Tony Karon points us to a remarkable attack on Barack Obama by Edward Luttwak in the New York Times:
As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.
Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.
His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive). (New York Times)
Luttwak reckons this would 'compromise the ability of governments in Muslim nations to cooperate with the United States in the fight against terrorism.'
Pat Lang suggests that this argument doesn't pass the smell test:
I think it is a poorly veiled attack on Obama's candidacy. I doubt if Luttwak was the originator of this attack. I have heard it before.
I will not argue the Islamic law point, but my comment would be - So What!
Are Americans to allow Luttwak and people like him to influence their choice of president on the basis of a denial of religious freedom by people who generally have no use for freedom of choice in anything? (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
In fact, a similar attack appeared in Frontpage Magazine last month, where Professor Thomas Cushman was discussing 'the unknown Obama:
In my response, I want to avoid the kind of cheap propaganda tricks that have appeared thus far, such things as the releasing of the photo of Obama dressed in the garb of a Muslim tribal leader, or the tendency of people to refer to the Senator as "Barack Hussein Obama", tactics which try to infer that he is some kind of Islamic "Manchurian candidate."
Why settle for 'cheap propaganda tricks' when you can come up with something as bizarre and involved as this:
I myself do not have any indication of the actual empirical sociological data about what Muslims think about Obama's religious status, but it is very likely that if many people in the world who live by the literal word of the Koran, then they will have their own meanings as to "who" (or should I say "what") Barack Obama is that have very little to do with what he says he is, or what we in the US think he is...
...Surely, for the extremists, killing any American president would be the hallmark of glory, but killing an apostate would surely be a step even beyond that. If Obama were elected, would the radical Islamists issue a fatwah against him for the crime of defecting from his ascribed status as a Muslim? Would America become even more engorged with evil by virtue of being led by an apostate who serves the interest of America over the interests of the Muslim world? I do think it is important to raise these questions, and I am endeavoring to do it in the most disinterested way by thinking about the "meaning" of Barack Obama in a sociological way. (Frontpage Magazine)
Those with a passing interest in 'actual empirical sociological data' might like to note that Professor Cushman is an international patron of the Henry Jackson Society and a signatory of the Euston Manifesto.