Is the U.S. a Muslim country?
Examining the statistics behind Obama's observation as he reaches out to Islamic nations
President Obama must be on another planet, said Robert Spencer in Jihad Watch. There's no other way to explain his observation—or was it a "wish"—that the U.S. could be seen as "a Muslim country." He made the comment at the start of a trip designed to improve relations with the Islamic world, but it's still absurd to compare the U.S., with 2.3 million Muslims, with places like Indonesia (200 million Muslims), India (156 million), and Pakistan (150 million).
"Sure, the president might have stretched it a bit," said Pete Abel in The Moderate Voice. Then again, the U.S. is No. 30 out of the world's 189-plus countries, so we have more Muslims than 84 percent of the planet's nation states. Regardless, the right-wing outrage at Obama's statement is silly—there's nothing objectionable about trying to build bridges to Muslims elsewhere.
Yes, but mangling statistics is hardly the best way to accomplish that, said Michael Goldfarb in The Weekly Standard. "There are more Muslims in tiny Jordan than there are in the United States, and twice as many in Syria." The U.S. has the largest Christian population—and the second largest Jewish population, after Israel—in the world, so if Obama really wants Muslim nations to "better understand" us he might try mentioning that.