Like ordinary folks, presidents of the United States are known by the company they keep. It is a test of their character. Often it shapes their policies. In the case of Barack Obama, it may blight his legacy and our nation's security interests. Until now, among the most egregious examples of the problem were the "friends of Bill" who played prominent roles in William Jefferson Clinton's presidency. Those folks included a mix of unsavory political operatives, Chinese agents and convicted felons. Their overnight stays in the Lincoln bedroom, legally challenged fundraising and 11th-hour pardons raised serious questions not just about President Clinton's ethics, but about his judgment.
President Obama's trusted circle has been, if anything, even more problematic. For example, Mr. Obama has consorted with people who are revolutionaries, communists, liberation theologians and Islamists. Some even have been appointed czars in his administration.
At the moment, though, we must be concerned not only with whom Mr. Obama considers his friends, but with those who deem him to be one of theirs: The record suggests he must be seen as a "friend of Shariah."
How else can we explain the seeming inconsistency between, on the one hand, the president's indifference to demonstrations in Iran last year that were vastly larger and more sustained than those to date in Egypt and, on the other hand, his insistence after a week's worth of protests in the latter that there be nothing less than complete "regime change," starting immediately?
The only obvious common denominator is that in both cases, Mr. Obama is pursuing policies favored by those who adhere to the repressive, supremacist and virulently anti-American Islamic political-military-legal program its adherents call Shariah. In Iran, Shariah already is the law of the land, ruthlessly enforced by the Shiite theocrats of Tehran. In Egypt, the Mubarak regime's failure to enforce Shariah faithfully is one of the principal impetuses behind the Iranian mullahs' Sunni wannabe counterparts in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Alas, Mr. Obama's seeming affinity for Shariah has not been confined to his ever-more-evident support for the Brotherhood taking power in a nation the United States has long seen (rightly or wrongly) as an indispensable and reliable regional ally. For instance:
c In September 2009, the Obama administration co-sponsored a resolution introduced in the United Nations Human Rights Council by Egypt on behalf of a Muslim multinational entity known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The measure advanced the OIC's long-standing purpose, pursued in the name of the seemingly unobjectionable goal of preventing "defamation of religion," to impose worldwide what amount to Shariah blasphemy laws.
c In August, Mr. Obama used the occasion of a White House dinner breaking the Ramadan fast to endorse the construction of a controversial mosque close by the site of the former Twin Towers in Manhattan. This initiative became notorious as the American people learned that it is not merely a matter of "insensitivity" to put an Islamic community center on hallowed ground. Such a step fits a distinct pattern under Shariah of symbolically using the construction of triumphalist mosques on the holiest sites of conquered peoples to make the latter, as the Koran puts it, "feel themselves subdued."
Mr. Obama nonetheless expressed his support for the Ground Zero Mosque. He did so to the delight of people like Ingrid Mattson in his audience. At the time, she was the figurehead leader of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in the United States, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
Yes, that would be the same Muslim Brotherhood Mr. Obama is helping come to power in Egypt. And yes, ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the biggest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history. Under the Obama administration, though, ISNA remains the vehicle of choice for official "outreach" to the Muslim-American community and the parent organization responsible for certifying chaplains for the U.S. military and prison system.
c Then there is the latest symptom of submissive behavior on the part of Mr. Obama and what appear to be other "friends of Shariah" in his administration. As my colleagues Patrick S. Poole and Christine Brim have illuminated at BigPeace.com, we now have the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) preparing to "celebrate" the 1,300th anniversary of "Tariq ibn Ziyad's crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar," ushering in about 800 years of Moorish conquest and occupation of Spain and, in VMI's words, "setting into motion the fusion between two worlds."
It turns out that this new act of submission to Islamist triumphalism is a byproduct of a transnationalist program funded by the Defense Department and known as Project GO, in which GO stands for global officers. It is administered for the Pentagon by the Institute for International Education, which is, in turn, advised by "dedicated internationalists" from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and, as it happens, the Chinese Communist Politburo. It is obscene that such propagandizing is taking place at what has long been one of America's pre-eminent military academies. But it is, as the Politburo's Li Yuanchao might say, "no accident, comrade."
The foregoing are but a few of the manifestations of a deeply worrying trend involving acquiescence to and, in some cases it appears, outright embrace of the dictates of Shariah under the Obama administration. The question occurs: With friends of Shariah like Barack Obama, who needs enemies?
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.
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'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America