Back in 2009, Obama made a couple of statements in a couple of venues that caused quite a stir. Democrats and media did their usual thing and spun it to their best advantage. But what Obama said was “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation” in the first statement, and “if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world”.
Spin that all you want to, but that’s what he said. That’s what the context shows too.
The statements in more context…
April 6, 2009, in a “press availability”:
I think that where — where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents — that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.
That’s something that’s very important to me. And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is — although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.
Were this the only statement on the topic, I would find some fault with his characterization of America as a secular nation, but it would not be outrage. Alas, we were soon to see more of the heart of Obama.
June 1, 2009 in interview with French TV station Canal Plus:
What I want to do is to create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what’s happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam. And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.
You can believe what you want to. What seems inescapable to me is Obama attempting to place an imprimatur of Islam on the United States. Not like a badge. More like a cattle brand. Just like those yahoos who wanted to build a mosque within blocks of the World Trade Centers grave, purely to show some kind of sneering dominance.
You know what? A guy who says that, who even thinks like that, is not my president.
PS – for the record, what he said about America having one of the largest populations in the Muslim world? Wrong. Just stupidly wrong. The top Muslim populations: Indonesia at 205M; Pakistan 180M; India 180M; Bangladesh 150M; Egypt 80M; Iran 80M; a several in the 25M to 50M range. American Muslims? About 3-5M.