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Will the Ground Zero Mosque Building Be the End of Obama’s Political Career?

August 14, 2010

I have often wondered at Obama’s missteps, which ones will mark the end of his political career, and I know he will most likely be a one-term president.  Some say that he will have a chance, that minority, mainly black voters and latino voters have the power to put him into office for a second term, but I highly doubt that will happen.  Why?  Obama is too polarizing, too far to the left, too quick to use government to fix all ills when, perhaps, Americans need to look to methods of fixing problems outside the presidential sphere.  None better fits this picture than the building of the Muslim mosque blocks from Ground Zero.  Never has Obama so completely misjudged the American public, whipped into an anti-Islamic frenzy by terrorists and muddled middle-ground Muslims, and therefore signed his own political death as he has with his support of the Ground Zero mosque.  And never has his purported family background as a Muslim seemed to injure him politically as it has when supported building an Islamic community center near Ground Zero.

According to a poll, 53% of New Yorkers are against building the mosque. Mayor Blumberg supposedly supports the building, and now Obama has openly stated that the people at Ground Zero must show religious tolerance toward the religion that supported (and still continues to support) the  killing thousands of Americans, because Obama states that Al-Qaeda, not Muslims, killed Americans:

In his remarks on Friday, Obama preached the need for religious tolerance and noted that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had established the freedom of religion, “and that right has been upheld ever since.”

The president also stressed that al Qaeda was not synonymous with Islam.

“Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam,” he said. “These are not religious leaders — these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has firmly supported the community center project as have many religious organizations in the city. However, 53 percent of New Yorkers oppose it, according to a Marist Poll this week.

The Cordoba House community center is the brainchild of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who told Reuters in an interview last month that he had modeled it on the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Now simply called the Y, YMCA facilities across the United States offer exercise classes, education and community activities.

The city agency’s August 3 ruling is expected to clear the way for construction of Cordoba House, which will include a 500-seat auditorium, art exhibition spaces and a swimming pool as part of a 13-story complex.

Since coming into office, Obama, a Democrat, has worked to reach out to Muslims, many of whom felt targeted by the “war on terror” and by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a speech in Cairo in June 2009, Obama called for a “new beginning” in ties between the United States andMuslims, saying extremists had exploited tensions between Muslims and the West and that Islam was not part of the problem.

Unfortunately, this is just the sort of political blunder that is emblematic of Obama’s presidency and will be the death of his political career:  Obama uses the presidency as a pulpit to preach his personal views.  While it may be true that Americans should support the Islamic people here in America, it is not realistic that it will happen at Ground Zero. Others have been much less tolerant of the Ground Zero mosque, and even less tolerant of Obama’s Muslim-friendly political agenda:

“This is America and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,” said Obama, who has made improving ties between the United States and the Muslim world a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

Obama was speaking during an Iftar dinner he hosted at the White House. Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

About 2,750 people were killed in the September 11 attacks, when al Qaeda hijackers crashed two passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The attacks deeply traumatized Americans and sparked the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the Bush administration’s “war on terror.”

Many families of those killed in the attacks have mounted an emotional campaign to block the community center, calling it provocative and a betrayal of the memory of the victims.

Conservative politicians such as former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, a Republican former Speaker of the House of Representatives, also have called for the project to be scrapped.

Mark Williams, a spokesman for the conservative Tea Party political movement, said the center would be used for “terrorists to worship their monkey god.”

So, in case where Obama personally believes that it is right to support a religion, he also uses the presidency to voice his support, which means that the majority of Americans will feel used– the majority of New Yorkers don’t even support the project—and yet Obama says that this is what America must do.

The proposed location however has touched raw nerves.

On Saturday the group 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, which represents some relatives of attack victims, said it was “stunned” by the president’s remarks.

Obama “has abandoned America at the place where America’s heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see,” the group said.

“Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots.”

Building the mosque “is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah,” the group claimed.

Another group representing other relatives of 9/11 victims, the September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, said in May that it “strongly supports” the Islamic center.

A CNN/Opinion Research poll earlier this month showed that 68 percent of Americans opposed the Islamic center plans, while only 29 percent favored them.

Congressman Peter King, who represents New York in the US House of Representatives, said the Muslim community was “abusing” its rights and “needlessly offending” many people.

“It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero,” said King, a Republican. “Unfortunately the president caved in to political correctness.”

Self-described “liberal Muslim” Farzana Hassan, a Canadian, told Fox News on Saturday that she believes the Islamic center’s location is “provocative.”

“This is highly insensitive to the sentiments of the people who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks,” said Hassan, who has written books on Islam.

It’s a classic case of using the microphone to voice an opinion that is not shared by anyone else nearby, and his political career has pocketed by these instances, including his push for universal health insurance (which, incidentally, does not equal universal health care, only insurance).

Obama has had a lot of monumental firsts:  first African American president, first president with such a family history of Muslim leanings, first president to pass health insurance legislation, first president who said he wanted to improve relations with the Muslim world, but I think that this will also be his last term.  Obama may have created a lot of firsts, but along the way, he seems to have forgotten the will of the people, and that’s what put him into presidency in the first place.


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