It Depends on What the Meaning of "Islam" Is...

Mr. Obama has elected to visit a mosque with Muslim Brotherhood and known terrorist connections, in order to explain to us -- while ostensibly speaking to the congregation -- that Muslims deserve more respect. It is indeed important to show proper respect to people, and we would be remiss not to notice that there are Muslim Americans who deserve our uttermost.

The problem is that he is quite selective in whom he is prepared to consider a Muslim. As this Power Line article points out, he seems to read the most troublesome actors out of the faith. His Secretary of State, John F. Kerry, has been going so far as to assert that such terrorists are "apostates," meaning that their behavior has actually thrust them outside of the faith from the perspective of the United States government.
On Twitter, Nasser Weddady, a popular online activist who grew up in Syria, mocked Kerry for his comment. Wedaddy and others also jokingly suggested that Kerry was a "takfiri," a word used to describe a Sunni Muslim who accuses others of apostasy.

I'm confused, I thought John Kerry is a roman catholic. Has he converted to Islam without telling us?

— weddady (@weddady) February 2, 2016

I wanna know how the US ended up with a takfiri Shaikh running the state department..

— weddady (@weddady) February 2, 2016
ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq are takfiri, which is one of the things that most outraged the Sunni tribes over there. They did not much like being told that they weren't real Muslims. At least ISIS is headed by an actual Islamic cleric, rather than a jackass like John Kerry... well, OK, I suppose Baghdadi is both a real Islamic cleric and a jackass. To say that he's an apostate is to jump in where other Muslims fear to tread. The Fiqh Council of North America (another Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, although one that is exceedingly polite, no friend of ISIS, and with its own thoughts on Islam's place in America) holds that it is only God's business. This extends not only to groups like ISIS but to even to Christians or atheists.
Rejection of belief in God will surely have consequences in the afterlife. However, it is up to God to determine these consequences. Such future determination has no bearing on the respect of the humanity of every person in this life. After all, the human is a free agent, and as such each is individually responsible before God for his/her belief and moral choices. A person can be held accountable in this life only if such a moral choice infringes on the rights of individual or society such as the commission of crimes or acts of aggression. In other words, no human is entitled to dehumanize or punish another on the sole ground that the later is following a different religion or no religion at all. This value implies that peaceful co-existence among followers of all religions and respecting their humanity is not only possible, but also mandated in the Qur’an.
That sounds great, and it is my sincere hope that they really mean it. The Brotherhood has a history, though. It's not just how they acted following their ascension to power in Egypt after the Arab Spring. They were organizing for revolution before the outbreak of WWII. They fielded battalions during WWII on the Nazi side -- not that they were pro-Nazi so much as anti-British, resenting the British colonial period, but they did share some anti-Jewish opinions with the Germans. They switched to unconventional warfare tactics following Rommel's defeat. They assassinated the Prime Minister and attempted to kill members of the Royalist government after the war. They assisted Nasser in his successful coup. Ten minutes later, they started trying to overthrow Nasser. Every time somebody else is stronger, they talk about culture and sport and the nobility of morals; every time they get a shot at power, it's bombs and mob violence.

Nevertheless, the United States executive has a long and interesting relationship with the Brotherhood -- one dating to Eisenhower, but carried on by each successive President until George W. Bush broke it up after the 9/11 attacks. The selection of this particular mosque was not, as Investors Business Daily suggests, a failure of vetting. It was not, as Power Line suggests, willful blindness. It is a message, one of many this President has sent:

UPDATE: Friendly fire from the NYT.

UPDATE: More friendly fire, this time from a Muslim writer who urges his co-religionists to abandon the Muslim Brotherhood's project of 'restoring the caliphate' forever.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Obama's point is never who he is rewarding, but who he is punishing. He is petty and mean and holds grudges for decades.

Grim said...

In a year he won't matter. The Brotherhood is almost 90. They're still going to matter. We should probably think through whether or not 'putting the band back together' is really the best policy for us.

MikeD said...

By the way, the title you chose for this piece is excellent.

Ymar Sakar said...

Up to God means INshallah. If Baghdadi conquers and obtains the Caliphate and a lineage to Mohammed, he inherits, for that is the will of Allah. If Baghdadi dies and ends up like Bush II's former ally, Qaddafi, then that was also the will of Allah.

Military force is what determines who Allah favors.

Grim said...

I think that's the Chinese view: "the Mandate of Heaven" and all that.

Ymar Sakar said...

As for what Muslims deserve, I think they need to see the martial knowledge developed in America and Europe and China that allows a two handed sword to cut through a person's neck in one swing. That's what they deserve to know, at least.

As a comparison tool for their "sawing antics". I watched that first video of their beheading back in the day, a few times, and it was interesting their technique. Or rather of it.