslims once trod is Muslim ground forever that applies to Obama's mind and soul as well.
I agree. Personal honor in the Western/American sense, and personal honor in the Arabic/Muslim sense are two different, even opposing concepts.
I'm mindful here of George Washington's admonitions (which I'm going to quote from memory since I'm too lazy to look it up right now):
"Where is the security for life, for liberty, for property when the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the objects of investigation in the courts of justice?"
That statement emanates from a Western worldview and applies particularly to those who possess a Western worldview. It does not apply to Muslims in the same sense that it applies to Westerners, and I suspect that George Washington was very aware of this.
This is also the reason that wherever we find Muslims in significant numbers they ultimately begin to make demands on the host society for the establishment of sharia courts where they can adhere to the dictates of Muslim style personal honor.
I feel to point out a fact about the origins of Islam which, whether you regard it as praise of Mohammed or not, is important to understanding the "Muslim problem."
The Arabs living in the area where Islam was initially founded had not achieved civilization before Mohammed. They were living in between patriarchal tribalism and barbarism. There was no ethical system in place that encouraged principles of fair dealing with strangers, meaning anyone that a man hadn't known pretty much from childhood.
Islam represented a giant leap in ethical development, taking the Arabs from the clan system to the ethical level capable of forming an empire within a single generation. All the other great moral teachers to whom we typically are encouraged to compare Mohammed built on an existing foundation of civilized ethical principles. His achievement is actually quite singular, possibly unparalleled.
That said, Islam hasn't come very far since. In point of fact, all the available historical evidence indicates some pretty severe backsliding. Between the inculcation of terrorist values in the youth and the long-standing divisions over authority and validity in Islam, many Muslims today are no better (from an ethical perspective) than their pre-Islamic forebears.
It is necessary to understand this because we sometimes are tempted to judge Muslims by civilized standards of ethical behavior, which is just not workable. Forget questions of fairness, aside from the tiny minority of Muslims raised in civilized society who later converted to Islam, Muslims just haven't been raised with any of the concepts we associate with civilization.
Watch any of these Islamic children's shows for a few minutes and you can see it in action. It's like episodes of Sesame Street written by cave-men. Or, more accurately, tribal desert nomads with almost no pre-existing ethical concepts.
As much as this horrifies the modern sensibility, it helps explain why Muslims are such piss-poor soldiers. Israel won every battle they fought with the Muslim nations before we started bribing them to ease up. It wasn't because the Israelis have some magical Jewish indestructibility (though they are pretty tough compared to a lot of other folks). It's because the individual Muslim soldier is, when push comes to shove, willing to sacrifice others for his own self-interest.
The reliance on suicide bombers is actually an example of this. The talent which makes the bombs is entirely separate from the poor fools brainwashed or blackmailed into carrying out the bombing. The Muslim nations inculcate in their population from the time that they are little children the idea that the most certain path to heaven is "martyrdom". They feed sexually repressed youth on fantasies of unlimited gratification if they'll accept one of these missions. And even at that, they can't get enough volunteers, so often they resort to taking families hostage in order to coerce someone into doing the job.
But the central point of using suicide bombers is that you know that your fighters will typically run away the moment things get scary, so you arrange for them to blow up before that happens.
This is why Islam has no hope of victory over civilization...except insofar as civilization falls to a more powerful and insidious enemy.
Progressives are not pre-civilization, but post-civilization. They have no ethics, not because they have never been taught them, but because they consciously disdain them as being personally disadvantageous. They understand our society, and have patiently worked for more than a century now to bring it under their control.
They plan to co-opt Islam just as they co-opted Fascism and Communism, simply seducing the leadership to abandon their nominal goals while deceiving their followers by abusing their unlimited power. The modern environmental movement is yet another victim of Progressives, who sell the rank and file on scientifically unsound models of climate as a means of justifying their totalitarian control.
Islam probably wouldn't even be a serious enemy of the West if it weren't for progressives selling them on the hierarchy that separates the suicide bombers from the leaders. The difference between the way in which the American advisers cultivated Afghan resistance to the Soviet Union and the way that Soviet advisers cultivated Arab resistance to America is very telling. The Americans taught Muslims to be better soldiers, the Soviets taught the leaders to make ever more callous use of their followers.
The Northern Alliance, former resistance fighters against the Soviets who had resisted Taliban rule for decades, were an alliance because they were formed of disparate ethnic minorities without a unifying ideology other than resistance to the Taliban. And yet, despite being outnumbered, out-gunned, and out-supplied for decades since the end of the proxy war against the Soviets, they held onto a significant patch of the country and were still there when the Americans returned.
They weren't happy about being abandoned before, but they didn't turn on us either, despite being Muslims. They still don't have the capability of fighting a Taliban supplied and sheltered by Pakistan (with the support of oil-rich Arab nations), but if we left today they'd pull back to what they could defend on their own and hold that without our help. It wouldn't make them happy, but they'd do it.
They are what Islam might be, if not for the hand of global progressives guiding Muslim nations for the last fifty or sixty years (ever since it became clear that the Middle East would be important).
And where do progressives come from? They used to be concentrated in Germany, before their influence completely destroyed that country twice. For the last half century they've been heavily concentrated in the United States, particularly in your educational and media institutions. There they use their influence to teach the world to hate America and America to hate itself.
Islam is an enemy of America, but not because of anything intrinsic to the Muslim faith. It is true that Islam does not provide the moral valuation of conscience which is implicit in Christian teachings, but Islamic nations and empires have practiced a degree of practical religious tolerance in the past. We need not, and should not, defeat Islam.
"Islam probably wouldn't even be a serious enemy of the West if it weren't for progressives selling them on the hierarchy that separates the suicide bombers from the leaders.
Islam is an enemy of America, but not because of anything intrinsic to the Muslim faith. It is true that Islam does not provide the moral valuation of conscience which is implicit in Christian teachings, but Islamic nations and empires have practiced a degree of practical religious tolerance in the past. We need not, and should not, defeat Islam."
That is a naive and potentially suicidal (and very American) misconception. It wasn't "progressives" who jammed the airliners into the WTC on 9/11 and it would have happened even if America'd have taken the toughest of stands against Islam. Maybe even earlier. Muslims hate the West for what it IS (progressives included) and they have been a threat to the West before "progressives" were invented (or America was discovered, for that). I mentioned Tours and Poitiers in a previous comment. 732, that was. Only 100 years after Muhammad's death and 765 years before the first Christian set foot on American mainland. And it took even longer for the first "progressives" to appear. And you SERIOUSLY believe that a few pissy "progressives" are responsible for the condition in which we find us in the West? That the power and the violence that made Islam conquer much of the then known world literally only years after its invention by the epileptic, child molesting thief Muhammad is NOT inherent to this totalitarian death cult, but the fault of "progressives"? What "progressives"? The only culture that was able to withstand Islam over the centuries was the West, based on the progressive teachings of a man from Nazareth.
And I am stunned that somebody who is obviously critical of Islam should fall for the tolerance myth. (One of those progressive inventions, by the way!) There is plenty of serious information around dispelling that myth. Have you ever taken the trouble to read the Koran or, if you can't read Arabic, a reliable translation? They are there. Everything Muslims do (but EVERYTHING!) is written in that book. Of the long list of literature, I recommend to read Andrew Bostom first because he seems to possess the most realistic point of view of all the many who have covered that topic.
John Derbyshire (who is, by the way and tellingly, not born American) wrote on September 13, 2001: "A common word for Europeans in the Arabic language is feringji, from "Frank," i.e. crusader. Arabs don't hate us because we support Israel. They hate us because we humiliated them, showed up the gross inferiority of their culture. To them, and similarly humiliated peoples, we are the other, detested and feared in a way we can barely understand. Things got really bad in the 19th century. When European society achieved industrial lift-off, Europeans were suddenly buzzing all over the world like a swarm of bees. They encountered these other cultures, that had been vegetating in a quiet conviction of their own superiority for centuries (or in the case of the Chinese, millennia). When these encounters occurred, the encountered culture collapsed in a cloud of dust. Some of them, like the Turks, managed to reconstitute themselves as more or less modern nations; others, like the Arabs and the Chinese, are still struggling with the trauma of that encounter. . .
The 1991 Gulf War showed how little has changed since those first encounters. Here were the armies of the West: swift, deadly, efficient, equipped and organized, under the command of elected civilians at the head of a robust and elaborate constitutional structure. And here were the Arabs: a shambling, ill-nourished, shoeless rabble, led by a mad gangster-despot. (That was their Arabs. There were also, of course, our Arabs — the Kuwaitis and Saudis, cowering in their plush-lined air-conditioned bunkers being waited on by their Filipino servants while we did their fighting for them.) Final body counts: the West, 134 dead, the Arabs, 20,000 or more. The superiority of one culture over another has not been so starkly demonstrated since a handful of British wooden ships, at the end of ten-thousand-mile lines of communications, brought the Celestial Empire to its knees 150 years earlier. The Chinese are still mad about that: They are still making angry, bitter movies about the Opium Wars. A hundred and 50 years from now, the Arabs will not have forgotten the Gulf War."
Derbyshire makes the mistake to equal Islam with other backward ideologies, but otherwise his analysis is sound, or at least it was when he wrote it. In the 7 1/2 years since John Derbyshire wrote that, Turkey has been already re-conquered by Islam. The fault of "progressives"?
No doubt, the current liberal political correctness weakens the defenses of the West, as does the stance of those on the right who think that the Muslims will at least free the world from the Jews. But did they cause the inherent violence of Islam? It's inbuilt zeal to conquer and rule the world? It's cruelty and ruthlessness?
For heaven's sake, if I have ever seen somebody barking up the wrong tree it is here and now. I visit Webster's because I admire America and her best ideals, which are so beautifully explained here, but sometimes your Americanocentric views makes me sick. I wish you'd have to live, like we have, 2500, and not (from the geographical center) 7500 miles from Mecca with Islam rubbed in our faces every day. I guess the frightening radical re-Islamization of the relatively well-adjusted Turks in Germany was the fault of "progressives" as well and not of the inherent power-hunger of Islam.