This from the editors of the Washington Times:
On March 12, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” The ruling came in response to a query from a Kuwaiti delegation over proposed legislation to prevent construction of churches in the emirate. The mufti based his decision on a story that on his deathbed, Muhammad declared, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula.” This passage has long been used to justify intolerance in the kingdom. Churches have always been banned in Saudi Arabia, and until recently Jews were not even allowed in the country. Those wishing to worship in the manner of their choosing must do so hidden away in private, and even then the morality police have been known to show up unexpectedly and halt proceedings.
This is not a small-time radical imam trying to stir up his followers with fiery hate speech. This was a considered, deliberate and specific ruling from one of the most important leaders in the Muslim world. It does not just create a religious obligation for those over whom the mufti has direct authority; it is also a signal to others in the Muslim world that destroying churches is not only permitted but mandatory.
The response to this outrage from the White House (and the MSM) has been utter silence. That is no surprise. Anyone who believes Obama is a practicing Christian (or a Muslim, for that matter) is deeply misguided. Obama is a secular leftie, and that makes him, like all on the left, an enemy of Christianity and Judaism. If you think I overstate, please see here. And it makes him a friend of Islam in as much as it too is an enemy of Christianity. But I think Obama goes beyond the natural leftie impulse in respect of Islam. As I wrote before:
[I]t seems apparent that [Obama's] time spent in Indonesia where he was living in a heavily Islamic environment has colored his views on Islam. He seems to have extrapolated from from what he observed of the benign form of Islam practiced in the Indonesia of his youth to the Islamic world as a whole. That is an incredibly naive error. The Shafi'i school of Islam, practiced in Indonesia during Obama's stay there, is not the norm for the Islamic world. More and more the norm is Wahhabi-Salafi Islam, the far more militant, racist, misogynistic ideology at the heart of al Qaeda.
Do note that Wahhabi-Salafi is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its Grand Mufti, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the would be destroyer of Churches.
At any rate, all of the above might explain Obama's unconscionable silence on the treatment of Christians in the Middle East. But that silence could have significant ramifications in the instant case. To continue from the Washington Times editorial:
The White House has placed international outreach to Muslims at the center of its foreign policy in an effort to promote the image of the United States as an Islam-friendly nation. This cannot come at the expense of standing up for the human rights and religious liberties of minority groups in the Middle East. The region is a crucial crossroads. Islamist radicals are leading the rising political tide against the authoritarian, secularist old order. They are testing the waters in their relationship with the outside world, looking for signals of how far they can go in imposing their radical vision of a Shariah-based theocracy. Ignoring provocative statements like the mufti’s sends a signal to these groups that they can engage in the same sort of bigotry and anti-Christian violence with no consequences.
Mr. Obama’s outreach campaign to the Muslim world has failed to generate the good will that he expected. In part, this was because he felt it was better to pander to prejudice than to command respect. When members of the Islamic establishment call for the religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing, the leader of the free world must respond or risk legitimizing the oppression that follows. The United States should not bow to the extremist dictates of the grand mufti, no matter how desperate the White House is for him to like us.
Somehow, I think that the only thing we will hear from Obama is continued silence. This is, after all, the man who recently signed us up through the UN for the Islamic push to silence criticism of Islam.