Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Presidential Muslim Conspiracy Theory - Really?

 I should begin by admitting that I'm a fan of our liberal president, Barack Obama.  I support gay rights, I think giving people access to medical care is a good thing, and I'm happy to have an occupant of the Oval Office who protects programs for the poor.

That being said, I acknowledge that many people don't like the president.  That's totally fine, this is the United States of America.  If someone thinks President Obama compromises too often, or he coddles the poor at the expense of business, or he's soft on family values, they're 100% free to not like him.  Heck, if someone doesn't like a president who reads Marvel comic books, they're free to not like the president.

What makes me crazy is the statement, "Obama should be booted from office, because he's a Muslim, so he supports ISIS."  This idea is bass ackwards on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.

 President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta during a presentation ceremony in the East Room of the White House
Subject: President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta during a presentation ceremony in the East Room of the White House. | Date: 11/16/2010 | Photographer: Leroy Council |This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Believers in the presidential Muslim conspiracy theory point to pictures of President Obama publicly appearing in front of a "Muslim prayer curtain," in the East Room of the White House.  Unfortunately for such conspiracy theorists, there's no such thing as a "Muslim prayer curtain."

The draperies in question are gold silk lampas curtains featuring decorative, non-religious, patterns.  The drapes were ordered by Jackie Kennedy, and have adorned a wall in the East Room of the White House since Lady Bird Johnson ordered them to be hung in 1965.

Even if the curtain theory wasn't a complete joke, the idea that Obama is a Muslim is absurd for other reasons.  Muslims must routinely follow the Five Pillars of Islam, in order to live good lives and prove their devotion to their religion. The Five Pillars are:
  1. Shahadah (the sincere declaration of Muslim faith), 
  2. Salah (praying properly five times a day), 
  3. Zakat (making donations to help those in need), 
  4. Hajj (going on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once),
  5. Sawm (fasting during the holy month of Ramadan). 
I have no way of knowing what the president has sincerely declared in his own heart.  However, while he DOES give to the poor, and he HAS been to the Middle East, he's never been known to excuse himself from meetings to say daily prayers, nor has he been known to fast during the holy month of Ramadan.  In fact, during last year's holy month of Ramadan (06/28/14 - 07/28/14), the president hosted an Independence Day BBQ, where he consumed; pork ribs, hot dogs, and beer; none of which are allowed by Hajal (Muslim dietary law) during any time of year, let alone during the holy month of Ramadan.

If President Obama is a Muslim, he's extremely bad at it.

Although all objective evidence points to Barack Obama not being a Muslim, I find it sad that it needs to be proven at all.  The Islamic religion is a perfectly valid religion, rooted in much of the same history as Christianity and Judaism.

The fact that I have to make this point 14 years after the attack on New York is nothing short of tragic; Muslims are not the enemies of the United States of America.  Being a member of the Islamic faith does not equate to membership in a terrorist and/or criminal organization.  Keep in mind, ISIS and Al-Qaeda are to the Islamic faith what the KKK and Nazis are to Christianity.  Saying all Muslims are terrorists is the same as saying all Christians are homophobic Aryan bigots.

As I said, not liking the president is fine.  However, if someone is going to dislike President Obama, or anyone for that matter, they should make sure their reasons for not liking him are grounded in reality.


  1. Well written, Jim. I totally agree with you. Most people who berate Barack Obama are poorly informed and easily influenced by Fox News.