Paul L. Williams
Obama as Muslim Apologist; America "Enriched” by
April 10, 2009
Travis contributed to the writing of this article.
convey,” Barack Obama told the Turkish Parliament Monday, "our deep
appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the
centuries to shape the world
– including my
own country.” He assured the Turkish leaders (who have become
increasingly radicalized under President Abdullah Gul) that America "is
not and never will be at war with Islam.” And he went on to say that
"the United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans,” including his
these remarks, Mr. Obama (who made a point of being introduced to the
Turkish Nation as "Barack Hussein Obama”) is treading in the
hobbled footprints of his predecessor.
George W. Bush,
the first person in history to declare Islam to be
"A Religion of Peace”, stated in his second inaugural address, that
Islam represented a major factor in the development of American heritage
and culture and that "our national life [is sustained] by the truths of
Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran.”
Barack Hussein and George
W. appear to be blithely unaware that there were no Muslims among the
passengers on the Mayflower or the settlers at Jamestown. Muslims were
conspicuously absent from the ranks of George Washington’s Army of the
Revolution and played no role in
the creation of the American republic – save for the fact that the
new country’s first declaration of war was against the forces of Islam
represented by the Barbary pirates.
Despite popular folklore,
few Muslims numbered among the 12 million black Africans who were
shipped to the New World from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Muslims,
in fact, were not the slaves but the slave traders. Senegalese educator
Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow has written that in 1587 a shipload of Moriscos
(Spanish Moors) landed in a coastal area of South Carolina. The Moors,
he contends, migrated to the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western
North Carolina where they established colonies.
In reality, this is pure speculation. There is not a scintilla of
archival or archaeological evidence to support this claim.
This is not to say that no
Muslim slaves were transported to the colonies. Two such slaves – Ayuiba
Suleiman Diallo and Omar ibn Said – were brought to America is 1731 but
both were returned to Africa in 1734. In
a Herculean effort to materialize at least one Muslim living in America
before the Civil War, Muslims in America, an Islamic website, point to
the name of Mahomet, the great grandson of Uncas, the founder of the
Mohegan tribe, on a gravestone in Norwich, Connecticut.
The name of this Native American, they argue, resembles that of the
prophet, and, therefore, he must have been a convert to Islam. In a
similar example of straining at gnats, the compilers of The
Collections and Stories of American Muslims, a non-profit
organization, claim that Peter Salem, a former slave who fought at the
Battle of Bunker Hill, must have been a Muslim since "Salem” bears an
etymological resemblance to "Salaam,” the Arabic word for peace.
For additional proof, the compilers turn to folklore, such as the story
of Old Tom, a slave at a plantation in Georgia, who allegedly uttered,
"Allah is God and Mohammed his Prophet” on his death-bed – and the
apocryphal tale of "Old Lizzy,” a slave from Edgefield County, who
reportedly said, "Christ built His first church in Mecca.”
Surprisingly, there is no
record of any Islamic American among the enlisted and conscripted forces
of World War I, let alone among the blue and grey armies of the Civil
War. The great migrations that lasted from 1865 to 1925 brought
35,000,000 people to the New World: 4,500,000 from Ireland, 4,000,000
from Great Britain, 6,000,000 from central Europe, 2,000,000 from the
Scandinavian countries, 5,000,000 from Italy, 8,000,000 from Eastern
Europe, and 3,000,000 from the Balkans. But the number of Muslims who
came here from the Middle East was statistically nil.
In 1960, aside from the
temples of the Nation of Islam (which upheld a version of the Qu’ran
that bore no similarity to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed)), the
only mosques in the United States were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dearborn,
Michigan, and Washington DC (which opened in 1957) – and all three
professed less than 200 active members. Four other cities contained
miniature mosques with less than fifty members.
Small wonder, therefore, that Islam in America failed to merit the
attention of Leo Rosten and Will Herberg.
Leo Rosten’s sixth edition
of Religions of America appeared in 1975. It represented
an exhaustive compilation of statistical information concerning every
major and minor body of believers in the country. Entire chapters were
devoted to such Protestant denominations as the Disciples of Christ, the
7th Day Adventists, the Unitarian Universalists, the Jehovah’s
Witnesses, and the various manifestations of Presbyterianism,
Lutheranism, and Methodism. The study provided abundant data concerning
the three forms of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform) and a
lengthy discussion about the liturgical and doctrinal differences
between Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. It even contained facts
and figures concerning the five percent of Americans who claimed to be
But the work contained no
mention of Islam, not even as a footnote. This was not an oversight. The
Muslims in America were statistically insignificant, numbering less than
5,000. What’s more, as Rosten and his fellow analysts were aware, the
vast majority of these so-called "Moslems” practiced a form of Islam
that bore no semblance to the 7th Century pronouncements of the prophet
Mohammad, let alone the teachings of the Quran and the Hadith. Indeed,
at their weekly gatherings, the American Muslims – almost all blacks
from the inner cities – sang Christian hymns.
In these halcyon days
before the great Islamic Revolution of 1979, American sociologists
continued to insist that membership within the three great bodies of
Western religion (Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism) remained the main
means of self-identification within American society. In his classic
study Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Will Herberg articulated this
finding by writing:
Not to be a Catholic, a Protestant, or a Jew today is, for increasing
numbers of American people, not to have a name...To have a name and an
identity, one must belong somewhere; and more and more one "belongs” in
America by belonging to a religious community, which tells one what one
is. The army sergeant who, when confronted with some theologically
precise recruit (probably a high-church Episcopalian) who insisted he
was neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish, exclaimed in
exasperation, "Well, if you’re not Catholic, or Protestant, or Hebrew,
what in blazes are you, He gave voice to the prevailing view of
contemporary America. Unless one is either a Protestant, or a Catholic,
or a Jew, one is "nothing”; to be "something,” to have a name, one must
identify oneself to oneself, and be identified by others, as belonging
to one or another of the three great religious communities in which the
American people are divided.
We read these words with
wonderment. There was a time when Americans were identified by their
Judeo-Christian roots. Similarly, there was a time when people of
different faiths (Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims) were not viewed as
real Americans. And let’s remember that this was the finding of the
leading sociologists of religion, not the claims of backwater Baptist
As little as a decade ago,
these findings remained unchallenged. Americans could walk through
crowded airports without encountering a woman in a burqa or a student in
a shalwat kameez. Words such as jihad, imam,
Sunni, and Shiite were not in common usage. Major cities
contained no Islamic bookstores or clothing shops featuring designer
Muslim headdresses. And vendors selling halal hotdogs were
non-existent on the street corners of midtown Manhattan.
And now we have President
Obama praising the Muslim world for its outstanding contributions to
It might be okay for Mr.
Obama to bow before the Saudi Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in a gesture of
obeisance, and it might be acceptable for him to present himself to
President Gul as a Muslim American and to announce to the world that
America is no longer a Christian nation.
But red-blooded Americans
must never allow Obama, Bush, or anyone else to rewrite their history
through the process of Newspeak and to deny their heritage as a people
for the sake of globalism, multiculturalism, and a New World Order.
But has Islam
really played a part in shaping the life of America? And have Muslims
contributed to the cultural heritage of the United States?
Well, yes, I
believe they have, and it is most unfortunate.