Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Muslim opinion of Obama's win

The above is an article by Daniel Pipes evaluating some of the differing Muslim views about Obama’s win.

Amir Taheri refers to a 7th century prophecy that is apparently current among Shiites today: “A ‘tall black man’ commanding ‘the strongest army on earth’ will take power ‘in the west.’ He will carry ‘a clear sign’ from the third imam, Hussein.”

Robert Spencer “generalizes that jihadists and Islamic supremacists worldwide showed ‘unalloyed joy.’”

John Esposito of Georgetown University “emphasizes the Muslim world’s welcome to Obama as an ‘internationalist president.’

Pipes quotes some negative Muslim opinions as well, and some draw the obvious conclusion that Obama is going to be prevented from being very different from previous presidents.

But I was most interested in the following Pipes comment: “Never before have Americans voted into the White House a person so unknown and enigmatic.” That was my view as well. I did a bit of research and found only Leftist, radical or the religiously bizarre (James Cone) views and experiences in his background. But none of that was being put forward by the media. Instead he was taken at face value. His words, and he is a polished speaker, were taken as the all in all of his being and purpose. His past was not counted. This implies a level of faith in his supporters most Christian pastors would wish for their congregations.

I don’t spend much time reading or watching the Media and so did learn about Obama’s past. I was alarmed by it and wished it were better known by the voting public. But now that the election is over I am willing to hope for the best. As Pipes writes, “Some commentators argue that Obama cannot make a real difference; an Iranian newspaper declares him unable to alter a system ‘established by capitalists, Zionists, and racists.’ Predictably, the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief of staff confirmed Palestinian perceptions of an omnipotent Israel lobby. A commentator in the United Arab Emirates went further, predicting Obama’s replication of Jimmy Carter’s trajectory of flamboyant emergence, failure in the Middle East, and electoral defeat.”

Well, that’s put a bit more negatively than I would put it. I hope Obama does well for America, and that will perforce mean that he won’t satisfy all the dreams and wishes of our enemies and detractors in the Middle East.

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