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Obama Seen As Out of Touch with Americans After Approving Ground Zero Mosque As the Imam Behind the Mosque Pushes for Sharia Law

August 15, 2010

I wrote yesterday that I thought that Obama’s approval of the Ground Zero mosque would signal the end of Obama’s political career, and it seems that others believe that Obama’s involvement is also indicative of his lack of involvement with the American people.

“A Republican senator is suggesting there could be political fallout from President Barack Obama’s remarks about building a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn (KOHR’-nihn) says Obama is “disconnected from mainstream America” and that voters this fall will “render their verdict.” Cornyn leads the GOP’s Senate campaign committee…

This is not about freedom of religion because we all respect the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience … but I do think it’s unwise to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of a terrorist attack,” Texas Republican John Cornyn said on the “Fox News Sunday” program.

“To me it demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the President himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America,” Cornyn said.

Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York who opposes the location of the center, told CNN’s “State of the Union” program that Obama clearly gave the impression he supported its construction but then backed off the next day.

“If the President was going to get into this, he should have been much more clear, much more precise and he can’t be changing his decision from day to day on an issue which does go to our Constitution …”

Obama’s remarks put him in the middle of a heated political debate months before November elections, which are expected to result in big losses for Obama’s Democrats and a potential power shift in Congress in favor of Republicans.

Obama seems continually separated from the voice of Americans as he confuses his political ideals with those of his constituents.  While Obama may privately agree that a mosque should be built at Ground Zero, using his presidency to approve that demonstrates his lack of perspective when it comes to voters, and this has the potential to be his his undoing.

“The president supports a mosque at ground zero led by a man who blamed America for 9/11, his top intelligence official preaches the true meaning of jihad, and his attorney general can’t even say the words ‘radical Islam,'” said Michael Goldfarb, an adviser to Keep America Safe. “You start to worry they don’t understand who the enemy is, and so Republicans might understandably feel like they have to spell it out for them.”

Obama, meanwhile, only fed Republicans’ eagerness to engage the issue with remarks Saturday morning that appeared to narrow his broader embrace of Islam in America to a defense of the legal right to build a mosque, though his office later issued a third statement saying he hadn’t backed off his original remarks.

Muslim leaders say, regretfully, that they also see a dramatic change.

Republicans have “shifted completely away from the Bush administration line on relations with Islam and they’ve obviously made the political calculation that bashing Islam and Muslims is a winning issue for them,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who blamed the “tea party movement [for] liberating the inner bigot in people.”

The shift has various causes. One is simply the freedom of opposition. “The stronger imperative for Bush’s stance was geopolitical,” said former Bush speechwriter David Frum, referring to the Bush administration’s reliance on Islamic allies for the prosecution of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Republicans are liberated to say what many think, and what many of their supporters want to hear.

While Obama seems to feel the pain of his original comments, now stating that he won’t comment on the wisdom of the building, he already stepped into a quagmire of emotional discontent from which there is no good rescue.  Whenever emotions are involved, there is no winning the ideological debates that arise.

As I said yesterday, this consistent lack of connection to the emotional pulse of the nation, seen as a callous disregard for the lives lost at the 9/11 site has haunted Obama throughout his presidency.  Obama seems to prefer to court the Muslim Americans to Americans, and when our nation is at war in a Muslim country, it’s a bad place to be politically.  Not only did Obama approve the mosque site, but he did it at a Muslim-based ceremony.  Oh, Obama, why are you so out of touch?  What started off as a presidency based on idealism and youth, brandishing the value of the American realization of equality of the races has turned into the sadness at watching a man who is a minority before a president, seeking to right any possible ethnic wrong before he addresses any overall American pain.  The fact that he happens to be supporting a Muslim agenda with the mosque only hurts him more politically, and I see no way for the Democrats to recover from this in the fall elections:

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

“It does put salt on the wound,” King said. He urged Muslim leaders behind the project to reconsider the location.

Supporters of the right to build the center, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, argue that religious tolerance is the best answer to religious extremism.

“The fallacy is that Al Qaeda attacked us. Islam did not attack us,” Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic congressman whose district includes the “Ground Zero” site, said on “State of the Union.”

“We were not attacked by all Muslims. And there were Muslims who were killed there.”

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll showed a majority of Americans across the political spectrum opposed the project being built near the site of the attacks.

The survey, released on Wednesday, showed nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed it, including 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

Republicans said the November elections will be about jobs, and that the president should be addressing high unemployment in the United States instead of speaking about religious freedom.

“Intellectually the President may be right. But this is an emotional issue and people who lost kids, brothers, sisters, fathers, do not want that mosque in New York and it’s going to be a big, big issue for Democrats across this country,” Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist, told CBS’ “Face The Nation” program.

Apparently I am not the only one commenting on this, and I predict we will watch Obama’s slow slide into disastrous poll results after this.  I think he has finally taken his own politics too far.  Poor Obama. For all his faults, Bush was able to relate enough to public sentiment to get re-elected (even while we Independents issued a day of mourning).  For Obama it seems, his election was all about ideals, but he doesn’t have the political chops to actually lead and have voters follow.

Democrats will take a huge hit for this in November, as Republicans have openly stated that they are not supporters of Islam, and will paint Obama as naive and supportive of a religion that seeks to dominate the West, not peacefully coexist with it:

Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles Burlingame was the pilot of the jetliner that crashed into the Pentagon and who serves on the board of Keep America Safe, agreed that there is an emotional component but rejected the notion that the mosque issue is a “feelings” concept instead of part of a larger debate about different cultures and how the U.S. should engage with Muslim culture within the country.

“I do ascribe to the ‘clash of civilizations’ theory now,” said Burlingame, who has been among the main voices questioning the funding behind the proposed mosque, and the intents of Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind it. She said, as she did after Obama’s speech, that many Muslims have practiced peacefully in the U.S. before and after the attacks, but that Rauf has made statements supporting radical elements of Islam, and that the location was chosen to be provocative.

She criticized those, mostly led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are defending the project under freedom of religion, saying, “That’s a Western concept.”

Republican leadership had courted the Muslim minority before the 9/11 attacks, but Bush was alone in his concern that Muslim Americans would be unfairly attacked for what the larger American culture believed to be a religion based on terrorist tactics.  Now it seems the Republican majority has moved away from rhetoric embracing Islam in general, and the Ground Zero mosque in particular.  Obama has largely alienated both Christians and Americans who feel that relinquishing what has become America’s holy site at Ground Zero to the religion that sought to abolish America is a gross miscalculation of American values.  In true examples of the separation of church and state, Obama should never have commented on the building of the mosque, much less at an Islam-themed celebration.  And other Americans who may be tolerant of other religions seem to feel that this is not a simple case of expressing religious freedom but a case of using the system to hurt people whose loved ones died on 9/11, or more to the point, a bit of the Geert  Wilder theory of Muslims using Americans’ softness to overcome them.

On August 6, 2010, Wilders, who had become a celebrated guest with American media and politicians who share his opposition to Islam, announced that he will speak at a rally on September 11 in New York to protest the plans for the Cordoba House, a mosque to be built nearGround Zero, organised by Stop Islamization Of America, which is supported by a number of conservative US politicians including Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. According to SIOA’s website world leaders, prominent politicians and 911 family members will be speaking at the rally, but Wilders was not mentioned by name. [141] [142] [143] In political circles in The Netherlands, the announcement caused widespread irritation about his plan. [144] Christian Democrat senator Hans Hillen remarked that Wilders’ words could endanger Dutch interests. [145]former Nato general secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer advised Wilders not to make a speech. The international public does not know who is in the Dutch cabinet and who is in parliament. Words of Wilders could be mistaken as an official statement of the Dutch government as Wilders will be seen as representing The Netherlands

To some of the families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, Geert Wilders is a hero, and there is a whole website devoted to stopping the mosque at the Ground Zero site:

The honorable Dutch MP Geert Wilders has accepted our invitation to speak at the 911 demonstration opposing the mega mosque at Ground Zero. We owe him a debt of gratitude (Wilders came in third in the recent Dutch elections) for exposing the Dutch government’s donation of $1,290,000 to Imam Rauf’s “Cordoba initiative” — first reported at Atlas here.

Geert Wilders demanded an explanation from House of Parliament on why the Dutch Government would  fund the Ground Zero Islamic supremacist mosque.

And while other Geert colleagues are annoyed by Wilder’s remarks, he has found a huge following in America and continues to have thriving political career in his own country, a sign that despite the political speak regarding religious tolerance, there is a growing anger among other Americans and the Netherlands populations regarding what they feel is an Islamic invasion.  Republicans are using this rising tide of sentiment to bolster their campaigns for the 2010 election timing :

The GOP’s likely presidential candidates drew a spectrum of shades of opposition but not a single one sided with Bloomberg in backing the mosque on the grounds of private property and religious freedom.

“Ground zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts,” wrote Palin on July 18, calling on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” it.

“There should be no mosque near ground zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia,” wrote former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a day later.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, though he represents a relatively heavily Muslim state, rebuffed pleas from local Muslim leaders to back off his suggestion that the mosque would “degrade and disrespect” the Trade Center site. A spokesman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cited both “the wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda” in opposing it.

But it was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who seemed to fit the issue most clearly into a recognizable political category of culture war.

“Is it just that we can offend Americans and Christians, but not foreigners and Muslims?” he asked.

Politically correct:  is it a term that garners votes, or is it a term that speaks to the constituency?  And if the constituency were to speak, would any be in support of the Ground Zero mosque?  Separation of church and state should mean that the government is removed from this debate, but when it comes to votes, what is politically correct here? Is there a real tie between Islamic terrorists and the Ground Zero mosque?  Blogger Peter Rissing seems to think so:

One of my readers in the Netherlands filled me in on where some of the financing came from that the terror-tied Imam Rauf used to buy an historic landmark and demolish it to build an Islamic supremacist mega mosque at Ground Zero: the Christian Democrat party in Holland.


I am sure that I can say that on behalf of the 3,75 million voters in the Netherlands for PVV (The centre-right political partyfrom Geert Wilders) I offer you and your friends an apologies for our present christian (CDA) government.This because they granted a million Euro ( US $ 1.290.000 ) to the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) from imam Faisal Abdur Rauf who intends to build a mosque next to the grounds of the 9/11 massacre the killed over 3000 innocent people. Don’t ask me why.

Geert Wilders himself demanded today in our House of Parliament from our CDA Minister of Foreign affairs:

“Do you acknowledge that it is absurd -just at Ground Zero- to build a mosque, and that this is also an insult to (the next of kin of) the victims of 9-11? If not, why not?

So the Netherlands are aware of these building plans. But we don’t understand how the US-(local) government can be so ignorant about the symbolic value for muslims to build an other house of worship to Alla, right there in front of this specific location.

Many of us are also aware of the many moslim ‘enclaves’ that already exist in the USA and we admire your personal efforts to stop Ground Zero to become one too.

Kind regards,

Peter Rissing

New Yorkers are calling foul play, saying the board that approved the mosque building did so when no one else would know what they were voting on:

Last night, on less than a week and a half’s notice (at a time when most people who care are not even around), the Lower ManhattanCommunity Board 1 (“LMCB”) Landmark Commission (“LMCBLC”) held its meeting to consider the landmark status of 45-47 Park Place (the site of the proposed 911 mega mosque). Refusing to wait until the entire board could meet, seven board members voted unanimously to deny landmark status to the Burlington Coat Factory building, removing another obstacle to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s supremacist, triumphal mosque.

One journalist noted that the “CB1 Landmarks committee, which is a stickler for details when someone wants to install new windows or awnings, voted to recommend to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission that landmark status not be given to the two antique buildings on Park Place that the owner wants to tear down to build the mega-mosque at Ground Zero.”

While Obama may have agreed with the Community Board, he has since stated he won’t comment on the wisdom of the building plans.  I have checked out the Imam’s links to terrorism, just within popular media, and while the Imam states he wants the Cordoba House to be a part of rebuilding the city, he also states that Americans must be tolerant of Islam, and advocates the advancement of Sharia law:

Now in a book published back in 2004, “What Is Right With Islam,” Feisal Abdul Rauf, he wrote of his fondness for Sharia Law and his belief that the U.S. can accommodate it. He argued, quote, that “the American political structure is Sharia compliant,” continuing, quote, “For America to score even higher on the ‘Islamic’ or ‘Sharia’ compliance scale, America would need to do two things: invite the voices of all religions to join the dialogue in shaping the nation’s practical life, and allow religious communities more leeway to judge among themselves according to their own laws.”

HANNITY: You — I wanted to point this out. You brought this — this is in this book. This is the imam that is — is spearheading the effort to build the mosque. These are his words. He’s the one that has argued that Sharia Law could be used in the U.S., because they can have their own courts and religious leaders, correct?

BURLINGAME: Yes. But — but when he published this in 2007 in the Muslim world, he didn’t call it “What’s Right With Islam” and a later title, “What’s Right with America.” He called it “A Call to Prayer From the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Da’wah From the Heart of America…”

HANNITY: Meaning?

BURLINGAME: “… Post-9/11.” Robert, tell him what da’wah means.

SPENCER: Da’wah is Islamic proselytizing. And in the Islamic law, da’wah precedes jihad. You call the nonbelievers to Islam. And if they refuse to accept it, then you initiate the jihad against them. But the whole goal of both da’wah and jihad is to impose Islamic law or Sharia upon the nonbelievers as a political system, not as a religious one.

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