Is Obama’s Life at Risk?

Is Obama’s Life at Risk?  
Thursday, 28 February 2008
In eloquent speeches presidential candidate Obama has made copious promises, understandably to attract voters. He talks about “change,” without really spelling out change from what to what. It just sounds good: “change.” A great sound bite, indeed. Change is exciting, while status quo is viewed as stagnant and boring. It is all part of the political game of telling people what they want to hear, getting elected, and worrying about delivering later.

The electorates are both short on memory and long on forgiving. So, the farce of empty high-sounding promises fills the air at campaign times. But there are instances that a promise during vote-gathering can later haunt the person. This may indeed be the case with at least one of Barack Hussein Obama’s promises.

Obama boasted that he would embark on a personal diplomacy to solve our foreign policy problems with countries such as Syria and Iran. He said that he would meet their leaders without any preconditions to settle our disputes. Doesn’t that sound like change, a real change of great relief to us all? Never mind the fact that he has about zero experience in foreign policy matters, he is foolish enough to aim to negotiate with the ever-conniving Assad of Syria and masters of deceptions such as the Mullahs of Iran.
 
Okay Obama, don’t claim that no one warned you. If you get elected President and you receive an invitation from your fellow Muslim brother Ahmadinejad to make good on your promise and visit him in Tehran for a tête-à-tête, don’t you do it. BBC’s recent report ought to be enough for you to recant your foolish and naïve promise:

 “The European Union has criticized the new penal code being drafted in Iran, particularly a section that imposes the death penalty for giving up Islam…Death for apostasy already exists in Iran under Sharia or “Islamic – law.” But the changes would for the first time bring the punishment into the criminal code. An EU statement expressed deep concern about what it calls the ongoing deterioration in the human rights situation in Iran. It singled out Section Five of the draft penal code currently before the Iranian parliament, imposing the death penalty for apostasy. In the past, Iranian courts have handed down the death penalty in such cases, but have done so relying on Sharia law. If the draft is approved by parliament, the sentence will be formalized in the country’s criminal code.”

Who is an apostate according to the legislation? Anyone in the world, not just Iranians, born to a Muslim parent; also, any convert to Islam who leaves it. Only one parent needs to be a Muslim at the time of conception for Islam to own that child for life. Islam is Ummehist. Islam doesn’t recognize nationalities and national boundaries. And these Islamist zealots are very serious and have no sense of humor. Some say they have no sense at all, and they may be right. What they certainly have is a thirst for blood, particularly for the blood of infidels and apostates.

My advice, Obama: Elected President or not, don’t you hazard a trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, don’t you go anywhere near where the crazed Islamists can get their hands on you. You don’t even rate a fatwa from one of the many bloodthirsty crafty Ayatollahs or Moftis, asking for your head. Your fate is already sealed. You are on automatic, so to speak– a person who was given the gift of Islam and who ungratefully turned his back to the one and only faith of Allah, so the Muslims believe. The punishment for this kind of betrayal is prescribed as haad (most severe), meaning death.

You may protest that you are free to choose your religion and that you have chosen to be Christian. Nothing doing! You are stamped as Muslim at conception because your father was Muslim. Further, you have been doubly-stamped by your middle name Hussein. Muslims name their sons Hussein in honor of one of Islam’s most revered saints. Hence, the Muslims want what is theirs and you either repent and return to the fold or prepare yourself for the ultimate punishment: Death.

The only time that these inveterate liar killers of Allah mean what they say is when they threaten violence and killing. So, please be careful. Stay close to home where a whole platoon of Secret Service at the taxpayers’ expense is shielding you from the thugs who would be just too happy to slash your throat while they joyously scream: Allah is the greatest.

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

By Robert Pigott
Religious affairs correspondent, BBC News

Turkey is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam – and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.

The country’s powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.

This is kind of akin to the Christian Reformation. Not exactly the same, but… it’s changing the theological foundations of [the] religion
Fadi Hakura,
Turkey expert, Chatham House
But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.

‘Reformation’

Commentators say the very theology of Islam is being reinterpreted in order to effect a radical renewal of the religion.

Its supporters say the spirit of logic and reason inherent in Islam at its foundation 1,400 years ago are being rediscovered. Some believe it could represent the beginning of a reformation in the religion.

Some messages ban women from travelling without their husband’s permission… But this isn’t a religious ban. It came about because it simply wasn’t safe for a woman to travel alone
Prof Mehmet Gormez,
Hadith expert,
Department of Religious Affairs
Turkish officials have been reticent about the revision of the Hadith until now, aware of the controversy it is likely to cause among traditionalist Muslims, but they have spoken to the BBC about the project, and their ambitious aims for it.

The forensic examination of the Hadiths has taken place in Ankara University’s School of Theology.

An adviser to the project, Felix Koerner, says some of the sayings – also known individually as “hadiths” – can be shown to have been invented hundreds of years after the Prophet Muhammad died, to serve the purposes of contemporary society.

“Unfortunately you can even justify through alleged hadiths, the Muslim – or pseudo-Muslim – practice of female genital mutilation,” he says.

“You can find messages which say ‘that is what the Prophet ordered us to do’. But you can show historically how they came into being, as influences from other cultures, that were then projected onto Islamic tradition.”

HAVE YOUR SAY Many Hadiths relate to life in the Middle East 1,400 years ago and are no longer relevant Brian, London

The argument is that Islamic tradition has been gradually hijacked by various – often conservative – cultures, seeking to use the religion for various forms of social control.

Leaders of the Hadith project say successive generations have embellished the text, attributing their political aims to the Prophet Muhammad himself.

Revolutionary

Turkey is intent on sweeping away that “cultural baggage” and returning to a form of Islam it claims accords with its original values and those of the Prophet.

But this is where the revolutionary nature of the work becomes apparent. Even some sayings accepted as being genuinely spoken by Muhammad have been altered and reinterpreted.

Prof Mehmet Gormez, a senior official in the Department of Religious Affairs and an expert on the Hadith, gives a telling example.

“There are some messages that ban women from travelling for three days or more without their husband’s permission and they are genuine.

“But this isn’t a religious ban. It came about because in the Prophet’s time it simply wasn’t safe for a woman to travel alone like that. But as time has passed, people have made permanent what was only supposed to be a temporary ban for safety reasons.”

The project justifies such bold interference in the 1,400-year-old content of the Hadith by rigorous academic research.

Prof Gormez points out that in another speech, the Prophet said “he longed for the day when a woman might travel long distances alone”.

So, he argues, it is clear what the Prophet’s goal was.

Original spirit

Yet, until now, the ban has remained in the text, and helps to restrict the free movement of some Muslim women to this day.

There’s also violence against women within families, including sexual harassment… This does not exist in Islam… we have to explain that to them
Hulya Koc, a “vaize”
As part of its aggressive programme of renewal, Turkey has given theological training to 450 women, and appointed them as senior imams called “vaizes”.

They have been given the task of explaining the original spirit of Islam to remote communities in Turkey’s vast interior.

One of the women, Hulya Koc, looked out over a sea of headscarves at a town meeting in central Turkey and told the women of the equality, justice and human rights guaranteed by an accurate interpretation of the Koran – one guided and confirmed by the revised Hadith.

She says that, at the moment, Islam is being widely used to justify the violent suppression of women.

“There are honour killings,” she explains.

“We hear that some women are being killed when they marry the wrong person or run away with someone they love.

“There’s also violence against women within families, including sexual harassment by uncles and others. This does not exist in Islam… we have to explain that to them.”

‘New Islam’

According to Fadi Hakura, an expert on Turkey from Chatham House in London, Turkey is doing nothing less than recreating Islam – changing it from a religion whose rules must be obeyed, to one designed to serve the needs of people in a modern secular democracy.

He says that to achieve it, the state is fashioning a new Islam.

“This is kind of akin to the Christian Reformation,” he says.

“Not exactly the same, but if you think, it’s changing the theological foundations of [the] religion. “

Fadi Hakura believes that until now secularist Turkey has been intent on creating a new politics for Islam.

Now, he says, “they are trying to fashion a new Islam.”

Significantly, the “Ankara School” of theologians working on the new Hadith have been using Western critical techniques and philosophy.

They have also taken an even bolder step – rejecting a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones.

“You have to see them as a whole,” says Fadi Hakura.

“You can’t say, for example, that the verses of violence override the verses of peace. This is used a lot in the Middle East, this kind of ideology.

“I cannot impress enough how fundamental [this change] is.”

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