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Major Flaw In Daniel Pipes Reasoning : Becoming Muslim Requires A Mature, Public Declaraion of Faith

Reader comment on item: Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam

Submitted by Curtis Sharif (United States), Jun 17, 2008 at 14:17

There one major flaw of reasoning in Danel Pipe's errant proclamation that Barack Obama was a practicing Muslim - To become a Muslim, a mature person must make a public declaration of Faith or Belief called the "Shahadah".

This is a public proclamation, in front of witnesses, where the individual declares in Arabic - "Laillallah Illallah. Muhammadan Rasoolallah" . This translates in English as "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

This oath is usually given in the Masjid in front of all present therein.

This oath has to be freely given, with no coercion, by an individual who has reached the age of mature reasoning, generally designated by the age of puberty.

That "There is no coercion in Islam" is an abiding principle in the religion. No one can force anyone else to become Muslim and no one can prevent anyone from becoming Muslim.

This open, public declaration of faith is a formal, witnessed act that demonstrates that one has voluntarily, freely, and openly accepted the most Important tenants of Islam, that Allah is the One and Only God the Creator, or Supreme Being, and that Muhammad was and is His Last Prophet or Divine Messenger.

After making this declaration, one is obligated to live their life in accord with God's Instructions as delivered and modeled by Prophet Muhammad.

Mr. Pipes is therefore obligated to provide documented proof, supported by the eye witnesss who can testify that they heard, and personally witnessed Barack Obama freely making the Shahadah as a mature person, before he can blatantly declare that Barack is or ever was a Muslim in deed.

To address Mr. Pipes Points in this post:

- It is flawed logic to say that statements saying that Obama was not "regularly practicing Muslim" IMPLIES that he was an "irregularly practicing Muslim". Implications by definition lack proof.

- Lkewise, it does not automicallty follow that because Obama "visited" or "accomplied" his father to the Mosque that he became a Muslim or even prayed there.

ANYONE, including Mr Pipes can visit a Mosque without becoming a Muslim or praying there. Congregational prayer in the Mosque is a formal ritual that includes the well known forms of standing, bowing and prostration with the head on ground. Viditors are not obligated to participate in the congregational prayer.

- That Obama visited the Mosque accomplied by his father is not in question. It is common knowledge that the vast majority of parents who identify with any religion, bring their children to religious services, whether the children are aware of it or not. Visiting or attending a religious service do not equate to practicing or becoming a member of a Religion. In Islam in particular, it requires a mature, free, open, public decision and declaration.

One that Mr. Pipes has to provide documented, witnessed proof of before he can truthfully declare that "Obama Practiced Islam". Proof that he has not yet, nor probably can present.

Therefore, until he is able to do so, Mr. Pipes owes Mr. Obama, and his reading public, a public apology and retraction.

Peace, Curtis Sharf
Houston, Texas


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Daniel Pipes replies:

<<To become a Muslim, a mature person must make a public declaration of Faith or Belief called the "Shahadah".>>

Yes, but to become a Muslim, a baby needs simply to be born of a Muslim father. No shahada necessary. And there is no dispute that Obama's father was a Muslim, even if not an observant one.

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