January 18, 2007
Obama and apostasy from Islam
Barack Obama was born to Muslim father, married to an American atheist. His father's religion is the reason both his first and middle names, Barack and Hussein, are Islamic in origin. Debbie Schlussel brought this to our attention last year.
According to Islamic scripture, one born to a Muslim father is a Muslim. Forever. Because according to Muslim law and tradition, the penalty for leaving the faith is death.
Today, Barack Obama proclaims his adherence to the Christian faith. This would seem to make him a potential target for death, according to at least the more militant adherents of Sharia law. Apostasy is a capital offense in several Muslim countries.
Dr. Jack Wheeler apparently has noticed the earlier work of Debbie, and hopes that an enterprising journalist will question Obama about whether or not he feels threatened by his apostasy, and ask him for an outright denunciation of the practice of enforcing the death penalty, and a call for religious freedom in Islamic countries.
The odds are high that he will answer no to the first and yes to the second. As an oily politician, he will try to squirm out of a clear definitive yes with no wiggle room. But it should not be difficult for a smart journalist to get him to agree without reservation that Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states...Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes freedom to change his religion or belief....applies to MuslimsOnce Obama condemns the Moslem tradition of death for apostasy, then he can be asked:The Koran famously quotes Allah as saying in chapter (sura) 2, verse 256 that there should be ‘no compulsion in religion.' Yet numerous sayings of Mohammed known as hadith which form the basis of Islamic Sharia law quote Mohammed as saying ‘If a Moslem discards his religion, kill him.' So are you telling Moslems that Allah was right but Mohammed was misquoted, and their Sharia law tradition on apostasy is wrong?You can see how much fun there is to be had with this.
Wheeler is quite correct that Obama is theoretically under the threat of death. It would be far more than merely amusing to get his views. I would rather not see this circumstance as an opportunity for a gotcha with the media's Democrat golden boy of the moment. It is long past time for non-Muslims to demand that Muslims offer reciprocity in the realm of tolerance for other faiths. The West, over the course of several difficult centuries, has created tolerant societies, from which Muslims greatly benefit on the basis of equality. Yet Muslim theology and practice in several important countries do not offer the same tolerance.
This asymmetry must end. If Barack Obama can help raise this issue, based on his own unique circumstances, I would not seek political advantage, I would support him in it. But of course, if he refused to make such a call, that would raise many red flags.
Hat tip: Andrew Bostom