May 12, 2008

Some of us like to think the Muslim world would love President Obama.

Edward N. Luttwak is here to disabuse you of that notion:
As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant....

His conversion [to Christianity]... was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).

With few exceptions, the jurists of all Sunni and Shiite schools prescribe execution for all adults who leave the faith not under duress...

[Muslim law] prohibits punishment for any Muslim who kills any apostate, and effectively prohibits interference with such a killing.

At the very least, that would complicate the security planning of state visits by President Obama to Muslim countries, because the very act of protecting him would be sinful for Islamic security guards. More broadly, most citizens of the Islamic world would be horrified by the fact of Senator Obama’s conversion to Christianity once it became widely known — as it would, no doubt, should he win the White House. This would compromise the ability of governments in Muslim nations to cooperate with the United States in the fight against terrorism, as well as American efforts to export democracy and human rights abroad.
I'd like to hear commentary on how accurate this horribly gloomy assessment is. I realize Obama can't inspire hope in everyone, especially in people who are themselves afraid of being killed for thinking anything new, but isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

ADDED: Jeb Koogler takes on Luttwak.

89 comments:

Yachira said...

But isn't it Hamas, or Hezbollah, that has already spoken favorably about the possibility of an Obama presidency? They seem to show no sign of being bothered by his conversion.

Saul said...

Like Obama or not, anyone who has been to one of his rallies cannot say that the man lacks courage, or is oblivious to risk. Given the number of nutcases in this Country, it is amazing that no one hasn't tried to shoot him yet.

MadisonMan said...

The President is the person leading this Country. How the citizenry of other countries view him (or her -- I guess I have to include that possibility still) isn't going to factor into my voting decision.

Crimso said...

"Given the number of nutcases in this Country, it is amazing that no one hasn't tried to shoot him yet."

Maybe because the nutcases are the ones voting for him.

Sloanasaurus said...

This is ridiculous. Relations with Obama from muslims will have nothing to do with Obama's religion or skin color. It could be that Obama will get a short term boost because the left controlled media will refuse to say bad things about him. However, Obama's actions in the end will prove his worthiness. Actions such as prematurely withdrawing from Iraq, going back on deals or being against free trade... those will have far more impact on souring relations than Obama's good smile.

The liberals in countries under dictatorship will learn to hate Obama from the start at the moment Obama meets with their corrupt leaders and says nice things about them. Will Obama have the courage to call the Iranian Mullahs evil as Reagan called the Soviet Union evil?

Meanwhile, the forces of slavery, dictatorship, and fascism will learn to love Obama both for his populist rhetoric and appeasment (an unwillingness to use the force of the United States to cause them trouble).

sean said...

Surely the most plausible scenario if Obama is elected is a wave of enthusiasm among the politically immature and poorly uneducated residents of the Muslim world, followed by disenchantment as they see that no matter who the president is, America is rich where the Muslim world is poor, Americans are mostly unsympathetic to Islamic values, and America, like all countries, is dedicated mostly to its own interests. At that point, one might expect that certain Muslim extremists will assert the "Obama is an apostate" meme as a device to rally the faithful. Doubtless some tame clerics in pro-American countries will come forth to dispute the point, and life will go on much as before.

One would expect extremists in the Muslim world to do what they can to hasten the popular Muslim disappointment with Obama, since their own political purposes require America as an enemy. So look for a President Obama to challenged early and often with terrorism, attacks on Israel, etc.

froggyprager said...

thank you for finding this disturbing article. Part of the problem is and will be that most of the world probably doesn't understand the multicultural nature of this country and his background may seem odd across the world. On a related but side issue - I know Obama is not a Muslim but did you know that there is only 1 Muslim member of congress and there are over 2 million Muslims in this country.

Tertium Quid said...

Sean is correct. Ditto.

Dave69 said...

I doubt Obama is guilty under muslim tradition. For at least 2 reasons. 1. he had a step father as a minor, who was in control of his fate, and chose not to make Obama aware of his religion. 2. Obamas father had effectively renounced his faith.

Sloanasaurus said...

There is no doubt that Obama would have made peace with Hitler, let the USSR remain unmolested, and let Kim Il Sung roll through Korea without a peep.

An Obama presidency will bring the boomtimes to evil dictators around the world.

SteveR said...

Its not top on my list of reasons not to vote for him, but its a topic worth discussing. To the extent that Muslims are inclined to deal with "apostates" as Luttwak describes, I'm sure many Americans are unaware.

As a general rule, I think being POTUS alone would inspire quite a few to want to kill him, how many more due to this, hard to say.

Roger J. said...

I suspect this is a non-problem and would be potentially dangerous only if Obama attempted to visit taliban or other Jihadi controlled areas. I think he gets a pretty good security detail as a job perk.

Maguro said...

...isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

Not in the Muslim world. The ban on apostasy has 1200 years of Islamic theological tradition behind it. Not likely to be disturbed by Obama's changeyhopitude.

On the other hand, Muslim political leaders are cynical, practical sorts who won't make too much of Obama's apostasy as long as he behaves himself. As noted above, Hamas has already endorsed him so politics trumps religion in this case.

Mark said...

Glenn Reynolds links to this post with one of his stupider comments. He writes "WOULD THE MUSLIM WORLD WELCOME AN OBAMA PRESIDENCY? Edward Luttwak says no, but InstaPundit mideast reporting suggests otherwise." The "reporting" he links to is not about the Muslim World but rather about a someone's trip to Egypt & Israel with comments about the "Arab" world. Does the Professor understand that the majority of the ~1.4 billion Muslims in the world are not Arab and do not live in the Mid-East? Does he believe that having 20% of the world population viewing us as enemies is a good thing? That continued hostile relations with this group is in our interest? Is he running for the world's biggest fool? What a wanker.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Great, on top of everything, some extremist Muslim (without fine-tuned understanding of his or other religions) will want to kill him, that dirty apostate now leading the Crusader Armies.

Ann wrote:

I realize Obama can't inspire hope in everyone, especially in people who are themselves afraid of being killed for thinking anything new, but isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

Sadly, no.

Religion has never been reformed from without. It is only possible from within. So long as apostasy is condoned as punishable by death, it's an option for those who so judge Obama an apostate.

I quote:

The four major Sunni and the one major Shia Madh'hab (schools of Islamic jurisprudence) agree that a sane adult male apostate must be executed.

The added delicacy involved is his future potential as President. For him to be an apostate outside the reaches of Islamic countries, insulated by this country, is one thing.

For him to go galavanting around the world as a political leader, doing the bidding of the Jews and Christians who elected him, defending his country which includes warring against Muslims, that is untenable for many of these lunatics.

The trouble with charismatic leaders is that the coin of adulation often flips to hatred.

JFK, RFK, MLK, John Paul II, Ronald Reagan...all these men had a charisma beyond their Office. And all were either slain or attempted to be at some point.

Enter Obama.

Cheers,
Victoria

Blue Moon said...

Sloan:

We're not exactly harassing dictators now. We are talking to them, just not at a presidential level. I doubt Kim Jong Il is quaking in his boots right now, neither are the mullahs in Iran, the Burmese Junta, the Chinese Politburo... The House of Saud sleeps well at night with the GOP in the White House.

I wish we would do more. I'd love to bomb Khartoum back to the stone age. I wish we would commit to Taiwan, hell, I'll cut the ribbon at the embassy grand opening. But, not to sound like a Marxist, the commerical interests in this country have completely hijacked our foreign policy and in far more nefarious ways than "No blood for oil."

Michael said...

I suspect the Islamic groups that will want to extract something from him will have no problem overlooking his apostasy, and the ones that want to demonize the American president will focus on this fact.

Sloanasaurus said...

We're not exactly harassing dictators now. We are talking to them, just not at a presidential level.

What? We are harassing these dictators - especially from a military point of view. Have troops and military infrastructure (and support) bordering all these dictators - this is why we are their main enemy. Just because we are not bombing their palaces does not mean we are not a thorn in their side.

Maguro said...

I doubt Obama is guilty under muslim tradition.

The issue is not whether Obama is actually guilty of apostasy but whether he could be convincingly portrayed as such. I don't think there will be any great effort made to demonize President Obama as an apostate as long as Obama 1) Remains concilliatory towards Iran 2)Favors the Palestinians over Israel.

Blue Moon said...

Sloan:

Perhaps this is just a philosophical difference, but I don't see how we are a thorn in their side. Iran is quite openly supporting groups that attack our troops -- Hezbollah had a shooting war with Israel while are troops were an hour away. Pakistan still has half its intelligence service providing aid and comfort to AQ. I guess it could be worse...

Saul said...

On a side note, Yachira, that is one scary photo!!!! I think both Obama and all Muslims live in fear of that possibility.

Paddy O. said...

the commerical interests in this country have completely hijacked our foreign policy

I think this is pretty much how it's always been. We're a nation of merchants, ever since the beginning, wanting to peddle our goods and services to sundry markets. We're not imperialists, we're capitalists, always eager to have new markets.

Get in the way of our trading and we get feisty. Give us the opportunity to trade and we'll be happy to do business. And there's usually bad overall trade with oppressive governments, but not always (such as China).

It's been like this since the day colonists dumped tea off the boats and Jefferson had a go at pirates and King Cotton was able to set national human rights policies because of global textile markets.

Anthony said...

Who really cares what others think about an Obama presidency? Is Obama an apostate under Muslim law? I do not know, and I do not care.

Obama is running for president of the United States.

Anthony said...

Actually Sloanasaurus, my concern regarding Obama is just the opposite. He will need to appear tough and is very internationalist in outlook, so he will have a very interventionist foriegn policy and get us involved in a wider war.

vbspurs said...

Who really cares what others think about an Obama presidency? Is Obama an apostate under Muslim law? I do not know, and I do not care.

Obama is running for president of the United States.


Anthony, I rarely get personal because it's not my style.

But do let us know when you've taken your head out of the sand, so I can lob an insult about your parochialism your way.

Cheers,
Victoria

Blue Moon said...

Anthony:

I agree -- I have always thought that if Gore had been Prez after 9/11 we would have started 5 wars at once just so no one could accuse him of being soft.

Kirk Parker said...

"isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?"

Far too much Kool-Aid has gone into the sentiment expressed here; let's hope it's a hypo and not our host's actual feeling.

Eric said...

Luttwak has been making very odd (and very wrong) predictions for a while. Before the first Gulf war, in 1991, he was equating the the quality of the Iraqi (soviet and Chinese supplied) T62 and T59 tanks with the US M1 tank.

While this might be arcane to some, it demonstrates either a gross deficiency in knowledge or a gross lack of judgement. Take you pick. I don't really understand why he gets quoted by anybody anymore.

Anthony said...

Hi Victoria.

OK, I am standing straight upright now. You said something??

Chip Ahoy said...

I agree with madisonman up there on this one 100%. The opinions of citizens of other countries count for 0%. In effect, piss off, all of you, and that's being nice about it.

vbspurs said...

OK, I am standing straight upright now. You said something??

I think I'll flirt with you a while, before attacking you. What are you wearing?

Cheers,
Victoria

Roger J. said...

Ed Luttwak go his start as a NATO/European analyst. Sounds awfully much like Henry the K when he talks, although I think he may be Dutch.

rightwingprof said...

"isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?"

1. What "advances" need to be made?
2. By "advances" do you mean -- as I suspect you do -- special treatment? If so, how does the Constitution allow special treatment?
3. No.

Anthony said...

Victoria --

My wife dresses me every morning. So I am wearing whatever she picked out for me (which probably is infused with some of my little sons' drool right now too!).

My mother in law was from Germany. On Election Day 2004, we were in France and discussing this. I Noted that I voted for Bush even though I was unhappy about it, I just felt he was better than Kerry. I said I would have rather the Democrats nominated Lieberman.

Her reaction was "But what would the Muslims think? She was concerned what would the Europeans think about a Jewish president. My feeling is that I do not care, I want the person I think is best for the US.

It does not matter who the US president is. Radical Muslims will still hate us and the president will be a target for assassination by just about everyone on the planet with a grievence.

Furthermore, I think the whole "Obama was a Muslim" thing is way overblown by Obama's Democratic rivals.

Sloanasaurus said...

my concern regarding Obama is just the opposite. He will need to appear tough and is very internationalist in outlook, so he will have a very interventionist foriegn policy and get us involved in a wider war.

Exactly. Weakness and appeasement will always lead to more war and more deaths. You need to be courageous upfront as Bush was with Iraq and unlike Chamberlain and Daldier were with Hitler.

Obama will be like Chamberlain and Daldier, appeasing to much to the point where war becomes inevitable, and the war will be far worse than it would have been but for the appeasment.

vbspurs said...

Gotcha. Now that you've explained that preposterous remark, I have retracted the dragon lady claws.

Anthony wrote:

Furthermore, I think the whole "Obama was a Muslim" thing is way overblown by Obama's Democratic rivals.

Of course, it is. Didn't I me myself and I point out the other day that he went to a Catholic school in Indonesia...hardly a madrassa.

That said, Hezbollah intimating that they would prefer a BHO presidency gives me the same visceral reaction to when John Kerry dropped hints that "foreign leaders" told him they'd prefer him too.

Apart from all the other reasons I have against BHO as President, choosing the guy our enemies like is a prime reason not to choose him.

They smell weakness. Or maybe waffles.

Cheers,
Victoria

Danny said...

I'm typing this from a 99% Muslim country in the MENA region and I cannot stress enough the fallacity of Mr. Luttwak's column. Every single person I've talked to about the election has expressed support for Obama. It's not very eloquent support, but it's rather astonishing considering how Arab and Maghreb people are ridiculously racist towards anyone of Sub-Saharan African origin. Edwin has a great grasp of the details of Islamic law, but he clearly has no idea how these laws work in reality.

Bob said...

I would think Obama's family history would be more of a problem. His Mother had several children from men whom she did not marry. That is not going to endear him in places where tribal or family honor is a big deal - essentially outside the west.

vbspurs said...

That is not going to endear him in places where tribal or family honor is a big deal - essentially outside the west.

Bob, come on. That was awkward.

Anyway, this is his visit to his grandma's home in Kenya.

"When he came, the place was crowded"

Seems the tribe needs to re-evaluate their sense of honour...

Cheers,
Victoria

Mortimer Brezny said...

YEAH, BECAUSE AN IN-YOUR-FACE, PANTSSUIT-WEARING, SECOND-WAVE FEMINIST, THAT WOULDN'T TICK OFF MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALISTS.

P. Rich said...

I realize Obama can't inspire hope in everyone, especially in people who are themselves afraid of being killed for thinking anything new, but isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

Swoon much, Althouse?

Methadras said...

It's not his religious proclivities, Christian, Muslim, or otherwise that is at issue here. It's his God Damned leftism that appeals to groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and their terrorist enablers on the left.

PatCA said...

Danny,
I think you are right, but Muslims riots and terrorism are driven by their activist class, not by ordinary people, who are also being killed in the current clumsy wave of indiscriminate murder across the globe.

The western intelligentsia will love his election, as a sign of our sophistication and openness. That's about all.

Saul,
Every president has to face the possibility of assassination. I guess no one worries though when it's a Ford or Reagan.

vbspurs said...

It's his God Damned leftism that appeals to groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and their terrorist enablers on the left.

Give that commenter a parade.

bearbee said...

Don't know about Muslim countries, but leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba are sure to give him big sloppy kisses.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I know Obama is not a Muslim but did you know that there is only 1 Muslim member of congress and there are over 2 million Muslims in this country.

So? Then in that case, statistically and in proportion to the population and demographics of the entire US, they are overrepresented in Congress. Do you think that Congress should be an affirmative action institution with quotas based on ethnicity and skin color??

jimbino said...

You can't be born a Muslim or a Jew, since "God has no grandchildren," as the Baptists like to say, and no amount of genital mutilation will change that fact.

I would have compared Obama to Jesus, except for the fact that Jesus, born to Jewish parents, went on to fulfill the law, and he never converted from Judaism.

vbspurs said...

What is up with the Left these days?

First came Sam Harris, a noted anti-religionist, on HuffPo saying that the spineless media are loathesome for their self-censorship about Islamic intimidation.

Then today, this startling op-ed piece about a taboo topic, previously dismissed by Obama supporters as the "Fox News smear". How on earth are they going to spin this?

People, these are "when pigs fly" moments.

Like a lot of people on Althouse, I Googled Luttwak the moment I read of him.

He seems to be one helluva Realist in foreign policy. Basically, you do not deal with regimes as you would wish them to be (which is an Idealist position, as everyone knows), but as they are.

His last publication seems to be this handy little tome:

Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook"

If Obama is elected, I think Hillary will be wanting an autographed copy.

Cheers,
Victoria

Sissy Willis said...

How 'bout this? Muslims are convinced Obama is secretly still one of them but pretending to have converted to Christianity in order to worm his way into the Oval Office. From WND's "There is no Hamas 'smear'":

"Asked about Obama's repeated condemnations of Hamas, calling the Islamist group a terror organization, [Ahmed Yousuf, chief Hamas political adviser in the Gaza Strip] replied, "I understand American politics, and this is the season for elections, and everybody tries to sound like he's a friend of the Israelis ... so whatever [the] Israelis didn't like they will take from all those candidates."

vbspurs said...

How 'bout this? Muslims are convinced Obama is secretly still one of them but pretending to have converted to Christianity in order to worm his way into the Oval Office.

Right, it's called taqiyya. From Wiki.

"Within Shi'ite Islamic tradition,[1] the concept of Taqiyya (التقية - 'fear, guard against') refers to a dispensation allowing believers to conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion.

The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of imminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation.""


I don't think that's the case. I really don't, but all I got to go on is...hope.

Cheers,
Victoria

mtrobertsattorney said...

Unless Luttwak is a fluent arabic reader who has spent years studying Muslim texts and theology, I wouldn't put much stock in his prediction. More likely, Luttwak heard this from a guy who once worked with another guy whose uncle lived across the street from a guy whose friend once did some yard work for an islamic scholar.

George said...

Considering that al-Qaeda tried to fly a jet into the White House to kill Pres. Bush or VP Cheney and those gentlemen are Methodists, one suspects that al-Qaeda does not need extra reasons to murder a Pres. Obama, though being a apostate might be icing on the cake.

Unquestionably, leaving Islam can be a deadly business. It's hard enough, for example, to be a Copt (Christian) in comparatively liberal Egypt. Lots of pogroms. And you can get yourself killed if you try to convert from Islam to Christianity there. See here."

On a side note, typically when one converts to Islam, one changes one's name in full or in part to a Muslim name, ala Cassius Clay. It would be interesting to ask Sen. Obama why he did not rename himself upon joining his Chicago church.

vbspurs said...

See here

And also remember the case of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan who converted to Christianity.

Remember how the Afghan government was able to take out the death penalty for his apostasy?

They declared that he was insane.

"An Afghanistan state prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said of Abdul Rahman in an interview with the Associated Press on March 22, 2006, "We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person. Doctors must examine him. If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

So, here's the deal. If some Islamic whack-jobs want to off President Obama, we'll just tell them he's nuts, and get Reverend Wright to act as his character witness. Problem solved.

Cheerse,
Victoria

William said...

The people of Stamford and Hoboken are probably better informed about the mayor of NYC than their own mayor and are probably more contentious about his policies than, say, their local zoning laws. Likewise many foreigners think that the next US President will affect their lives more profoundly than that of their own leaders. I personally think that an Obama presidency would be forty miles of bad roads, but it is undeniable that many overseas, particularly in Moslem. African, and third world countries would rejoice at his election. And whatever they think they are celebrating, they are, in fact, celebrating the possibilities of American life. And I hope that Obama's inclusivness does not include the bad ideas that make these countries so closed to possibility.

Fat Man said...

Why would they assassinate him before he finished surrendering to them?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well unlike Christianity where Jesus said to shake the dust from your feet of those places who don't wish to convert, Islam on the other hand is pretty much The Borg of religion. Assimilate or die. Resistance is futile.

The fact that nearly all Muslims contain darker pigmintation than the West, any criticism is met with the usual cries of 'RACIST'!! BIGOT!!! That's why the lefties see routine Muslim traditions of beheadings, suicide bombings, death threats over apostasy and genital mutilation as nothing more than examples of them celebrating their rich and vibrant culture. Viewing it as anything else simply demonstrates your intolerance.

vbspurs said...

I'm fascinated by this topic now, so forgive the postings.

I remembered reading in History that a Muslim man MAY marry a non-Muslim woman (all those potentates who took Western wives for their harems, etc.). So I Googled an Islamic source on the topic.

From Islamfortoday:

http://www.islamfortoday.com/interfaithmarriage.htm

"Muslim men can marry only Muslim, Christian, or Jewish chaste women, while Muslim women can marry only chaste Muslim men."

And this is particularly important for our current state-of-affairs:

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, a contemporary Muslim scholar, said that the Christian or Jewish women can be married only if the four conditions summarized below are satisfied:

She must be Kitabiyyah, i.e. Christian or Jewish by faith, and not by virtue of birth into a Christian or Jewish family. Many women who live in Christian or Jewish societies today are atheists, Buddhists or Bahai's. These women are prohibited for Muslim men. A woman who commits apostasy, by becoming a non-Muslim after being a Muslim, would not be allowed to marry a Muslim man, since apostasy is much worse than unbelief.

She must be Muhsanah, which means chaste and virtuous. Women who are involved in illicit relationships with men are prohibited for Muslim men. Most non-Muslim women these days do not qualify as Muhsanat (chaste and virtuous women who abstain from sexual activities outside marriage), and Muslim men should fear Allah and keep this condition in mind.

The woman should not be from people who are fighting Islam or are helping others to fight Islam. [emphasis mine]

There should be no threat or possible harm from marrying her. For example, if a man's children would not be raised as Muslims, he should not marry her. If the courts in a non-Islamic society would give the children to her in the case of divorce, then he cannot marry her, unless she agrees that he would have the children in the case of divorce.


Which, of course, was not the case for Obama.

Luttwak may be a gloomy Hobbesian political scientist, but obviously the ramifications of this matter are much more insidious than anyone of us had dared imagined.

Cheers,
Victoria

bearbee said...

How 'bout this? Muslims are convinced Obama is secretly still one of them but pretending to have converted to Christianity in order to worm his way into the Oval Office.

The Muslim Mole Who Would Be President.

Sounds like a case for Jack Bauer.

MadisonMan said...

Then in that case, statistically and in proportion to the population and demographics of the entire US, they are overrepresented in Congress.

Not. There are 435 members of the House. The population of the US is -- what -- 300M? (I'm not sure -- it keeps changing!) It seems that if there is some kind of AA for Congress (I agree, not a good idea), then a group of 2M should get 1/150th of the members, or more than 2.

George said...

vbs--

Your comments tie into today's NYT's front-page look into the wacky, wacky world of Saudi Arabian dating. Great bit about how Enad wants to go on his friend Nader's honeymoon with him.

vbspurs said...

Your comments tie into today's NYT's front-page look into the wacky, wacky world of Saudi Arabian dating. Great bit about how Enad wants to go on his friend Nader's honeymoon with him.

Not to get off on a tangent, but thanks for posting the link, George!

It's funny how misogynistic worlds are often very effeminate, no? Titanic, Oprah, Dr. Phil indeed.

It could be Eton.

Cheers,
Victoria

Daryl said...

Two points:

1 - it's different when a very young child leaves the faith. Islamic scholars are more forgiving in that instance, I believe.

2 - Muslims are rancid hypocrites. They will accept a powerful man like Obama, just like they accepted Saddam and Yasser Arafat, both of whom professed to be Muslims, but the depth of their belief was always in doubt. As long as they believe Obama is "one of their own," they will look the other way. One law for the people, another law for the powerful--that's how Islamic societies work.

I would have so much more respect for Sen. Obama if he came right out and admitted that Indonesian society tried to raise him as a Muslim, but that he didn't believe any of that Islam sh*t. We need a president who will say THAT.

bearbee said...

I know Obama is not a Muslim but did you know that there is only 1 Muslim member of congress and there are over 2 million Muslims in this country.

Actually there are 2 Muslims in Congress. Carson won

Pal2Pal said...

I'd like to hear commentary on how accurate this horribly gloomy assessment is. I realize Obama can't inspire hope in everyone, especially in people who are themselves afraid of being killed for thinking anything new, but isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

A lefty advancing ideas about freedom? LOL. They aren't about freedom, especially not about religious freedom. They are all about ruling your mind and controlling your speech, and making decisions for you since none of us are smart enough to do it for ourselves, doncha know.

Revenant said...

isn't there some hope that an Obama presidency would help advance ideas about freedom of religion?

Why would it?

Seriously now, what reason is there to think that the Muslim world, which has been murdering apostates for 1400 years, is going to say "oh, an AMERICAN became an apostate? And he's black, too? Well that makes it OK then. We've been wrong all these years -- what were we thinking?"

Revenant said...

Given the number of nutcases in this Country, it is amazing that no one hasn't tried to shoot him yet.

Nutcases of both the left and right seem focused on hating establishment Republicans at the moment.

Kirk Parker said...

jimbino,

You're joking, right? But if not, please note that Muslims are not Baptists, so the beliefs of the latter give absolutely zero insight into those of the former.

Ali Eteraz said...

Hi Professor Althouse: you may want to get some opinion from your colleague Asifa.

You are also welcome to check out my response to Luttwack's piece:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-eteraz/obama-islam-smear-changes_b_101337.html

I give four or five Islamic reasons why Luttwack's position is untenable.

Bruce Hayden said...

Just to throw a bit of gasoline on the fire.

Obama recently apparently said that he wanted to be the president of all 57 states, or had been to 57 states, etc.

Unfortunately for him, there are only 50 states in the U.S.A. However, there are 57 Muslim states in the Organisation of the Islamic. Hmm.

Ali Eteraz said...

Sorry the link to the article is

here

Ali Eteraz said...

Bruce if obama wanst to lead the US into OIC, wouldn't that make the total states...58?

Also, India is an honorary member due to the fact that it has 150 million Muslims. It is not counted by Wiki. So your argument is debunked. Congratulations.

Freder Frederson said...

So? Then in that case, statistically and in proportion to the population and demographics of the entire US, they are overrepresented in Congress.

Gee DBQ, first you feign a profound misunderstanding of the progressive tax system, now it turns out you can't even do simple percentages. Some financial advisor you are.

The population of the U.S. is about 300 million which means 1 out of every 150 Americans is Muslim. If they were represented proportionally in the House there would be almost 3 of them (and about 2/3 of a Senator).

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Ali Eteraz

I wasn't making an argument, but rather was just stirring up trouble.

Originally, Obama's comment about the number of states just looked like a Dan Quayle moment. And, I think the reality is that is what it was. But the idea that the OIC had 57 members was good for entertainment. And the fact that India was not included is just fine, since what was important was the number of states usually given as members. If Obama didn't know how many states in the U.S., we probably can't expect that he would get the number of OIC states exactly right, esp. since India is only an honorary member.

rightwingprof said...

"Actually there are 2 Muslims in Congress. Carson won"

Thanks for saying that. I've been moaning and sobbing and wringing my hands, worried sick about what awful bigots we must be and what the French must think of us after somebody pointed out that Congress didn't accurately reflect the number of Moslems. Just consumed with guilt, I was. I had even called my therapist and was thinking about waving giant puppet heads or having a nude bicycle protest. Now, I feel better. I think I'll go to Starbucks for a soy latte now.

I might also point out that Greg Ballard also won. Just for the sake of balance.

blake said...

I think the point being danced around here is that the outrage precedes the offense.

It's like the way "news" is gathered: The story written beforehand, the evidence gathered afterwards.

Anthony said...

>I had even called my therapist and was thinking about waving giant puppet heads or having a nude bicycle protest. Now, I feel better. I think I'll go to Starbucks for a soy latte now.


This has to be one of the funniest comments I have read on Althouse. Given the unintential commedy the comments here provide, that says a lot.

vbspurs said...

Mr. Eteraz, since I do not have a HuffPo account, allow me to quote verbatim, a reply there which mirrors my own about this (from Hank Denneman):

Am I the only one that findsit unsettling that the author, in explaining away this controversy, harps on technical reasons that Obama could not be killed for being a non-Muslim, rather than arguing how preposterous it is for any religion to call for the death of people who choose not to practice it? The author presumes as a matter of course that this Islamic law is valid, and that journalists' objections to it are rooted in their unfamiliarity with its implementation.

Is that really the problem? If we just explained to these journalists that under Islamic law, people can be killed for being non-Muslim, but they can only be killed by the state, would that clear everything up? Because, after all, killing people for the religion they choose isn't intrinsically barbaric, it is only barbaric when it is done willy nilly by the hoi polloi. When the state does it, it is fine.

Lest there be any doubt, the journalists here--and people like me--are not using these objections as a way to levy underhanded attacks on immigrants. We are attacking the tenets of a law mired in the dark ages, one that is too violent and irrational to exist in the modern era. Exhibit A to that conclusion is this article, written by someone whose attempt at reason is undermined entirely by the monstrous predicate he takes for granted: namely, that killing people for not being a Muslim is acceptable under any circumstances.


Whatever may be the legal niceties of whether Senator Obama is or is not Muslim by birth, it is sad to know there are people in this world who live under such oppressive legal and religious strictures, in the early 21st century.

I certainly hope you are not one of them.

Cheers,
Victoria

Jim C. said...

Sissy Willis said, How 'bout this? Muslims are convinced Obama is secretly still one of them but pretending to have converted to Christianity in order to worm his way into the Oval Office.

How about this? Obama's church is, in my opinion, closer to Black Muslim and only nominally Christian. So he pretended to convert by joining a pretend Christian church.

So there's no problem.

Anthony said...

Jim C said How about this? Obama's church is, in my opinion, closer to Black Muslim and only nominally Christian. So he pretended to convert by joining a pretend Christian church

How about this -- who really cares? Obama is not a Muslim and I really wouldn't care if he was. I don't care what people in France or Africa or Asia think about him. I am not voting for him becuase I do not think he would make a good president of the United States.

Revenant said...

Mr. Eteraz, since I do not have a HuffPo account, allow me to quote verbatim, a reply there which mirrors my own about this

Thanks for quoting that reply. I was thinking much the same thing myself. It is deeply weird that Eteraz corrected the "smear" by pointing out that supposedly only *states* can murder apostates.

What Ali didn't point out is that orthodox Islam recognizes the legitimacy of states only inasmuch as those states are in harmony with Islamic law. In cases where the state is hostile to Islam it is the duty of Muslims to act to enforce the laws themselves (albeit in an organized manner, not as individual vigilantism). What this means is that if Obama WERE an apostate, it would be the duty of the government of, for example, Saudi Arabia, to arrest Obama, try him, and execute him. Failure to do this would signify that the government was not upholding Islam, and thus was illegitimate.

So it isn't just a matter of the power to execute apostates being held by the government. Those governments possess not just the power, but the religious obligation to murder apostates. In cases where the government refuses to do this, group action by Muslims to enforce God's will is both allowed and required.

The majority of Muslims around the world support the execution of apostates. Most of the remainder just favor throwing them in prison. Those are "the moderate Muslims", I guess.

Anthony said...

>The majority of Muslims around the world support the execution of apostates. Most of the remainder just favor throwing them in prison. Those are "the moderate Muslims", I guess.


Has anyone checked with Cat Stevens?

vbspurs said...

Rev wrote:

Thanks for quoting that reply. I was thinking much the same thing myself. It is deeply weird that Eteraz corrected the "smear" by pointing out that supposedly only *states* can murder apostates.

Right, because it's inconceivable that a state organ would impose a fatwa on what they consider heresy, or that others would merely hound him to death...ask Salman Rushdie and poor Ayaan Hirsi Ali about that.

The majority of Muslims around the world support the execution of apostates. Most of the remainder just favor throwing them in prison. Those are "the moderate Muslims", I guess.

Eh, I don't know about that. Certain factions of certain Muslims in certain countries, yes.

But the majority? Who? The government of Iran, the exiled Taliban, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan?

They're too varied, and though not all are democracies per se, neither are they clerical redoubts. Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Albania, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, heck even add Indonesia, Syria and others -- I just don't see the State frenzy needed for such a dastardly deed from there.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

But the majority? Who? The government of Iran, the exiled Taliban, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan?

The majority of Muslims polled.

vbspurs said...

The majority of Muslims polled.

Understood, but for this to occur, according to one reason cited by Mr. Eteraz, the State has to invoke Shar'ia laws for his offing -- at the most official level.

I see a lot of murderous nutters in Islam, but when it comes down to it, the nation-states hold back (with the exceptions I cite).

Now you may think that's enough.

But so long as they think he's in their hip pocket because he practises taqiyya, the pressure not to do anything will be greater than the pressure to get rid of him as an apostate.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

I see a lot of murderous nutters in Islam, but when it comes down to it, the nation-states hold back (with the exceptions I cite).

For the most part, the nation-states let lynch mobs do the work and just settle for never doing much to catch the killers. That lets them look good to the international community without putting themselves in the crosshairs.

Also, Pakistan has the death penalty for apostates. I'm not sure about most of the other nations you list; Indonesia and Turkey don't, but you can get jail time.

Kansas City said...

This is an intersting point, but the whole notion that in voting for president Americans should take into account how foreigners allegedly would "feel" about our president is maddeningly stupid. First, how in world can someone accurately determine how persons in foreign countries would feel about our president, and second, even if you could, what possible difference does it make how they "feel" about him. It reflects such a naivete [sp] about how the real world operates. What countries do with respect to foreign affairs is decided by the governmental leaders and they make their decisions based on the self interest of their country. When is the last time that a foreign government did or did not do something because of how the people of the country "felt" about our president?

Joshua said...

For argument's sake, suppose that Luttwak is on to something here, and that a President Obama really would have problems relating to a Muslim ummah that sees him as an apostate, that outright infidel U.S. Presidents don't have. Would this really be a net negative for the country?

I have my doubts. Even if Obama is perceived by Muslims as an apostate, and even if that does lead to the parade of horribles that Luttwak claims, there is a significant upside to all that, which Luttwak apparently has not considered: It would be an epiphany for any and all Americans who still believe that Islamists' beef with America is really about poverty or imperialism, or anything but religion. That meme is already on thin ice as it is. It would break through and sink like a stone when confronted with the scenario of a sitting U.S. president marked for death by Islamists specifically because of his perceived apostate status. Such a development can only stiffen American resolve.

Therefore, pace Mr. Eteraz, it seems to me that the Obama-as-ex-Muslim "smear" isn't a smear at all, nor is it even a strike against Obama. One could even take it as a point in Obama's favor.