Palin on Syria: Let “Allah” Sort it Out

In a keynote address at the Faith and Freedom Coalition earlier this week Sarah Palin spoke about the need to “‘rededicate’ our country to ‘our one true Heavenly Father,” going on to say, “If we rededicate our land to our Lord, things will turn around.”

Elsewhere in Palin’s speech her call for “rededication” was juxtaposed by a mocking reference to “Allah” and the bloody civil war in Syria.

I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren’t even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, ‘Allah Akbar,’ I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say let Allah sort it out.

Apparently Palin, and the audience who reportedly laughed at this line, long for a time when Yahweh was just one of a plethora of tribal gods. Biblical scholars have argued that Yahweh was viewed early on as the god of only a certain people (the Israelites) and it was imperative that their enemies’ gods must be shown to be weaker, if not false.

In this idolatrous dichotomy we see echoes of Gen. Boykin’s infamous declaration, “I knew my God was bigger than his.” We also see echoes of the kinds of Christians Palin pals around with: Evangelicals who believe in the “Allah is a moon god” myth.

How else to explain Palin’s mockery of the Arabic word for “God,” used not just by 1.5 billion Muslims but, to her embarrassment, millions of non-Muslim Arabic speakers. Even in the movie so beloved by Palin and her friends, The Passion of the Christ, Jesus uses the Aramaic (his native language) word for god, “Allaha,” an equivalent to the Arabic “Allah.”

More disturbing however may be the very un-Christian lack of empathy and compassion for the suffering of Syrians caught in the crosshairs of a bloody civil war that until now has resulted in the deaths of 93,000 souls. Here Sarah Palin’s words boil down to an embrace of the maniacal view forwarded by neoconservative Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes who argue that the civil war should be prolonged for as long as possible, seemingly even at the expense of blocking any possible peace.

A more cynical view of Palin’s words may infer that her statement was nothing more than a play on a famous phrase (originating from Crusader Arnaud Amalric’s sacking of Beziers), which received an update by troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan (two wars Palin supported as “God’s will”): “Kill ‘em all. Let Allah Sort ‘em Out.”