Diana West

Who said the following: "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Iran's Ahmadinejad? Egypt's Morsi? Some little-known, fatwa-flinging cleric increasing the bounty on Salman Rushdie's head?

None of the above. The words are President Obama's, and he spoke them this week to the U.N. General Assembly.

No Big Media outlet reported this stunning pronouncement. It's as if Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983 and the media failed to report that he used the phrase "evil empire." To make the comparison more direct, imagine if a Republican president declared that "the future must not belong to those who slander the messiah of Christianity" -- or, for that matter, the prophet of Latter-day Saints. We would have heard all about it, and for the rest of our lives.

Of course, the Islam-Christianity comparison isn't a perfect match, given the peculiar definition of "slander" under Islamic law (Shariah). According to such authoritative sources as "Reliance of the Traveller," a standard Sunni law book approved by Cairo's Al-Azhar University, "slander" in Islam includes anything that Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth. In other words, any negative fact about Islam and Muhammad is, under Islamic law, deemed "slander."

Does the president, son of a Muslim father and raised for four years as a Muslim by his stepfather in Indonesia, understand this? Shouldn't someone in the White House press corps bother to ask?

Whether the president is ignorant or knowing, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic bloc of 56 nations and the Palestinian Authority, certainly understood the Islamic meaning as its representatives sat in the General Assembly. They heard the U.S. president declare that the future "must not belong" to those who analytically or critically approach Muhammad and, by natural extension, Muhammad's totalitarian religious/legal system of governance. According to this understanding, We the People who prize the First Amendment are out. Those who enforce and follow Shariah are in. I can't think of another instance in which an American president has publicly uttered such a rank betrayal of American principles. And the media censored it!

But, but, but ... the president also said the future "must not belong" to those who "target Coptic Christians in Egypt" (no word on Christians "targeted" in other Islamic countries) and "bully women."


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).