Daniel Pipes, the well-funded Muslim-hater and Rudy Giuliani Middle East adviser, considers whether Barack Obama is now, or has ever been, a Muslim:
Was [Barack Obama] ever a Muslim or seen by others as a Muslim? More precisely, might Muslims consider him a murtadd (apostate), that is, a Muslim who converted to another religion and, therefore, someone whose blood may be shed?
Available evidence suggests Obama was born a Muslim to a non-practicing Muslim father and for some years had a reasonably Muslim upbringing under the auspices of his Indonesian step-father. At some point, he converted to Christianity. It appears false to state, as Obama does, "I've always been a Christian" and "I've never practiced Islam." The campaign appears to be either ignorant or fabricating when it states that "Obama never prayed in a mosque."
Obama's conversion to another faith, in short, makes him a murtadd.
[H]ow would more mainstream Muslims respond to him, would they be angry at what they would consider his apostasy? That reaction is a real possibility, one that could undermine his initiatives toward the Muslim world.
I take Pipes to be saying that the only thing worse than a Muslim president would be a president who was once, but is no longer, a Muslim. Pipes would have us believe that Muslims would be more enraged by a lapsed Muslim in the White House, who promotes reconciliation with the Muslim world, than by a lapsed Catholic who promotes bombing the hell out of it.
Pipes, who is considered little more than a crank by the academic mainstream, has never been shy about stating his belief that all Muslims are suspects, potential saboteurs in the war on terror, and thus must be subjected to "special scrutiny." Pipes now specially scrutinizes Barack Obama, using the veneer of his "expertise" to add pseudo-scholarly weight to what is really nothing more than an attempt to frighten the rubes with strange foreign words, oblique references to "trilateral roots," and tendentious renderings of Muslim doctrine and practice. You've almost got to be impressed by Pipes' chutzpah as he tries to conceal his anti-Muslim fear-mongering within a pretense of concern for Obama's safety.
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