Friday, May 23, 2008

Obama-Muslim apostate?

This author is very likely right that al Qaeda will make a big deal out of Obama's "apostasy." However, what isn't clear is that this theological-political position will either lead to fresh recruits or that it will somehow strengthen the commitment of its current membership to attack American and Western interests in general. Further, she thinks that the declaration of apostasy by al Qaeda will affect the sympathies of much of the Muslim world--that relatively moderate Muslims will embrace some of al Qaeda's positions when they confront the fact that he is an apostate from Islam. This I doubt. What might make the apostasy claim altogether irrelevant is the fact that many Muslims could see Obama as a dark-skinned man, somewhat similar to themselves. It's more than a hunch--Joseph Nye, the political scientist know for the theory of "soft power," believes that the mere fact that Obama more or less looks like he's from the Third World, gives him almost instant credibility.

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