Saturday, August 14, 2010

Obama Supports The Cordoba House Masjid - To The Saudi and Other Muslim Countries - Learn!

Yesterday evening President Obama supported the Park 51, Cordoba House Masjid (Mosque). In a Whitehouse Dinner hosting Muslim leaders to celebrate the beginning of Ramadhan, President Obama Said:

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.

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led the response to that attack -– from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us also remember who we’re fighting against, and what we’re fighting for. Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam -– it’s a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders -– they’re terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion -– and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

I applaud President Obama to uphold the core values of our Nation and respect his courage to do so against an overwhelming anti-islamic sentiment that has swelled around this issue.

However, I also feel President Obama lost an opportunity to further accentuate the religious freedom opportunity by pointing out to the very leaders that sat around this dinner listening to him; Ambassadors and Dignitaries representing some of the most totalitarian states like Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia continues to practice some of the most egregious form of totalitarian dictatorships in the world. Not only are they intolerant of other religions but rather they are intolerant to other Muslim brothers who do not agree with their Wahabi interpretation of Islam. Case and point is the continued persecution and desecration of a Shi'ite revered site in Medina where the Prophet Muhammed SA daughter, Fatema AS and grandchildren are buried - Janat-Ul-Baqi. Here the Saudi government not only has systematically destroyed key religious sites important to Muslims, especially Shi'ite Muslims, but they have prohibited any further development of the area. Instead it is kept in a delapitated state with the Secret Police monitoring the site and surrounded by a fort like structure which looks grand from the outside but disrespects the actual cemetery and the religious significance of the location.

When President Obama made the above statements yesterday, these very same leaders who represent their governments stood up in support clapping and giving a standing ovation to President Obama. I call upon those leaders attending this ceremony to take heed and learn from the ideals talked about by President Obama and adopt those principals in their own country.

I have said repeatedly that this controversy surrounding the Community House at Park 51 represents the best of our United States. The energetic discussion and the fact that the leaders of New York, despite whatever personal preferences and biases, have stood in support for the project and allowed it to move forward says volumes about the true freedoms we enjoy.

On the surface the Cordoba House and the Masjid that it will house may seem "insensitive" and "wrong". I whole heartedly disagree and in fact I think it honors and celebrates the 3000 victims (many of them who were Muslims as well) of 9/11. What better than to honor the memories of the victims of 9/11 then to have a call for prayers sound 5 times a day just a few blocks from Ground Zero where US Citizens will come there to pray and remember. Those families around the local area will come to the community center will play, learn and socially interact with each other and practice the fundamentals of the American Life each and every day. What better way to celebrate the American Dream then to have the true nature of Islam be practiced in defiance to those terrorists who attempted to destroy our way of life on 9/11. This center in fact will demonstrate to those intolerant, ignorant militants that America is not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or other but rather a way of life that allows all religions including the true values of Islam to be practiced harmoniously and side by side with others who may disagree.

I call upon the Saudis, The Pakistanis, The Indonesians, The Egyptians, The Kuwaiti and another intolerant regimes to see and learn! I call upon the Saudi's who may be contributing to this Cordoba House project to stop and take head and learn from this awesome system we have in our great nation, and for once just take the first step - allow the reconstruction and rebuilding of revered institutions in their own countries for their minority populations. Maybe they can start by allowing the rebuilding of Janat-Ul-Baqi - a revered site of Fatema AS the daughter of Prophet Mohammed AS.