Obama: Entangled by Islam; Is Liberalism or Muslim Outreach More Important to the President?

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It's no longer news that President Obama's vaunted outreach to Islam has been a bust. Numerous polls over the past three years have shown that after a brief flurry of enthusiasm, regard for the United States among the world's Muslims has declined precipitously. In some key countries, dislike for America is even lower than it was at the end of the administration of George W. Bush, whom liberal critics deemed culturally illiterate.

The State Department recently illustrated why reaching out has been such a failure. In mid-December, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton participated in a three-day international conference called the Istanbul Process regarding the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 16/18, adopted in March. The resolution ostensibly seeks to combat religious intolerance and was a U.S.-sponsored alternative to language pushed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that would have imposed global blasphemy laws against critics of Islam. Resolution 16/18 calls on states to foster religious freedom and pluralism and - in typical Obama administration apologetic style - stop religious profiling, which purportedly is a widespread American vice.

In her keynote speech at the conference, Mrs. Clinton noted a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that found 70 percent of the world's population lives in countries with a high number of restrictions on religious freedom. What she left out was that the 2009 Pew report Global Restrictions on Religion found that most states that had high or very high religious restrictions were countries with Muslim majorities. …