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Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama's Muslim Charity Canard

A portion in Barack Obama's "historic" speech to the Muslim world was particularly odd. In apologizing for religious intolerance in the United States, Obama said as follows:

Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.
This website has an explanation of zakat. Essentially, it is similar to tithing, in which a percentage of one's worth is contributed to charity each year in fulfillment of a religious conviction.

What rules in the United States discriminate against Muslims? This question, also asked by Ace of Spades HQ, has an answer, and it is steeped in political correctness and worries about racial and religious profiling.

There are Department of Justice guidelines, enacted last year, as to designating which charities support terrorism:

Some Arab- and Muslim-Americans say new Justice Department guidelines that boost the FBI's power to investigate suspected terrorists could target innocent people.

The revised guidelines going into effect Monday will allow agents to use undercover sources to gather information, interview people without identifying themselves and spy on suspects without evidence of wrongdoing.

Critics say the rules will allow for abuses, including more racial and religious rofiling....

Federal officials say current rules came about in the 1970s and limit their ability to investigate people in national security cases.

FBI agents have met twice with community leaders to assure them they won't be targeted, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Based on some other internet sources, it appears likely that these DOJ guidelines are the "rules" to which Obama was referring. I am unable to find any other reference to complaints about "rules" which "have made it harder" for Muslims to donate to charity.

But these DOJ rules do not make it "harder" to contribute, unless the contribution is to a terrorist supporting charity. The fact that many of the prohibited charities are based in Muslim countries does not prove discrimination, rather, it is a reflection of reality.

Why pick this example for his "historic" speech? It seems so petty and pedestrian, in the grand scheme of all the world's problems, to worry about obscure DOJ guidelines meant to halt funding of terrorist organizations.

The selection of this item to highlight in the "historic" speech is a window on what was wrong with the overall tone of the speech. While the speech was good in some specific respects, the overall tone was one of moral equivalence and subjugation to grievance politics. And the Muslim charity canard is a prime example.

Related Post: "Some Say" Obama Is A Shorter

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  1. I'm with Sen. Inhofe, I don't know whose side he's on. But not ours.

    One of the best things I've seen lately is Victor Davis Hanson's article called "Postmodern President" on Pajamas Media. http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/americas-first-postmodern-president-supreme-court-justice-treasury-secretary/

  2. Don't forget, this comes just a few months after Obama's administration proposed capping tax deductions for charitable giving! So, make it easier to send money to Muslim groups, but harder to give money at all. Makes about as much sense as anyting else he's done.

  3. Today, of all days, the 65th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, it occurred to me clearly that the difference between people all boils down to character. Yes, C H A R A C T E R.

    I turn on the TV this evening after work to catch some news. MSNBC is running "Lockup: Indianna" followed by "Predator: Raw" and a whole string of trash all weekend. I click over to CNN and Larry King is doing "Jon & Kate + 8" child endangerment dramas [who gives a s***?].

    ONLY FOXNEWS has anything whatsoever to say about the history & men we pay respects to today.
    Character...thats what it all comes down to.

    So I sat down and wrote an entry in my own blog which I'll share here[has images that wont show]:

    Normandy Remembered - 65th Anniversary

    Operation Overlord - Omaha Beach D-DAY 6 JUNE 1944

    To Our Heroes - We Salute You.
    I have had the honor of meeting some of these men. I met two of them several years ago at a Memorial Day celebration and we spent the afternoon talking. One of them flew as a pilot with the Flying Tigers over Burma and knew Gregory “Pappy” Boyington. The other fought at both Tarawa and Iwo Jima. At the end of the afternoon, as we all stood preparing to leave I looked both men in the eyes as I shook their hands and expressed my gratitude. I could see that both men were overwhelmed with emotion. I will never forget that day.
    These men are quiet, reserved, humble, soft-spoken and respectful. They do not boast. In fact, many of them are hesitant to speak of their memories of these times with strangers. They will defer from any type of flattery and tell you that they were simply carrying out their duty.
    These men displayed a level of courage, bravery, honor and valor that most of the rest of us cannot even fathom.
    These men’s actions profoundly changed the course of history forever, and the lives of nearly every human being on this planet from that time forward.
    Every aspect of the life you enjoy today is a direct result of the sacrifices made by these brave men.

    I salute you, gentlemen…and I sincerely thank you for what you’ve done from the very bottom of my heart.
    We owe you a debt that we will never have the ability to repay.