Obama’s stance is questioned

To the editor:

As demonstrations and revolts swept the Muslim world during President Barack Obama’s first term, Obama was generally enthusiastic. He had encouraging words for the Arab Spring demonstrators in Egypt and Tunisia, and even gave military assistance to their Libyan counterparts. During the third and last debate of the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney and Obama sparred over who could express support for the Syrian rebels more strongly, and as Obama’s second term began, his administration was inching ever closer to military aid for those rebels. Yet there were two large-scale demonstrations in Muslim countries that Obama did not support – and those two exceptions are extraordinarily revealing about his disposition, as well as his policy, toward Islam.

The two pro-democracy revolts that Obama refused to support were arguably the only two that were genuinely worthy of the pro-democracy label: the demonstrations against the Islamic regime in Iran in 2009, and the anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Egypt in winter 2013. There is a common thread between these two that distinguishes them from all the others: in Egypt in late 2012 and early 2013, as well as in Iran in 2009, the demonstrators were protesting against Islamic states; all the other demonstrations led to the establishment of Islamic states. To be sure, the Iranian demonstrators in 2009 contained many pro-Sharia elements that simply objected to the way the Islamic Republic was enforcing Sharia, but they also included many who wanted to re-establish the relatively secular society that prevailed under the last Shah. Whether the Sharia or the democratic forces would have won out in the end is a question that will never be answered – in no small part thanks to Barack Obama.

In every case Barack Obama has been consistent: in response to the demonstrations and uprisings in the Islamic world, he has without exception acted in the service of Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia regimes. For whatever complex of personal affinity and political calculation, he has steered the United States, in the words of the Egyptian newspaper Rose el-Youssef, “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

It is important for a president to speak for all American citizens in his public pronouncements, not just for one religious group – and it is also important that his efforts at “inclusiveness” not be justified by historical fabrication.

Robert Yost

Bloomingdale