Thursday, 21 March 2019

Muslim Journalist on CNN: Trump “Beloved” in Parts of Muslim World

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It isn’t often that President Trump, one of our time’s most maligned men, gets to feel the love. But he can feel at least some now that a Muslim physician and columnist said in a Saturday CNN interview that the president is “beloved” in many parts of the Islamic world.

As reports:

In a CNN interview, a Muslim physician who also is a columnist and author rejected claims that President Trump is “Islamophobic,” insisting he is “beloved” in many parts of the Muslim world.

“One thing the viewers should know, this president and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim world, in Egypt, in Oman, in Jordan, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where this president is beloved,” said Dr. Qanta Ahmed.

Ahmed, the daughter of Sunni Muslim Pakistani immigrants to Britain, said Trump and the Republican Party going back to President George Bush “is very dearly held,” the Daily Wire reported.

She noted that the day of the interview, Saturday, was the anniversary of the massacre of 180,000 Kurds by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Saddam, she reminded host Fredericka Whitfield, was removed by a Republican president.

“So it is very important not to lose so much perspective that we start believing our entire government is Islamophobic,” she said. “That is not the case.”

Ahmed also expressed these views in a Sunday tweet (below) that contains an excerpt from her CNN appearance.

While it’s anecdotal, Ahmed’s claim of Muslim-world GOP love (insofar as it exists) was reflected in how an Iraqi couple named their son George Bush in 2003 and an Afghan husband and wife named their boy Donald Trump in 2016.

It certainly makes sense that ex-president George W. Bush’s removal of Saddam Hussein would be widely appreciated in the Muslim world. Many secular “Muslims” despised the late Iraqi dictator because he was a freedom-squelching tyrant, and devoted Muslims and jihadists despised him because they considered him an apostate.

Nonetheless, it would appear that Ahmed speaks only for herself and other secular “Muslims” when claiming love for Trump, as polls tell a different story. Pew Research Center reported in 2017 that in Islamic nations such as Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Turkey, the president’s favorability rating is below 20 percent; it’s below 35 percent in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Moreover, only 43 percent of Israeli Arabs view Trump favorably, lying in contrast to Israeli Jews’ 94-percent approval. This is largely reflected in the United States, where only 13 percent of Muslims identity as Republican and 52 percent believe the president “is unfriendly” toward them.

Unfortunately, the more troubling issue is that polls also show that too many Muslims are unfriendly toward the non-Islamic world and Western norms. As I wrote last year, as

CBS News reported in 2006 in its piece “Many British Muslims Put Islam First,” 78 percent of U.K. Muslims advocate punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons. A 2010 study found that 32 percent of Muslim students surveyed at 30 British universities support killing for Islam, and a poll of 40,000 Al Jazeera readers conducted by the news network earlier this year [2018] revealed that 80 percent of them supported ISIS.

The same phenomenon is apparent in the United States. For example, “the Center for Security Policy released a 2015 poll of Muslims in the US showing that ‘a majority (51 percent) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah,’” as I reported last year (related video below).

Perhaps this is why another Muslim gave another shocking, unexpected interview, one guaranteeing he won’t be invited onto CNN. Appearing on the Glazov Gang in 2015, Dr. Mudar Zahran, a Jordanian Opposition Coalition leader currently living as an asylee in the United Kingdom, characterized the waves of migrants entering Europe as “the soft Islamic conquest of the West.” Furthermore, he said the so-called Muslim refugees should be kept out of the West (must-watch video below).

So what accounts for Ahmed saying one thing and polls and Zahran another? Put loosely, it has to do with the divide between so-called secular “Muslims” and jihadist-oriented ones and, put more precisely, with the deeper issue of what it means to be Muslim.

“Muslims” is in quotation marks above because “secular Muslim” really is an oxymoron: Since Islam is a religion, are you truly Muslim (or Christian, Jewish, or of any other faith) if you’re secular? And if being Muslim could mean anything, wouldn’t it mean nothing?

I’ve heard the argument that since Islam was originated by man, it can be interpreted — and reinterpreted — by man; therefore, we can’t view any conception of it as definitive. The Islamic canon is “living,” in other words.

Yet this view involves the same fallacy the living-Constitution thesis does: In writing down ideas, the work’s authors meant something in particular. We can try to convince others of a living interpretation, but since the Truth will out, the original intent will be discerned by at least some.

Whom will they be? Well, who ferrets out and embraces the Constitution’s original intent, those lukewarm about constitutionalism or those serious about it? Is it any different with Islam?

And what does serious embrace of Islam yield? Providing some insight is a German study involving 45,000 youths, whose results were reported in 2010. It found that while increasing religiosity among Christian youths made them less violent, increasing religiosity among Muslim youths actually made them more violent

Bill Warner, director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, offered his explanation for this phenomenon in 2009. In the Koran, nine percent of the text is devoted to jihad, he informed. Yet the Koran is only 16 percent of the Islamic canon, which also comprises the Sira and Hadith. Known together as the Sunna, these two books record what Mohammed did and said and, as Warner writes, form “the perfect pattern of all Islamic behavior.”

What is that pattern? In the Hadith, 21 percent of the text is devoted to jihad. And Sira?

A whopping 67 percent.

In all three books (known as the “Trilogy”) taken together, 31 percent of the words are devoted to jihad.

To add perspective, this amounts to 327,547 words devoted to political/religious violence — versus just 34,039 in the Hebrew Bible and zero in the New Testament.

Yet even this doesn’t tell the whole tale. Note that the “political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place,” wrote Warner. “This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future.”

Perhaps this is why not just Warner, but individuals as varied as Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the al-Aqsa Mosque; Jihad Watch proprietor Robert Spencer; Muslim Cleric Anjem Choudary; and American Catholic priest Mario Alexis Portella all maintain that Islam is not a religion of peace.

Then again, the renowned theologians at CNN disagree.

Image: screenshot from YouTube video

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