Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Q&A: "What is your take on jihad?"

When I watch debates, interviews and press conferences, I often think how I would have answered the question differently.  That doesn't mean I would do a better job.  I have the benefit of sitting at home away from the television cameras and the pressure.  I don't have to worry about an election or world opinion.  Still, it's fun to play the game. 

Today, President Obama is getting flack about an answer he gave to a Catholic schoolgirl in Indonesia.  The question was, "What is your take on jihad?"  The president is speaking before a Christian audience in an Islamic country while fighting a war in another Islamic country.  He is walking a tightrope.  I certainly don't envy the guy.  Still, I find it bizarre that the president would want to get into a debate about the finer points of Islamic doctrine.  I suggest keeping things simple.

Here's my response to the question:
Q: What is your take on jihad?

A:  I am not a Muslim, nor am I a religious scholar.  As a result, it would be presumptuous of me to explain the tenets of another faith.  Nonetheless, I know peace-loving people of many faiths, and I am willing to work with them to make this world a better place.

Likewise, I am familiar with people who hate and use violence against innocents.  It doesn't matter if they justify their actions by a religion or a particular ideology.  We should stand against them on the side of justice.

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