But the words spoken in his recent Countering Violent Extremism conference (which was supposed to blur the lines by also pointing to domestic right wing terrorists as well) suggest the president might be going off the deep end with his blind apologias coming down through the clouds from his judgmental perch atop Mt Nuance.
Here's what he said about the role of Muslims in the founding of America:
He seems to be saying Muslims were involved in the very founding of this nation. Not to say there weren't any Islamic immigrants in the late 1700s, there just weren't enough to make much of an impact on the founding. Of course he knows this.
As a professor he also knows that America's first real engagement with organized Islam occurred when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with the Envoy from Tripoli to Great Britain, who schooled them about paying the jizya tax if we expected our new independent American-flagged merchant vessels to get a free pass into and out of the Mediterranean:
That this might not be so easy was discovered by Jefferson and John Adams when they went to call on Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. They asked him by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:
The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Medieval as it is, this has a modern ring to it. Abdrahaman did not fail to add that a commission paid directly to Tripoli—and another paid to himself—would secure some temporary lenience. I believe on the evidence that it was at this moment that Jefferson decided to make war on the Muslim states of North Africa as soon as the opportunity presented itself.So in truth our first significant encounter with Islam was defeating violent extremists in North Africa legitimizing their barbarity through the Koran, which led to several Barbary Wars against terror. In other words, nothing much has changed since then, except the players.
Of course this is a piece of history that our lecturer-in-chief will not expose because it might suggest that a fundamental interpretation of Islam calls for people to do exactly as the Barbary Pirates and AQ and ISIS have done. And it will continue to happen unless, as Egyptian PM al-Sissi has suggested, a reformation occurs within Islam. Maybe the president can't admit that (he can only condemn Christians) but living in denial will not change anything either.
But maybe he's not living in denial. Maybe, with no more elections to win and the likelihood of no more major quasi-socialist policy initiatives being passed through Congress to pad his legacy, Obama has nothing left but to troll the GOP in search of incendiary reactions the Democrats can then use as fund-raising fodder. Would he stoop so low to play games with national security like that? You be the judge.
But it seems clear he was playing games with the Executive Actions on pardoning millions of illegal aliens, which almost surely had to be intentionally messed up--nobody could be that stupid. If so, the only explanation that makes sense is that he was throwing it against the wall knowing it would be struck down only to get juicy "anti-immigrant" sound bites that Wasserman-Shultz could use as more fund-raising fodder to stoke up donors for Billary along with producing anger throughout the illegal alien community. especially when the GOP fails to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.