Bryan Fischer
Obama's woeful speech
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By Bryan Fischer
June 5, 2009

It's hard to know where to begin to critique President Obama's speech to the Muslim world yesterday. It was historically inaccurate, as almost nothing in the paragraph in which he listed Islam's contributions to society is true. For example, Muslims did not invent the compass, algebra or printing (Gutenberg, anyone?), and that's just for starters.

Further, he claimed that Islam "has a proud tradition of tolerance," and that "throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality." His speech contained no examples of such tolerance, for the simple reason that there are none.

When and where exactly, Mr. President, has Islam demonstrated this "religious tolerance" and "racial equality?" It is still illegal in virtually every Muslim country to convert from Islam to Christianity, and in 22 Muslim countries — including Saudi Arabia — it is a capital offense.

Far from being a peaceful religion, Europe twice, in 732 A.D. and again in the 16th and 17 centuries, had to turn away Muslim armies at the gates of Vienna, jihadist armies who intended to subjugate the entire continent to sharia law. Had they been successful, there would be no United States of America.

And when the Muslim armies overran the Holy Land in the 8th century, they eventually denied Jews and Christians the opportunity even to visit their holy places, an act of tyrannical repression that triggered the Crusades, as Christian nations sought to re-open holy sites to pilgrims.

Imagine that a Western power not only invaded and conquered Saudi Arabia, but denied Muslims the ability to so much as visit Mecca. Would anyone blame Muslims for attempting to use force to reclaim their land and re-open access for pilgrims to their religion's most holy places?

Further, the president's understanding of even the recent history of the Middle East is disturbingly wrong. He blames Israel for the woes of the Palestinians. But Arab countries had control of the West Bank and Jordan from 1948 to 1967, and instead of creating a Palestinian state or absorbing its 600,000 refugees, they kept Palestinians huddled in squalid camps so they could be used as propaganda props against Israel.

Those Palestinians who did not flee Israel when it declared its independence in 1948 in time became Israeli citizens, and Arabs today occupy seats in the Israeli Knesset. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Jews even to live, let alone become citizens or lawmakers, in many Islamic countries.

The president's attempt to declare a moral equivalence between Israel's right to exist and the Palestinians' manufactured grievances should give pause to every friend of Israel.

In sum, the president's speech was historically inaccurate, theologically wrong, and alarmingly naïve. The world is a more dangerous place today for the Christian West after this speech.

© Bryan Fischer

 

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