Unlike Media, Mideast Muslim Clerics Divided About Whether to Rejoice Over Hurricane Sandy

When it comes to the political fallout from Hurricane Sandy, the mainstream U.S. media have been nearly unanimous in their delight that the devastating storm would afford President Barack Obama the chance to look "presidential." They devoted an entire day of news coverage to his 90-minute visit to New Jersey, and the oohs and aahs over Obama's détente with Gov. Chris Christie will echo throughout the weekend. 

By contrast, radical Muslim clerics in the Middle East have shown considerably more thoughtfulness in determining whether Hurricane Sandy is a good thing or a bad thing, politically. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), radical opinion is divided as to whether the superstorm was an expression of Divine wrath, or whether it is to be mourned for having harmed so many potential religious converts.

Point:

Among those who expressed satisfaction over the hurricane was Egyptian cleric Wadgi Ghoneim, who tweeted on October 29, 2012: "America is currently subject to [an attack] by one of Allah's weakest armies (meaning Hurricane Sandy)."

Saudi cleric Nasser Al-'Omar likewise regarded the storm as divine punishment, and even issued a fatwa stating that the Muslims must be glad and thank Allah for it: "We must rejoice at anything that harms these arrogant and tyrannical oppressors. America is the spearhead of oppression, evil and tyranny in the present age. It has used its wealth, which Allah the Almighty bestowed upon it, to oppress mankind throughout the world.

Counter-point:

Saudi Sheikh Salman Al-'Odeh tweeted: "To all those who pray that Hurricane Sandy will bring disaster, I quote the words of the Prophet [Muhammad about] the idolaters in Mecca: 'I hope that [Allah] produces from their loins [sons] who worship Him [i.e., who become Muslims].'"...

Al-Azhar Sheikh Salam 'Abd Al-Galil said: "The Muslims should not draw a connection between the hurricane and the anti-Islamic film, and should not rejoice over the crisis because this will trigger disdain and contempt [against them]. Allah puts all of his creatures to the test, [both] the Muslims and the infidels. Muslim nations can also by hit by a hurricane at any time, and then the other nations will heap scorn upon us."

Meanwhile, according to NewsBusters, at CNN, ABC, NBCPolitico, CBS, MSNBC, and in general, near-complete unanimity.






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