Obama’s apostasy

It is unusual for me to write about the US presidential race, because, frankly, it is a bit overdone.  We are inundated with the minutest details and the wildest speculations over and over, whether we care or not.

Yet, there is one very important speculation that I have never heard voiced.  Perhaps it is my own fault for shutting out so much of the detail, and it has been covered and dealt with.  If that is the case, then I beg your forgiveness.  But, if it has not been addressed, then I would humbly request that people give this some sober, realistic consideration.

Different people – and nation states – react very differently to identical ‘facts’.  Mundane example: I see a rabbit, I will think ‘pet’.  Another person looks at a rabbit, they may see ‘dinner’.  It would be unreasonable to expect the same reaction from both of us to being served a rabbit-burger.  The same is true of many, many things, not all of them mundane or witout deep impact.

Many supporters of Mr. Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination, and ultimately the Presidency of the USA, say that he would be well received in the world, and enjoy much more credibililty than either Ms. Clinton or Mr. McCain.  While his lack of experience and specific policies he suggested may have come under attack, his supporters maintain that his multicultural outlook would be great assets giving him (an by extension, the USA) great credibility, especially in Africa.

But are we not overlooking one extremely important point?  Mr. Obama is an apostate to Islam – and much of the Muslim world, including in Africa, consider this to be very bad thing indeed.

This has less to do with the views of Mr. Obama himself.  It does not concern anything a preacher he’d listened to may or may not believe.  All it has to do with is the fact that as a child and young man, Mr. Obama was a Muslim, and now he is not.  He does not deny that – nor has he ever tried to.  By definition, this makes him an Apostate.

The very fact that he has converted from Islam to another faith may make it impossible for many fundamentally Islamic nation-states to accept him.  After all, rightly or wrongly, many of them do interpret The Qur’an, specifically Sura (chapter) 4, verses 89-92: “If they turn away [convert away from Islam], then sieze them and kill them wherever you find them;…”. 

Also, many Muslims use several books in addition to the Qur’an.  These are not given the central importance that Qur’an is, but because they contain the collected sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and strories of his life, these are often used as a guide according to which the Qur’an is supposed to be interpreted.  One of these is often quoted as to the proper interpretation of the above verse: ‘Bukhari’ 4.52.260 – “The Prophet said, ‘If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.’

In 2006, a man was sentenced to death in Afghanistan for having converted from Islam to Christianity.  This was well after the Taliban were out of power, but even the moderates in Afghanistan did not understand why people in ‘The West’ were upset by this.  Most of us are familiar with the case of Lina Joy, and others like her.

In fact, four of the major Sunni as well as the major Shia schools of Islam all agree that a sane, adult male who converts away from Islam deserves the death penalty. 

I offer this as an entirely pragmatic consideration:  will some people be able to see Mr. Obama, the man, or will they only see an Apostate? 

How will they react if the USA elects an ‘Apostate President’? 

7 Responses to “Obama’s apostasy”

  1. Chocoholic Says:

    If Obama becomes President of the United States there will probably be two possibilities of how the Muslim world will react.

    one. They will hate USA with even more vengeance.
    two. They will be happy USA’s new President has Islam roots, and choose to think Obama is not an apostate but still secretly practicing Islam but acts like he is not for the sake of the votes which he got. They will also hope Obama sympathizes with them because they have something in common. Islam.

    The latter is true among many Indonesian Muslims. They like Obama because his stepfather was Indonesian, Obama lived in Indonesia for four years (if im not mistaken) when he was a child and still speaks passable Indonesian, and there are rumors that Obama is still a Muslim, albeit in the closet.

  2. xanthippa Says:

    Thank you, chocoholic, for this insight.

    Honestly, it has not occurred to me that some (or many – perhas most?) Muslims would think Mr. Obama could secretly still be a Muslim.

    What does Islam say about pretending to be a Christian, while still being a Muslim?

    I know that Muslims are excused from following the usual ‘Muslim customs’ while they are surrounded by Christians, if they think it would hinder them in their aims and/or cause them to be singled out or persecuted. Would this fall into that category?

  3. rima Says:

    i would think so, if it is done for the good of the religion at the end of the day, it is also jihad – which actually doesn’t mean kill/bomb but to do the most to realize a goal which is for Allah.
    So just wait and see what happens.

    Do you think Obama can win?

  4. xanthippa Says:

    …can he win? Perhaps.

    Most Americans cannot stand Ms. Clinton, so he is more likely to be the Democratic choice than she is.

    Americans are suspicious of their government. After 2 terms in office, a party is likely to be replaced, regardless of who leads it (especially in as cynical atmosphere as they have now).

    However, the revelations about his hate-mongering religious guidance are likely to tip the scales against Mr. Obama – or should be, had Americans had anyone else (acceptable) to vote for. But, I am not in the US, so it is hard for me to judge the mood of the people.

    Rima, as you say, ‘jihad’ mean struggle. MOST Muslims interpret this to be a spiritual, internal struggle. Yet, others (I am not commenting on the correctness, simply the existence of this interpretation) believe it means ‘armed struggle in the name of Islam’.

    Do you think that, perhaps, some of these people would have a less lenient attitude towards Mr. Obama’s conversion to Christianity?

    For example, do you think the Ayatolah’s of Iran would welcome or condemn Mr. Obama? How about the Saudis?

  5. rima Says:

    Like I said, the ayatollahs and the Saudis would probably turn a blind eye to his conversion and are secretly happy should he win. They will feel they finally have a common ground (regardless of his no longer being one of them, but still, the roots are there) with the leader of the free world (is that what they still call themselves? since bush’s reign i think the country has gone backwards a little, no?)

    death penalty seems to apply to commoners, but when it comes to someone with a high stature in the society, especially in obama’s league, they will without a doubt ignore it and welcome him with open arms (and legs, as if they are sure to be getting political and economy orgasms from an islam apostate) but this is my two cents though, i have been known to be quite cynical.

    i thought you were also an apostate?

  6. xanthippa Says:

    It is not possible for me to be an apostate, because I have never held a religious belief. Ever.

    Not that I have not tried. I have tried very, very hard. In this effort, I ended up reading many various religious texts, from the Qur’an and the Bible to Hindu texts, Buddhism, neo-pagan writings, ancient and classical religious texts, some native American belief systems, and so on. (I even read through some Roma (Gypsy) myths when I managed to find a book on them.)

    I have been to different denominations of Churches and the Mosque during worship (with permission), Hindu temple, and have visited other temples (like a Synagogue, a Gurdwara and a Buddhist temple) outside of times of worship, in order to learn. And 2-3 times a year, I have tea with my favorite Jehova’s Witness lady and ask her questions.

    I also took University courses on anthropology and sociology of religion, and a non-credit history course on Middle Eastern History. And, though I have had a 2 year interruption in this, I had actually started trying to learn Arabic so I could read the Qur’an in the original, instead of having 5 different translations opened up and comparing them against each other when I try to figure out the meaning of a particular verse.

    Also, one of my favorite cousins is a Muslima, so I ask a lot of questions. I think very highly of her opinion, and of her as a person.

    As for my quest to find religion I could truly believe – it failed. Perhaps I am not ‘wired up right’ to hold beliefs, religious or other…

  7. Chocoholic Says:

    ha! we have something in common. The difference is, I was born and raised a devout muslim, converted to christianity and now ended up a God believing free agent who is a strong member of the non-prophet organization. 😉

    I am actually broken hearted from the way religions have been able to segregate people and make them dislike and even hate those who do not share the same belief. At the end of the day, i think john lennon was right when he wrote imagine, and words rings so true. 🙂

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