The craze started when Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison, writing in the New Yorker in 1998, described Bill Clinton as the “first black president.”
Everybody got it: “White skin notwithstanding,” explained Morrison, “this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.”
Thus was born an enduring cultural idiom Atlantic Wire recently called the “first something president” – by which a president is labeled as part of a group with which, though not actually a member, he strongly identifies in terms of his experiences, loyalties and policies.
Once Barack Obama emerged onto the presidential scene – remember, he’s the guy who boasted in “The Audacity of Hope” that “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their views” – he became the “first everything president.”
- In 2008, Newsweek called Obama “The first woman president,”arguing that he “is pushing against conventional … wisdom in five important ways, with approaches that are usually thought of as qualities and values that women bring to organizational life … Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is taking a more traditional (and male?) authoritarian approach.”
- In 2009, Geraldo Rivera dubbed Obama “the first Hispanic president” for his support for “comprehensive immigration reform,” while an Agence France-Presse story cast Obama as “the first Asian-American president”for appointing three Asian-American Cabinet members.
- In 2010, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker reprised Newsweek’s earlier title, with “Obama: Our first female president.”
- In 2011, the cover of New York magazine christened Obama “The first Jewish president.” Really.
- In May 2012, Newsweek pushed the edge of the envelope by crowning Obama with a rainbow-colored halo on its cover, over the headline, “The First Gay President,” to honor his election-year abandonment of his long-expressed opposition to homosexual marriage.
- Things have gone so rogue that New York magazine has lampooned the craze by depicting Obama on faux magazine covers, including: “The First Italian President,” “The First Eskimo President,” “The First Vulcan President,” “The First Chiropractor President,” The First Lumberjack President,” “The First Sleeping President” and “The First Horizontal President.”
- Finally, not to be left out, just a few weeks ago, in response to the White House Tribal Nations Conference with the Department of Interior, Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Nation declared: “The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it’s like to be poor and he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is ‘Hail to the Chief.’ I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president.”
OK, so let’s take stock: Obama is black, he’s white, he’s both male and female, he’s straight and gay, he’s Hispanic, Asian-American and American Indian. He’s Christian. He’s Jewish.
‘My Muslim President Obama’
For a president whose policies over the past four years, both at home and abroad, have been passionately and relentlessly pro-Muslim, one wonders how the elite media could somehow have missed the camel in the living room: Barack Obama is the “first Muslim president.”
This is not breaking news. As American Muslim writer Asma Gull Hasan wrote in a widely read Forbes article titled “My Muslim President Obama”: “I know President Obama is not Muslim, but I am tempted nevertheless to think that he is, as are most Muslims I know. In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel … that we have our first American Muslim president in Barack Hussein Obama.”
“Since Election Day,” Hasan confesses, “I have been part of more and more conversations with Muslims in which it was either offhandedly agreed that Obama is Muslim or enthusiastically blurted out. In commenting on our new president, ‘I have to support my fellow Muslim brother,’ would slip out of my mouth before I had a chance to think twice.”
But another aspect of having elected our “first Muslim president” is much more consequential, as veteran CIA officer and intelligence expert Clare Lopez chronicles. Under Obama, she writes:
“America’s involvement in the global jihad against Western civilization – on the side of the jihadis – is accelerating. Instead of standing firm as leader of the free world and defender of inalienable human rights, U.S. policy is shifting demonstrably to the defense of those who systematically deny such rights to their own people and seek to suppress them everywhere.”
Noting that since 2009, “U.S. foreign policy has backed al-Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood power plays in Libya, Egypt and now Syria, too,” Lopez reports that our State Department “is working closely with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, whose top objective is the criminalization of the criticism of Islam.”
Meanwhile, adds Lopez, here in the U.S. “the White House cultivates relationships with CAIR/Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leadership figures and associates,” while “instructors, trainers and any curriculum that would describe accurately the link between Islamic doctrine, law and scripture and Islamic terrorism have been methodically purged from U.S. government, intelligence and law enforcement classrooms.”
So, according to the established cultural norm of what constitutes a “first something president,” Obama qualifies as “Muslim” at least as much as Bill Clinton qualifies as “black.”
But let’s go a little further: How much literal truth might there be to this honorary title no one in the establishment press sees fit to confer on Barack Obama?
Respected Islam expert Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, has exhaustively documented “Obama’s Muslim childhood.” Here are just a few of the dozens of non-disputable evidentiary facts cited by Pipes:
- “In Islam, the father passes his faith to the children; and when a Muslim male has children with a non-Muslim female, Islam considers the children Muslim. Obama’s grandfather and father having been Muslims – the extent of their piety matters not at all – means that, in Muslim eyes, Barack was born a Muslim.
- “Arabic forenames based on the H-S-N trilateral root … (Husayn or Hussein, Hasan, Hassân, Hassanein, Ahsan, and others) are exclusively bestowed on Muslim babies. … Obama’s middle name, Hussein, explicitly proclaims him a born Muslim.
- “Obama was registered at a Catholic school in Jakarta as ‘Barry Soetoro.’ A surviving document lists him as born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961; in addition, it lists him having Indonesian nationality and Muslim religion.
- “He was also registered as Muslim at SD Besuki: Although Besuki … is a public school, Obama curiously refers to it in ‘The Audacity of Hope’ (p. 154) as ‘the Muslim school’ he attended in Jakarta. Its records have not survived, but several journalists (Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star, Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times, David Maraniss of the Washington Post) have all confirmed that there too, he was registered as a Muslim.
- “Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s younger half-sister, said her father (Barack’s stepfather) attended the mosque ‘for big communal events,’ and the Chicago Tribune’s foreign correspondent Kim Barker found that ‘Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.’
- “Muslim clothing: Zulfin Adi, among Obama’s closest childhood friends, recalls about Obama, ‘I remember him wearing a sarong.’ Likewise, [the Washington Post’s] Maraniss found not only that ‘His classmates recalled that Barry wore a sarong’ but had written exchanges indicating that he continued to wear this garment in the United States. This fact has religious implications because, in Indonesian culture, only Muslims wear sarongs.
- “Obama says that in Indonesia, he ‘didn’t practice [Islam],’ an assertion that inadvertently acknowledges his Muslim identity by implying he was a non-observant Muslim. But several of those who knew him contradict this recollection. Rony Amir describes Obama as ‘previously quite religious in Islam.’ A former teacher, Tine Hahiyary, quoted in the Kaltim Post, says the future president took part in advanced Islamic religious lessons: ‘I remember that he had studied mengaji.’ In the context of Southeast Asian Islam, mengaji Quran means to recite the Koran in Arabic, a difficult task denoting advanced study.”
“The record,” concludes Pipes, “points to Obama having been born a Muslim to a non-practicing Muslim father and having lived for four years in a fully Muslim milieu under the auspices of his Muslim Indonesian stepfather. For these reasons, those who knew Obama in Indonesia considered him a Muslim.”
All right, that was then. But what about today?
Even as president, observes Pipes:
“… when addressing Muslim audiences, Obama uses specifically Muslim phrases that recall his Muslim identity. He addressed audiences both in Cairo (in June 2009) and Jakarta (in November 2010) with ‘as-salaamu alaykum,’ a greeting that he, who went to Koran class, knows is reserved for one Muslim addressing another. In Cairo, he also deployed several other pious terms that signal to Muslims he is one of them:
- “The Holy Koran” (a term mentioned five times): an exact translation from the standard Arabic reference to the Islamic scripture, al-Qur’an al-Karim.
- “The right path”: a translation of the Arabic as-sirat al-mustaqim, which Muslims ask God to guide them along each time they pray.
- “I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”: Non-Muslims do not refer to Islam as “revealed.”
- “The story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed … joined in prayer”: This Koranic tale of a night journey establishes the leadership of Muhammad over all other holy figures, including Jesus.
- “Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them”: a translation of the Arabic ‘alayhim as-salam, which pious Muslims say after mentioning the names of dead prophets other than Muhammad. (A different salutation, sall Allahu alayhi wa-sallam, “May God honor him and grant him peace,” properly follows Muhammad’s name, but this phrase is almost never said in English.)
Beyond all these things, what honest conclusion – other than that the president has a tremendous hidden attachment to Islam – could one possibly draw after reading Obama’s March 2007 interview with the New York Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof, who wrote:
“Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. 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.’”
’The grand jihad’
Ironically, none of Obama’s documented Islamic background may matter very much, since his demonstrated camaraderie with Islamists is typical of far-leftists and doesn’t require a personal Muslim upbringing such as Obama had.
In his bestselling book, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America,” former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy explains how and why hardcore leftists and radical Muslims – despite their obvious differences – work together.
“Like the neocommunist, the Islamist works to impose his version of ‘social justice.’ It is a very specific Islamic prescription, and elements of it diverge markedly from the neocommunist’s more amorphous utopia. But the essentials of their visions coalesce: They are totalitarian, collectivist, and antithetical to the core conceit of American constitutional democracy, individual liberty. Today’s left-leaning, Islamophilic Obamedia consciously ignores the convergence, but America’s 44th president and America’s enemies have a common dream.”
Thus, while there is no evidence Obama is today a practicing Muslim, what is far more important than his current religious affiliation is what his deep-down sympathies, affinities and loyalties truly are – and what sorts of policies those affinities lead him to pursue.
One final thought: Having lived through a tumultuous era in which the two biggest geopolitical challenges to America’s very existence as a free nation have been Marxism and Shariah Islam, it’s a testament to modern Americans’ advancing spiritual blindness that we have chosen – twice – a president in thrall to both.
There’s a perfect logic to the “grand jihad” uniting these two ungodly forces against the rare and exotic bloom of individual liberty. Both movements are based on rejection of Christianity, Judaism and the “Judeo-Christian values” that comprise the moral foundation of Western Civilization. Both are fixated to an ecstatic vision of a utopia that cannot exist in reality because it defies all the laws of God and man and human nature and common sense.
And, although superficially incompatible with each other, both are on the same side of the great war between good and evil, each intent on captivating as many free people as possible in the process of imposing a deluded paradise that never was, and never can be.
Excerpted from the January issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, edited by David Kupelian. Learn more about Whistleblower or become a subscriber.