It is always instructive to listen to the words of converts who once were committed to the violent imposition of Islam on others. They have a unique perspective that can serve as a useful warning for those who believe the fanatics mean what they say and say what they mean. One of them is Walid Shoebat, (www.shoebat,com), a former PLO terrorist who converted to Christianity. Shoebat, a name he assumed for his own safety, says the president's approach to Islam is dangerous: "Speaking in such absolute terms has seemingly limited America's area of focus on al-Qaida. This plays right into the militants' hands."
As a former terrorist, Shoebat claims that deception and confusion are the reasons for so many different Islamic groups. "Islam is the banner under which different militant groups share a common alliance," he says. "When you single out only one of those groups as the enemy, the others basically get a free pass, or at least much less attention." The president did this when singling out al-Qaida, thus appearing to give a pass to numerous other groups that march under the banner of Islam, including Hamas, Hezbollah and The Muslim Brotherhood. Their charters, statements and actions demand no compromise with Israel or anyone else in the pursuit of a Middle East free of the Jewish state. If they achieve their ultimate objective, the region would be free of all Jews, who are referred to by Sheikh Feiz Mohammed, and other Islamic extremists, as pigs and apes and who, according to a Hamas TV skit, "drink the blood of Muslims." Do these words have meaning? We ignore them at our peril.
In his speech in Ankara, President Obama echoed his predecessor when he praised Islam as a religion that "has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world." Mr. Obama's prepared text included the phrase "for the better," but he did not speak those words. I wonder why? Is it because words mean something and the president didn't mean those three?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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