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When Will Obama Tell Us That “the Issue of Terrorism Is a Very Complex Question”?*

August 14, 2010

Here’s a bit of what Obama had to say on the issue of the Ground Zero mosque:

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -– particularly New York.  Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan.  The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country.  And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable.  So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders.  And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

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.  (Applause.)  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.

Taken like this, the French Cowboy would say that this is a weak response, as controversy-minimising as possible (and thereby failing in just that). It sounds like Obama wanted to say, “Look, I know you don’t want that mosque there, but, heck, it’s the law, so there’s nothing that can be done. And, besides, this is what your oh-so-revered Founding Fathers would’ve said as well!”

But, when seen in context, the message is different. Those words are part of an address Obama gave at the occasion of the White House celebration of the beginning of Ramadan. Among the very people Obama had invited to join the party were individuals supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and sharia. The entire setting pushes the balance firmly to the side of those who want to cause pain with the Cordoba project (and not to Muslims who just like freedom of religion). It’s as if Obama wanted to signal to anti-Americans that he’s with them, hoping that the others won’t notice.

Nevertheless, we can all mark our calendars, since this is the day that Obama finally has found something that he considers to work just fine without government interference. Thinking about it, he might be wondering why he didn’t come up himself with the idea of a mega mosque next to Ground Zero. But now that the project is ready to go, maybe NASA can lend a helping hand.

* The quote is from Cordoba project key figure Feisal Abdul Rauf when he was asked whether he thinks that Hamas is a terrorist organisation.

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