Defending Islam a particular crusade of Obama – azcentral.com
This is a story of simple coincidence, nothing more. Arrive at your own conclusions. It’s just… a weird thing.
I just started binge-watching on Netflix a History Channel production from 2012, “Mankind: The Story of All of Us.”
It’s interesting. Not exactly plowing un-tilled earth, for the most part. But interesting. The 12-part series relies on some rather odd historical “experts,” like an excitable and bald former Navy Seal, as well as (I am not kidding) NBC news anchor Brian Williams, whose grasp of even very recent history seems a little tenuous right now.
Well, just last night, I watched a segment titled “Warriors,” that in part delves into the era of the Crusades, which, by any stretch, was not Christianity’s finest hour on earth. According to “Mankind’s” tally, a million people died over the course of the various crusades. I’ve got no reason to doubt that. Very nasty time. They call them the “Dark Ages” for a reason (although some disagree on even that).
By weird coincidence, President Obama invoked exactly that sentiment this morning during his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.
The president observed that “humanity has been grappling with” its habit of murdering others in the name of religion for a long time. And he characterizes modern-day horrors being perpetrated in the name of Islam by the likes of the Islamic State in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria as latter-day manifestations of an ages-old blood-lust of which all religions have been guilty, from time to time.
Like Christians during the Crusades.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” said Obama.
President Obama, as most of us know, is very defensive of the Muslim faith. He goes to great lengths to avoid tying the word “Islamic” to the word “terrorism.” (see: here, here and here). And, on Thursday, he modestly upped that game by calling out Christianity for acting just as poorly… albeit, 800 or 900 years ago.
Now, I’m not sure which “high horse” Obama is referring to. I don’t know if the current spate of terrorist murders in the name of Allah has caused the terror debate to descend entirely into “my religion is better than yours” territory. I don’t really think that is where most critics of groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are going when they use phrases like “Islamist terrorists.” But, apparently, that is what the president thinks. Get off your precious high horse. Christians have been just as bad. Well, OK.
As I said, this is just a story of weird coincidence. Which is this: One of the more authoritative talking heads in the “Mankind” series is Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor of African and African American research at Harvard.
“When you think about the brutality of the crusades, when you think about what was done to the people who were there, it just flies in the face of what the Christian message was all about,” said Gates in the “Mankind” segment on the crusades.
When I heard President Obama’s speech this morning, I couldn’t help thinking that I’d heard this point of view expressed before. And not long ago before.
Then, it dawned on me that I had heard it the evening before, from President Obama’s close friend and beer-drinking buddy, Professor Gates.