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EDITORIAL: Mr. Obama, stop praising Islam
‘Religion of peace’ rhetoric does more harm than good
President Obama, on Tuesday you will speak to the United Nations about the growing turmoil in the Middle East. If you behave true to form, you will reiterate what you and other members of your administration have been saying for years, that Islam is a beautiful religion of peace.
Mr. Obama, please stop.
The policy of praising Islam in the wake of every act of radical violence has not worked. We see this in opinion polls showing the United States is more hated in the Muslim world than ever. We see this in the growing power of extreme Islamists throughout the region. We have seen the impact of this policy of obsequiousness in the growing national security nightmare the Middle East has become. We have seen it in the charred, bloodstained ruins of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. We have seen it at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, where the American flag was desecrated and replaced with the black banner of jihad. In response, you thought it was appropriate to thank Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi for protecting the embassy, rather than threaten to cut off relations with Egypt for obviously failing to do so.
The reasons your policy has failed are self-evident. The radicals -- whether espousing violence or what your White House describes as "legitimate Islamism" -- do not believe you. All they see is pandering and weakness. Moderates may believe you, but they question why the United States pursues policies with which they disagree. The minority, pro-freedom reformers in the region, look on you with a mixture of pity, disgust and despair.
It is not the American president's job to use the bully pulpit to promote any religious affiliation. You are not as effusive in praise of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or other faiths. You send dangerous signals when you vigorously condemn those who burn the Koran yet purposefully ignore those who desecrate the Bible, burn churches and oppress religious minorities. Your double standard sends a signal that the Islamist radicals are reading loud and clear.
Salman Rushdie, an unwilling expert on the price free people can pay when victimized by Muslim extremists, said, "It's not for the American government to regret what American citizens do." Rather than standing before the United Nations praising Islam, you should exalt freedom. Rather than empathizing with violent mobs, you should lecture them on the standards of civilized behavior. Rather than seeking to scapegoat a low-budget YouTube video for your policy failings, you should admit that you made a mistake and chart a muscular new course.
Everyone already knows you love Islam, Mr. Obama. In case you haven't noticed, that is the problem.
The Washington Times
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