President Barack Obama gave a speech before an Iftar dinner in the White House. This speech has caused much reaction. In this speech he came out in support of the mosque/outreach center a bare two blocks from Ground Zero, which has caused the most reaction. I have stayed out of this mess with only a few posts on other blogs. With a name like Cordoba attached to this project, its a linkage to a golden time in Andalusia for Islam. But if they follow all the rules and laws to get this built, then as a matter of law it is settled. But as matter of is this right? This is where that concept diverges from what is legal. It seems Cordoba seeks to invade hallowed space, Ground Zero, for its own purpose which is insensitive and hurtful to many victims of 9/11.
Now that I have addressed my feelings on the whole Mosque Mess, lets look at the President's speech shall we?
First he links Seders, Christmas parties, and Iftar dinners with the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Here at the White House, we have a tradition of hosting iftars that goes back several years, just as we host Christmas parties and seders and Diwali celebrations. And these events celebrate the role of faith in the lives of the American people. They remind us of the basic truth that we are all children of God, and we all draw strength and a sense of purpose from our beliefs.
Seders, Christmas, and Iftar are ceremonies to a singular deity - Jehovah, God, or Allah. Diwali, depending up where you are, can celebrate Rama's homecoming or Laksmhi or Kali. One can see how it does not fit with the others Its an artificial attempt to make all these events and deities the same, thus destroying the uniqueness of each ceremony in the name of political expediency.
But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.
Here the President tries to navigate the tricky waters of the mosque controversy by dressing it up as a civil rights issue. And again he uttered one of his boilerplate statements of 'let me be clear.' On the bright side President Obama seems to be a strict constructionist in regards to the First Amendment of the U.S. Consitution.
The laws that we apply without regard to race, or religion, or wealth, or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us.
Here President Obama is not advocating religious or cultural neutrality which true justice under US law is supposed to demand. Instead he is saying with the word 'respect' that special treatment must be accorded to those who are different. In this case, the followers of Islam.
The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan —- making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.
June 1805, the United States Navy forced the bashaw of Tripoli to sue for peace, to stop demanding tribute, and to stop preying on American merchant vessels. Here are links to treaties and truces between the United States and Tunisia. So that is the historical context of President Jefferson meeting with the Tunisian ambassador that Obama omits.
"I hope I shall never again be sent to Algiers with a tribute except it be from the mouth of a cannon." - Captain William Bainbridge, commander of USS Essex and USS Philadelphia during the Barbary Wars. As captain of the USS George Washington, he brought tribute to Algiers, hence this quote.
For in the end, we remain “one nation, under God, indivisible.” And we can only achieve “liberty and justice for all” if we live by that one rule at the heart of every great religion, including Islam —- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Again Obama attempts to force an artificial narrative upon people when it comes to comparing religions. As long as taqiyaa [Religiously sanctioned dissimulation - pg 268, God Has Ninety-Nine Names by Judith Miller] is allowed then it is impossible to say with honest conviction the Golden Rule applies in Islam.
One would think after catching so much grief over his Cairo speech and all those historical goofs contained therein, this President would be better at this speech thing. But it's obvious he is incapable of learning anything new. Which bodes ill for all in this country and those who struggle for freedom in the world.
Addendum 11:30pm Aug 14, 2010.
While the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey has given Cordoba House a green light for their mosque/outreach center/multiplex the efforts to rebuild the only house of worship destroyed on the 9/11 attacks has been stalled by the same Port Authority for over a year. Unless satisfactory answers are offered to solve this mystery about St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, then people will assume Cordoba got some of that respectful special treatment President Obama talked about Friday night.
And speaking of that speech from Friday night. While the President, First Lady, and one daughter cavort on Gulf beaches to promote tourism, the President has been forced to make clear what he meant Friday night.
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," he told reporters in Panama City, Fla. He, his wife, daughter Sasha and family dog Bo are spending an abbreviated weekend there as part of an effort to help Gulf Coast tourism that has suffered because of the BP oil spill."
Tell us another story Mr. President, we still have one more leg to pull.