Frank Gaffney on "Obama's Ground Zero Mosque" and the White House Ramadan Iftar Dinner
August 15, 2010
Obama's Ground Zero Mosque
By Frank Gaffney
At a White House celebration of Ramadan tonight in the company of representatives of several of the Nation's most prominent Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, President Obama announced his strong support for one of their most immediate objectives: the construction of a mega-mosque and "cultural center" at Ground Zero. In so doing, he publicly embraced the greatest tar-baby of his presidency.
In the process, Mr. Obama also inadvertently served up what he likes to call a "teachable moment" concerning the nature of the enemy we are confronting, and the extent to which it is succeeding in the Brotherhood's stated mission: "…Eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
As the AP reported, "President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near Ground Zero saying the country's founding principles demanded no less. ‘As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,' Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York and the nation. ‘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 unshakable.'
"Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us—a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today."
So much for the pretense that, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had previously declared, the President would not get involved because the Ground Zero mosque (GZM) controversy was "a local matter." (As opposed, say, to the arrest of a Harvard professor on disorderly conduct charges.)
Gone too is the option of continuing to conceal an extraordinary fact: the Obama administration is endorsing not only this "local matter," but explicitly endorsing the agenda of the imam behind it – Feisal Abdul Rauf. Rauf is the Muslim Brother, who together with his wife Daisy Khan (a.k.a. Daisy Kahn for tax purposes, at least) runs the tellingly named "Cordoba Initiative." He is believed to be on a taxpayer-underwritten junket and/or fund-raising tour of the Middle East, courtesy of the State Department, which insists that he is a "moderate" in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. Interestingly, the President's rhetoric – like that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other apologists for and boosters of the GZM – tracks perfectly with the Muslim Brotherhood line about why we need to allow what Lieutenant General William "Jerry" Boykin has correctly described as an "Islamist victory arch" close by some of America's most hallowed ground. It is, we are told, all about "religious freedom" and "tolerance."
Actually, it is all about submission to shariah – arguably the most intolerant of theo-political-legal codes, ironically particularly when it comes to respect for freedom of religion. Rauf's mosque complex and the shariah ideology/doctrine that animates it – the same program that animated the jihadists who destroyed the World Trade Center and many of its occupants on 9/11 – has everything to do with power, not faith.
As notable as what the President said is the company he keeps. Consider a few examples from this year's Iftar dinner guest list:
Ingrid Mattson heads the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the country, the Islamic Society of North America. ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the biggest terrorism financing trial in the nation's history and was identified as a Brotherhood "associated or friendly" group in documents introduced as evidence uncontested in that Holy Land Foundation prosecution. Ms. Mattson now presides over the selection, training and certification of Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military and prison system – interestingly, a job formerly in the hands of Muslim Brother Abdurahman Alamoudi, the founder and first head of the American Muslim Council, who is currently serving a 23-year sentence on terrorism charges.
Salam Al-Marayati is president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In 1999, then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt withdrew his nomination of Al-Marayati to a leadership position on the National Commission on Terrorism when it became public that Al-Marayati claimed that the terrorist group, Hezbollah, was a legitimate organization and has the right to attack the Israeli Army.
Dalia Mogahed runs the insidious Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and advises President Obama on Muslim affairs as a member of the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In an October 2009 interview with the London Telegraph, she made the following astounding assertions: "I think the reason so many women support shariah is because they have a very different understanding of shariah than the common perception in Western media." "The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with shariah compliance." "The portrayal of shariah has been oversimplified in many cases."
The most prominent American public figure to directly challenge such pap is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, in remarks before the American Enterprise Institute last month, declared, "Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they're both engaged in jihad and they're both seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of shariah."
In a brilliant appreciation of Mr. Gingrich's address, Andrew McCarthy, an accomplished former federal prosecutor (he put away the ringleader of the first effort to destroy the World Trade Center, "the Blind Sheikh," OmarAbdel-Rahman) and author of the superb New York Times bestseller, The Grand Jihad , wrote in National Review Online: "Henceforth, there should be no place to hide for any candidate, including any incumbent. The question will be: Where do you stand on shariah?"
For Barack Obama, the answer is now pretty clear: He stands with shariah.