... Muslims the world over rarely see him as Christian but usually as either Muslim or ex-Muslim.
Lee Smith of the Hudson Institute explains why: "Barack Obama's father was Muslim and therefore, according to Islamic law, so is the candidate. In spite of the Koranic verses explaining that there is no compulsion in religion, a Muslim child takes the religion of his or her father... For Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim."Wow. That's a reliable source. Check out Lee Hudson's background here. What are his qualifications in Islamic theology or sacred law? Here they are ...
Sure, there are numerous instances of dark-skinned people who won respect in the Muslim world ... But generally, it should come as no surprise to anyone save the most cloistered third-world fantasists, that a society which discriminates against sex, religion, ethnicity, language, nation, tribe, and family is not likely to have very progressive attitudes about race. Arab society, like many others, has a race problem ... It's not clear to me why Americans seem now to be trying to export a very un-American idea - that a man's color and his faith matter.
Lee Smith, a visiting fellow in Hudson Institute's Center for Future Security Strategies, is currently based in Beirut, where he is writing a book about Arab culture.
In sum, Muslims puzzle over Obama's present religious status. They resist his self-identification as a Christian, while they assume a baby born to a Muslim father and named "Hussein" began life a Muslim.Er, which Muslims are doing the puzzling, Mr Pipes? The handful of Arab columnists and the Beirut baker?
What may frighten some Americans about Barack Obama is his very excellence. His fiercest critics have so far had little else to go on.
But if he is truly that scary, why is it so necessary to lie about him?
If the real truth about him is so frightening, why is it so necessary for someone like Daniel Pipes to ingeniously resuscitate the lie that Obama is a Muslim?
If the actual facts are so damning, why was it so necessary for Fox and others to pump up the packet of hardbound fictions called Obama Nation, a miserable book whose manipulative distribution propelled it to a debut at the top of The New York Times best seller
There will be those for whom race is the deciding issue, but I believe their numbers are few.
So there you have it, folks. A columnist in an Israeli newspaper accuses Pipes of lying, and implies that Pipes is trying to turn race into an issue in this election.
Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf
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