Ground Zero Mosque: Obama is misleading the American people about Islam and American history
Mr. Obama is not uninformed. Therefore, the only conclusion is that he is deliberately distorting history and ignoring facts for political ends. I imagine he is well-intentioned in doing this, but a lasting rapprochement between the West and Islam will not be built on falsehoods. The American people deserve the truth from their President.
Obama also stated “Muslim Americans serve with honor in our military.” This is often true, but there are exceptions, such as the recent Fort Hood massacre, or Asan Akbar, who attacked his comrades with grenades in 2003.
The Cordoba Initiative, the group behind the Ground Zero Mosque, also have a penchant for rewriting history and making dubious statements. Their website says: “Despite what many think, Islam and the West have a long history of coexistence and harmony. For nearly 800 years, the city of Cordoba in Spain endured as a shining example of tolerance among the three monotheistic religions.”
This is a complete falsification of history. Sadly, Islam and the West do not have a long history of harmony, as the Crusades and almost continuous conflict for 1400 years testifies. The Cordoba Initiative harks back to the Caphilate of Cordoba as a paradise of religious tolerance. It was in fact an imperialist Islamic state which had invaded and occupied Spain, a state in which Jews and Christians were either second class citizens or slaves until the native Spanish Christians repulsed Islam from Iberia in 1492.
Yet the Cordoba Initiative continues: “there is a close similarity between the values expressed in American secular documents and those characterizing Islamic Law…”
The idea that Sharia Law bears any real resemblance to the United States’ constitution, with its Enlightenment, common law and Christian-based values is beyond parody. It is, for example, reported that Imam Rauf, the man behind the Cordoba Initiative, will not sign a document saying that apostates from Islam should not be killed. Such killing is an accepted tenet of Sharia law. However, I can’t recall reading that in the US Constitution.
The Cordoba website also says: “As for America, Muslims consistently admire aspects of the United States.” This statement is hedged, but misleading. America is, with the possible exception of Israel, the most hated nation in the Islamic world. It is also overwhelmingly disliked by Muslims within Europe and elsewhere.
There is however one statement on the Cordoba Initiative website that is certainly true:
“Americans want answers about Islam: To what extent do violent extremists actually speak for the opinions of Muslims everywhere? Is Islam a violent religion? Does it hinder freedoms or present an obstacle to democracy? Are Muslims in America a threat to Americans’ security?”
Americans deserve those answers. And it is clear that they will not get them from their President or from the Cordoba Initiative.
The world once held out great hope for an American President with Muslim family, and even a Muslim name, reaching out to the Islamic world and bringing peace and understanding. However, in stating that Islam played a vital role in American history and in setting himself up as an Islamic theologian who can rewrite history, and pronounce on the proper interpretation Islamic doctrine, Obama has departed in to the realm of fantasy. He must awake from his delusions, see the world as it is, and then seek peace on the basis of reality.
Thankfully most Muslims throughout the world are moderate in their views and abhor the extremists’ violent interpretations of their creed. However, it is vital to acknowledge that such interpretations do exist. Obama seems to want to sweep that fact under the carpet.
Last Friday the president said that Muslims’ right to religious freedom “includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan.” If that’s his opinion, fair enough.
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