...The president obviously has warm memories of his boyhood in Indonesia, and only a churl would deny his indulging a little nostalgia in recalling a golden boyhood. He took pains to remind his hosts that he is a believing Christian, but he passed up another opportunity to speak bluntly (as a Dutch uncle, you might say) to the Muslim world that mutual respect must be earned.
He could have said something like the remarks of Pope Benedict XVI, who Thursday condemned violence "in the name of God" and told Muslims they must respect freedom of worship even in their own countries. Conversations between Christians and Muslims are all to the good, the pontiff said, but this "dialogue" must be accompanied by "the freedom to practice one's religion in private and in public." He urged heads of state across the Middle East to "guarantee to all the freedom of conscience and religion, and of being able to bear public witness to their own faith." (Saudi newspapers, please copy.)This one goes out to "Fred" Obama (tap dancer extraordinaire) and his one-sided love affair:
Such a message from President Obama would have been the needed slap across the face to those who need it most. At the moment, Islam doesn't appear to most of us in the West to be the "religion of peace" that presidents and prime ministers keep telling us it is; some of that "honest dialogue" they invariably prescribe might clear the air. It might even persuade some of the president's fiercest critics that he isn't really a Muslim at heart.
The president should remember the old American adage, "If they'll hang you for stealing a goat, you might as well take a sheep." Mr. Obama's continued pursuit of romance with the Islamic world, little short of abasing both himself and his country, isn't winning him a lot of points from Muslims at home. The Muslim response to his Jakarta speech, similar in tint and tone to his contrite apology last year in Cairo, has been "That's nice, and so what?"...
A fine romance, with my kisses.
A fine romance, habib', this is.
They should like to see the way I fore'er abase me.
Although it could make it tough for the kafirs to face me.
A fine romance, I love "outreach,"
A fine romance, I'll give a speech.
I might as well say the PA I'll refinance.
Zion don't stand a chance.
This is a fine romance...