Two days after WND reported the ring Barack Obama has worn since his college years appears to feature the first part of the Shahada, the Islamic statement of faith, millions of Americans have read the story and thousands are joining the debate online.
But the establishment media hasn’t touched the story.
The Shahada is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.
That the ring carries the inscription was affirmed by Egyptian-born Islamic scholar Mark A. Gabriel, Ph,D., who said, “There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah’ has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs.”
Another expert in Arabic, who is employed by WND and previously has provided translations of critical Arabic statements, confirmed Gabriel’s conclusion. A Duke professor who was interviewed by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com news service also confirmed it.
Numerous experts on Islam have since told WND that such a message would be a significant indicator of what Obama values and respects.
For example, Joel Richardson, author of the “Mideast Beast,” “The Islamic AntiChrist” and other books, said he was skeptical that there was an Arabic script on the ring, which he has not examined personally.
But he said if the image is there, it would reveal a “deep level of sentimentality (on the part of Obama) for his Muslim upbringing.”
He said it would be a matter of some importance to learn that a president throughout his life has been “wearing the foundational creed of Islam.”
Legacy media organizations have ignored the issue. But Americans are talking about it, even taking over a page at Amazon.com for the discussion. And they didn’t hide their diverging opinions.
“Obama is sacrificing live kittens in fire as we speak, also Biden is bathing in blood mixed with waters from the river Styx,” wrote “Boom Boom Head” on Amazon in ridiculing the concept of any religious imagery.
Added “prunella jones,” “Oh wow! Those squiggly lines are actually from the ancient Atlantis squiggle alphabet! Great find! The inscription reads as follows: ‘Right wingers are the dumbest, most gullible people on planet.”
On WND’s own comment pages, a surprising number of brand-new commenters joined the forum, uniformly blasting the idea of a Muslim message of faith on Obama’s ring.
Wrote one: “It is one thing to respond to bad things Obama has done. It is another to create phoney (sic) problems. … I can believe Muslims are erroneous, for they are, but to make conspiracy theories is the same crap used against Jews that led to Hitler.”
Added another: “You see what you want to see, not what’s actually there. … I can see breaks in the gold bead. I cannot see Arabic script – in any of the photos.”
But another contributor, WK, at the Amazon debate, pointed out that when New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed Obama several years ago, Obama “recited for Kristoff the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, the Adhan. … Kristof noted Obama recited the prayer in Arabic ‘with a first-rate accent.'”
The contributor noted, “In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as ‘one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset,’ Kristoff wrote.”
But at the original report, now read by millions, there were some 2,600 comments after 48 hours.
“sps1234” wrote, “There is TOOOOOOO much evidence, too much bowing, too much muslim brotherhood, too much appeasement, too much code speak, and tooooo much lying. He for ALL practical purposes is a muslim, period.”
An unscientific poll accompanying the original story asked, “What does the story of Obama’s ‘wedding ring’ mean to you?” Forty-five percent of the respondents said, “It once again shows how virtually everything Obama says about himself is completely phony.”
Second place, with 17 percent of the votes, was the statement that he’s a “closet Muslim.”
Another took a broader look at the issue, saying, “Obama is the fraud I though he was in 2007. We made a horrible and dangerous mistake and now our country is at stake. Wake up everybody! I don’t’ mind his religious affiliation, just his lies.”
The various online “fact check” sites, which mostly lean left, however, couldn’t say the report on the Arabic message on the ring was incorrect, concluding only it was “probably” false.
“Such a claim would seemingly confirm long-standing rumors that Barack Obama is not a Christian, as he professes, but a Muslim. … This claim … looks to be an artifact of someone’s trying mightily to find a hidden message where none exists.”
Israel National News took another tone, stating, “According to a news story on the respected Worldnet News Daily (WND) website – with an accompanying array of photos as evidence – U.S. President Barack H. Obama has been wearing, since his days in college, a ring on which is inscribed the Shahada, the main Muslim prayer.”
Urban Legends said, “If there’s any inscription on the ring at all, it’s on the inner surface where we can’t see it.”
Joel Gilbert, who was first to conclude that the ring bears the Shahada, has issued a detailed analysis he prepared with the assistance of Yousef Shehadeh, a native Arabic speaker from Nazareth who studied Arabic for 13 years in the Holy Land and now works as a graphic artist in Los Angeles.
Gilbert, who has studied Arabic himself, told WND he sent close-up photographs of the ring to Shehadeh “cold,” without offering any opinion, and asked Shehadeh to evaluate them.
Shehadeh replied to him that the script on Obama’s ring is Arabic, and it is the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith.
The director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said that should the ring on Obama’s finger prove to include an inscription of an Islamic prayer, it could explain his foreign policy attitudes and actions regarding freedom in the Middle East.
The comment comes from Robert Spencer, who has authored 12 books, including “The Truth About Muhammad,” “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins.”
Andrew Bostom, author of “The Legacy of Jihad,” said in an email: “Assuming Jerome Corsi’s chain of evidence about Obama’s ring, and Mark Gabriel’s analysis of the calligraphy it features being an abbreviated version of the Shahada, are sound — as they appear to be — the report raises new doubts about Obama’s declared Christian faith.”
Bostom, a professor at Brown University Medical School known for his writings on Islam, explained that the Shahada is an exclusively Muslim profession of faith.
“This testimony, furthermore, expresses a pious Muslim’s willingness to wage jihad for Islam, and die a martyr for the creed,” he said.
Activist, author and Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller, says she wouldn’t be surprised if Obama’s ring is Islamic.
“I’d like to see one member of the press corps ask Obama about this,” said Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America.”
“It certainly gibes with Obama’s Islamophilia and his pro-Shariah foreign policies, and with his extensive Muslim background, as detailed in my book, ‘The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.'”
She said Obama’s “anti-freedom, pro-jihad foreign policy has given the global jihad a new lease on death, and clearly he is happy about that, as this ring indicates.”
Gilbert, whose film “Dreams from My Real Father” investigates Obama’s personal history, saw the markings on Obama’s ring through photographs of the president and determined they were an Islamic inscription.
He’s produced a video arguing the ring is Islamic and it indicates Obama is Muslim:
YouTube has video of Obama in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during the 2008 campaign referring to “my Muslim faith” before Stephanopoulos corrects him: