Dont Know What Obama Said at the Mosque
By Dennis Prager
February 9, 2016
If you seek to understand Barack Obama and his views, the
best place to go is his speeches. But you have to read them in their entirety,
not rely on hearing them or on the media's summary of them. When you do, you
realize how often what Obama says is morally and intellectually confused and
The most recent example was his speech last week at a
mosque in Baltimore. In addition to reassuring Muslim Americans that they are as
American as Americans of every other faith President Obama spoke a lot of
nonsense, some of it dangerous.
President Obama: "So let's start with this fact: For
more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam's message of peace.
And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam peace."
Why did Obama say this? Even Muslim websites acknowledge
that "Islam" means "submission" [to Allah], that it comes
from the Arabic root "aslama" meaning submission, and that
"Islam" is in the command form of that verb.
That's why "Muslim" means "One who
submits," not "One who is peaceful."
Obama: "Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies
of the Quran."
The reason Jefferson had a copy of the Quran was to try to
understand it in light of what the Muslim ambassador from Tripoli had told him
and John Adams. When asked why Tripoli pirates were attacking American ships and
enslaving Americans, the Muslim ambassador explained that Muslims are commanded
to do so by the Quran: "It was written in their Quran that all nations
which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and
duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman [Muslim]
who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to Paradise."
That's why Jefferson and Adams had Qurans.
Obama: "And how do we move forward together? ... It
can't be just a burden on the Muslim community although the Muslim community
has to play a role."
Most Americans would say that the American Muslim community
has to play "the" role, not "a" role in preventing violent
Islam from capturing the minds of American Muslims, and in helping authorities
identify extremist Muslims.
Obama: "Second, as Americans, we have to stay true to
our core values, and that includes freedom of religion for all faiths."
This is so obviously true that one wonders why the
president felt it necessary to mention it.
Obama: "There are Christians who are targeted now in
the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews
who've lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave
because they feel themselves under assault - sometimes by Muslims."
One would have expected that after mentioning
"Christians targeted now in the Middle East," he would have mentioned
"Jews targeted now in the Middle East." That, however, would
presumably have been too controversial to say. So, the president mentioned the
many Jews in France "who now feel obliged to leave" their country
because "they feel themselves under assault" and then came the
corker: "sometimes by Muslims."
Sometimes? French Jews have recently been murdered,
tortured and harassed more than at any time since the Holocaust. And virtually
every one of those attacks has been perpetrated by Muslims.
Obama: "We have to be consistent in condemning hateful
rhetoric and violence against everyone. And that includes against Muslims here
in the United States of America."
Two facts are relevant here. One is that religious hate
crimes are exceedingly rare in America. The other is that in 2014, the last year
for which we have data, Jews were targets of hate crimes four times more
frequently than Muslims.
Obama: "I often hear it said that we need moral
clarity in this fight. And the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say,
these are all Islamic terrorists, then we would actually have solved the problem
by now, apparently."
The president has made extensive use of the straw man a
false target that he then attacks. This is one such example. No one has ever
said that if the president were to identify Islamic terrorists by name instead
of nameless "violent extremists," "we would actually have solved
the problem by now."
What drives most Americans crazy is that the president of
the United States refuses to name the enemy. And this rewriting of reality
filters down. Increasingly, for example, when (and if) 9/11 is taught in
American schools, the attackers are never identified as Muslims.
Obama: "And, by the way, the notion that America is at
war with Islam ignores the fact that the world's religions are a part of who we
Another straw man. No American of any stature has said that
"America is at war with Islam."
Obama: "In the discussion I had before I came out,
some people said, why is there always a burden on us? When a young man in
Charleston shoots African-Americans in a church, there's not an expectation that
every white person in America suddenly is explaining that they're not
This point alone should have been publicized by the media
that the president of the United States tells Muslims that they have no
moral obligation to condemn violence committed in the name of Islam.
Obama: "American Muslims are better positioned than
anybody to show that it is possible to be faithful to Islam ... and to believe
That is actually true. Given that theocracy, not democracy,
is a central tenet of Islam, if an Islam compatible with democracy ever
develops, it will probably develop in America.
Obama: "These are the voices of Muslim scholars, some
of whom join us today, who know Islam has a tradition of respect for other
Another falsehood. Islam has no such tradition. Islam has
always demanded that Jews and Christians be treated as humiliated second-class
citizens when not forced to choose between conversion or death.
Now you know what President Obama said at the Islamic
Society of Baltimore. But if you just read or listened to the mainstream media,
you would have missed it because none of this was reported. It was all about, as
the headline in USA Today put it, "At Baltimore mosque, Obama condemns