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Critical Thinking on Cairo

Critical thinking seems to have eluded the media and academic elites in their mostly gushing reaction to the President’s speech on the Middle East, given in Cairo. Fortunately, the people who really know something about the issues involved are attempting to fill the void.

“The Speech contained a number of statements about the laudable qualities of America, the need for freedom in the Muslim world, about women’s rights and the desirability of peace,” Frank Gaffney, Jr. [1] concludes. “But its preponderant and much more important message was one that could have been crafted by the Muslim Brotherhood: America has a president who is, wittingly or not, advancing the Brotherhood’s agenda of masking the true nature of Shariah and encouraging the West’s submission to it.”

And who is the Muslim Brotherhood and what is Shariah? “By and large, President Obama’s address yesterday in Cairo has been well received in both the so-called ‘Muslim world’ and by other audiences,” Gaffney observed on June 5, 2009. “Nobody may be happier with it, though, than the Muslim Brotherhood-the global organization that seeks to impose authoritative Islam’s theo-political-legal program known as ‘Shariah’ through stealthy means where violence [sic] ones are not practicable.”

“Egyptian Muslim Brothers were prominent among the guests in the audience at Cairo University and Brotherhood-associated organizations in America, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have rapturously endorsed the speech.”

Gaffney served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration. Prior to his service in the Pentagon, he worked as an advisor on foreign policy and defense for several prominent Democratic senators in the 1970s.

“There was not one reference to terrorism, let alone Islamic terrorism,” Gaffney observes of Obama’s Cairo speech. “Indeed, any connection between the two is treated as evidence of some popular delusion.”

“The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has [sic] led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights,” President Obama said in Cairo. “This has bred more fear and mistrust.”

“At least as troubling are what amount to instances of presidential dawa, the Arabic term for Islamic proselytization,” Gaffney writes. “For example, Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to ‘the Holy Koran.'”

“It seems unimaginable that he ever would ever use the adjective to describe the Bible or the Book of Mormon.” Additionally, Gaffney claims, the commander-in-chief engaged in some fuzzy math that went well beyond the bounds of diplomacy.

“If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” the president had said in an interview before the speech had been given.

“Unfortunately, a pattern is being established whereby President Obama routinely exaggerates the Muslim character of America,” Gaffney argues. “For example, at Cairo University, he claimed there are nearly seven million Muslims in this country-a falsehood promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its friends-when the actual number is well-less than half that.”

“I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” the president said in Cairo.

“Note that, although he referred in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict to ‘vile stereotypes’ of Jews, he did not describe it as ‘part of his responsibility as President’ to counter anti-Semitic representations,” Gaffney himself notes. “Unremarked was the fact that such incitement is daily fare served up by the state media controlled by his host in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak, by the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas and by every other despot in the region with whom Mr. Obama seeks to ‘engage.'”

“Worse yet, no mention was made of the fact that some of those ‘vile stereotypes’-notably, that Jews are ‘descendants of apes and pigs’-are to be found in ‘the Holy Koran,’ itself.”

“The Koran is actually a very confusing book,” Jim Kouri [2] points out in an article in the New York Examiner. “It does not provide practitioners of Islam a clear and unambiguous roadmap to heaven.”

“In fact, Arabic scholars have explained that the Koran is divided into two contradictory-opposing-viewpoints of how Muslims should interact with one another as well as non-believers.” Kouri also serves as vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Scholars divide the Koran as written by Muhammad into the Mecca period from 610 to 622; and the Medina period from 622 to 632,” Kouri points out. “Mecca is best described as a period of tolerance, even pluralism.”

“It was a belief in ‘live and let live.’ (‘You shall have your religion and I shall have mine.’)

“However, the Medina period can be characterized as a religion delving into politics, power and armed conflict in the name of Allah. (‘And kill them wherever you find them.’)

“So when we hear Islamic leaders discuss their beliefs, we come away as confused as the Muslims themselves. The fact is that some may be referring to Mecca, some may be referring to Medina, and some may be referring to both the Mecca and Medina.

“Besides the confusion caused by the Koran, add other components of Islam such as Sunna, Hadith and Rivya, and it’s no wonder that Koranic scholars are at odds with one another.”