Feature

Why Muslims may not cheer for Obama

It

Edward LuttwakThe New York Times

It’s often been said that a Barack Obama presidency would be “welcomed by the Muslim world,” said Edward Luttwak. But let’s think this proposition through. Obama’s Kenyan father was born a Muslim, and though he did not practice the religion, under Islamic law his son was also born a Muslim. You might assume this would put Obama in good standing in the Islamic world. Quite the opposite, actually. Obama chose to become a Christian, and has written forcefully about the importance of his faith. “His conversion, though, is a crime in Muslim eyes,” on a par with treason and often punishable by death. Rather than appearing to Muslims as an offering of peace, America’s choice of a Christian convert as president could generate deep suspicion and resentment and complicate the war on terror. There’s no question that having a president with African roots “would raise America’s esteem in Africa.” But to think that an Obama presidency would be good for U.S.-Islamic relations is nothing more than wishful thinking.  

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