Was Obama a Muslim?
Edward Luttwak, on the way to a larger point that I’ve seen ad nauseum elsewhere, provides the most concise statement I’ve yet read on the questions about Barack Obama’s Muslim heritage:
As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.
Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.
Exactly right, I think: Obama is not and never has been Muslim in any American understanding of the term but is considered an apostate Muslim by some sectors of the Islamic world.
As to the larger questions Luttwak raises, I’m with Jim Geraghty:
There are a lot of reasons to vote against Barack Obama. The fact that the Muslim world doesn’t like the fact that he became a Christian isn’t a good one. Selecting the leader of the United States is a decision that rests entirely in its citizens; Americans who hesitate to vote for their preferred candidate because they fear the reaction of the Muslim world is creating a de facto “Islamic veto” to our political process.
I suspect, however, we’ll continue to hear about this controversy, such as it is, in the upcoming months.