Who said the following: "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
Iran's Ahmadinejad? Egypt's Morsi? Some little-known, fatwa-flinging cleric increasing the bounty on Salman Rushdie's head?
None of the above. The words are President Obama's, and he spoke them this week to the U.N. General Assembly.
No Big Media outlet reported this stunning pronouncement. It's as if Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983 and the media failed to report that he used the phrase "evil empire." To make the comparison more direct, imagine if a Republican president declared that "the future must not belong to those who slander the messiah of Christianity" -- or, for that matter, the prophet of Latter-day Saints. We would have heard all about it, and for the rest of our lives.
Of course, the Islam-Christianity comparison isn't a perfect match, given the peculiar definition of "slander" under Islamic law (Shariah). According to such authoritative sources as "Reliance of the Traveller," a standard Sunni law book approved by Cairo's Al-Azhar University, "slander" in Islam includes anything that Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth. In other words, any negative fact about Islam and Muhammad is, under Islamic law, deemed "slander."
Does the president, son of a Muslim father and raised for four years as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia, understand this? Shouldn't someone in the White House press corps bother to ask?
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