Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Cairo Speech

Both Ed Morrissey and Yid With Lid have written up their impressions of Obama's speech. Having read Ed's first, I was somewhat surprised to find Obama not pandering as much as I thought he would. Perhaps he realises that CAIR's inflated figures of American Muslims are just that- no match for Jewish voters come election time.

Yid With Lid also makes a strong argument against Obama and given what we know of Obama, his associations, etc it's hard to disagree with him.

One part of the speech which he highlighted caught my attention- Obama's summary of the Isra, the midnight journey Mohammed claimed to have made. Obama references the story as an example of his utopian vision of the two-state solution. Jews, Christians and Muslims living together in harmony.

Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.

There are a few things that Obama either seems to be unaware of or is deliberately obfuscating.

First of all, in the Islamic tradition, Moses and Jesus are not Jewish and Christian figures at all but Muslim ones- as such his story does not represent the three faiths coming together but rather is another example of Islamic domination- taking Moses and Jesus as their own and, especially in the case of Jesus, denying his divinity. In Islam, Jesus was only a prophet, not the son of God. Mohammed wasn't sitting to pray with a Jew and Christ, he was praying with two other Muslim prophets.

This is something that Obama's target audience will be aware of. If Obama doesn't understand what he's talking about then he should perhaps refrain from citing Islamic stories in speeches to the Islamic world.

The second problem with citing the Isra is that this tale is the source of much of the ongoing conflict over Jerusalem. In the tale, Mohammed mounted a flying horse and rose to "the farthest mosque", a location since claimed to have been the Temple Mount. It is this particular fact which causes so much trouble between Israel and its Muslim opponents. For Obama to specifically cite this story in the speech, it seems to me, he seems to be implicitly offering his validation of Muslim claims to Jerusalem.

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