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Obama has an agenda, but it isn't Muslim

Reader comment on item: The Iran Deal Is 'Bizarre' and 'Wretched'
in response to reader comment: clarifies some of the reasons....

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 1, 2015 at 19:18

Hi, Waz

The audio link you give, is of Obama speaking of his Muslim identity. Are we getting into ethnic politics here? It's interesting, that you're seeing Obama's ethnic identity as an "agenda".

This takes a little bit of thinking. I suppose that to the vast majority of people in the world, their ethnic identity IS their identity: Hindus have their castes, the Chinese have their surname clans and regional languages -- which the Communist government is hard at work to erradicate. The Kurds have an identity based on language, which the Turkish government is trying to stamp out. Smaller religious groups, such as the Jews, Assyrians and Yazidis identify with their religions; whereas the Arabs largely identify with their clans.

Do you have an ethnic identity, Waz? Daniel gives us room to identify ourselves by country. You are of the "Australia" clan, and I am of the "United States" clan. Those are geographical identities, something akin to cattle brands: The reasoning is that if you're in the same corral together, and get "branded" (issued identity papers) by a certain government, you're somehow related. That's not really true, as far as the cattle are concerned: theire brand is only skin deep, literally. A deeper identity is in their "blood lines" that identify them as Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Black Angus, etc.

Obama's self-identification is interesting. He and I both carry the American "brand", but we don't look like each other very much -- even though I will assure you, we actually share a common blood line through his mother and my father, not too many generations back. If you're a White Australian, chances are that we look more like each other than I do to Barack Obama. When we start to talk, of course, Barack and I are on one side, and you're on the other.

How about religion? You'r an Agnostic and I am, if you judge me by my associates, either Evangelical, Jewish or Roman Catholic. My "Catholic" identity, which I don't self-identify with except in a historical sense, is kept alive by the fact that I attended a mass with close relatives at a family reunion a couple of weeks ago. My "Jewish" identity, which I actually do self-identify with, is expressed by the fact that I haven't eaten pork or shellfish, nor mixed red meat and dairy, for about a decade; and by the fact that I take part in house meetings once or twice a month where we do kiddush, sing Hebrew songs and discuss Torah. I have Catholic bloodlines, going back at least four generations, but I don't self-identify with them. Before then, I probably have a Jewish line, based on the unique surname; but there is no family tradition to connect me with it; and I certainly don't claim to be a legitimate "Jew".

I have an "Evangelical" identity, based on some two decades of membership in "Born Again" churches, and I connect with Evangelicals to some extent. I haven't actually been a church member, though, for over twenty years; and for many years I described my religion as "Heretic". That wasn't the smartest social move I ever made, and I don't do that anymore: I simply read the Bible with friends and leave out any commentary except when talking, say, with my wife (I even avoid deep discussions with my children, because we are not on the same page). With you, and Agnostic, it seems I can talk more freely; and it's curious that my father, whom I hardly knew, called himself an Agnostic -- and left me a Strongs Concordance, a Vine's Dictionary and a Bible Handbook when he died.

Obama identifies as a Muslim (when speaking to Muslims); and I don't think it's for show. His "Christianity" is more open to doubt: He won social and political points by being a member of Jeremiah Wright's church for twenty years, then quit the group in the same social/ political cause. To me, that doesn't convey a deep sense of commitment.

You're certainly not Amreican; and Obama and I definitely are. This is based on our "brands", based on our identity papers. Mine are genuine, through birth; and though some have questioned Obama's birth records, I will grant that he has genuine US Citizenship. Does that mean that he identifies as an American? Most US Republicans identify as Americans, many of them strongly; but Michelle Obama said publicly that she was ashamed of being an American until her husband was nominated for President. I also am ashamed at times to be called an American, because of the imbecilic foreign policy pursued in recent years not only by Obama, but also by some of his predecessors of my own (Republican) party.

When I lived in Australia, people there seemed to identify as either "British" or "New Australian". Aussies of all extractions used to call Englishmen "POMEs", which I heard was short for "People of Mother England". Australia was a Commonwealth country then, in the days when this identity actually meant something: I went there, as an American, on a limted "Assisted Passage Scheme"; and had to repay the "assistance" when I returned to the US. My British and Commonwealth room-mates, on the other hand, were fully sponsored. Your flag still has a Union Jack in the corner, as did the Canadian flag as well in those days; and of course, we all said "God save the queen" in the RSL club together.

In the US, we removed the Union Jack from our flag nearly 240 years ago, long before Obama's paternal and my maternal ancestors came here. We speak the English language, and have a legal system based on English Common Law -- something Obama is no stranger to, being a lawyer. That ancient bond has kept the American, British and Australian governments mutually connected in a literally "special" relationship. With Obama, there is also a blood connection with "Mother" England through his mother; but that seems to be a toxic connection: When outgoing President George W. Bush turned over the White House to Obama, he offered to pass on to him the gift of a bust of Sir Winston Churchill (a blood relative of mine and Obama's); but BO scoffed at the offer.

Identity is a tricky issue in America. In Canada, people were carefully enumerated on the census according to their language and national origin. The same was true in the US until as recently as 1990. One might even deduce from this, twelve "tribes" of Americans:

  1. German
  2. Irish
  3. English
  4. "Hispanic"
  5. "Afro-American"
  6. "American" (self-described)
  7. Italian
  8. French
  9. Polish
  10. American Indian
  11. Dutch
  12. Scotch-Irish, and
  13. Other

Despite liberal attempts to wipe out these "tribal" distinctions (as well as to wipe out history in general), most Americans try to self-identify with one of the above, even if the connection is ficticious. Obama may say to Muslim audiences that he is a Muslim, but it is much more expedient for him to self-identify as "Afro-American". This is in spite of the fact that his mother was "English" and his father, truth be told, "Other".

Notice that I did not include "Jewish" on the list, because there was no such category in the 1990 census. There is probably no group more happy about this than US Jews, who have vivid social memories of pogroms and yellow stars.

Is there an "agenda" woven into this? I think it's overplayed. As far as I can see, Obama is an Unbeliever in the Bible and a Believer in the popular atheist philosophies and theologies that permeate American academia, most of its press and certainly nearly all the Democratic party. Those people have an agenda; and it isn't Muslim or African-American. That isn't to say that they have a plan, nor that they even know what they're doing. They're lost, as in "wandering aimlessly".

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (18) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The world's leaders are all acting against their own interests. Has God made them made, in order to destroy them? [791 words]Michael SJul 15, 2015 16:19224228
Pluses and minuses [114 words]AnonJul 19, 2015 01:55224228
clarifies some of the reasons.... [9 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahJul 21, 2015 00:37224228
Obama has an agenda, but it isn't Muslim [1303 words]Michael SAug 1, 2015 19:18224228
A major region for Middle East rivalries, and for Israel's paramount importance to the people of the world [578 words]Michael SAug 4, 2015 02:29224228
cultural divides. [536 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 7, 2015 06:21224228
1Of bear grease, and other smells [1927 words]Michael SAug 11, 2015 16:50224228
comments on comments [736 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 22, 2015 08:40224228
3The Gnostics and their great gift: knowledge [71 words]Dhimmi no moreAug 24, 2015 13:36224228
Fish and company smell in three days [855 words]Michael SAug 24, 2015 19:49224228
hope not [44 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 30, 2015 03:07224228
p.s. [28 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahAug 30, 2015 06:59224228
I can't tell a German from an Italian. Also, it's the media who seem "wretched and bizarre" [439 words]Michael SSep 1, 2015 16:13224228
accents query [274 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahSep 7, 2015 23:31224228
American eye reporting. [305 words]Michael SSep 12, 2015 03:42224228
keine Garantien [71 words]Mohammed Waza Khiddif Id'ullahSep 15, 2015 03:46224228
US-Australian ties [398 words]Michael SSep 18, 2015 04:31224228
The Iran treaty may have done Israel's work for them [396 words]MIchael SNov 13, 2015 08:22224228

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