Snopes.com's dishonest attempt at debunking 'Obama and the Muslim Gang Sign'

See also: Rebutting Snopes on ‘Obama’s Muslim Gang Sign’

Snopes.com has attempted to debunk the article “Obama and the Muslim Gang Sign,” by F.W. Burleigh, with a dishonest entry.  It makes two points, both of which are refuted by evidence in the article it purports to debunk. 

First, it “debunks” the title, by stating:

However, the shahada is a verbal declaration of an Islamic creed, not a "Muslim gang sign" hand gesture:

In Islam, the first of the five pillars is the shahada. Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim.

Burleigh’s article makes exactly this point.

The extended finger is symbolic of the one-God concept of Muhammad and is understood by all believers to be a symbolic shahada, the Muslim affirmation of faith: There is but one God and Muhammad is his messenger.

The reason the “gang sign” metaphor is appropriate is stated next in Burleigh’s article:

Thus when believers stick their index finger in the air, they demonstrate they are partisans of Muhammad’s God concept.  And they also affirm their belief in Muhammad’s claim he was the interface between God and man. They also demonstrate they are part of the umma, the exclusive transtribal supertribe of believers that Muhammad started 1,400 years ago.

Burleigh's article also supplies an example of how the gesture is used as a gang sign:

Readers of Snopes who don’t bother reading the original (probably the vast majority) will come away with the impression that a telling point was made, and that the article was simply ignorant.

The second point attempted also is dishonest.  Snopes supplies a video (one of two videos also analyzed by F.W. Burleigh in his rejoinder) and comments:

No one else captured in the video can be seen expressing obvious "disapproval" or "contempt" at President Obama's gesture or remark, and if other African leaders can been smiling or reacting with amusement in the video, the most obvious reason is because President Obama said something humorous at that moment.

That is because the video does not show Togo president Faure Gnassingbe, whose nation faces a potential threat from Islamic insurgents, as explained by Burleigh.  The article contrasts his reaction...

...with those of Abdelilah Berkirane, the prime minister of Morocco, and Ibrahim Boubacas Keita, the president of Mali, two Islamic states:

For Snopes to dismiss the comparison of these reactions because they were not captured in the video it posted is deeply dishonest.

See also: Rebutting Snopes on ‘Obama’s Muslim Gang Sign’

Snopes.com has attempted to debunk the article “Obama and the Muslim Gang Sign,” by F.W. Burleigh, with a dishonest entry.  It makes two points, both of which are refuted by evidence in the article it purports to debunk. 

First, it “debunks” the title, by stating:

However, the shahada is a verbal declaration of an Islamic creed, not a "Muslim gang sign" hand gesture:

In Islam, the first of the five pillars is the shahada. Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim.

Burleigh’s article makes exactly this point.

The extended finger is symbolic of the one-God concept of Muhammad and is understood by all believers to be a symbolic shahada, the Muslim affirmation of faith: There is but one God and Muhammad is his messenger.

The reason the “gang sign” metaphor is appropriate is stated next in Burleigh’s article:

Thus when believers stick their index finger in the air, they demonstrate they are partisans of Muhammad’s God concept.  And they also affirm their belief in Muhammad’s claim he was the interface between God and man. They also demonstrate they are part of the umma, the exclusive transtribal supertribe of believers that Muhammad started 1,400 years ago.

Burleigh's article also supplies an example of how the gesture is used as a gang sign:

Readers of Snopes who don’t bother reading the original (probably the vast majority) will come away with the impression that a telling point was made, and that the article was simply ignorant.

The second point attempted also is dishonest.  Snopes supplies a video (one of two videos also analyzed by F.W. Burleigh in his rejoinder) and comments:

No one else captured in the video can be seen expressing obvious "disapproval" or "contempt" at President Obama's gesture or remark, and if other African leaders can been smiling or reacting with amusement in the video, the most obvious reason is because President Obama said something humorous at that moment.

That is because the video does not show Togo president Faure Gnassingbe, whose nation faces a potential threat from Islamic insurgents, as explained by Burleigh.  The article contrasts his reaction...

...with those of Abdelilah Berkirane, the prime minister of Morocco, and Ibrahim Boubacas Keita, the president of Mali, two Islamic states:

For Snopes to dismiss the comparison of these reactions because they were not captured in the video it posted is deeply dishonest.