Obama's flawed comparison of today's radical Islam with long-ago Christianity

Obama's flawed comparison of today's radical Islam with long-ago Christianity should be recognized, even by his most ardent supports, as apples and oranges. Obama made this strange comparison during a speech Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

What is Obama trying to say? That Christians today are just as guilty as radical Islamists? That we shouldn't fight Islamic terrorism because of something that happened 900 years ago? That Crusaders acted in the name of a religion by ISIS isn't?

We gladly take his point that a lot of bad stuff has been done in the history of the world in the name of religion. But I don't see any Christians today beheading apostates or burning their enemies alive. The clear and present danger is from ISIS. How many Christians or Jews today are defending slavery? How many would like to see auto de feys resumed to punish heretics? And if we're going to bring up the Crusades, why not also mention that back then conversion by sword also was practiced by Muslims. But no one is saying that centuries-old practices justifies attacking ISIS (as if defending innocents against brutality is an "attack.")

I don't intend to get caught up in the semantic debates about whether ISIS is Islamic extremism or just your ordinary terrorism. No one I know of is arguing that all of Islam is responsible for ISIS. But I would remind Obama that ISIS is the name its adherents have given to their own Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria.

I would also point out that the atrocities are being committed in regions dominated by Islamic culture, where the stoning of women (but not men) for adultery is formulaic punishment. But I'll also gladly note that Abu Mohammed al-Maqdesi, considered a spiritual mentor for many al Qaeda militants, today said the that incinerating the  Jordanian pilot, is "not acceptable in any religion."

Here's the irony: Obama cites the Crusades as an example of how bad things are done in the name of religion. But he doesn't apply the same logic to folks who do bad things in the name of Islam.

Maybe Abu Mohammed al-Maqdes should explain it to Obama.

Here are other opposing views:


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  • I don't think there is anything the President said in at the prayer breakfast that you would object to if that President had been Ronald Reagan. I think you object to who said it.

    Also, you say Obama cites the Crusades. "But he doesn't apply the same logic to folks who do bad things in the name of Islam." If you read what he actually said at the breakfast, you will see that this is exactly what he is saying. But I guess partisans get myopic.

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    Long ago, like Bosnia in the 1990s -- white European Christians murdering and raping Muslims, destroying Mosques and going about their "ethnic cleansing?"

    Long ago, like the Klan, good Protestants burning crosses while they did "Gods work" to blacks, Catholics and Jews?

    Long ago, like the German Nazi Party, 95 percent of whom self-identified as Protestant or Catholic?

    You really don't understand what Obama was saying? How's about you cant condemn the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world for murderous fanatics within Islam, just a you can't condemn all
    Christians for the murderous fanatics within Christianity.

    Seriously, have you watched Fox News? Can you imagine if such overt religious bigotry was directed at Catholics? Why, it would be just like the "good old days" in the United States.

    Furthermore, we're dropping bombs all over Asia and North Africa and have been for years. Where do you discern that Obama is suggesting to stop fighting terrorism. That's just bizarre.

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