Saturday, August 14, 2010

It Isn't About "Freedom To Practice Religion," Obama

As we all know by now, President Obama felt compelled to weigh in on the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. And a number of people are responding to Obama's Friday Night Ramadan Dinner chat. I might say, no one has written more brilliantly than Larry Johnson at No Quarter. If you haven't read it already, I definitely recommend it.

But Larry is not the only one with something to say about Obama's proclamation. Here are just a few more statements being made this morning, compiled by AOL News:
[snip] Fitting Statement, But...
President Obama's remarks about the community center and mosque planned for the neighborhood of Ground Zero were a fitting restatement of fundamental American fealty to freedom of religion....That said, it must also be recognized -- and unfortunately Obama did not do so fully -- that the hallowed ground of 9/11 stirs the deepest of emotions. That's why, even as most of those polled saw the right to build, 64% still said the location was simply wrong for a mosque and Islamic-related facility...Those are legitimate sentiments, born not of bigotry but of reverence. They must be respected. -- Editorial, New York Daily News

Not Hedging a Bit
The foes of the Islamic center have been trying to drag Obama into this debate, and some have urged Obama to avoid wading into it. But now he has, and he isn't hedging a bit: He's saying that opposing the group's right to build the Islamic center is, in essence, un-American. I look forward to the response from the project's opponents. -- Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

Missing the Point

Like so much of the other stuff Obama says, this is an exercise in missing the point. The issue is not, legally, whether the Muslims can construct a mosque at Ground Zero -- that is, whether state action should prevent them from doing so as long as they operate in "accordance with local laws and ordinances." Of course not. That would be unconstitutional. But there's a lot of stuff that's legal that still isn't right. And so, when it comes to the mosque, the real question is whether it should be built, and at only this one particular site -- whether constructing it at Ground Zero is decent, and kind, and respectful of Americans' sensitivities. -- Carol Platt Liebau, Town Hall [snip]

I agree with Ms. Liebau - Obama is missing the point, as is Greg Sargent. This is not about freedom of religion - of course Muslims are free to practice their religion in the United States, as we all are (including the freedom not to practice religion). This is a canard, the purpose of which is a deliberate attempt to distort the real issue.

So, let's be clear here. This mosque is not just any mosque, but one headed up by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. A man who is currently on tour of the Middle East courtesy of our State Department, and our dime. A man who refuses to condemn Hamas. A man who says we are partly to blame for 9/11. A man State Department spokesweasel P.J. Crowley says won't be talking about religion, and won't be fund-raising when he goes to countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to pay for the mosque he wants to build near Ground Zero.

But here's the thing - Rauf has been offered other property on which to build his mosque by Gov. Patterson. He declined. He WANTS it to be in the shadow of Ground Zero. It begs the question: why?

This isn't about freedom of religion. It is about reverence, about sensitivity to one of the most horrible acts of war on our shores, committed by Muslim extremists. That is not a right wing talking point, that is reality, a fact. The Twin Towers were brought down by Muslim extremists who sought to do us harm. And they did.

Perhaps President Obama, and all of the liberals who are working so hard to be "politically correct" and paint those who desire to not have this mosque so close to Ground Zero as a bunch of intolerant, insensitive yahoos should take a look at the video below, and remember. Remember what happened that day, not just to New Yorkers, but at the Pentagon, in a field in Pennsylvania, to all Americans, and to the world. This isn't about freedom of religion. It is about this:

No, this is about reverence. It is about honoring the memories of all who were lost in this devastating attack at the hands of Muslim extremists. It is about sensitivity to those families and friends who lost loved ones, and to all Americans who lost a sense of safety that day. It is about all of us, whose lives were changed forever the day those planes were flown into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania.

How dare anyone try and make this out to be anything other than that. It is not about freedom of religion, or the right of one group to practice that religion. It is about a modicum of grace. A modicum of respect. We would no more accept a KKK headquarters in Selma, or a Japanese WWII memorial at Pearl Harbor, or a German Cultural museum in the beaches of Normandy. No, we wouldn't, and we shouldn't accept this as a "freedom of religion" issue. It isn't.

Imam Fauk was offered another piece of real estate in the city of New York, which already has more than 100 mosques. He declined. He is determined to have it near Ground Zero.

And again I ask, why?


Becky said...

Right on RRR Amy. RIGHT ON.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, Becky!

SFIndie said...

Just because someone has the right to do something, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. I saw a post on Facebook from a young man, a fervent Obama supporter, who wrote, “Has anyone thought that maybe them building a place of worship (to the same God the major religions worship... btw) near ground zero is their way of creating a peace offering? I don't know the true motives, but why choose to think of the worst?” He doesn’t know the true motives? Well, why not find out before posting his support! Why choose to think the worst? Perhaps it’s not that we’re choosing to “think the worst” but that we’ve done our homework and know the reality. What is it with O-lovers and their outdated, useless rose-colored glasses?

And I would hardly define a “peace offering” as something that did not create peace or respect or understanding or healing. I wonder how San Francisco would feel if “ex-gay”, anti-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin built a center right next door to the LGBT Community Center on Market Street as a “peace offering”. Would anyone support the building of a Nazi Memorial Museum next door to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington? (Well, in the ever-growing anti-Israel sentiment here in the U.S., maybe it would be supported, sad to say.)

There are over 100 mosques in New York City already, as you pointed out, so no one is denying anyone the right to build their houses of worship. And, this is NOT about freedom of religion, as you also pointed out. No one is denying ANYONE the right to practice their religion. This is about common decency. This is about respect. This is about doing what’s right, even if you have a right not to. If this radical, terrorist-loving, Israel-hating, U.S.-blaming, Sharia-loving muslim imam really wanted to create peace, he’d acknowledge that his choice to build a mosque next to Ground Zero is stirring up pain and that is not his intention, so he will, in the name of peace, build elsewhere.

You DON’T create peace by shoving your radicalism down people’s throats.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

If I could find the icon applauding you for your comment, SF, I would!

Though I have to say, you may be a bit harsh on the young O-bot lover. Perhaps he was just in a hurry to go ride his Obama Unicorn that he didn't have time to do his homework like the rest of us! Ahem.

As for Imam Rauk's motives, my latest post deals with that, especially two articles from Pajamas Media that will make your hair stand on end.

Your characterization of The One is spot on, SF, spot on.

The bottom line is as you said - just because one can doesn't mean one should. A little compassion does not seem like a lot to expect from a religious leader, does it?

SFIndie said...

ROTFLMAO about being in a such a hurry to ride his unicorn he didn't have time to do his homework.

I'm STILL waiting for MY unicorn. And the Obama-cash. I truly don't know why I haven't received them yet. But that Obama-cash would help with the Montserrat trip. And riding the Unicorn around town instead of wasting gas on a car would be very green of me, don't you think??

I think I need meditate for a bit before I tackle your next post. Calm the mind, balance the body, renew the spirit...before it all goes up in flames again.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

LOL - do you think they would take Obama-cash in Montserrat, or would they look at us like we were trying to give them Monopoly money? I guess we would be, come to think of it...

Suzy said maybe we can fly the unicorns from Antigua to Montserrat. Now THAT would be mighty green of us! :-)

You know, you'd think with you living in SF and all that you would have already gotten your cash and unicorn. Don't tell me there's a problem with distribution of a gov't project!

I hear you abt the next post, friend - and you are funny as hell. Thanks for the laugh!

SFIndie said...

Suzy said maybe we can fly the unicorns from Antigua to Montserrat. Now THAT would be mighty green of us!

Can't stop laughing!

word verification: glying. Green flying = glying

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Teehee! :-) Love the word verification!