Obama empowered Islam

Eight years after 9/11, Obama apparently justified Muslim expectations of apologies even when they are in the wrong.

twin towers 9/11 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
twin towers 9/11 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
During his landmark speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama's reference to "the story of Israa" in the Koran was a particularly poor choice, because Muslims use this tale of Muhammed's night journey to "the farthest mosque" in support of their claim to Jerusalem's Temple Mount over Judaism and Christianity. Muslims do this even though the name Jerusalem never appears in the Quran, and there was no mosque at all on the site during Muhammed's lifetime.Eight years after 9/11, Obama apparently justified Muslim expectations of apologies even when they are in the wrong, and abandoned logic when he declared that Islam has "demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities ofreligious tolerance and racial equality." The truth is that under Islamic Law, all men and women are not created equal. Islamic law discriminates against women and minorities, and burdens Muslim men with many exclusive rights over others.President Obama said he will allow Muslims to practice their zakat , which is part of a Muslim's obligation under Sharia Law. However, he should have said in no uncertain terms that this can only be done within the boundaries of US laws.With kid-glove care, President Obama apologized on behalf of America, for Iraq as a "war of choice" and for so-called "torture" of alive-and-well Guantanamo Bay prisoners.In Obama's speech, every word was carefully measured in order not to expose glaring realities and offend those who curse, flog, stone, behead and terrorize. Obama gave the impression that prior to his administration, the US was arrogant and wrong in its relationship with the Muslim world, and that he represents a new, more compassionate America - a black president with a Muslim father who understands and sympathizes with the Muslim world. The Muslim audience, which included members of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, enjoyed Obama's obvious infatuation with Islamic culture.Some say it is the Iraq war that caused Muslim hatred of America, but that is not true. Virulent anti-American propaganda was common in the Arab media when I visited Egypt in the summer of 2001. If anything, the Iraq war gave Muslims' brewing hatred an excuse for jihad, a way to excuse themselves from responsibility for, and even defend the actions of terror groups such as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbulla. To make matters worse, the Arab street and media, which never gave a damn about the oppression and torture of Iraqis under Saddam, were now being told by Western media that Bush was killing Iraqi civilians and babies, and suddenly the Arab street cares. What a way to empower radical Islam!But now Bush is out and Obama is in, and the same Western media must quickly fix eight years of propaganda against America. But that will not be so easy. Arab countries will not reciprocate Obama's self-criticism by forgiving America or by examining their own actions. Indeed, Arabs do not consider such self-criticism a virtue to emulate, but a sign of weakness to exploit, and it will reinforce the Muslim belief that they were right all along. Obama's speech has empowered Islam and reinforced its unrealistic expectations of America. An Egyptian girl said after he spoke: "Words are good, but let us see the action."What more can America give? Israel?The writer is a former Muslim and the author of Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad and Cruel and Usual Punishment; The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.This article first appeared in the print Jerusalem Post Christian Edition