by Daniel Pipes
Sep 10, 2014
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner
In a televised address this evening, President Barack Obama outlined his ideas on how to defeat the Islamic State. Along the way, he declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be "not Islamic."
In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic. Bill Clinton called the Taliban treatment of women and children "a terrible perversion of Islam." George W. Bush deemed that 9/11 and other acts of violence against innocents "violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith."
Word magic permits Obama to turn ISIS into a "not Islamic" organization.
To state the obvious: as non-Muslims and politicians, rather than Muslims and scholars, they are in no position to declare what is Islamic and what is not. As Bernard Lewis, a leading American authority of Islam, notes: "it is surely presumptuous for those who are not Muslims to say what is orthodox and what is heretical in Islam." (That Obama was born and raised a Muslim has no relevance here, for he left the faith and cannot pronounce on it.)
Indeed, Obama compounds his predecessors' errors and goes further: Clinton and Bush merely described certain actions (treatment of women and children, acts of violence against innocents) as un-Islamic, but Obama has dared to declare an entire organization (and quasi-state) to be "not Islamic."
The only good thing about this idiocy? At least it's better than the formulation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (known as CAIR) which has the nerve to call ISIS "anti-Islamic."
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