Friday, May 29, 2009

That hypothesis will be tested

It still seems to be somewhat below the radar screen that President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia next week. Let's cast our minds back to a year ago, when Edward Luttwak got space in the New York Times to argue that a President Obama headed to Saudi Arabia would be a big problem --

Because no government is likely to allow the prosecution of a President Obama — not even those of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the only two countries where Islamic religious courts dominate over secular law — another provision of Muslim law is perhaps more relevant: it prohibits punishment for any Muslim who kills any apostate, and effectively prohibits interference with such a killing.

At the very least, that would complicate the security planning of state visits by President Obama to Muslim countries, because the very act of protecting him would be sinful for Islamic security guards. More broadly, most citizens of the Islamic world would be horrified by the fact of Senator Obama’s conversion to Christianity once it became widely known — as it would, no doubt, should he win the White House.

As was said about threats against Barack Obama in another context, it looks like the American public along with Egypt and Saudi Arabia have decided to let God and the Secret Service worry about those issues. Obama will just carry on being President.

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