Mr. Obama’s latest outreach to Islam has taken the form of appointing an envoy to Muslims. According to Al Arabiya:
Obama Admin Appoints Envoy to Muslim World
The United States State Department announced Friday the appointment of a Muslim woman from Indian origin as a new envoy to deal with the Muslim world, following a previous appointment of an Egyptian-born advisor in April.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Farah Pandith to serve as Special Representative to Muslim Communities,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appointed the 41-year-old to interat [sic] with Muslims across the globe, said in the statement.
Pandith, who immigrated to the U.S. as a child from Indian Kashmir’s summer capital, Srinagar, will “be responsible for executing the administration’s efforts to engage with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level,” the department said in a statement.
Notice what’s going on here: the world’s Muslims are considered to be a single entity.
We don’t give that kind of treatment to Jews and Hindus. The former aren’t that numerous, and the geographic concentration of the latter — even though there are hundreds of millions of them — may make a special envoy unnecessary. But what about Buddhists? They’re scattered all over the place.
And what about Christians? President Obama recently said that the United States shouldn’t be considered a Christian country. Well, where’s our envoy to the “Christian World”?
Needless to say, no such office will ever be created. Christianity has been fragmented almost since its inception, and there’s no unitary entity to which an envoy could be assigned.
Muslims, however, are unitary. There is a single organization, the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference), representing 57 Muslim countries. The leaders of those countries consider their nations Muslim nations. Is there a single leader of a majority Christian nation who considers his country to be a Christian nation?
Outside of Vatican City, that is.
One interesting thing about Ms. Pandith, according to Al Arabiya, is that she may not even be a Muslim:
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State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed Thursday that Pandith had been appointed, and promised a statement later.
Asked why the State Department had not formally announced Pandith’s appointment, Kelly noted it had been disclosed in an internal memo.
Kelly said he could not say whether Pandith was a Muslim, although two U.S. officials said privately that they believed she was. Pandith was not immediately available for comment.
So she might be a Muslim, and she’s going to be the U.S. envoy to the Muslim world. My guess is that she knows how to say the shahada, and will go veiled when she meets the Saudis or the delegates to the OIC. She’ll be at least as Muslim as her boss is.
And what about the Organization of the Christian Conference? Is there going to be an OCC?
My advice is: Don’t hold your breath for that one.
Hat tip: TB.