Middle East studies in the News
S.U.B.M.I.S.S.I.O.N. [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Frank Gaffney, Jr.
How appropriate that Barack Obama featured Aretha Franklin in his inaugural festivities since her signature song is "Respect." Literally from the moment she finished belting out "My Country Tis of Thee" on January 20, the new President has been conveying his "respect" the Muslim world. Unfortunately, the way he practices it seems to be spelled S.U.B.M.I.S.S.I.O.N.
Several observers have noted in recent days that Mr. Obama's outreach to the Muslim world is not only defensive and apologetic. It explicitly embraces a narrative that is factually erroneous and deprecating to his own country.
For example, in his inaugural address, the President spoke of seeking "a new way forward [with the Muslim world], based on mutual interest and mutual respect." He amplified this idea during his first post-inaugural interview which was granted to a Saudi-owned network, al-Arabiya: He is determined to "restore" the "same respect and partnership America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago."
The problem with this formulation is that it misrepresents the more distant as well as the recent past, even as it panders to those (abroad and at home) who would blame the United States for the ills of the Muslim world. As Charles Krauthammer put it in his syndicated column last week, over the past 20 years, "America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them….It is both both false and injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized."
The President also told al-Arabiya that: "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Lest there be any doubt about the priority he attaches to this messaging, Mr. Obama repeated the point. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."
For good measure, the new President described America as a country of "Muslims, Christians, Jews" and others-- a presumably intentional upgrading of adherents to the faith of his father, Islam, from the second place position he accorded them in his State of the Union address several days before. (The rankings of both orderings obviously reflect something other than demographics; there are far fewer Muslims than Christians in the United States and, according to independent estimates, only half as many-- or less-- than Jews.)
Mr. Obama has also seriously mischaracterized our enemy as "a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," averring "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence done in that faith’s name." Such statements deliberately ignore the animating and unifying role in jihad of authoritative Islam's violent and hateful theo-political-legal program: Shariah.
What is really worrying is that Mr. Obama’s actions and rhetoric are almost certainly being perceived by his target audience as evidence not of respect but of subservience-- precisely what Islam (literally, "submission" in Arabic) requires of all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims, alike. Consider the following:
If surrender in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were not enough, upcoming opportunities for Mr. Obama to exhibit American submission to Islam include: ordering U.S. participation in the UN’s "Durban II" conference-- thereby legitimating its Iranian-dictated, rabidly anti-Israel, anti-American, Holocaust-denying and "Islamophobia"-banning agenda; adopting the program for undermining Israel promoted by longtime Friends-of-Barack Rashid Khalidi and Samantha Power (the latter just appointed a senior National Security Council official); and reversing the FBI’s long-overdue decision to end its association with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent front organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (whose stated mission is "to destroy America from within.")
Whatever Barack Obama’s intentions, the kind of "respect" he is exhibiting towards Shariah-adherent Muslims will surely be seen by them as submission. And that spells only one thing: D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org