I'm wondering why no one in the Arabic media has made this point: technically, Barack Obama was born a Muslim (...according to Muslims) but he chose Christianity. Doesn't this make him an apostate by shari'ah law and existing "secular" law in most of the Islamic world?
Some Western pundits have made the case that electing Obama as president would win over Muslims who are skeptical over America's "crusading" image. But isn't the opposite true? Isn't it illegal for Obama to exist in countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt, let alone a place like Saudi Arabia?
Turkey has had a spate of murders targeting Christian missionaries over the perceived slight of turning Muslims against their faith; something that in Turkey is far from being universally condemned. How would lay Turks deal with a President Obama making a state visit to Ankara? Would he be seen as a "friend" or as a walking, talking provokation?
Apostacy is one of these black and white issues in most of the Islamic world. Shouldn't these gushing, clueless pundits address such an angle before making the case to elect Obama based on his "unique" background--which is Obama's own main selling point?
Shouldn't the NYT bureau in Cairo pose this very question to the scholars of al-Azhar Islamic University?
Obama should immediately make a campaign pledge that as president he would coerse America's Muslim allies into enacting wide-ranging religious freedoms reforms. Most of these countries have a terrible record accepting their own long-established religious minorities let alone an individual's right to choose another faith. Of course, freedom is not a piece-meal affair; it too is either black or white. Only democracy can guarantee such rights...But would Obama be brave enough to adopt George Bush's freedom agenda?