As everyone knows, Obama has been going to some lengths to make sure nobody thinks he’s a Muslim. Nor has he been making any particular effort to add, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Today the reliably dhimmi Wall Street Journal gives space to Junaid M. Afeef, director of public and government Affairs at the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, to blame this not on Obama’s canny political calculation and tacit awareness that people are suspicious of the violent and supremacist elements of Islam, but on “Islamophobia,” that rampant plague which, he says, has claimed yet another victim: the sainted candidate himself.
It is a particularly grotesque irony that the Wall Street Journal would print this whine about “Islamophobia” the day after a man shouting “Allahu akbar” murdered three people in Jerusalem — as if the problem (yet again) were not the people who commit such acts in the name of Islam, and the utter failure of peaceful Muslims to take the first step toward cleaning house. Oh no — that doesn’t provoke any “Islamophobia” at all. It’s all about racism and bigotry, doncha know. Everyone would love Muslims and Islam, and find them cute and cuddly, were it not for Western non-Muslim “Islamophobes” spreading racism and bigotry by…noting the fact that some guy shouting “Allahu akbar” and running amok with a bulldozer murdered three people in Jerusalem yesterday.
“Obama Should Embrace His Muslim Heritage,” by Junaid M. Afeef in the Wall Street Journal, July 3 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Many Muslim voters love Barack Obama. They love him even if he doesn’t seem to love them back.
One young professional I know credited Muslims’ enthusiasm for Sen. Obama to a perceived promise of a “brand new, informed international perspective.” Other Muslims are moved by a broad and empowering message of hope and change in a tumultuous time of trouble and strife. And many see a reflection of themselves in Mr. Obama — a person who looks different, has a funny name, a sense of the world beyond our borders, and at the same time is very patriotic. That is how most Muslims in America view themselves.
In most circumstances such a strong affinity would be embraced by a candidate. But an affinity with Muslims is perceived by his campaign as a liability.
Mr. Obama is another victim of Islamophobia. He is now facing what Muslims have been and still are struggling with: an irrational fear and hatred of Muslims. Polls show that as many as 25% of Americans admit to prejudicial feelings against Muslims.
Mr. Obama knows that Islamophobia has taken root in the U.S. Islamophobia hits very close to home for him because his father, from whom he also derives his black heritage, was a Muslim.
While his heritage may include Muslims, Mr. Obama is a Christian, and when his religion is incorrectly identified he rightly corrects the record. Now there is even a Web site called “Fight the Smears” that challenges the lie that he is a Muslim.
The problem, however, is the manner in which he corrects the record. He vociferously denies being a Muslim as if it were a slur.
That is true; he does. And it is a very sharp political move. Muslims aren’t going to vote for McCain no matter what. And by implying that to call him a Muslim is a “smear” (the website rebutting the claim is called Fight the Smears), Obama implies also that he will be tough on Islamic terrorism.
Mr. Obama does not need to take this approach. He knows how to smash through barriers. He brought whites and blacks together in the primary, no small feat in a nation that still struggles with race issues.
As a great leader, Mr. Obama should take a principled stand on the issue of Muslims and Islamophobia. While anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. is substantial, it is not an insurmountable challenge.
The vast majority of Americans are sincere and open-minded; anti-Muslim sentiments are a product of fear and lack of understanding. These sentiments can be overcome.
Mr. Afeef, anti-Muslim sentiments are a product of Muslims Allahu-akbaring while operating bulldozers, AK 47s, and passenger jets in order to kill infidels.
If Mr. Obama simply said, “Yes, there are Muslims in my family, and while I am and always have been a Christian, I embrace my family’s religious diversity,” then surely the vast majority of Americans would move on to the real issues in his campaign.
He should say that there are Muslims in his family, since it is true, and since some of his statements seem to suggest that he hasn’t been completely forthright about this aspect of his background. It would dispel suspicions of dishonesty.
Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Junaid Afeef can say that Obama should “embrace [his] Muslim heritage with the same vigor and eloquence with which [he has] embraced [his] white and black heritage” in the dhimmi WSJ and it is an example of diversity and broad-mindedness and multiculturalism, but when I said he should do something very much like that at Jihad Watch it traveled around some lefty blogs as just another shameful example of “Islamophobia.” Ain’t multiculturalism grand?