In his major address to the Muslim world last week, President Obama quoted a verse from the Koran that is widely interpreted as urging Muslims to follow Muhammad in waging jihad against non-believers.
“I have pointed to this section of the Koran as showing the importance of jihad and to follow the prophet [Muhammad] in jihad even though a war may be difficult,” Abu Abaida Al-Ahmed, the imam of a central mosque in Gaza City, told this column.
Obama quoted the verse in question during a section of his speech where he was stressing a “new beginning” between the U.S. and the Muslim world, and the need for a “sustained effort to listen to each other.”
He said, “As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.’ That is what I will try to do. “
Obama was quoting from chapter 9 verse 119 of the Koran, which deals with the theme of not abandoning Muhammad. The passage is part of a Koranic section scolding local Muslims in Medina for refusing to accompany Muhammad on a war expedition to Tabouk in northern Arabia, where he was seeking to fight a Byzantine garrison.
Israel-Arab Dispute Featured Prominently In Obama’s Speech
During his address in Cairo, Obama ascribed much import to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, placing it as his No. 2 issue. He affirmed “America’s strong bonds with Israel are … unbreakable” and he rejected Holocaust denial – a growing trend in the Muslim world – as “ignorant and hateful.”
Obama stated the Hamas terrorist group could play a role in “fulfilling Palestinian aspirations” if only they “put an end to violence, recognize past agreements and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
He also demanded that Israelis must “acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s.”
Israel, however, offered the Palestinians a state on numerous occasions, including at Camp David in August 2000 and at Taba months later, only for Palestinian leaders to reject Israel’s offer and initiate violence without proposing a counteroffer. Just last year, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians 94 percent of the West Bank and a willingness to negotiate Jerusalem.
In the speech Obama pointed to Israeli West Bank settlements as specifically undermining “efforts to achieve peace,” while Palestinian and greater Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist seems the main obstacle undermining peace.
Obama also took the occasion to legitimize an “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls on Israel to withdraw to truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and accept millions of foreign Arabs into its population (thus destroying Israel by population genocide) in exchange for normalized relations with the Arab world.
Hilltop Youth Name New Settlement After Obama
Defying Obama’s call to halt all Jewish construction in the West Bank, Jewish youth last week built a new outpost in the strategic territory – and named it after the U.S. president.
“Obama Hilltop,” or “Givat Obama” in Hebrew, is located between Jerusalem and the biblical city of Beit El.
The builders said the name of their new small community is “in recognition of the president’s actions, which have led to a dramatic increase in the number of outposts being built throughout Judea and Samaria.”
New Homeland Security Adviser Has Questionable Ties
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has sworn in to her official advisory council Damascus-born Kareem Shora, executive director of an Arab American organization whose officials have labeled Hizbullah jihadists as “heroes” and opposed referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, also has close ties to Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, whose association with President Obama – first exposed by this
column – stirred controversy during last year’s presidential campaign.
The ADC also leads the opposition to domestic anti-terrorism measures taken after the 9-11 attacks, such as watch lists, background check delays for visas, and an initiative meant to more comprehensively screen visitors from select Mideast countries or specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats.
In 1994, after a spike in Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, “I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable. I don’t believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization.”
DiscoverTheNetworks notes that two years later, Moghrabi’s successor, Hala Maksoud, defended the Hizbullah terrorist group. “I find it shocking,” Maksoud said, “that [one] would include Hizbullah in [an] inventory of Middle East ‘terrorist’ groups.”
In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish characterized Hizbullah as “a disciplined and responsible liberation force.”
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Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “The Late Great State of Israel.”