From: A Young Illinois Reader [Send Him Mail]
Thanks to James Kirkpatrick for highlighting this fine specimen of mawkish multiculturalism. [Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr, July 27, 2014]Leaving aside the more pedantic points (Is fabric something one "builds"? Isn't this guy is supposed to be a great rhetorician?), there are a couple quite telling aspects to this sort of thing.
First, it is interesting how Obama projects onto Muslims the (purported) moral universalism of Western liberals. Islamic charity is generally focused on other Muslims. Naturally, Muslims are more inclined to help out "Dar al Islam" than they are to assist "Dar al Harb". There's a billboard next to an expressway in Chicago that shows a young, evidently Muslim boy and exhorts (Muslim) motorists to contribute "zakat"—Islamic alms. The billboard does not show, say, a poor inner-city black kid, even though there are plenty of those in Chicago.
This typifies one of the ironies of Western "multiculturalism": most people in most cultures do not go out of their way to sacralize the Other, but that doesn't stop Western liberals from assuming that inside every foreigner is an SWPL trying to get out. Of course Ramadan is about secular humanism when you get right down to it; Muslims wouldn't be so gauche as to be non-ecumenical, would they?