Andrew C. McCarthy:
In Egypt, the president is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a pious Muslim. Having grown up in the world’s center of sharia scholarship and closely studied the subject, he has courageously proclaimed that Islam desperately needs a “religious revolution.”
In the United States, the president is Barack Obama, a non-Muslim. His childhood experience of Islam, which ended when he was just ten, occurred in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country, but a non-Arabic one where the teaching and practice of Islam is very different from what it is in the Middle East.
While Sisi sees a dangerous flaw in Islam, Obama believes America needs to be “fundamentally transformed” but Islam is fine as is. You see the problem, no?
Said problem was very much on display this week at the president’s “summit” on “countering violent extremism,” the administration’s euphemism for confronting violent jihad. The latter phrase is verboten because Obama will not concede the close nexus between Islam and modern terrorism.
In reality, the summit had so little to do with confronting terrorism that the president did not invite the FBI director — you know, the head of the agency to which federal law assigns primary responsibility for terrorism investigations.
The summit was really about advancing the “social justice” agenda of “progressive” politics. The president and his underlings somehow reason that the answer to the barbarity of ISIS and al-Qaeda is to “empower local communities” here and abroad. Apparently, if the community organizers rouse the rabble to demand that government address “injustice” and Muslim “grievances,” the alienation that purportedly drives young Muslims into the jihadists’ arms will abate. This is the strategic political aspect of the Left’s denial of terrorism’s ideological roots: If terrorism is not caused by Islamic supremacism, then it must be caused by something else . . . and that something somehow always manages to be a government policy opposed by the Left: insufficient income redistribution, running Gitmo, our alliance with Israel, surveillance of radical mosques, etc. Smearing your political opponents as the root cause of mass-murder attacks — it’s a very nice weapon to have in one’s demagogic arsenal.
To the extent the summit dealt with Islam, it was to play the counterproductive game of defining the “true” Islam in order to discredit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as purveyors of a “false” or “perverted” Islam. To try to pull this off, Obama relied on the bag of tricks toted by his “moderate Islamist” allies (who also turn out to be reliable progressives).
In his summit speech, Obama made the concession — which was almost shocking coming from him — that ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists “do draw” from “Islamic texts.” He mocked them, however, for doing so “selectively.” The clear suggestion was that the terrorists deceive when they assert that Islamic scripture commands Muslims to, for example, “strike terror into the hearts” of non-believers, decapitate them (“smite their necks”), or enslave them. He intimated that there must be some balancing scriptures, some other side of the story nullifying these belligerent commands.
But then, almost in the next breath, the president engaged in the same bowdlerizing of Islamic teaching of which he had just accused our enemies. We should, he said, be listening to, instead of the terrorists, “Muslim clerics and scholars” who “push back on this twisted interpretation” and assure us “that the Koran says, ‘Whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.’”
The Koran does indeed say that, in Sura 5:32. Yet, in the very next verse, conveniently omitted by Obama (5:33), it goes on to say:
Yes, ”innocents” in the Koran only mean Muslims who are such.
There is no such thing as an innocent infidel.
And it is a crime for an innocent infidel (an impossibility, after all) to kill a Muslim under ANY circumstances.
Obama pretends to understand Islam, but he defers to Muslim Brotherhood buddies for his argumentation.
Thus we see the exact same fallacies and grammar school (you, too!) points in his and their responses.
Obama has placed Muslim Brotherhood members in positions where they contribute to guiding our national foreign policies.
The Muslim Brotherhood was Obama’s winner-of-choice for the falsely named Arab Spring.
When it got overturned in Egypt Obama turned his back on Egypt even as Egypt takes the lead in fighting terrorists.
The Muslim Brotherhood is just as brutal and murderous as ISIS but to Obama it is ”Islamic,” while ISIS is not.
Muslim Brotherhood even threw men they accused of homosexuality off rooftops just as ISIS did.
Muslim Brotherhood burned Christian Churches, looted homes of Christians and them murdered those Christians just like ISIS does.
Muslim Brotherhood made a business of kidnapping, raping, forcibly marrying Christian girls they claimed had become Muslims, just like ISIS does.
How can Obama explain this?
So he slides the goalposts by centuries to create a false sense of moral equivalence.