What a difference a day makes, or in this case a year. During the 2008 presidential campaign the Obama camp went to great lengths to deny any ties to Islam, and even went so far as to label anyone who mentioned Obama’s middle name of Hussein as a raving racist and/or Islamo-phobe. Flash forward to Obama’s trip to the Middle East, and now we get to hear how he was influenced by his Islamic experiences as a child living in Indonesia, and his ties to Islam through his father’s family.
OK, I understand that in a campaign you accentuate what you think will get you elected, and de-emphasize what may cost you the office you are seeking. I also get it when when speaking to a group you may want to show empathy or a shared experience with your audience as he did in his Cairo speech. There is a difference though between empathy and doing what would seem as overtly sympathizing or endorsing the actions of the audience. Your inscrutable Mandarin thinks that the President may have done the latter when he quoted a Qur’an verse about waging jihad. Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch has a very in-depth analysis of the verse in question, and raises the question – why is it that foes of global jihad are constantly accused of quoting the Qur’an out of context, but when Barak Obama does it no one seems to mind?
Religion is a very emotionally charged subject no matter the denomination or sect, and one would be well served not to quote select passages from religious texts without having a full understanding of not only the text quoted, but the text that comes before and after it. In the majority of cases it is the text that is not quoted that holds clues to the real or perceived meaning of the passage. Most people can drive a car, but that doesn’t mean that they are qualified to jump behind the wheel of a Formula 1 race car and travel around the track at 200 M.P.H. Quoting verses from a religious text should be left to the “professional drivers” knowing full well that even they hit the wall every so often.
The Mandarin, whose real name is 吏恆, joined the order in 1309, and introduced the Gormogons into England during the 18th Century.
The Mandarin enjoys spending time with his pet manticore, Βάρἰκος, or Barry (who can be found in the Bestiary). When not in the Castle…well, frankly, nobody is quite sure where he goes.
The Mandarin popularized the fine art of “gut booting,” by which he delivers a powerful kick to the stomach of anyone that annoys him. Although nearly universal today, the act of gut booting or threatening someone or something with a gut boot is solely due to him.