'cookieChoices = {};'


The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated

click.jpg

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Muslim President

From Forbes Magazine:

Commentary

My Muslim President Obama

Asma Gull Hasan02.25.09, 12:00 AM EST

Why members of the Islamic faith see him as one of the flock.

pic

I know President Obama is not Muslim, but I am tempted nevertheless to think that he is, as are most Muslims I know. In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel, just as African-Americans did for the non-black but culturally leaning African-American President Bill Clinton, that we have our first American Muslim president in Barack Hussein Obama.

I know it's odd to say this. At first, I thought I was the only Muslim engaging in this folly, and I am reluctant to express it lest right-wing zealots try to use "Muslim" as a smear and cite my theory as proof of an Islamic traitor in the White House or some such nonsense. But, since Election Day, I have been part of more and more conversations with Muslims in which it was either offhandedly agreed that Obama is Muslim or enthusiastically blurted out. In commenting on our new president, "I have to support my fellow Muslim brother," would slip out of my mouth before I had a chance to think twice.

"Well, I know he's not really Muslim," I would quickly add. But if the person I was talking to was Muslim, they would say, "yes he is." They would cite his open nature and habit of reaching out to critics, reminiscent of the Prophet Muhammad's own approach, and also Obama's middle name, Hussein. Most of the Muslims I know (me included) can't seem to accept that Obama is not Muslim.

Of the few Muslims I polled who said that Obama is not Muslim, even they conceded that he had ties to Islam. These realists said that, although not an avowed and practicing Muslim, Obama's exposure to Islam at a young age (both through his father and his stint in Indonesia) has given him a Muslim sensibility. In my book, that makes you a Muslim--maybe not a card-carrying one, but part of the flock for sure. One realist Muslim ventured that Obama worships at a Unitarian Church because it represents the middle ground between Christianity and Islam, incorporating the religious beliefs of the two faiths Obama feels connected to. Unitarianism could be Obama's way of still being a Muslim. (And let's not forget that the church Obama worshiped at for so many years had a minister who reminds most Muslims of their own raving, excitable ministers. Even if Obama really is Christian, he picked the most Muslim-esque minister out of the bunch to guide him.)

The rationalistic, Western side of me knows that Obama has denied being Muslim, that his father was non-practicing, that he doesn't attend a mosque. Many Muslims simply say back, "my father's not a strict Muslim either, and I haven't been to a mosque in years." Obama even told The New York Times he could recite the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, which the vast majority of Muslims, I would guess, do not know well enough to recite.

I think many of us Muslims see Obama as Muslim, or at least of Muslim heritage, because his background epitomizes one of the major Muslim experiences--a diverse upbringing that eludes any easy classification as specifically one religion or one culture. So many of us Muslims around the world have Islam in common, but an altogether different culture from one another. Many Muslims share a culture with a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist community but not the same religion. When faced with such diversity, there are no hard and fast rules for Muslim identity.

The Qur'an speaks often of the umma, or the worldwide community of Muslims. In the early days of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad led the small umma. Every decision, every effort, everything was for the umma--people who were often unrelated by blood but had become related by choice as Muslims. In those early days, many Muslims had gone against the wishes of their own families in converting to Islam, pitting brother against sister, father against child. Perhaps that's why the concept of umma became so dear and is still echoed today--in my opinion, echoed more than that Western favoritejihad--in Muslim homes, whether those homes are in the United States or in Palestine.

Perhaps it is my--and most Muslims'-- loyalty to the umma that is behind our insistence on seeing Obama as Muslim. Islam survived and continues to survive because Muslims believe we have to respect and take care of each other, as members of the umma. If we were to start excluding members, or revising our broad guidelines for admittance, the very essence of the community feeling that is important in Islam, that gives me and other Muslims comfort everyday, would be undercut. So when Obama says he's not Muslim, my umma mentality says I know better. Once you have a Muslim parent, especially a dad, you're in. Whether you like it or not, Muslims all over the world see you as one of them.

Asma Gull Hasan is the author of Red, White, and Muslim: My Story of Belief.


For my part, I don't care if a person is a Muslim. What I care about are his beliefs, or in other words, the content of his character. Given that polls show that many Muslims (40% of Muslims in the UK) want to see Sharia law established in Western nations, I believe we have a real reason to be concerned about further Islamic encroachment. So I do not want to see an increase in the Islamization of the Western world. Thus far, with the increase in a Muslim population, I do not see an increase in assimilation. Were I to see such a thing, I would be the first to celebrate it.

I myself am married to a first-generation immigrant. I tease her and her family about being more American than I. Certainly, they are more patriotic.

When we see great expressions of patriotism coming from the Muslim community, and an organized disavowal of terror and Shari-advocacy, then I will celebrate, along with these other seemingly moderate Muslims, that we have a nominal member of the Ummah as President of our great country.

Until then, just color me suspicious, not so much of Barack Obama (my suspicion of him is more policy-oriented), but of the Muslims who seem to think in a tribalistic manner that one-of-their-own has assumed the greatest power on Earth.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

8 Comments:

Blogger rumcrook said...

yep. he's a muslim.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 2:55:00 am  
Anonymous ciccio said...

Islam and the umma has survived and flourished because it has the propensity to murder all and any who get in its path. One hundred years ago Turkey had a Christian population of 20%, today, after a series of pogroms, expulsions, murder expropriation and mayhem it is about 2%. The same for Lebanon, once known as the Paris of the East, 60% Christian, the first victims have always been the Christians.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 6:36:00 am  
Anonymous Najistani said...

The Ummah - primitive, agressive tribalism.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 8:45:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Najistani,
Thanks for that.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:18:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Of course, the Green Arrow is all for tribalism.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:19:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Rumcrook and Ciccio,
I hold out hope for an actual assimilated, patriotic American Muslim population.

But, until I see a massive, organized opposition to Sharia and Jihad, I won't believe it.

Until the day that Muslims en masse begin to organize and collect the hate literature in their mosque, and carte it down to the recycling center, I just won't believe it.

The Muslims tolerate the Jihad-advocation in their midst. That's the dirty secret.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:21:00 am  
Anonymous Najistani said...

CHANNEL 4 has come under fire from Islamic leaders over a television documentary showing how gay and lesbian Muslims suffer under their laws.

Its director has already had death threats because homosexuality is strictly forbidden by The Koran.

Now station chiefs are bracing themselves for a backlash. Its digital channel More 4 will show A Jihad For Love tonight.

It lifts the lid on the battle gay and lesbian Muslims face as they struggle with their faith and their sexuality.

The documentary not only shows gay Muslims daring to kiss, holding hands and talking about getting married, it also provides harrowing reports on the suffering they have faced under Islamic law.

And it reveals the death threats and punishments handed out to gays in countries including Egypt and Iran.

Indian film maker Parvez Sharma – who spent six years making the programme – revealed: “I have had death threats on my blog after making this film. Some countries have even banned it.

“I’ve been called an apostate because Muslims think I have insulted Islam but I think it will open up a debate.”

Islamic leaders in the UK have attacked the documentary, saying it will offend, anger and shock.

An Imam from Europe’s largest mosque The Baitul Futuh based in Surrey condemned the film last night, saying: “These people should not be confessing their sins to the television cameras.

“They should be doing it in private to God and seeking forgiveness.”

Last night a Channel 4 spokesman defended the documentary.

She said: “This is a sensitively made documentary that has played to critical acclaim at film festivals internationally and is a legitimate area for a documentary film-maker to explore.”

True Stories: A Jihad For Love will be shown on More 4 at 10pm tonight

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/71483/C4-death-theats-over-gay-Muslims-/

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:49:00 am  
Blogger Michael said...

I urge every Muzlim resident of North America to remember their duty to engage in Taqiya....and to issue statements deploring the killing of "innocents". Remind us that "only a minority of Muzlims are radicalised (But we all support our troops, don't we?)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 12:11:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


Older Posts Newer Posts