Obama: “We can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem. That betrays our values.”
How does it betray our values? He didn’t say. When did denial and willful ignorance become core American values? He didn’t say that, either. His chief support for his claim that the Islamic State is not Muslim and doesn’t represent Islam in any way was this: “The vast majority of the people they kill are innocent Muslim men, women and children.” His unspoken assumption here is that Muslims would never kill fellow Muslims, and indeed, the Qur’an forbids that (4:92). But Islam mandates the killing of those considered apostates. A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
The Islamic State considers itself to be the new caliphate, commanding the allegiance of all Muslims worldwide. Those who reject its authority it considers to be apostates, and thus lawfully to be killed. One may disagree with this and think it abominable, but whether the Islamic State it destroys Obama’s argument that the Islamic State is un-Islamic because it kills Muslims. It kills them because it thinks they have strayed from Islam.
The Islamic State is careful to pattern everything it does after the directives of the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. The beheadings (Qur’an 47:4), the sex slaves (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), even the burning alive of some of its enemies (in accord with Qur’an 2:194, punish them the same way they punished you) — it’s all in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Even if the Islamic State’s understanding of Islam is all wrong, it is still true that they claim the Islamic mantle for everything they do. To ignore and deny this, or to wave it away as Obama did as a “perverted interpretation of Islam,” is simply to obstruct efforts to understand the motives and goals of the enemy, which is an indispensable prerequisite to defeating that enemy.
So the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the United States of America, we do not suppress Islam; we celebrate and lift up the success of Muslim Americans. That’s how we show the lie that they’re trying to propagate. (Applause.) We shouldn’t play into terrorist propaganda. And we can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem. That betrays our values. It alienates Muslim Americans. It’s hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school and are members of the Boy Scouts, and are thinking about joining our military.