Friday, September 16, 2016

Why Obama Lies About Islam

Michael Lumish

I love their architecture, however.
Those of you who have read the recently deceased scholar of Middle East politics, Barry Rubin, will recall that he absolutely refused to "lie for peace." Rubin often complained that many of his colleagues would essentially lie to the public on various matters relating to the Middle East out of a sincere desire to smooth over hostilities and bring about a more peaceful world.

They were "lying for peace" and Rubin absolutely refused to do it.

In a 2009 piece entitled, Truth, Logic, Rationality and The Israel-Palestinian Conflict: “Lying for Peace” to Protect Fatah, Rubin wrote:
In other words, without fear or favor, figure out what’s going on and say so honestly. You don’t have to “lie for peace”; or tell fibs because you like “doves” and dislike “hawks”; or because you are on the left so you don’t want to give “aid and comfort” to those on the right; or because you really know best for the people involve so you load the dice.

First you figure out what’s happening and THEN you reach a conclusion, rather than the other way around.
Rubin believed that far too many of his colleagues, both in journalism and in scholarship, skewed their conclusions in order to bring about a desired political result. He considered this not only a sin against the very foundation of both scholarship and journalism, but an entirely counterproductive measure that could do nothing but delay an honest reckoning of accounts. Rubin believed that lying for peace did not only not bring peace, but extended the length and ferocity of conflicts because important essential truths were never faced.

And this is why - I suspect - that Barack Obama continually lies about the nature and history of the Islamic faith.

Nonetheless, why he lies about Islam is open to question, but that he lies about Islam is not.

Islam Means Peace

In his February 3, 2016, speech before the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Obama told the assembled members of the faith:
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.  The standard greeting is as-salamu alaykum -- peace be upon you.  And like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity.
This is false.

Barack Obama, for obvious reasons, has closer ties, and thus knowledge, of the Islamic world than any US president before him. He spent his early years in Indonesia studying in an Islamic school and, thus, had to know - certainly by the time he became a full-grown President of the United States - that the meaning of the Arabic word Islam is not "peace" but "submission."

So let's start with this fact. Barack Obama lied through his teeth in a mosque filled with Muslims, many of whom knew better. Any self-professed Muslim with the least bit of knowledge concerning his or her own faith knows very well that Obama lied about Islam. Certainly the older and more serious and more knowledgeable members of the Islamic Society of Baltimore knew that he was lying, but they also knew that he was lying in their favor.

My own biases tell me that if Obama were to lie in favor of Judaism, he would never hear the end of it from these kvetching Jews. Jews would write articles and emails and make nasty phone calls and would argue in the streets with one another, stamping their feet and waving their arms around, had Obama the temerity to lie about Judaism in a positive way.

But, just why did he lie about Islam?

He lied for peace!

Furthermore, this lie was not even directed at Muslims. It was directed at you.

It was directed at non-Muslim Americans who, given the daily fact of violent Jihad around the world, might get the impression that the Islamic doctrine of Jihad could have something to do with the Islamic doctrine of Jihad... and that is simply unacceptable.

Because the truth could make American Muslims feel vulnerable, Barack Obama lies to the American public in the hope of creating a positive and amicably pluralistic American cultural atmosphere. His motivation for lying is the very same motivation that Rubin complains about concerning his colleagues who also, counterproductively, lie for peace.

He wants to set things right via deception.

The Holy Koran Teaches...

In his pivotal 2009 speech before the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, Obama said:
The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as -- it is as if he has killed all mankind. And the Holy Koran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. 
This is also a lie, although in this case it is a lie of omission.

Obama mangled Sura 5:32, in part by leaving out Sura 5:33.

Sura 5:32 reads:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
This is actually an admonishment to the "Children of Israel." It is in the Talmud that we read the above noble sentiment. What we do not have in the Talmud, however, is the punishment for those Jewish "transgressors" that we get in the Qur'an.

The sweet sentiment above, in the Qur'an, is immediately followed by Sura 5:33, which reads:
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
For some unknown reason Obama left out the bit about crucifying Jewish transgressors or the chopping off of a hand and a foot on opposite sides of the body.

What kind of religion of peace and compassion and sweetness and all-things-good, recommends the chopping off of a hand and a foot from opposite sides of the body as a matter of justice?

And, again, why did Obama lie to the world about the nature of Islam?

He did so, because he lies for peace.

This time, however, he did not merely lie to the American people about the nature of Islam, but lied to the entire world about the nature of Islam. He did so, I am sure, in the sincere hope that people might start "making nice" and hopefully ease the violently psychotic Islamic dream of reestablishing the Caliphate.

Lying for peace, however, did not work, as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Chief Head Chopper of the Islamic State (IS), would readily confirm.

Lying for Peace

Barack Obama lies for peace because as president of the United States he has a solemn obligation to promote harmony in the realm. The chances are very good that he knew that he lied, but politicians lie all the time and usually in far less worthwhile causes. In the cases above, and numerous others that you could find if you were to dig into the matter, Obama is not lying for personal gain, or to club his political enemies over the head, but to help encourage an evolution toward human decency on an international level.

It may be criminally naive and hopelessly idealistic, but there is little malevolence in his motives.

The problem is that we infidels sometimes have a curious nature and are willing to actually learn a thing or two about an ideology that calls for our murder. And make no mistake, the conflict between Islam and the West is not about western imperialism. Given the fact that Islam is the most successful imperialist project in the history of the world, Jihad could hardly be an anti-imperialist project. In fact, Islamic supremacism and imperialism lie at the very heart of Jihad.

The conflict, on the Muslim end, is theocratic and ideological and the Qur'an rallies the "believers" to war against the filthy kuffar, the hypocritical "unbelievers" in an exceedingly material, worldly, and violent manner.

Whatever else Islam may be, for the "unbeliever" Islam is emphatically not a religion of "compassion and mercy and justice and charity."

Western-left bigots tend to think that criticism of Islam is actually a "racist" defamation of Muslims as people.

It isn't.

Muslims, in general, are not running around blowing shit up. They may approve, or disapprove, in various ways and measures, of the violent Jihad, but to conflate jihadis with regular Muslims is, indeed, prejudicial and bigoted.

The sick irony, of course, is that when soft-hearted, progressive-left westerners seek to protect the Muslim community from anti-Jihadis they are unwittingly conflating regular Muslims with Osama bin Ladin and the Head Choppers.

When organizations like CAIR, or the Muslim Students Association (MSA), condemn anti-Jihadis as racist, anti-Muslim, Islamophobic bigots they are implying that day-to-day Muslims are Jihadis.

They aren't.


  1. Mike,
    I just read the interview with Tuvia Tenenbom in Israel Hayom (link supplied by Elder) and he touches on the same themes.
    Your piece, I think, is outstanding. You really put your finger on it. I think what you (and the late, great Barry Rubin) are saying is what has been bothering me for the longest time, i.e., lying for peace. It can't work because these are not small differences to be smoothed over. And I think it's also what's wrong with our political culture more generally.
    I read your piece a few hours ago and was thinking about it (in between being busy, busy, busy!), and just now read the Tenenbom interview. It's quite a coincidence.

    Let me know your impressions of the Tuvia interview when you have time.

    1. I like Tuvia, as well, but I thought that he overstated his case in the US in terms of American racism.

      In fact, I would argue that the US is among the least racist countries on the planet.

      I would also argue that a bit of nationalism serves to protect the people, otherwise you end up like Sweden.

      However, I think that he is right on the money when it comes to political correctness.

      It's not just that many people are afraid to say what they actually think, but that our capacity to even think beyond politically correct categories is being smothered.

    2. Yes, he certainly overstates some things, including Jew's wild support for anti-Israel speakers and positions.
      It's the PC part that I was referring to, which I think is the larger point.

      "our capacity to even think beyond politically correct categories is being smothered.
      That would have been good to include in your piece.

  2. Mike,
    How exactly is what Obama says about Islam different from what Bush said about Islam?

    Could you provide the link for the Tennebom interview? I've been reading his book.

    1. That's a very good question and the answer really has more to do with me than it has to do with them.

      The difference is that Bush was likely ignorant of the tenets of Islam, while it is difficult to believe that Obama is.

      During Bush's tenure - and, I tell ya, I must have marched a dozen times from Delores Park to Civic Center against Bush's wars - I was equally ignorant about the nature of Islam.

      It's only really been in recent years that I have learned a thing or two about the religion of the Qur'an. I didn't realize how thoroughly we have been lied to about the character and goals of Muhammad's faith.

      My excuse was ignorance.

      What's Obamas?

      In any case, we see what is going on in Europe and I do not think that we want to start handing out little cards to Middle Eastern and North African emigres asking them to kindly not grope the women in the swimming pool, as they've recently been doing in Germany.

      The Infidels (kuffar) are considered a lesser form of humanity and our women are considered theirs for the plucking.

      Islam, as it expresses itself in its primary sources (Qur'an and Hadith) is a compassion-free ideology of conquest and Islamic supremacism.

      btw, as an aside, Islam is not one of the Abrahamic faiths.

      It's lineage is dubious, at best.

    2. Bush may have been ignorant, but he had at least some competent people around him. The real answer is the same for both Obama and Bush, diplomacy. I know you want our officials to tell Muslims what they really think, but in the world of international relations, diplomats just don't do that.

    3. Joseph,
      Here's the link.

      Which book are you reading?

    4. Thanks, the book is Catch the Jew.

    5. Please, let's not fall into the "Bush was just an ignoramus" argument. Bush knew enough about Islam. His family was in the oil business. He lied too. But I don't think he in any way had Obama's formative feelings for it.
      There is a story Mark Steyn told about the one and only time he met Bush. He mentioned to him one of many incidents where Muslims went ballistic and violent over, I believe it might have been the Danish cartoons. Bush looked at him with a wry smile and said something like, "well, you know, it's always SOMETHING with them."

      I'll tell you what, those liberals who enthusiastically embraced the so-called Arab Spring got it as wrong as Bush did with his war to topple Saddam Hussein and democratize Iraq.

    6. Diplomacy.

      Well, that's a fair point and it is consistent with Rubin's "lying for peace" thesis.

      I think, tho, that it says something about Islam that our diplomats and politicians must lie about it if we wish to maintain reasonable diplomatic relations.

      I feel like the wool has been pulled over our eyes to such an extent that even the professoriate cannot seem to see past the feel-good bullshit.

      Those in the academe who concern themselves with Middle Eastern politics and its relationship to the conflict and to Islam are not liars, they're ideologues.

    7. Mike,

      Why do you say that Islam is not an Abrahamic religion? It's an interesting statement. Pal Arabs certainly go and pray at the cave of the patriarchs. What is your reasoning?

    8. Jeff,

      Well, to say that Islam is one of the three Abrahamic faiths is to say that Muhammad is part of the lineage that goes to Abraham.

      The question of lineage is hugely important in many, if not most, religions.

      For example, if you're a Franciscan monk this means that you were initiated into the sect and tutored by other Franciscan monks who were also taught by Franciscan monks, ultimately going back to the beginnings of the order.

      They have a similar tradition in Zen Buddhism in which "transmission" is past on from the Master to his best students who then have the honor of eventually taking his place within the temple or starting a fresh branch from within the same lineage.

      Judaism, of course, is the first of the Abrahamic faiths. Christianity is the second because Jesus was a Jew who learned at the feet of rabbis and passed his own thinking, and innovations, of the Hebraic tradition to the apostles.

      Muhammad, on the other hand, has no direct lineage to Abraham. His knowledge of scripture, both Jewish and Christian, was simply picked up from stories told by various Jews and Christians on the Arabian peninsula, but there is no indication that he ever seriously studied under a rabbi, nor at the feet of learned Christian.

      Thus Muhammad comes from outside the Abrahamic tradition.

      This is confirmed by the fact that the Qur'an absolutely denies the validity of both Christianity and Judaism and, therefore, could not possibly be considered part of the line of either tradition.

      But, as always, I am willing to be corrected if I am mistaken.

    9. That is very interesting.

      Of course, if you go around telling people that Islam is not one of "3 great Abrahamic religions," you know what you'll be called, no?

      I have heard and read before the claim that Islam is but an imitation of Judaism and Christianity, from Paul Johnson all the way to Christopher Hitchens, but the way that you just stated it really brings it home for me. Thank you for clarifying that!

    10. As to diplomacy, check out Michael Totten's post that referred to attitudes towards political correctness in the Middle East:

  3. Israel and the United Nations

    (complete transcript of a short pro-Israel
    speech by Mr. Patrick Condell)

  4. "And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam -- peace. The standard greeting is as-salamu alaykum -- peace be upon you."

    "This is false. ... the meaning of the Arabic word Islam is not "peace" but 'submission.'"

    I fully support your argument of Sura 5:22 followed by Sura 5:23. However, the argument I quote is flawed. Obama did not just assert that Islam means peace, he stated the Arabic root word of Islam and that that root word means peace. Now, if you were to suggest an alternate Arabic root word for the word "Islam" or suggest that "salaam" means something else, it would undermine Obama's argument. Otherwise, you are judging his argument by its conclusion rather than his conclusion by its argument. It is in not doing so that reference to Suras 5:22-23 is valid.

    1. Well, this is just going to open up a big can of worms.

      You're right, of course.

      I think my best response to the question is actually lifted from Karen on September 1 of this year, beneath this article:

      “Islam in fact is not a violent religion. The word Islam comes from two root words: peace and submission.”

      I’m no linguist, but how is that possible? ‘Submission’ (aslama) and ‘Peace’ (salaam) both derive from the root s-l-m, but they are two distinct words with different meanings. The fact that they look/sound similar does not mean they have similar meanings, or that ‘Islam’ can take both meanings simultaneously. Perhaps I’m missing something.

      I honestly don’t know which root is the correct one, but no one has convinced me that it can be both. So, whenever I hear this dual definition of the word Islam, I suspect sloppy analysis at best, and deception at worst.

      The general consensus, unless I am terribly mistaken, is that the word "Islam" is understood to mean "submission."

      In any case, it's one of those tricky little issues that I've only just recently become aware of.