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Obama gets it wrong at a mosque

One of President Obama’s least attractive traits is his schoolmarmish and condescending tendency to lecture Americans about how we should behave. A case in point is his recent address at a mosque in Baltimore.

Much of the speech consisted of harmless platitudes and straw men, but it seemed to have purposely missed the point. Most Americans are not anti-Muslim bigots. But most Americans are understandably concerned about recent terrorist attacks both here and abroad carried out by people of the Islamic faith, a point the president studiously failed to address.

And if one aspires to be “schoolmarm in chief,” one should get the facts right. First of all, “Islam” is not derived from the word “salam,” which means “peace,” but from the Arabic “aslama,” which means “submission” [to Allah].

The president has often repeated the claim that Islam was woven into the very fabric of America from the beginning. Apparently, the Wikipedia entry consulted by his speechwriter noted that some early slaves imported to America in colonial times were indeed Muslim, forgetting or ignoring the fact that they were captured and sold by slave-catchers who were Muslims themselves.

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