March 02, 2009
Muslims Feel B.Hussein Obama One Of Their Own
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 ~ Wild Thing
My Muslim President Obama
by Asma Gull Hasan
Why members of the Islamic faith see him as one of the flock.
I know President Obama is not Muslim, but I am tempted nevertheless to think that he is, as are most Muslims I know.
In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel, just as African-Americans did for the non-black but culturally leaning African-American President Bill Clinton, that we have our first American Muslim president in Barack Hussein Obama.
I know it's odd to say this. At first, I thought I was the only Muslim engaging in this folly, and I am reluctant to express it lest right-wing zealots try to use "Muslim" as a smear and cite my theory as proof of an Islamic traitor in the White House or some such nonsense.
But, since Election Day, I have been part of more and more conversations with Muslims in which it was either offhandedly agreed that Obama is Muslim or enthusiastically blurted out. In commenting on our new president, "I have to support my fellow Muslim brother," would slip out of my mouth before I had a chance to think twice.
"Well, I know he's not really Muslim," I would quickly add. But if the person I was talking to was Muslim, they would say, "yes he is." They would cite his open nature and habit of reaching out to critics, reminiscent of the Prophet Muhammad's own approach, and also Obama's middle name, Hussein. Most of the Muslims I know (me included) can't seem to accept that Obama is not Muslim.
Of the few Muslims I polled who said that Obama is not Muslim, even they conceded that he had ties to Islam.
These realists said that, although not an avowed and practicing Muslim, Obama's exposure to Islam at a young age (both through his father and his stint in Indonesia) has given him a Muslim sensibility. In my book, that makes you a Muslim--maybe not a card-carrying one, but part of the flock for sure.
One realist Muslim ventured that Obama worships at a Unitarian Church because it represents the middle ground between Christianity and Islam, incorporating the religious beliefs of the two faiths Obama feels connected to. Unitarianism could be Obama's way of still being a Muslim. (And let's not forget that the church Obama worshiped at for so many years had a minister who reminds most Muslims of their own raving, excitable ministers. Even if Obama really is Christian, he picked the most Muslim-esque minister out of the bunch to guide him.)
The rationalistic, Western side of me knows that Obama has denied being Muslim, that his father was non-practicing, that he doesn't attend a mosque. Many Muslims simply say back, "my father's not a strict Muslim either, and I haven't been to a mosque in years."
Obama even told The New York Times he could recite the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, which the vast majority of Muslims, I would guess, do not know well enough to recite.
I think many of us Muslims see Obama as Muslim, or at least of Muslim heritage, because his background epitomizes one of the major Muslim experiences--a diverse upbringing that eludes any easy classification as specifically one religion or one culture.
So many of us Muslims around the world have Islam in common, but an altogether different culture from one another. Many Muslims share a culture with a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist community but not the same religion. When faced with such diversity, there are no hard and fast rules for Muslim identity.
The Qur'an speaks often of the umma, or the worldwide community of Muslims. In the early days of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad led the small umma. Every decision, every effort, everything was for the umma--people who were often unrelated by blood but had become related by choice as Muslims. In those early days, many Muslims had gone against the wishes of their own families in converting to Islam, pitting brother against sister, father against child. Perhaps that's why the concept of umma became so dear and is still echoed today--in my opinion, echoed more than that Western favorite jihad--in Muslim homes, whether those homes are in the United States or in Palestine.
Wild Thing's comment..........
In "The Obama File: There is a section labled ‘Islam’ and ‘Religion. The evidence is OVERWHELMING.
Also The United States Library of Congress has selected The Obama File for inclusion in its historic collections of Internet materials
related to the Presidential Transition during a Time of Crises.
....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
Posted by Wild Thing at March 2, 2009 05:44 AM
"In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel, just as African-Americans did for the non-black but culturally leaning African-American President Bill Clinton"
It's funny how Blacks turned on the Clinton's once Obama came on the scene.
Posted by: BobF at March 2, 2009 10:57 AM
Yep, Obama's a muzzie. I like the reference to the "raving, excitable" minister. Must be Wright, heh, heh.
Posted by: TomR at March 2, 2009 12:20 PM
Surprise, surprise hes a muzzie. Gee what was their first clue. After he bankrupts the country will Saudi Arabia give us a loan.
Posted by: Mark at March 2, 2009 01:35 PM
BHO Jr. not a Muslim?
He's admitted it, to Geo. Stepanopolis on Sept. 5, 2008 during ABC's "This Week" TV program. He specifically said, "...my Muslin faith" in the context of complimenting John McCain for not making it a campaign issue.
Harry 'n AZ
Posted by: Harry Weisberger at March 3, 2009 12:59 AM