If Barack Obama was Islamic
Yesterday, I took advantage of a newscast, a while back, which mentioned that some folks believed Obama was Islamic. Then I posed a hypothetical scenario, where I asked folks to assume Obama was Islamic. I posed the question on www.linkedin.com, on how the Obama PR staff would position the candidate to the American public, in order to get them elected. Even though I had a small number of responses, about 40% mentioned I was trying to get folks to believe he was Islamic, and ruin his campaign. Hogwash! I repeat this statement: Hogwash! Considering the worldwide publicity of Obama and Rev Wright, in addition to the recent criticism by a conservative and popular fundamentalist Christian in the news, nobody would mistake Obama for embracing Islam. Not unless they had no access to CNN, BBC, Internet, radio, TV, and printed media. And people not having this access, wouldn’t be involved in electing a presidential candidate.
Well, since we brought up Islam, let’s talk about it. The problem with most western cultures is that few people are aware of what Islam teaches. Whether you agree with it or not, you should first know what Islam says. A good place to start is the Idiot’s Guides and Dummies series of books, on Islam and the Koran. These books are designed to present complex subjects, in a simple format. I’m not totally ignorant of Islamic theology, having spent time with Islamic merchants during my Peace Corps Liberian tour. It is really a complex subject, for many reasons:
There are two branches of Islam, called Sunnis and Shiites. The essential difference is whether religious authority stays in the family of Mohammad or not. And should Christians be critical of this, we need to be reminded that there are three main divisions in Christianity: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant (which contains various branches and creeds).
If you ask me what I feel are good sources for Islamic information, I have two. (A) One source would be the academic studies done by secular and Catholic scholars. Granted that Islamic scholars might object or disagree, but such disagreements must be settled in the academic traditions of discussions, journal articles, debates, etc. (B) The other is the mystical dimension of Islam, called Sufism. While many Islamic folks would be skeptical of Sufism, I believe they help put the violent tendencies in check (there are exceptions, of course).
There is a vast difference between moderate Muslims, living in western countries, and those advocating an Islamic society, based upon Islamic law.
My homeopath is very familiar with Islam, as his family embraces it. While I would personally classify him as a Deist (similar to Ben Franklin, who says God created the world, and left it to run without intervention), his knowledge of Islam runs very deep. And we have had many deep discussions on Islam, medical homeopathy (classical, historical, and modern), and an array of topics in between.
Statistically, the 40% of observation entries on Linkedin is very small, since I have only 5 respondents to the question. In order to be valid, a good number of observations should at least include 31 entries. Hopefully, the two respondents mentioned in paragraph one, don’t work for the Obama campaign – otherwise, Hillary would now be waiving the victory flag!