Monday, July 09, 2007

Could Barack H. Obama face a Fatwa Charge for Apostasy?

B. Hussein Obama may never have been a practicing Muslim, but the interpretation of being a Muslim and abandoning the faith can be very strict. Back when I was Internal Affairs Officer in the Political Section at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia, I was once handed a terrible judicial hot potato. An American Christian who worked for Northrop's F-5 program was arrested for having a spouse who was a Muslim woman. A Saudi friend had asked him if his Turkish wife was a Muslim and he answered in the negative. However, the religious police were informed and arrested him---luckily his spouse was out of country if I recall, for marrying a Muslim woman. The man was flabbergasted. He and she never talked about religion and she was raised in a completely secular family, had never practiced Islam, & indeed had never set foot in a mosque. Yet the Mutawwaeen considered her a Muslim by heritage and he an abductor of a Muslim woman causing her apostasy. It took all of the Embassy's considerable influence to get him released & he had to leave the country to placate the Wahhabi Religious police.

Now presidential candidate Barack H. Obama claims to be a Christian of an obscure denomination, although he has admitted in the past to have gone to a madrasa while living in Indonesia [or an Islamic School that is not a madrasa, though the Arabic word for "school" is "madrasa," so that distinction is lost on me. I believe Barry [Barack] Hussein Obama when he says that he was not a Muslim and did not practice Islam, but if he becomes a presidential candidate or even a VP nominee, will that placate mullahs, imams, ayatollahs or other religious figures like ObL from issuing, no matter from what authority, a fatwa declaring B.H. Obama an apostate? His father probably had an Islamic background in Kenya & he did attend a madrasa for a couple of years, so if the contretemps back in Saudi Arabia indicates some sort of mindset or precedent, that would be something the Democrats, so eager to assuage Muslim sensibilities, should be aware of.

My own guess is that if the matter of Obama's past religious beliefs or practices arises, mainstream Islamic clerics will say that there is no apostasy. However, but those clerics seem to be superseded in popular imagination, if not legitimate authority, by radical clerics of fiery temperament who sometimes vie for attention by making outrageous and even ridiculous accusations. How will Barack remain a symbol of international multicultural comity if some hothead in Cairo or Karachi or pick-an-Islamic-capital calls for the faithful to punish him for apostasy? With Rushie, Hirsan Ali, and others as precedents, wouldn't this be a major campaign diversion? Something for the Democrats to consider, perhaps?

I for one would like to see Tiger Woods eventually run as an ideal multiculti candidate! Maybe a few years of political seasoning and........?

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