Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up?

Every year the US Department of State issues a Human Rights Report thoroughly describing human rights, or the lack thereof, in countries around the world. An excerpt from the 2008 Human Rights Report on Saudi Arabia reads as follows: “…restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of speech (including the internet), assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; corruption; and lack of government transparency. Violence against women and discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect, and ethnicity were common.”

Prior to his recent Cairo speech, President Obama paid a visit to Saudi King Abdullah because, he said, “I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek his majesty’s counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East.” It appears that President Obama should have given counsel to King Abdullah who reigns over one of the most intolerant countries in the world -- using Islamic Law known as Shari’a to oppress his people.

Then, in his Cairo speech Obama made the following unbelievable statement about Islam: “And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” How could he say that when it is in direct contradiction to reality in Saudi Arabia, the Islamic motherland, a leading violator of human rights?

What are we to believe, President Obama’s statement or what his own State Department reports? They both can’t be right.