Raymond Ibrahim, in an enlightening April 2010 essay, explained how the famous 13th century Italian merchant and traveler Marco Polo—contra reductio ad absurdum pejorative characterizations of him as an “Orientalist,” inveterately prejudiced against the “Other,”—provided objective anthropological assessments:
in fact, Polo occasionally portrayed the few Christians he encountered in a negative light (such as those of the island of Socotra) and frequently praised non-Christians, including Muslims. For example, he hails the Brahmins of India as being “most honorable,” possessing a “hatred for cheating or of taking the goods of other persons. They are likewise remarkable for the virtue of being satisfied with the possession of one wife.” He refers to one Muslim leader as governing “with justice,” and another who “showed himself [to be] a very good lord, and made himself beloved by everybody.”
However, Marco Polo, as I learned from reading through the Yule-Cordier edition of “The Travels of Marco Polo,” (Vol. 1), was also capable of describing unabashedly the Sharia-based animus towards non-Muslims Islamic doctrine engendered on a massive scale—a tragic legacy still very much alive today:
Indeed, it is fact, that the whole body of Muslims throughout the world are always most malignantly disposed toward the whole body of Christians…And marvel not that the Muslims hate the Christians; for the accursed law [i.e., the Sharia] that Muhammad gave them commands them to do all the mischief in their power to all the other descriptions of people, and especially to Christians; to strip such of their goods, and do them all manner of evil, because they belong not to their law. See then what an evil law and what naughty commandments they have! But in such fashion the Muslims act, throughout the world.
Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim’s plight—victim of the Sharia—(discussed here, here, here, here, and here) is a striking “microcosm” of this expansive modern Islamic phenomenon which afflicts Christians within Islamdom around the globe.
Last night (5/30/14), Muslim “apostate” Ayaan Hirsi Ali—a woman of moral and intellectual courage which shames its contrasting absence in our “apostate” President Obama—explained simply and unequivocally that to ameliorate Meriam Ibrahim’s suffering, and that of Christians beset by the Sharia worldwide,
The U.S. must take a stand against Sharia religious and gender apartheid
The predicament of Meriam Ibrahim—whose husband, and likely two children as well, are bona fide U.S. citizens—should resonate in a profound and personal way with President Obama, given that per Sharia, Islamic law “criteria,” and Muslim societal mores, Meriam’s formal identification with Islam is relatively tenuous compared to Mr. Obama’s. What I admonished then Presidential candidate Senator Obama to do on September 11, 2008, is now more urgent, and should be tied to a formal grant of asylum to Meriam Ibrahim and her children by Mr. Obama as current U.S. President:
Mr. Obama has thus far squandered the unparalleled opportunity to highlight and extol a profoundly important virtue of this flawed, but still great country of ours, personified by his life story: America’s singular, unwavering support for true freedom of conscience. Surely if Obama is to live up to his followers (and his own) pretensions of being a “transformative” figure, then he should be ready to elucidate, frankly, the utter lack of freedom of conscience in the Muslim world, relative to the US; why his own life trajectory demonstrates this difference; and how the fight against global jihadism is, at its core, about the protection of this most profoundly important Western ideal.
Perhaps President Obama will be enlightened—and emboldened—by Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s frank, intrepid, and wise observations, made on national television via the President’s favorite television network, Fox News.