I have long suspected that the Clinton Machine would not allow the nomination, and the presidency, to escape its grasp, and this morning that seems more accurate than it has in awhile. But this isn’t about that, it’s about the soon-to-be-faded-away Obama and the Persistent Muslim Rumor — and about The American Muslim, a publication that seems somehow incapable of uttering a true and accurate statement.
Jihad Watch reader James has kindly brought to my attention an article entitled “Attacks on Obama Highlight Racism and Islamophobia,” by Sheila Musaji. In the middle of a long fulmination and whine about how everyone is piling on Obama and claiming he is a secret Muslim, she says:
The ever vigilant Robert Spencer accused him of being a Muslim apostate.
The link goes to this Human Events article from March 20, 2007, in which what I actually said was this:
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Barack Obama”s campaign seems to be modifying its earlier affirmation that “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago.” [...]
If this is true, Obama could possibly be charged with being an apostate from Islam. [...]
So is Barack Obama under a death sentence? Probably not — particularly if he left Islam while still a child. This is a crucial point, for according to Islamic law an apostate male is not to be put to death if he has not reached puberty (cf. “˜Umdat al-Salik o8.2; Hidayah vol. II p. 246). Some, however, hold that he should be imprisoned until he is of age and then “invited” to accept Islam, but officially the death penalty for youthful apostates is ruled out.
So a piece on how the Los Angeles Times had reported that Obama was identified as a Muslim early in life, and how Islamic law probably wouldn’t consider him under the death sentence for apostasy, becomes in The American Muslim Spencer “accusing” Obama of being an apostate.
This has nothing to do with me; it is indicative of a pattern — a pattern that few Western analysts seem aware of or willing to consider in its implications. The mendacity of some of the self-proclaimed moderate Muslim spokesmen never ceases to amaze me. The lying is quite sophisticated, persistent, and unflappable — witness Steve Emerson’s contretemps with the thoroughly truth-contemptuous Edina Lekovic.
And The American Muslim is one of the worst offenders, as it also publishes the work of Robert Crane, the convert to Islam who has claimed to expose the “errors” of my book The Truth About Muhammad. Crane, you may recall, claimed that I misrepresented Qur’an 8:67, which says that “it is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land.” I present in the book Islamic traditions showing that this was understood by the early Muslims as meaning that they should slaughter their enemies, not take prisoners of war. Crane says, on the other hand, that this means that “the taking of booty is legitimate but the proposed execution of the prisoners would have constituted an awesome sin and warranted a ‘tremendous chastisement. Spencer uses these ahadith to show the opposite.”
Sounds terrible, right? Sounds as if, blinded by hatred, I am willfully misrepresenting the texts — unless you happen to know what Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad’s first biographer, says about this incident, quoting and interpreting Qur’an 8:67: “God said, ‘It is not for any prophet,’ i.e. before thee [Muhammad], ‘to take prisoners’ from his enemies ‘until he has made slaughter in the earth,’ i.e. slaughtered his enemies until he drives them from the land. ‘You desire the lure of this world,’ i.e. its goods, the ransom of the captives. ‘But God desires the next world,’ i.e., their killing them to manifest the religion which He wishes to manifest…” (Pages 326-327).
Did you catch that? God desires that the prisoners be killed in order “to manifest the religion which He wishes to manifest.” Crane, on the other hand, claimed that the same passage meant that “the proposed execution of the prisoners would have constituted an awesome sin,” and that it was I who was wickedly twisting the meaning of the text.
This is a sophisticated manner of deception. Most non-Muslim and probably many Muslim readers would never realize there was any deception going on at all. It does not speak well of The American Muslim that they engage in this sort of thing. Caveat emptor — although all too many are willing, even eager, to buy, as if they are eager to be fooled.