This is ridiculous - but not unsurprising, coming from a European:
Tony Blair today launched a passionate defence of Islam as a religion of "moderation and modernity", as he announced a £1m government fund to aid teaching of the religion and train UK imams.
The prime minister, in his final days in Downing Street, placated an audience of more than 200 Muslim scholars by saying that many Christians as well as Muslims disagreed with his foreign policy over Afghanistan and Iraq
But he said the voices of "calm" Islam had been hijacked by extremists, who were no more representative of the true faith than Christians in the Middle Ages who used torture to convert people to their faith.
Now does he really belive this, or is it the words of a nervous man looking to "placate" a hostile audience (rather than, you know - confront them)?
This too, is ridiculous, but it has a touch of malice rather than fear:
Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right- wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.
"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked," the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.
"Part of it's because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who've been all too eager to exploit what divides us," the Illinois senator said.
Interesting that Obama chooses to compare the leaders of the Christian Right - a group trying to get their views represented via the ballot box - to the leaders of the Islamist movement, a group trying to get their views enforced by the worldwide slaughter of the innocent. Are they morally equivalent in his eyes?
He works quite well as a team with Mr. Blair - one praises Islam as "modern", the other denounces Catholicism as "hijacked".
Obama, for all of the fawning media coverage surrounding him, is behind Hillary 33% to 21% percent in the most recent AP polls. No surprise; folks can always spot someone who is "all too eager to exploit what divides us...."
The Washington Post picks up a similar affront (to enviornmentalists - a slur against Christians is of course considered well within acceptable rhetorical parameters), and allows it to be explained off by a less-than- devasted supporter:
"That's a rookie mistake for a presidential candidate, to think you can get in the middle of a controversial issue and no one will notice."
Why doesn't the Post stand outside a few local churches (and no, not the far far left joints like Obama's United Church of Christ) and ask them what they think about his commentary on Christian leadership? Probably because they don't even see it as controversial, as it dovetails with their views....note how a misstep against the enviornmental lobby is worth a front page article, and a slap against Catholics goes unreported.
Blair, Obama, and the Post - all using different techniques, but all fighting the same type of information war. They are losing, of course (Obama's 21% support likely makes him the most popular of the three), but that doesn't mean they won't keep trying...