The conservative quest to prove Obama is a Muslim sits right in the middle of “if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry” territory. Even the Inquisition didn’t expend as much effort finding crypto-Jews; right-wingers scrutinize every little gesture he makes, desperate to prove something that wouldn’t even matter if they were correct.
And I do mean every little gesture. Take this piece by the badly named “American Thinker,” which claims that Obama flashed a “Muslim gang sign” while attending a summit in Africa.
Rush Limbaugh is on the record as stating that the American “Thinker” is one of his favorite blogs, saying that it was “thoughtful.” The only thing more red than this flag is the red on the Costa Rican flag, which still isn’t flying over Limbaugh’s head like he promised. Anything that Limbaugh calls “thoughtful” is going to be an intellectual trainwreck, and the American “Thinker” delivers in spades.
So what’s this “Muslim gang sign” that Obama supposedly flashed? Well, the sensitive should cover their eyes, because this is down right disturbing.
Do you see it? Do you see the “shahada?” Here, let me help:
Of course Barack Hussein Obama would flash this. He’s a crypto-Muslim.
I highlighted the “shahada” for the audience. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “He’s just holding up his index finger. What the hell are you going on about?” Well, see, you’re a liberal, that’s why you missed it, and that’s why I had to highlight it (and add the tail and horns). Is it finally proof that he’s a Muslim? Did they finally hit pay dirt after all these years of wasted effort?
The shahada is a verbal pronouncement, not a hand gesture, and it’s a verbal pronouncement that you’re probably familiar with, since we’re all Murka-hatin’ Muslims here anyway:
لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh
There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God
So who is the halfwit that authored this poorly veiled hit piece? Glad you asked. His name is F.W. Burleigh, and the man’s a preposterously stupid and racist. He’s the author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet, and claims that Obama is “flashing the one-finger affirmation of Islamic faith to dozens of African delegates.” Burleigh continues the cavalcade of embarrassing stupid, noting that “the one-finger display is the distinctive Muslim gang sign” and “With his forefinger in the air, Obama affirmed his membership in this tribe.” The African leaders were “all smiles” because they were in on the gig, and to prove his point, he includes a photograph of an “ISIS fighter display[ing] the gang sign.”
Now, Brazilians tend to be Christians just like Americans. By his logic, the “Okay” gesture should mean the same thing in Brazil that it does in the United States; it’s a Christian gang sign understood by Christians worldwide.
I dare you.
So what’s right with his claim? Absolutely nothing; it’s fractally wrong. It doesn’t matter how or where you look at it, it’s wrong on every possible level and the more critically you analyze it the more wrong it becomes. If you were to pick any two random Muslim groups in Africa — say, the Fulani-Hausa and the Somali — there’s a landmass at least the half the size of the contiguous United States separating them. To erase the culture between the Zaghawa and the Berbers because they’re both African Muslims is so insanely racist and mind-blowingly stupid you could drop it in the slave-holding antebellum South and they’d still think you were a fool.
It goes well beyond that, though. If you watch the summit from two different angles, it’s obvious Obama is wagging his finger, not holding it up. But in the finest example of “I reject your reality you reality and substitute my own,” Burleigh actually chastises the editors for suggesting this. Because this man, who can’t tell the cultural difference between a Fulani and a Syrian because they’re both Muslim, thinks he knows all about hand gestures. He wrote a book on it once, guys, it’s all good.
Ultimately, though, if this makes Obama a crypto-Muslim, check out all the other crypto-Muslims who’ve found their way into leadership positions:
There’s an easier explanation than “Obama is a crypto-Muslim,” and that’s “F.W. Burleigh is a uneducated dolt.”