The President’s relationship with truth is tenuous at best. The confabulations and inventions in his autobiography have been well documented and he has amassed a substantial collection of Pinocchios over the years..
At this year’s iftar dinner( iftar is the breaking of the Ramadan fast, usually beverages and light snacks, but a White House dinner in a “tradition ” going back to George W.Bush) his remarks were laced with what I would characterize as bromides, myths and lies of omission.
Mr Obama opened with:
Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose. It’s enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution — the law of the land, always and forever. It beats in our heart — in the soul of the people who know that our liberty and our equality is endowed by our Creator. And it runs through the history of this house, a place where Americans of many faiths can come together and celebrate their holiest of days — and that includes Ramadan.
Among the attendees were the ambassador from Saudi Arabia, where foreigners are routinely imprisoned and then expelled for practicing their religions, where the penalty for apostasy is death, and where “witches” are regularly executed, as well as diplomats from many other Muslim majority nations where religious freedom is severely restricted, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Also present were ambassadors from some countries with substantial Muslim minorities , such as Mozambique(17.9%), and Israel (16.9%). This would seem a not very subtle intervention in these nations’ minority affairs.
As I’ve noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story.
Indeed, the President has said this before. This hoary myth is repeated every Ramadan. Jefferson did not throw an iftar shindig, but simply and courteously rescheduled a banquet at the request of the fasting envoy from what is now Morocco. A peace was successfully negotiated but other small states on what was known as the Barbary coast( Tunisia, a French colonial creation named after a Roman province did not yet exist) continued to seize American ships and their crews. Hence the Marine beat down on the Shores of Tripoli, at Jefferson’s orders.. When I was a kid, we sang the Marine Hymn in school, and understood what ti was about. Mr. Obama, with his manifest weaknesses in history and geography, clearly does not.
As for the significance of his possession of a Koran, there is little, if any. Jefferson was a prominent bibliophile of wide interests who sold his 24,000 volume collection to the Library of Congress to replace books burned by the British in the War of 1812. He certainly did not regard Islam as “a religion of peace”, having been told by the ambassador from Algiers, during unsuccessful negotiations in London in 1786, that the hostility the Americans found baffling in a nation with which they had had little contact “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
This evening, we’re honored to be joined by members of our diplomatic corps, members of Congress — including Muslim American members of Congress, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson — as well as leaders from across my administration. And to you, the millions of Muslim Americans across our country, and to the more than one billion Muslims around the world — Ramadan Kareem.
Congressmen Ellison and Carson, both converts, have been vocal opponents of “Islamophobia,” opposing congressional investigation into Islamic radicalism at every turn, and thus found themselves in congenial company..
Now, every faith is unique. And yet, during Ramadan, we see the traditions that are shared by many faiths: Believers engaged in prayer and fasting, in humble devotion to God. Families gathering together with love for each other. Neighbors reaching out in compassion and charity, to serve the less fortunate.
Islamic teaching is very specific that charity be given only within the umma, the community of Muslim faithful. This can be borne out by reference to the activities of Islamic Relief, or the miserable record of Muslim nations in aid to Haiti for post-earthquake relief and reconstruction.
People of different faiths coming together, mindful of our obligations to one another — to peace, justice and dignity for all people — men and women. Indeed, you know that the Koran teaches, “Be it man or woman, each of you is equal to the other.”
This can only be characterized as a lie, a lie of omission, and is the most egregious of the many untruths in the President’s short talk. It is also evil, for it denies and devalues the suffering of women under Islam.
Here is a full text of the Koranic ayah 3:195 (verse) from which this quotation is taken
And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed – I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah , and Allah has with Him the best reward.”
Clearly, this passage has nothing to do with gender equality other than than the belief that Muslims of both sexes will be rewarded for their sacrifices in the name of Islam. t is instructive that the words the President quoted, with its rather strange pronoun reference, appear again and again on sites pushing the notion of Islamic gender equality, such as this one, with no further context. I have long doubted that Mr. Obama, although he might have chanted Koranic verses in his Indonesian childhood, has an real familiarity with the text. This snippet was handed him by someone with an agenda someone like Humeda Abdin, of whom more shortly.
And by the way, we’ve seen this in recent days. In fact, the Olympics is being called “The Year of the Woman.” (Laughter.) Here in America, we’re incredibly proud of Team USA — all of them — but we should notice that a majority of the members are women. Also, for the very first time in Olympic history, every team now includes a woman athlete. And one of the reasons is that every team from a Muslim-majority country now includes women as well. And more broadly — that’s worth applauding. (Applause.) Absolutely.
After some talk about women’s roles in the Arab upheavals, where the President mention of bloggers seems to mean he’s still selling the “Facebook/Twitter Revolution ” euphoria of pre-Muslim Brotherhood ascendancy days, he goes unto name and praise some of his American Muslim guests, ending with a special accolade for Secretary Clinton’s aide, Humeda Abedin.
And that includes a good friend, Huma Abedin, who has worked tirelessly — (applause) — worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate, and most exhaustingly, at the State Department, where she has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear. Senator Clinton has relied on her expertise, and so have I.
The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit. So, on behalf of all Americans, we thank you so much. (Applause.)
Ms Abedin has been the center of much attention for her familial connections and work experience in Muslim Brotherhood funded and connected organizations. Those questioning her background are called “nuts” and McCarthyites, but anyone with similar associations to say, white supremacist organizations, would not be able to get a job as a letter carrier.
The President does not say just why we owe her so much gratitude, but he is no doubt appreciative of her support for her boss as Mrs. Clinton has worked with the OIC to suppress speech that “defames religion.”
And at times, we have to admit that this spirit is threatened. We’ve seen instances of mosques and synagogues, churches and temples being targeted. Tonight, our prayers, in particular, are with our friends and fellow Americans in the Sikh community. We mourn those who were senselessly murdered and injured in their place of worship. And while we may never fully understand what motivates such hatred, such violence, the perpetrators of such despicable acts must know that your twisted thinking is no match for the compassion and the goodness and the strength of our united American family.
He doesn’t say where thee places of worship have been targeted, but there are daily instances of such violence often taken congregants along with structures and it is generally Sunni Muslims carrying these attacks out. It is sickening to see the Chief Executive use the American Sikhs’ pain to whitewash Islam as a victim equal to those it in fact victimizes,
So tonight, we declare with one voice that such violence has no place in the United States of America. The attack on Americans of any faith is an attack on the freedom of all Americans. (Applause.) No American should ever have to fear for their safety in their place of worship. And every American has the right to practice their faith both openly and freely, and as they choose.
This right of course is one that the governments of much of his audience do not accord their citizens.
That is not just an American right; it is a universal human right. And we will defend the freedom of religion, here at home and around the world. And as we do, we’ll draw on the strength and example of our interfaith community, including the leaders who are here tonight.
This is at beast an empty boast, or an outright lie. The abandoned Christians of the Middle East know this, as do Christians in Indonesia and Buddhists in Southern Thailand, or animists in tribal areas of Bangla Desh, among others.
So I want to thank all of you for honoring us with your presence, for the example of your lives, and for your commitment to the values that make us “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” (Applause.)
God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
( You can find the full text of the President’s remarks here. Unlike Mr. Obama’s,my ellipses do not create untruths.)