Sunday, March 08, 2009

President Obama defines the ideal Islamic capital

Barack Obama has made his choice. It has long been a topic of conjecture – just which Islamic capital would the President’s choice for his first speech to ‘the Muslim world’?

There were quite a few possibilities, each fraught with complexities, sensitivities and dangers. Riyadh would have been obvious, but perhaps the land of Mecca would have been too holy, and the stench of weapons deals too inconvenient.; Kuwait City is tarnished with the George Bush Snr liberation; ditto Baghdad with the risk of George Bush Jnr affirmation; Abu Dhabi and Doha would have been perceived as Gulf and oil-obsessed; Islamabad is increasingly unstable following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the bombing of the Marriot Hotel; Damascus would have provided a suitable biblical allusion, but it is too early grace the Syrians with his presence; Beirut would have been a security nightmare; Ramallah would be giving away too much to the Palestinians far too soon, and Jerusalem is their capital anyway; Tehran would have alienated the Sunnis; Jakarta would have been apt, since it is the most populous Muslim country and the President was educated there, but it hardly one of Islam’s most important capitals; Cairo is also attractive, but the presence of President Obama might have been perceived as interference in the general election campaign and the Muslim Brotherhood might protest in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Tower Hamlets would also have been a possibility.

But the President has chosen Ankara, Turkey, as the Islamic capital from which he will sound the call to prayer and praise the mightiness of Allah.

It is, of course, a constitutionally secular state which is trying to join the European Union. It is a democracy with schizophrenic elements, but the subliminal message is clear: Islam has a long and respected heritage, but it has to be syncretised with Western values and tempered with democracy and accountability; it has to be mutable; it has to espouse equality and liberty; it has rid itself of symbols of oppression; it has to abandon the quest for a caliphate - the supreme politico-religious office of Islam – and reject those who agitate for world domination.

Just as President Obama invoked the spirit of Lincoln as his personal guide, he invokes the spirit of Atatürk as the blueprint for the Islamic world. Only when there is separation between mosque and state can social advances and enlightenment values permeate. The President is espousing the virtues of the secular state, from which religion is removed from the sphere of public policy and restricted exclusively to that of personal morals, behaviour, and faith. His choice of Ankara reveals his preferred brand of Islam: private observance and personal faith; religion, religious hierarchy and religious organisations excluded from public life; Shari’a gives way to European legal codes; hijabs are discouraged; madrasahs are closed; the Islamic calendar is displaced by the Gregorian; the vernacular is favoured over Arabic; and Islam embraces Anno Domini.

In short, President Obama appears to be ignorant of why the Turkish Republic is derided, despised and judged so negatively by most of the Muslim world. The choice of Ankara is as theologically inept and as religio-politically short-sighted George Bush’s invasion of Iraq. From Ankara, the President may speak to Western Muslims and certainly those within the European Union. But his rhetoric shall not reach those parts of the Islamic world which other US presidents have also failed to reach.


Blogger Microcosm said...

"reject those who agitate for world domination.

Just as President Obama invoked"

That bit of your post was hard hitting and to the point your Grace or am I seeing what I want to see :)

8 March 2009 at 10:12  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Well what so you expect from a guy who doles out a Blockbusters package as a gift to visiting foreign (in)dignitaries? I mean, this is the bloke who has no idea how many states he rules over. Even Bush knew the answer to that one.

I wonder how long it will take the US electorate to cotton on to him and his suicidal Goreist policies? Seems like his star has already lost a bit of its sparkle.

8 March 2009 at 10:15  
Blogger Theo said...

"But the President has chosen Ankara, Turkey, as the Islamic capital from which he will sound the call to prayer and praise the mightiness of Allah."

It does sound as though your Grace is suggesting, as many of us believe, that Osama, sorry, Obama has not left his Islamic roots behind him.

If he has indeed converted to Christianity why do we not hear the the cries of Muslims worldwide demanding the penalty of death for him as they do for all apostates? Or are we seeing the practice of taqqiya in operation?

8 March 2009 at 11:57  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The Times They are a Changing
Bob Dylan


Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

8 March 2009 at 13:00  
Blogger Theo said...

mckenzie, what are you on?

8 March 2009 at 13:31  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The case!

8 March 2009 at 13:33  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"his preferred brand of Islam"

8 March 2009 at 13:45  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Turkey's secular racist nationalism brings it's own host of problems to that part of the world.

Top post from Cranmer, again!

8 March 2009 at 15:34  
Anonymous the recusant said...

From Creative Minority Report

When Great Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown came over here to meet the new President, he gave Obama a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet which is a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa, a framed commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute which is a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria, and a first edition seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill.

What did Obama give to Gordon Brown? DVD's. DV-freaking-D's.

DVD's are something you keep wrapped in your house in case that odd kinda' sorta' friend shows up unexpectedly around Christmas. And if he doesn't you rip it open sometime in May.

I mean, the leader of our greatest ally comes over who has never shown any public interest whatsoever in movies and the Obamas give him ET, Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz.

8 March 2009 at 17:20  
Blogger The Heresiarch said...

"His choice of Ankara reveals his preferred brand of Islam: private observance and personal faith; religion, religious hierarchy and religious organisations excluded from public life..."

Not so much these days.

The current Ankara government is dominated by Islamists. They position themselves, to the west, as moderates in the Christian Democrat mould, but a closer examination of Mr Erdogan and Mr Gul suggests a far more conservative agenda.

8 March 2009 at 17:43  
Anonymous phaphyro said...


It's symbolic of our self-opinionated worthlessness. Cuckoo Land is a harsh reality to suddenly wake up in. Meditate on the word 'CHANGE'.

8 March 2009 at 17:46  
Blogger Christopher Logan said...

Nothing anyone says or does is going to change the Islamic world. Muslim immigration is destroying the West and it is time to end it.

35 Islamic terrorist camps in the USA

US State Senator Becomes the Chairman of CAIR

8 March 2009 at 19:46  
Blogger Christopher Logan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 March 2009 at 19:47  
Blogger Christopher Logan said...

Lets not forget that Turkey is now ruled by an Islamist party who has been preaching hate towards Israel.

Good work Obama....

8 March 2009 at 19:48  
Blogger shiva said...

Tower Hamlets, that was brilliant

8 March 2009 at 19:58  
Anonymous CraigT said...

Why isn't he going to Rome and first speaking to the "Christian" world since he is born again and the US has Christian not Muslim roots?

8 March 2009 at 21:10  
Anonymous Its Thast Time of Night said...

The Sound Of Silence
P. Simon, 1964

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turn my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools," said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence.

8 March 2009 at 22:09  
Blogger Dark_Heretic said...

Others have said it better than I but I would like to add two things.
Turkey = wolf in sheeps clothing and is Obama in his Senator Palpatine phase?

9 March 2009 at 00:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rome does not want Satan let him go visit Turkey.

9 March 2009 at 02:48  
Anonymous Walter Phillips said...

Dear Sir, an insightful post. Allow me to suggest a relevant resource for your consideration. A new comparative analysis of the Bible and the Qur'an.

Christians believe that God’s revelation is contained in our Bible. Muslims believe that God’s revelation is contained in the Qur’an. Therefore a scientific comparative analysis of both books can be made to see whether there is harmony between the teachings of both books.

I have undertaken such a study, assuming that both books are entirely correct. The study found that there is harmony between the principal teachings of the Bible and the Qur’an, and that harmony was reached without damaging the integrity or compromising the teachings of any verse in the Bible or Qur’an.

The 30 year research and findings are included in a book called Brothers Kept Apart. It appears that Christians and Muslims may be brother who have been needlessly kept apart for that past 1,300 years. I am willing to defend the thesis.

Walter Phillips

9 March 2009 at 03:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter- The ninth commandment is Thou shalt not bear false witness, Jesus says "I tell you the truth" repeatedly. It is one of His favorite expressions as He always confronted with truth and He says in John 8:44 "...the Devil is a liar and the father of lies." If you have studied Islam you know Islam condones lying.

"His choice of Ankara reveals his preferred brand of Islam..."

BHO is like a nightmare we are living with in the USA, you are not alone in watching which form of Islam he wants to foster his ideology. Another insightful article Cranmer.

9 March 2009 at 05:19  
Anonymous len said...

Walter phillips,
The Quaran is a mixture of twisted bible stories and paganism.

"The Prophet said'If I take an oath and later find something else better than that,then I do what is better and expiate my oath'

Jesus said" I am the Way the Truth and the Life.

M phillips, Your studies are in error either by accident or design.

9 March 2009 at 07:55  
OpenID brianakira said...

Also, in Constantinople, CHristian clergy are forbidden by law from identifying themselves. Brilliant choice 'Bama!

Oh right, he's not even baptized so he doesn't care, and the fact is that every "Muslim capital" is rotten.

Are their "Christian cities" "The Christian World" Christian lands"?

Constantinople used to be the greatest Christian city.

9 March 2009 at 09:13  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

That should go down well with Armenians and Greeks.

9 March 2009 at 10:02  
Blogger ZZMike said...

"In short, President Obama appears to be ignorant of why the Turkish Republic is derided,..."

There are many things outside the boundaries of Washington, DC, of which our President is ignorant.

Fortunately, he has surrounded himself with people who know Big Things (cf I. Berlin). Like our Secretary of State, who could not find in her ranks anyone capable of getting one simple Russian word right.

Walter: Where in the Bible do you find "Kill the Infidel"? Just one instance, Sura 9:111

"GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran - and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph."

Sura 8.12: "When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

Besides the Koran, there are the Hadith, which are considered authoritative by many Muslims.

As you may know, the Bible has the Old Testatment, which tells the history and covenants between God and Israel; and the New Testatment, which brings the Word to all nations. That Word is a message of peace and love, not hatred and killing.

The Koran has only one book, every letter of which is held to come directly from Allah.

Jews have 3000 or 4000 years of commentary and interpretation of the Torah. The Koran, by its very nature, cannot be questioned. To do so is to invite death.

9 March 2009 at 19:25  
Blogger DP111 said...

Obama would like to change the way Islam develops but he is whistling in the wind. OTH, he knows full well that Islam cannot be changed, but his speech is really not for Muslims anywhere, but for Western Infidel consumption. That is, to beguile us into believing that such a possibility exists.

We cannot change the Koran, and really it is not our business. We cannot make Western Muslims leave Islam, and again it is not our business. And most certainly we cannot wage war on Islam worldwide, and Obama is moving away from any confrontation at all. All that is left is to save ourselves- self-defence, and that is a prime moral directive that cannot be gainsaid.

Christopher Logan wrote Nothing anyone says or does is going to change the Islamic world. Muslim immigration is destroying the West and it is time to end it.

The dye is cast already. Even if all immigration of Muslims was stopped, Muslims will be a majority in 50 years, and sharia will be imposed unilaterally and quite legally via parliament.

The present drift towards a situation - Muslims becoming ever more numerous, and demanding more as a consequence, will eventually lead to a civil war, with countless dead and untold suffering. Humanity and compassion require that separation from Islam/Muslims be undertaken as a matter of urgency, or else we are looking to the demise of the West, or a civil war that makes Bosnia look like a garden party.

10 March 2009 at 00:38  
Anonymous len said...

We are heading for a final confrontation between the Creator God of the Universe and the counterfeit god of this world.
This war in heaven is reflected by events on the earth.
Satan is no fool and he knows time is running out, as God pours out his spirit on all flesh for redemption, satan is whipping up the demonic to cause mayhem on earth and to frustrate Gods plans.
You will know them by their fruits one Spirit gives life , the other spirit brings death.

10 March 2009 at 18:57  
Blogger Dr.D said...

bo better be looking for a quite little place in the ummah where he can run when he is driven out of DC on a rail! His time is going to be very short, and his exit inglorious, to say the least.

10 March 2009 at 20:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ideal islamic capital for Obama?
How about babylon.

11 March 2009 at 18:38  
Anonymous Walter Phillips said...

Hi Everyone:

I am fully aware that the claim of Bible/Qur'an harmony appears to conflict with the teachings of Islamic and Christian leaders, who claim that there are irreconcilable differences between Christian and Muslim beliefs. Please note that Muslims are taught Islamic traditional beliefs which are not always supported by the Qur’an.

I must admit to being surprised when I first read in the Qur’an that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ). Muslims are not taught this, and no Islamic teacher would admit it in the presence of Muslims, but it is explicitly stated. I was also surprised to read that Muslims must believe the Bible, including the Gospel, and copy and distribute it to the nations of the world without compensation.

I am sure that you think that this is utter nonsense, and so would I had I not read it in 5 different reputable English versions of the Qur'an. I have found that Christians and Muslims (who follow the Bible and the Qur’an respectively) are brothers who have been unnecessarily kept apart by their religious leaders for the past 1,300 years.

I would encourage you to examine the evidence in Brothers Kept Apart before coming to a conclusion.


12 March 2009 at 04:12  
Anonymous len said...

Walter Phillips
I think you need to take another look at your Bibles and Quar`ans.
I think there must have been some fairy dust sprinkled on them!

12 March 2009 at 20:31  
Anonymous Walter Phillips said...

Hi Len:

This verse is similar in all recognized versions of the Qur'an:

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of those nearest to God; He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is! (3:45–47)

Regarding believing the previous books in the Bible.

O ye who believe! Believe in God and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before. Any who denieth God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray. (4:136)

The scriptures are later described as including the Gospel.

The Qur'an has similar problems as the Bible in its interpretation. Those who have read the Bible in its entirety can easily see where someone has misunderstood or misinterpreted a verse. A juvenile can easily read individual verses and interpret them outside of their context, arguing that they are applicable to us. For example, a ritual given by Moses to the Israelites in the desert, or Elisha’s specific command to Naaman to dip 7 times. The mature know that these things are not directed to us.

Similarly with the Qur’an. It is very easy to take verses out of their context.


13 March 2009 at 23:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The scriptures are later described as including the Gospel." &
"Similarly with the Qur’an. It is very easy to take verses out of their context."

Islam reminds me of Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon. Plagiarism and exploitation of the Holy Bible does not make it related to the truth, it is an attempt to redefine the truth, ergo, it is a lie.

20 March 2009 at 21:21  
Anonymous len said...

Walter Phillips
The qur`an denies the deity, the crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

The qu`ran says (verse6:101)
"Creator of the heavens and the earth.How should He have a son when he had no consort?.He created all things, and He has knowledge of all things"
The bible and the Qur`an
are incompatable!

24 March 2009 at 18:32  
Anonymous Walter said...

Hi Len:

You have hit the nail on the head. The Qur’an is objecting to God having a consort. Mohammed was preaching against the compounding of gods through sexual intercourse as promoted by the Greeks and Romans.

You are also incorrect about the Qur’an being against Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Please read the evidence for yourself.

27 March 2009 at 03:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a Muslim professor in my town who tried last summer to convince me of something similar. Just wondering, are you a Muslim Walter?

29 March 2009 at 03:33  
Anonymous Walter said...

Hi Anonymous: I am a Christian. Thirty years ago, I acknowledged that I could not earn my way to eternal life, since it was God’s gift. So I acknowledged and turned from my selfish behavior, and accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as sufficient to save me from the deserved penalty of my sins.

My desire is to know more of the truth. With one life to live, I have decided not to simply believe what I am taught, but to verify the assumptions upon which such teachings are based.

1 April 2009 at 00:25  

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