Saturday, July 12, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama's Truthfulness and Character

Daniel Pipes who covers Muslim issues writes about the maze that is Obama's religion and beliefs - is he Christian? Is he Muslim? However you want to look at it he certainly was raised in Muslim surroundings and appears to have practiced it as well. However, he continues to deny ever having been a Muslim. This has two major implications as far as potentially becoming our next President: his truthfulness and his character.

"Obama's having been born and raised a Muslim and having left the faith to become a Christian make him neither more nor less qualified to become president of the United States. But if he was born and raised a Muslim and is now hiding that fact, this points to a major deceit, a fundamental misrepresentation about himself that has profound implications about his character and his suitability as president." READ

"All this matters, for if Obama once was a Muslim, he is now what Islamic law calls a murtadd (apostate), an ex-Muslim converted to another religion who must be executed. Were he elected president of the United States, this status, clearly, would have large potential implications for his relationship with the Muslim world." READ


Anonymous said...

There are many reasons to disagree with Obama. This is not one of them.

First, what does it mean to have been "born and raised a Muslim"? Muslims have a standard for this: if your parents were Muslim, you were a Muslim. Why accept Muslim's standards for what counts as accepting a particular belief? To say that you believe something because your parents say you do is patently irrational. If Obama says he was never a Muslim--barring extraordinary evidence of his internal states to the contrary--he is the best judge of that, and we should take him at his word. If he is unwilling to say that he be counted as having a particular belief when he knows he never had it, that is his right.

Second, the fact that other Muslims might irrationally perceive Obama to be an apostate to their faith--because of their irrational standards for who counts as a member of their faith--should in no way be relevant to his election as president. We might just as well never have an atheist president or a capitalist president because large numbers of people in the world find such positions unacceptable. The United States should not kowtow to the irrational standards of primitive desert-dwellers, and that applies especially to its choice of president.

The fact that right-wing pundits are spreading gossip about Obama's alleged "Muslim" childhood (and making light of his name, for that matter) is unforgivable and vicious. If it doesn't point their own acceptance of irrational standards for what counts as holding a belief, then it points to their willingness to appeal to the irrational standards of others as constraints on our action, which is pure second-handedness.


Anonymous said...

NS, please do not distort the so-called "Muslim standard". Different Muslim communities and sects use different tools to determine who is a Muslim. For instance, in Bosnia, anyone who is not Catholic or Orthodox is deemed a Muslim (or, less frequently, a Jew). So you might be an athiest who blasphemes like crazy but you are still regarded as a Muslim.

Islamic theology states that all of us are born sinless. We then choose our religion later in life. You might be born into a Muslim family, but theologically speaking, this isn't enough to make you a Muslim.

There are other variations to this between denominations. Some Muslim sects don't regard other sects as the full Muslim.

What Daniel Pipes and other far-Right polemicists try to do is prove that being Muslim means one and the same thing all over the world. He also tries to project a monolithically violent image of Muslims.

Yet Pipes has little or no qualifications or training in Islamic theology or sacred law. His Arabic language skills are of dubious quality. He also doesn't have any working knowledge of Urdu, Farsi, Turkish and other languages in which Muslim nationalist political thinking has been written.

Pipes claims to be Jewish. I refuse to believe him. He might be ethnically Jewish. But his behaviour and his writings fly in the face of Jewish teachings.

What kind of Jew would write that European Christians have a predisposition toward genocide? What kind of Jew would write that Muslims will be the next target of European genocide, and that Muslims would deserve it?