Obama White House Extols His Muslim Background (Guest Voice)
President Barack Obama’s speech from Cairo generated lots of comment all over the world and, in the United States, on the left and the right due to his comments about the Middle East on and Muslims. In this Guest Voice post, conservative writers Floyd and Mary Beth Brown argue that Obama team owes Floyd an apology due to the way they responded to his raising questions about Obama’s Muslim ties during campaign 2008. Guest Voice posts do not necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV or its writers.
Obama White House Extols His Muslim Background
By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
In Cairo, Egypt in his highly anticipated speech to the Muslim world Barack Obama quoted the Quran as commanding, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.” He then said he shared that conviction, as “rooted in my own experience.”
One year ago in June 2008, Floyd produced a television ad which asked the simple question, “Was Barack Obama ever a Muslim?” The Obama campaign came unglued. It earned Floyd prominent placement on a special Obama Web site called “Fight the Smears.”
The news media jumped on the bandwagon. Newsweek reported: “Barack Obama has never been Muslim and never practiced Islam. But rumors about his religion intended to frighten some voters persist, and they mostly return to one point of fact: his name.” The Boston Globe wrote: “Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ. His Kenyan paternal grandfather and Indonesian stepfather were Muslim, but he attended secular and Catholic schools and was never a practicing Muslim.”
The attacks on Floyd grew personal; Chris Matthews, on MSNBC, all but called Floyd a racist, saying, “This guy hides under a rock every couple generations, shows up again with another ad against a black candidate.” (There never was a black nominee to do ads against before Obama, but facts are not important to Matthews.) Obama even blamed Floyd for breaking his pledge to use public financing for his campaign saying, “527s pop up pretty quickly and have enormous influence and we’ve seen them — there was an ad, one in South Dakota by Floyd Brown I think where it took a speech that I had made extolling faith and made it seem as if I had said that America was a Muslim nation.”
Now all has changed with Barack Obama’s coming out to the Muslim world. Jake Tapper of ABC News reports, “The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign. During a conference call in preparation for President Obama’s trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said ‘the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to — or before he’s been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world — you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father — obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago.’”
Tapper also reported, “In his April 6 address to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama referenced how many ‘Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country. I know, because I am one of them.’”
It is time for the Obama team to apologize for their attacks of last year.
Obama’s official Web site said, “But shameful, shadowy attackers have been lying about Barack’s religion, claiming he is a Muslim instead of a committed Christian. When people fabricate stories about someone’s faith to denigrate them politically, that’s an attack on people of all faiths.”
Media reporting on these issues were inaccurate and biased.
The best reporting disclosed that Obama regularly attended Friday prayers at the mosque with his adopted Muslim stepfather in Indonesia. He attended both Roman Catholic and public schools in Indonesia, but by Indonesian law the religious training he received in both schools was Islamic. Despite this information, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe disingenuously wrote the following sentence, “In five years there, Obama attended a Roman Catholic school, then a public elementary school, where he sat through a class each week of religious studies.” The only religion Wolffe mentioned is not the religion Obama studied, giving the reader an inaccurate impression.
A few moments of candor did appear in 2008, like when Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times reported, “[H]e told me last year, on the record, that the Muslim call to prayer is ‘one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.’” This is the same call to prayer which denounces all other religions with this sentence, “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.” Inside the Islamic world, the “call to prayer” frightens minority groups, and is a symbol of oppression because these nations have strictly limited religious freedom.
So when Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, says Iran has a right to nuclear reactors, tells Hamas and the PLO that Israel should give up large portions of Jerusalem, nobody should be surprised. However, many Americans seemed shocked by the dramatic policy shifts.
We wonder what Donna Caskey thinks now. Caskey, a 62-year-old retired school teacher in South Carolina told The Boston Globe she researched the issue of Obama’s Muslim roots, saying, “I did a lot of research, and that is such bunk.” She e-mailed findings. “We do have a lot of people in our state, bless their darling hearts, they’re gullible.” Sorry, Donna, you’re the gullible one. Obama’s now changed his story.
©2009 Floyd and Mary Beth Brown. Distibuted exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.