Human Events’ ridiculous “Obama the Muslim” article

Ronald Reagan once said that the conservative D.C. weekly Human Events was his favorite newspaper. And with good reason. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there were few significant alternatives to the then-hegemonic MSM. Along with National Review, which was Reagan’s favorite magazine, Human Events was an essential source for stories that the MSM refused to cover, and for perspectives that the MSM shut out or marginalized. Unfortunately, a recent article in Human Events falls very far below the solid journalism standards which helped Human Events earn the respect of Reagan and so many others.

Obama The Muslim,” by  Major Gen. Jerry Curry is an article not worthy of a fifth-rate blog, let alone a serious newspaper. The latter two-thirds of the article consists of criticisms of Obama’s policies on Israel and on Arizona border security. I generally agree with those criticisms, but they provide not a shred of evidence that Obama is a Muslim. Former President Jimmy Carter is extremely hostile to Israel, and he is obviously not a Muslim. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is extremely hostile to border security, and he is not a Muslim. 

So let’s consider the evidence that Curry deploys in the first third of the article:

“President Obama says there is nothing more beautiful than the Muslim call to prayer in the evening.” “Obama’s father and step-father were Muslims and he spent his childhood living in a Muslim country where his school enrollment records say his religion is Islam.”

–All approximately but not precisely true. Four years of his childhood in Indonesia, plus a school record there. The actual prayer call quote is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset,” not “nothing more beautiful.” This is a starting point for Curry’s case, but in itself, not even close to proof that Obama is currently a Muslim.

“He says that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation.”

–The same position was taken by the United States Senate in 1797 when ratifying the Treaty of Tripoli, and by President John Adams in signing the Treaty. Neither President Adams nor any of the 1797 U.S. Senators were Muslims.  Article 11 of the Treaty stated:

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

“As President of the United States he genuflects to the Muslim King of Saudi Arabia but not the Christian Queen of England. He thumbs his nose at America’s friends and bows to its enemies.”

–I agree that Obama is deferential and obsequious to American enemies such a Hugo Chavez and the Iranian tyrants, and that he has been the most anti-British President of the United States in well over a century, and that he is seriously harming American relations with Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and other allies. But none of that is evidence that he’s a Muslim.

As for the Saudi king: Obama did not “genuflect.” To genuflect, in a literal sense, is to bring at least one knee to the ground, as a sign of respect. Obama did not do that. He gave the Saudi king a deep bow from the waist. I thought this was a disgusting gesture for an American President, but it’s not genuflection. (“Genuflect” can also be used in a looser sense, as behaving in a servile manner. In the article, however, Curry is plainly talking about literal physical actions.)

However, Obama bowed even lower to the Emperor and Empress of Japan. That’s not evidence that Obama is a closet Shinto.

As Curry accurately states, Obama gave only the mildest quasi-bow to Queen Elizabeth II. In light of what 1776 was all about, patriotic Americans should not criticize the American President for insufficient bowing to the British monarch. One can infer from Obama’s bowing patterns that he is anti-British, and one can see that in Japan and Saudi Arabia, he went out of his way to make gestures which made himself and our nation look weak and obsequious. The bowing is evidence that he’s a poor President, but not that he’s a closet Muslim.

According to Curry, “My mother believed in ‘common sense’ testing. She said if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck and acts like a duck; it’s a duck….In short, Obama quacks like a Muslim, waddles like a Muslim and acts like a Muslim, so is he a Muslim? My mother would say, ‘Yes! He’s a Muslim through and through.'”

I’ll give Mrs. Curry more credit than that. The looks/talks/waddles test for duck identification involves three characteristics are shared by ducks and by no other animals. Mr. Curry, however, listed only characteristics which are common to some Muslims and many non-Muslims: thinks America is not a Christian nation, dislikes the British, acts obsequious around some non-British royals, is anti-Israel, is weak on border security, tries to ingratiate himself with tyrants. Curry might as well have written, “It has two eyes, lives near water, and eats fish.” Sure, it might be a duck, but it also might be a lots of other things. Such as a law school lecturer who agrees with most of the beliefs of the far-left Christian church he attended for twenty years.

Curry’s final item of alleged proof: “Growing up as a Muslim, Obama must have learned that according to the Qur’an it is acceptable to lie, deceive and live by a double standard provided in so doing one advances Islamic goals. Muslims only pretend to trust and be friends with non-Muslims; in the deepest of their Muslim hearts they have been taught that all non-Muslims are infidels.”

–Generally speaking, “must have” conjectures are not evidence of anything. For the sake of argument, let’s temporarily accept the claim that Islamic teaching sanctions lying in certain cases. Even so, there is no evidence that “Obama must have learned” this particular alleged teaching. His Muslim education did not continue past an early age. It might be plausible to presume that he was taught some elementary tenets of Islam (e.g., there is only one God; God spoke to mankind through a series of prophets, culminating in Muhammed; the Qur’an is scripture.) There is simply no evidence that the “lying to infidels is OK” theory of Islam is universally taught in Muslim education for young children, or, for that matter, to all persons who progress through a full course of Muslim religious instruction. That some Muslims teach the acceptability of lying, and that some Muslim scholars endorse this approach, does not prove that Obama “must have” been taught this particular theory.

It would usually be a sign of bad character for any elected official to proclaim his adherence to one religion while secretly adhering to a very different religion. However, Curry’s strongly-stated conclusion is not even remotely supported by the feeble and poorly-researched evidence which he cobbles together. The article should never have been published by Human Events. Of course even eminent publications such as The Atlantic can have a writer who wallows in malicious speculation based on extremely weak and poorly-considered evidence. 

Jerry Curry’s article is not proof that Human Events never produces good articles, nor is Andrew Sullivan’s Trig Trutherism proof that The Atlantic does not publish good articles. However, because reading time is finite, when I choose to read an edited periodical, I try to choose periodicals for which I have confidence that the editors have done a good job in selecting reliable, credible columnists. Accordingly, Human Events‘ retention of Curry as a columnist, like The Atlantic‘s  retention of Sullivan, often make me choose to prioritize reading other periodicals instead.