Recently, Barack Hussein Obama packed up his teleprompter for a One-Worlder roadshow. One item on Obama`s to-do list: to eradicate 1400 years of mistrust between Islam and the West by using his unique charm.
And though he did mention "America" many times during his much-hyped Cairo speech, the event seemed more like a stage for Obama as the universal leader. All hail!
(You can watch the "New Beginning" speech at the White House website as well as read the transcript. The White House site also includes a syrupy video of Muslims residing America giving heartfelt testimony about how welcoming this country is to their tribe.)
As an experienced speaker often does with a tough room, Obama tap-danced skilfully, switching between sweet and sour, peppering a few unpleasantries with Islamic references to please the Cairo audience and Muslims beyond. The President even used the traditional Islamic greeting to begin his address: "Assalaamu alaykum."
Obama`s speech not the absolute worst on the pander scale. But there were a number of concerning details. For starters, the word "terrorist" was notably absent.
The most cringe-causing line:
"I also know that Islam has always been a part of America`s story...And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers—Thomas Jefferson—kept in his personal library. [Applause.]"
(Obama also told a French interviewer earlier in the week that the United States is "one of the largest Muslim countries" , an oddly silly remark when the actual numbers are considered.)
Is this an effort on the President`s part to rewrite history and make America into another outpost of the worldwide caliphate?
More important than President Thomas Jefferson`s possession of a Koran in his large personal library: he sent the American Navy to fight Islam in the military action against the Barbary Pirates, based in Tripoli.
It was America`s first anti-terror campaign, launched to end the kidnapping and slavery of Christians and others by Muslim pirates who believed the Koran approved their subjugation of infidels. More than a million Europeans were enslaved in Islamic North Africa between 1530 and 1780.
So yes, Islam showed up early in American history—but not in the cheerful way Obama portrayed.
Obama apparently doesn`t realize that there is a strain of Muslim supremacism that believes everything of value springs from Islam. Thus Shakespeare has been proclaimed to be Muslim, and a navigator on Columbus` voyage was likewise identified as a son of Allah by our own State Department. (Whose side are they on, over at Foggy Bottom?!)
Under this loopy view, we infidels are lost little sheep who don`t understand we are already Allah`s property and just need to be re-educated. Loose talk by the American President to aggrandize himself in this manner has potentially very dangerous consequences, because it adds fuel to the fable that America is Islamic territory to be reclaimed.
In addition, Obama`s discussion of women`s rights was plain awful.
"Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one`s religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That`s why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it. [Applause].
"...The sixth issue—the sixth issue that I want to address is women`s rights. [Applause]. I know –- I know—and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. [Applause.] And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous."
What a reprehensible twisting of the issue. Americans don`t regard hijab-wearing females as less equal, just foolish and portending an evil, less egalitarian future as Islam spreads. Muslim societies hold women down, through law and custom. Women are property in dar al Islam, cannot drive or move about at all in Saudi Arabia without a male relative. A woman receives half of what a man gets in inheritance; a woman`s testimony in court is worth half that of a male. A Muslim man can have up to four wives, but a woman can only have one husband and she must obey him. Muslim immigrants to the U.S. have brought misogynous crimes like honor killing and polygamy.
The oppression of women is a major fault of Islam, a fundamental injustice that negatively affects the lives of millions. Yet Obama believed he could create some mythical middle ground of understanding with a few clever sentences.
Another policy ploy was almost funny in its ignorance: Obama generously pledged "a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio." He must have missed the 2007 Pakistani fatwa against polio vaccine.
(Medical do-goodery has become a popular pursuit for peripatetic Presidents. In 2008 Bush spent $48 billion in taxpayer funds to fight AIDS in Africa, at a time when millions of Americans citizens had no health coverage at all. The ever-generous Obama will be sure to top that amount to show his superior love for Muslims.)
A subtext of the tour has been the further self-outing of BHO`s Muslim family history. During the Presidential campaign, anyone who mentioned that Barack Obama had learned Islam in school as a boy when he lived in Indonesia with a Muslim stepfather was denounced as a really mean person—or worse. But now Obama is cool with people knowing his whole diverse background, because he is President and not leaving anytime soon.
The first hint of rebranding was Obama`s insistence that he take the oath of office using his full name—after supporters had condemned the opposition`s use of his middle name, Hussein (a Muslim name meaning "son of") as racist demagoguery. There was even a special Obama campaign website, Fight the Smears: The Truth about Barack`s Faith, which carefully did not deny that Obama practiced Islam for several years during the time in Indonesia.
And because Muslims believe religion is handed down from the father, many see Obama as one of their own.
In the speech, he slickly defined himself in this way...
"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."
Indeed! The Obama Muslim roots run deep. His Kenyan grandmother, earlier been portrayed as a Christian by the press, recently announced she would be making the hajj to Mecca this year, a duty required of all Muslims at least once in their lives.
Maybe it doesn`t matter whether BHO has taken the pledge to Allah. But it does matter that he often acts as if he is on the side of Muslims rather than Americans. One recent example: the administration`s tardy and distinctly cool condemnation of the recent murder in Arkansas of a U.S. soldier by a Muslim convert.
Just as the President sees himself as a citizen of the world, his cosmopolitan philosophy apparently seeps into his religion and blends into a squishy hybrid.
The speech was not a complete pander-fest. Yet another laundry list of apologies was not going to fly at home, so the anti-America putdowns were subtle. But the idea of "partnering" appears to loom large in the Obama solution to the culture clash—that if we just get to know each other better, the problems will melt away. Kumbaya!
Obama didn`t say America should accept more Muslim immigrants exactly—he may understand the "I" word is poison—but he did open the door wider to another variety of entrance.
"On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America. [Applause.] At the same time, we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in online learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo."
Right—as if lots of young Americans would love to spend a year of study abroad in stimulating Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
As it happens, President George W. Bush was a famous pal of Saudi royalty, and he doubled student visas from Saudi Arabia—after 9/11!—leading to some 15,000 students from that Muslim country attending college here during 2008.
If Democrats are successful in ramming through a massive amnesty against the will of the American people, there is likely to be a provision tucked in for more Muslims to be admitted somehow.
Will Obama pursue policies to make the United States the shining mosque on a hill, where Muslims are welcome and treated as a special protected class? Very possibly. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement June 4 [Department of Justice`s Outreach and Enforcement Efforts to Protect American Muslims]:
"The President`s pledge for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim community takes root here in the Justice Department where we are committed to using criminal and civil rights laws to protect Muslim Americans. A top priority of this Justice Department is a return to robust civil rights enforcement and outreach in defending religious freedoms and other fundamental rights of all of our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the housing market, in our schools and in the voting booth.
"There are those who will continue to want to divide by fear—to pit our national security against our civil liberties—but that is a false choice. We have a solemn responsibility to protect our people while we also protect our principles."
That may just sound like diversity do-goodery. But what about protecting the American people from the continuing attacks and attempts at mayhem from jihadists?
The dinosaur Main Stream Media has done little reporting of the numerous Islamic assaults when they occur out in the country, away from Washington and New York. But even with a dearth of honest reporting about Muslim violence here and abroad, the American people are cautious at best regarding Islam and its political consequences, as indicated by a CNN poll published June 2: (Poll: Americans wary of Muslim world). It found that only about 20 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Muslim countries, while 46 percent have an unfavorable view.
That unfavorable number is up five percentage points from 2002—soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Perhaps the daily drumbeat of murders and mass terrorism committed by Muslims has made calling Islam the "Religion of Peace" seem like a really bad joke.
Muslims residing in America, however, appeared to be quite pleased with the Cairo speech.
"In Los Angeles, Salam Al-Marayati beamed as he watched President Obama enumerate Muslim contributions to civilization and the United States
" `...I came away feeling confident that this president does take seriously his role in opposing stereotypes of Islam,` said Al-Marayati, head of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, who rose at 3 a.m. to watch the speech on television in his living room. `He will be a major source for all of us as one who debunks the myths about Islam and Muslims to the American public.` [Obama`s speech inspires Muslims in Los Angeles & around U.S., LA Times Blog, June 4, 2009]
Nice to know that being an Islam myth debunker is another important Presidential duty.
Feelings were similarly positive among Muslims in Ohio.
"Mahdi Taakilo, a Somalia immigrant in Columbus, marveled Thursday at the sight of Obama standing in Cairo giving a speech laced with quotes from the Quran.
"He says there`s nothing the president could have done to top the kind of message he sent to the Muslim world." [A deep respect`: Ohio Muslims praise Obama, Mansfield News Journal, June 4, 2009]
Were Americans alarmed to see their President touting pro-Islam propaganda—and not standing up for the United States while abroad?
At this writing, there are no polls available, and foreign trips may not register strongly in a domestic economy where one-third of a million Americans losing their jobs in May is hailed as good news by the MSM.
However, a Rasmussen poll published June 3, before the Cairo speech, found only 28 percent of Americans foresaw a better relationship between the Muslim world and the United States in a year`s time. Twenty-one percent thought the relationship would be worse, while 45 percent believe it will be about the same.
It`s a given that Obama will continue to pander to Muslims. When he addressed the Turkish Parliament, he proclaimed: "So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam."
Too bad, since Islam is at war with us.
Increasingly, the President reveals that he is unwilling to protect the American people from a sworn enemy. Philosophically, he is a multicultural one-worlder who cares little for American sovereignty and society, with a soft spot for the left-friendly totalitarianism of Islam.
This is surely not the kind of change that most Americans want. But it`s what they`ve got—for now.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She believes that the optimum number of Muslim immigrants (and every other kind) is zero.