As is customary, President Obama and wife Michelle released their annual Ramadan greetings last Friday. Also customary for Obama, it was full of platitudes about Islam’s supposedly invaluable contribution to American culture, and devoid of any acknowledgement of the dark reality of the Arab Spring that he helped facilitate.
The statement began:
Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world at the start of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection; a time of joy and celebration. It’s a time to cherish family, friends, and neighbors, and to help those in need.
In ironic response, CNN posted this headline two days later: “Iraq Bombs Kill 25 People as Muslims Celebrate Ramadan.” Similar headlines followed: “Ramadan Fails to Curtail Syrian Violence.” “Muslims Begin Ramadan Fast; Bombs Hit Thai South.” “7 Shot Dead in Karachi on First Day of Ramadan.” So much for reflection, joy, and celebration.
Even if many Muslims around the world weren’t respectful of Ramadan, at least American officials in Guantanamo were. In deference to the Muslims who are vacationing – sorry, I mean incarcerated – there, they graciously postponed any court hearings to allow the murderous 9/11 plotters their time of contemplation and joy.
Ramadan is also a reminder, the Obamas’ statement went on, “to people of all faiths of our common humanity and the commitment to justice, equality, and compassion shared by all great faiths.”
Not according to a group by the name of “Qaedat al-Jihad,” a branch of al Qaeda that has been described as one of the “affiliates of the Global Jihad movement.” This is their take on Ramadan, delivered in their statement claiming responsibility for last Wednesday’s terror attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that killed seven and wounded dozens more:
The month of Ramadan is a month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God's messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators… The holy war is not confined to a particular arena and we shall fight the Jews and the Americans until they leave the land of Islam.
So much for our common humanity, “shared by all great faiths.” Holy war? That’s odd – Western academics and Muslim Brotherhood front groups here in America keep insisting that jihad is about “inner striving” and has nothing to do with holy war. Studying for a college exam is jihad. Raising your children well is jihad. Quitting smoking is jihad. Qaedat al-Jihad clearly didn’t get that memo.
In any case, Obama continued his Ramadan statement:
This year, Ramadan holds special meaning for those citizens in the Middle East and North Africa who are courageously achieving democracy and self-determination and for those who are still struggling to achieve their universal rights.
He’s referring of course to the Arab Spring, that glorious flowering of democratic freedom which has led to Islamic fundamentalists toppling regimes in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere, threatening to create new Irans. Apparently this unsettling news hasn’t reached George Clooney’s house or golf courses, where Obama spends most of his time, because his rosy perspective on the Arab Spring doesn’t seem to align with its ugly reality.
The United States continues to stand with those who seek the chance to decide their own destiny, to live free from fear and violence, and to practice their faith freely.
Really? This hollow claim will come as something of a bitter surprise to the Iranian Green Revolutionaries he ignored three summers ago, and to dwindling Christian communities all across the Middle East who are now being targeted in the genocidal wake of the Islamist Winter he praises so lavishly.
Also in his Ramadan greeting, Obama noted that
Here in the United States, Ramadan reminds us that Islam is part of the fabric of our Nation, and that—from public service to business, from healthcare and science to the arts—Muslim Americans help strengthen our country and enrich our lives.
There may indeed be individual Muslim-Americans who are serving this country in those arenas, but how exactly is Islam “part of the fabric of our nation”? A Washington Times editorial two years ago demolished that multiculturalist trope after Obama expressed a similar sentiment in his 2010 Ramadan speech:
Most puzzling is the president’s claim that “Islam has always been part of America.” Islam had no influence on the origins and development of the United States. It contributed nothing to early American political culture, art, literature, music or any other aspect of the early nation.
Nor has it since then. FrontPage’s own scholar of Islam, Robert Spencer, deconstructed that same 2010 speech as well, asking the Obama administration to provide
a list of the Muslim Founding Fathers, the Muslim heroes of the American Revolution, the names of the Muslims killed fighting in the Civil War (for the North, no doubt - you know, "racial equality"!), the Muslim Senators and Congressmen who served with distinction in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – I'm sure the Obama Administration will have no trouble coming up with all that, will they? And I trust it will also contain a list of those "extraordinary contributions" that Muslims have made to our country. Aside from being the impetus for some extraordinary innovations in airport security, I can't think of any.Despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama is determined to promote the notion that Islam has played and continues to play a critical, central role in America life. How much longer will it be before he begins openly referring to our shared “Judeo-Christian-Muslim heritage”?
Much like our President’s laughable pronouncements that the American “private sector is doing fine,” that “tiny countries” like Iran and Venezuela are not a threat, and that his administration “has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” Obama’s latest Ramadan statement is utterly divorced from reality.
(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 7/27/12)