Showing the political instincts of a retarded turtle, Barack Obama has once again made an unforced error. He does this sort of thing a lot, whether it’s weighing in on the arrest of a Harvard professor or, as Doug Powers points out, claiming that he and his daughter went for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico when they didn’t. Now, after weeks of claiming that the Ground Zero Mosque was “a local issue,” the siren song of the Philosopher King has proved overwhelming.
At a dinner celebrating the end of Ramadan, Obama came out strongly in favor of building the mosque.
“I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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.”
That seems pretty unequivocal to me. However it seems that after the dinner one of Obama’s handlers whispered the news that building this mosque is wildly unpopular, even in the heart of the city that is only a shade less blue than San Francisco. So then he backtracked, claiming that he had spoken only of the right to build the mosque, and made no comment on the wisdom of doing it.
Got it.But then the White House issued another statement clarifying their clarification that the first clarification was not a clarification and that the original statement was the statement that the President is sticking with.
Wow. If they clarify this any more their heads are likely to pop off.
Obama’s initial refusal to comment on this issue was the correct one. Here I disagree with some of my conservative brethren. The building of the mosque at Ground Zero is a New York issue and while the President (or anyone) is entitled to have an opinion about it, this does remain a local issue. I understand and agree with the idea that Ground Zero was an attack on all of America, not just New York, but the building of the mosque approximately two blocks away is an issue best decided by the New Yorkers who will have to live with it.
However, the President did weigh in on the subject in a prepared set of remarks. It is now incumbent upon him to finish the thought. Saying that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has the right to build the mosque according to the local laws is only half an answer. It is like saying that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to peaceably assemble without acknowledging what the issues really are.
Nobody that I’m aware of disputes the basic premise that a religious group can build a house of worship based on its adherence to local zoning laws, etc. The fact remains, however, that if Imam Rauf had even the slightest sense of decency he would not be building the mosque at this location. Obama should have remained silent about this issue, but since he chose to wade into these waters he is obligated to tell us his opinion of the propriety of the mosque, not simply adopt his usual above-the-fray professorial tone. The question put before the President has never been “Can this mosque be built?” It has always been “Should this mosque be built?” Refusing to answer at all is one thing, but answering one question when you’ve been asked another is simply political cowardice.
This mosque is an insult aimed directly at the heart of America, proposed by a man who blames the West for inciting Muslim terrorist attacks and who repeatedly refuses to acknowledge the simple truth that Hamas is a terrorist organization. The mosque has received an endorsement from Hamas and from the terrorist sympathizers at CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations). Now I know that this is not the first time Barack Obama has found common cause with terrorists, but you’d think that he might not want to be seen on the wrong side of this explosive issue.
There is more to jihad than flying airplanes into buildings and strapping dynamite to your chest. Hand in hand with those who seek to destroy us through violent means are those who seek to impose their will on us through political means. The building of this mosque at Ground Zero is nothing less than a victory dance for Mohammed Atta and his cronies. Barack Obama once called the Islamic call to prayer “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset”. Maybe so, but playing it on the streets of lower Manhattan, having it reverberate at the site of the September 11 Memorial, is a dagger aimed at our hearts. Not all terrorism results in physical injury or death. Some of it is meant simply to send a message.
So tell us, Philosopher King Obama…now that you’ve weighed in on local zoning laws, what do you have to say about the meaning of the message?