On Wednesday, Paul Guggenheimer interviewed Walid Shoebat on SDPB's Dakota Midday Wednesday. Mr. Shoebat claims to be a former Palestinian terrorist turned Christian convert. He claims to be using a false name because his former bosses have put a $10-million bounty on his head. He claims... well, a lot of things that various sources, including his uncle, find to be unbelievable and absurd.
My own B.S. alarm went off a few times during Wednesday's interview. Shoebat comes across as just a little too sure, a little too absolute, and just a little too neatly media-perfect a poster boy for the neoconservatives and xenophobes who would have have believe we are at war with Islamofascism. In Shoebat's world, we can't deal with any Islams, not even so-called moderates, because the Koran is also a constitution calling all Muslims to establish a worldwide government and enslave any non-believers. In Shoebat's world, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is a dangerous extremist who is not a real American like the rest of us.
The most bothersome comment from Shoebat was one line in which Shoebat slipped in the old anti-Obama meme from the campaign that Obama is a Muslim. He said Obama claims to be a Christian.
I've addressed this before, but it makes me mad enough to address it again. Barack Obama has professed his Christian faith more often and more intelligently than most people I know. To say Mr. Obama only claims to be a Christian is like saying Governor Rounds only claims to be an insurance salesman, or that I only claim to be married to my wife. If we took such language seriously, it would lead to deconstructionist nihilism, where we take nothing as real. But Shoebat and the other "Obama is a Muslim" whisperers aren't engaging in philosophy; they are spreading malevolent facetiousness. If Barack Obama isn't a Christian, then nobody is a Christian.
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