The first post tells why. It may be too little, but hopefully not too late.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Grandfather was...", Or Obama's faith

Why is so little attention paid to the choice of vice-president? Unless, that is, this is somebody of whom the left entertainment business can make a bogey like it was made of Palin. Why is there only one debate between the VP candidates, when even on the memory of the present generation the VP has become a POTUS twice? Moreover, aren't they supposed to be a team, in consultation with each other? I would suggest then that the debates should be conducted between the candidate POTUS-VP teams, with the same question answered by both in the couple, first by the prospective POTUSes and then by VPs, with the latter then being able to show their ability to contribute and, if needed, to replace the president. To be sure, the inability would also manifest. Perhaps at some point the debate rules will be so changed. No rules, however, need to be changed in order to discuss the president's convictions. Here we go, with no segue.

I don't care what religion anybody professes, if any, as long as that anybody leaves mine alone. One would think that this criterion should leave me indifferent to the issue of Obama's faith and religiosity. Shouldn't Obama's religion, anyway, concern only those firmly assigned to the category of wingnuts, in the company of "birthers", those certified paranoids who keep pointing out that Obama was listed as "born in Kenya" until after the start of his first presidential campaign? Shouldn't Madonna only  be allowed to call him a "black Muslim in the White House" without raising an outcry? Obama himself has emphatically called himself a Christian, attended a church for 20 years, and held a Reverend from that church as a member of his family until he was told he should not anymore (can happen to anybody). That's what he is then, right?

It seems, however, that the hypothesis of Obama's Islam is viewed as offensive by the Democrats and the media not only because of all  the above, but also because it has been considered to be detrimental to his candidacy - despite his handlers' supposed view of Islam as a religion at least equal to Christianity. Sometimes the stridency of insistence on Obama's Christianity is reminiscent of Clinton's "I-did-not-have-sexual-relations-with-that-woman". Even mentioning his second name is considered an affront, as if it were something shameful and "Barack" were not a Muslim name as well. I have been reprimanded by an Obama faithful for using his three initials, as if that was any different from FDR, JFK or LBJ. A progressive colleague of mine prefers "BO" instead, which is, I think, a real insult. Is it Islamophobia among Democrats, including Obama himself? I can't see any other possible reason for these consistent attempts to dissociate Obama from Islam. Be it as it may, apparently, nobody has been ready to celebrate the first Muslim-born President (in Islam, one is a Muslim if born to a Muslim father) - at least, as much as the first "black" president was celebrated (even though Morgan Freeman says Obama is not "black" - and Freeman should know). 

Do I then smell hypocrisy in Obama's declaration that "part of [his] responsibility as President of the United States [is] to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear" - a promise he has made to no other religion? Not to Christianity in Islamic countries, where conversion to it is punished by death, and Christians are persecuted into extinction, as they are in Egypt and in the "Palestinian" territories. Not to Judaism in both the realm of institutionally antisemitic Islam and in some Christian countries where the Jews are still routinely maligned as hell's spawn. Can you imagine Obama traveling to Jerusalem and telling Israelis that it is his responsibility to fight against antisemitism everywhere? It is hard to imagine him traveling to Jerusalem at all,  the city he called the undivided capital of Israel in front of a Jewish audience - just before he took his words back when no longer facing it. Now nobody in his entire administration can find Israel's capital on the map.  

It is this smell of hypocrisy that drives me wingnuts about Obama's beliefs - that and some concrete facts. For instance, if one is to believe Obama's memoirs, a barber once asked him, upon learning his name, “Barack, huh. You a Muslim?”. To which Barack Hussein gave a rather evasive response, "Grandfather was". The question was not about his grandfather, and he did not say "yes" or "no". Or did he? Hardly any curious barber would be satisfied by this response. 

Then the reader of "The Dreams..." learns that the "Muslim faith" was in Obama's mind "linked with the Nation of Islam". Nowhere in the book that has any negative connotation, while "the much-admired success of the Nation of Islam in turning around the lives of drug addicts and criminals" is noted more than once. He "would occasionally pick up the paper from these unfailingly polite men, in part out of sympathy to their heavy suits in the summer, their thin coats in winter; or sometimes because my attention was caught by the sensational, tabloid-style headlines (CAUCASIAN WOMAN ADMITS: WHITES ARE THE DEVIL)" - but that "sensational, tabloid-style" is the extent of his criticism of the fascist movement. I can't imagine how such a headline could catch anyone's attention, unless it evoked interest rather than disgust. It is then not surprising he got no criticism - until forced to have it - for the man "who helped introduce [him] to [his] Christian faith", another fascist. The latter quote suggests that before Wright's "introduction" he had no such faith. Whether that was the case, and whether he was a Muslim or tabula rasa in that regard, I can't know for sure, but I do surmise that Christianity was more promising in his political  "mind" of an aspiring "community organizer" than Islam, his obvious alternative choice.

What kind of Christianity - is a different matter. As it happens, the religion of Rev. Wright, Obama's spiritual father who baptized Obama's children and connected him to the black community, was such as to give Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to Farrakhan  - because, in Wright's view, the antisemitic leader of the Nation of Islam "truly epitomized greatness." The award was a year before Obama's election and his abandonment of the Trinity Church under the campaign's pressure. That award must have been part of what Obama called "the much-admired success" of the Muslim faith. Indeed, in many ways, the odious "Christianity" of Wright and the "Islam" of Farrakhan, the fellow antisemites and racists, are alike. It would be an insult to everybody's intelligence to insist that Obama was unaware of that similarity and the mutual sympathies between Wright and Farrakhan, just as it is unlikely he had not heard anything truly revolting throughout the 20 years of his attendance of Wright's sermons.

One would think, however, that by the election time Obama had found out that the Nation of Islam's Islam was a bit different from historic Islam, however diverse that historic one still is. Perhaps that "link" was weakened, but not Obama's with Islam. When the time came for his foreign affairs, he declared "A New Beginning" for the relations between the US and... not another country, as one would think appropriate in those affairs, but with Islam, supposedly a religion. Now, that makes Islam a polity, doesn't it? His first TV interview was with Al-Arabiya, and in it he addressed "the Muslim world" - an entity that exists only in the minds of those who think that Islam unites countries and separates them from the other countries, a split into the world of Islam and the world of "disbelief", a familiar structure of Dar ul Islam and Dar ul Harb, the realm of Islam and the realm of war. Whereas in fact there is no "world of Islam" among the eternally conflicting "Islamic" countries and groups and tribes within them, Obama's declaration of America's reconciliation with the "Islamic world" creates that world in full accordance with Muslim mythology.

Then, of course, came the much-discussed Cairo speech, in the Al-Azhar University, "a beacon of Islamic learning" as the president, ostensibly knowledgeable of that learning, referred to the place. That's the same place whose Grand Imam, Tantawi, legitimized suicidal terror and wrote a 700-page book on antisemitic Islamic exegesis. His death in 2010 was lamented by Obama, as spoken of in his spokesman Gibbs's statement. It is this murderous source of "Islamic learning" who "graciously hosted President Obama last June in Cairo". Sure, Obama did admonish somebody anonymous in that Cairo speech that "Threatening Israel with destruction -- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews [which is done any time when the Jews are mentioned in a mosque] -- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve." Bad memories, you see - as if the "peace process" has not resulted in hundreds of terror murders and is not by itself a war negating peace. 

Then Obama negated that admonishment anyway by equating terror and wars that Israel has been subjected to since before its reestablishment in 1948 with "the pain of dislocation of the Palestinian people" they "have endured" for "more than 60 years", that is, since 1948. No word about how those dislocated came to be dislocated, and what "occupation" he means that he speaks of in the very next sentence. There was no occupation "more than 60 years ago" - unless Obama agrees with the "Palestinian" narrative of "Naqba", whereby it is the very existence of Israel that is the occupation. To Obama, Israelis and Arabs are just "two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive," even though it is only for the "Palestinian people" that the situation is "intolerable" in his view. To Obama, the war waged by Arabs and Islam against Israel is nothing more than finger-pointing - "for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond." In his opinion, to see this conflict from the Israeli side is as wrong as seeing it from the Arab side and means to "be blind to the truth". What is Obama's truth? Simple: forget who the aggressor is and meet the "aspirations of both sides... through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security". Never mind that even in the poisonous internationally doctored prescription for that, "land for peace", Israel's part is "land". Peace is denied by the Arabs, regardless of how much land Israel is willing to give up.

While paying lip service to the need for the "Palestinian Authority" to "develop its capacity to govern" (Abbas's capacity to govern should have expired in January 2009), he demands that "Israelis must acknowledge [Palestine's right to exist] just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's" - as if that "right" of "Palestine" has not been asserted by Israel since Rabin. If Obama thinks that acknowledgment is still lacking, just as the Arabs do, nothing can convince him it's not. It is all the same to him that "privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away" and that "many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state" (obviously, not privately). Aside from the question about how he could penetrate the private thoughts of "many Muslims" - how exactly can one compare the alleged private thoughts and the official position of the Israeli governments? Another question is why those thoughts are still "private" - despite all the Osloism and "peace process". The response is, of course, that those who might have such thoughts run the risk of being murdered by the "many Muslims" if they make those thoughts public. To Obama, it is "continued Israeli settlements... construction" that  "violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace" - not the continued Arab terror, incitement, the official glorification of "martyrs", and the fact that the articles calling for the annihilation of Israel have never been removed from the "Palestinian" ruling Charter, despite the "peace process". Sure, Obama said that "Palestinians must abandon violence", but in the very next sentence he calls it "resistance", exactly what terror is called by Fatah, Hamas, Hizballah and all other terrorists and terrorism supporters. He is concerned that this "resistance" will not succeed "through violence and killing"  - not about that "Palestinians" have no right to that "resistance", moral or otherwise. This is exactly what is expected from the pupil of the antisemites and Israel-haters Rev. Wright, Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said.

Just as he whitewashes terror by calling it "resistance", he whitewashes Islam by using the standard lie that "The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as -- it is as if he has killed all mankind.  (Applause.)  And the Holy Koran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.  (Applause.)" As other disingenuous apologists of Islam, he does not give the complete quote of this Koran 5:32 verse, 
"Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors." 
There is a teaching, but it is Jewish, indeed found in the Talmud. It is referred to as a Jewish belief in the Koran, which is "holy" only to the Muslims. Nowhere is it seen that Islam accepts this belief despite all the applause of the Al-Azhar audience. What sounds much more genuine is another statement of Obama's that caused applause, the one expressing his pride that "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". One wonders why the US government does not yet punish those who interfere with the "right of women and girls" to wear burqa - in fact, it wages a war against people who "protect" that right, in Afghanistan, wasting, as it were, the lives of young Americans.

In the end, it does not matter whether Obama's choice is antisemitic Islam or Wright's racist version of Christianity, the "black liberation theology". Both are terrible. What matters is Obama's position on the concrete issues that is defined by his ideology. This position, in which the perfectly legal building construction is equal to murder, Israel is called to return to the pre-1967 "borders" with no tangible obligation on the part of Arabs, and Jerusalem is no longer Israel's capital. This is the position where America's enemies are to be mollified and promised "more flexibility", while America's friends are to be let into the White House clandestinely, if at all, and maligned behind their backs.  It is of no interest what Obama's grandfather's faith was. His grandson's is no good, whatever its name.

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