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June 12, 2009

Wafa Sultan's Middle East readers: "Who should we believe, Obama or you?"

Topics: Political News and commentaries, Understanding Islam

Wafa Sultan (via Hudson New York) responds to her Middle Eastern Arab readers reacting with bewilderment to Obama's Cairo speech who ask her, "Who should we believe, Obama or you?" - â€' in particular his statement that "America and Islam overlap and share common principles, the principles of justice, tolerance and dignity for human beings":

True, reading the Arab press's reaction to his speech it is clear that many Muslims now love Obama. After all, he introduced to them a narrative that affirms their conspiracy theories and their identity as victims of the West. Hence, the Arab media expressed their confidence that the speech will provide a "new stance towards Islam and the Muslims, after centuries of aggression and hostility." (Al Ahram - Egypt- MEMRI)

More than anything, I am reminded of a story by Nizar Qubbani, the famous Syrian poet. His young son was a physician and suffered from an acute heart problem. When Nizar asked his son about his heart condition, the son drew a red heart. Being a poet, the father interpreted the drawing as a sign of a vibrant and healthy heart and took great comfort in believing this to be a sign of recovery. After his son's passing, Nizar wrote a poem describing his feelings as a heartbroken father. He felt unbearably saddened as he realized he had misinterpreted the drawing. Obviously, the son's sketch of a red heart was meant to convey no hope for his profusely bleeding heart, while the father's understanding of the symbol as a hopeful one was wrong.

The poet and the physician perceived reality in totally different ways; similar to the dichotomy between President Obama's view of the Islamic world and mine.

The truth is, however, that only one reality exists.

Mr. Obama is a politician, and a very astute one. However, his speech revealed that his view is unduly influenced by naïve desire. His perception of Islam and the reality of Islam need to be synchronized. I am a physician and a realist who has lived and experienced the effect of my Arab culture and Islamic religion since childhood.

The president pandered to Muslims: praised their accomplishments, commiserated with their grievances, and apologized for injustices done to them by centuries of colonialism -- without once mentioning the history of rampant and violent Arab colonialism. He avoided any mention of Jihadi tenets, or of the Islamic political ideology of supremacy over non Muslims -- principles embedded in Sharia law. These are taught and sanctioned openly by Al-Azhar, the university that hosted him, the foremost center of Sharia studies. Obama underscored the supposed American mistreatment of terrorists and apologized for torture in Guantanamo, forgetting that Islamic regimes are brutal to their own people. The president also repudiated significant U.S. contributions in both the lives of its soldiers and humanitarian aid to Muslims across the globe made throughout history -- despite Muslim attacks against America and Americans. In short, parts of his speech sounded like a new Pan-Arab messiah come to usher the Arab world back into its rightful world dominion.

She then addresses what was most disturbing about Obama's speech, and it should indeed be most disturbing to every American. I remember, that when I heard it at the time of his speech, I was shocked that he would say such a thing, for indeed, as Wafa suggests - "It is the stuff of nightmarish totalitarian regimes" - and is like the U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution (that only mentions Islam specifically) pushed by the Organization of Islamic Countries:
Most disturbing was the president's call to defend Muslims against negative stereotypes. A dangerous precedent is set when freedom of speech is silenced and ideological criticism forbidden. This, again, is the stuff of nightmarish totalitarian regimes. The beauty of the US Constitution is its balance, and the wisdom it embraces by distinguishing between that which should be protected and defended and that which should be prosecuted and decried. Encouraging laws to make criticism of Islam an offense punishable by law is troubling.
Continue reading ..., there's much more.

Related must watch video (alarming - be sure to watch it all): Freedom Under Fire: U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Resolution - promotes Islam (essentially what Obama endorsed in his Cairo speech)

Hat tip - Jihad Watch

Posted by Abdul at June 12, 2009 10:42 AM

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