Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Obama: anti-Islamic?

Barack Obama spent much time in his election campaign, more than he should have been expected to, rebutting claims from the Republican camp (though not, to his credit, from McCain himself) that he was linked to Islamic terrorism.

It appeared that he had recognised the danger of following the unthinking views of Reagan and GW Bush on Islam by promising to open talks with the Muslim leaders of Iran.

Two of his early appointments to his shadow White House team are worrying. His chief of staff will be Rahm Emanuel, son of an Israeli zealot and himself strictly observant. He has now appointed Sonal Shah, linked to Hindu extremists, to his advisory board.

I have no doubt that Emanuel was appointed because he was the best man for the job, not because of his religion. It was also necessary to connect with the growing, economically important, Indian community in the US.

However, the President-elect must urgently balance his support team with one or two people who are either Muslim or visibly supportive of the rights of Muslims where they under threat, as in India, the far east or Palestine. This is important not only for America, but also for us in Britain. We are linked in the eyes of the world, rightly or wrongly, with America's foreign policy.

We can take for granted his support for Christians where they are under threat. His task will be eased in Iraq and Iran if he does not go into negotiations with apparent anti-Islamic prejudices.


Anonymous said...

Genesis ch9 v18

And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Point being, Jews and Muslims are all Shemites.

Frank H Little said...

Although Islam arose in Arabia, not all Arabs are Muslim, and a minority of Muslims are Arab.