Monday, May 12, 2008

just when you thought it was safe...


...to say the "Barack is a Muslim" rumor is dead and gone, comes this op-ed from the New York Times.

An excerpt:

Senator Obama is half African by birth and Africans can understandably identify with him. In Islam, however, there is no such thing as a half-Muslim. Like all monotheistic religions, Islam is an exclusive faith.

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.


Comments for the op/ed are closed (the site was barraged with hundreds of comments within just a few few hours, given the incendiary nature of the op/ed), but opinions may still be voiced by writing a letter to the editor:

letters@nytimes.com

Here's a letter I just wrote:

Dear Editors, New York Times:

I write in response to Edward Luttwak's online op/ed of May 12, 2008.

Apparently the writer feels that if a father is a Muslim, then so is the son --- regardless of the logistical circumstances, or the religious beliefs of others, within a family.

It seems likely that Barack Obama's mother, Anne Dunham, a highly ethical woman who chose to worship no god at all, would have taken issue with that viewpoint.

Yes, Barack Obama's father was a Muslim. He also left his wife and child when Barack Obama was only two years of age, and only saw his son on one other occasion during his lifetime. On the other hand, Obama's mother, who actually bothered to raise her child, was a non-believer. Some would say she was an agnostic; others, an atheist.

If the developments of the last few weeks show us anything, it is that a strong ethical framework and a clear record of results, not the details of the religious beliefs of any candidate, that interest the American public.

Please don't publish any more inflammatory writings which only further the cause of those who would divide us based on race, gender, and religion. There are far too many extremely pressing issues for us, as Americans, to address. Your publication can help the American people come to clarity on these issues, or it can further muddy the waters. Please make the right choice, in the spirit of responsible journalism.

Sincerely,

Elise MacDonald
New Ipswich, New Hampshire

1 comment:

chrisblask said...

I understand the legalistic view of the NYT author, but I have a different take on it.

The greatest fear of the radical Muslim world is not Westerners, it's Muslims. If any regime has a legalistic definition of President Obama as a "Muslim", well, they'd better figure that out, won't they?

Nothing will say "How ya' doin'?" like a US President landing in Air Force One. You have a problem with that? Well, you and your folks go work that the fuck out and let us know how that goes.

:~)

-chris