Wednesday, February 03, 2016
The President Goes to Mosque Today
The White House says President Obama will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore and the mosque today to "celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life."
The WH also says, "The President believes that one of our nation's strengths is our rich diversity."
The Muslim organization CAIR says they have been "working on this visit for years."
Given the history of this mosque and the ISB, many feel the president should not go there.
President Obama's official visit to the mosque today is a dream come true for Muslims, but why did they specifically invite him to that particular mosque---and why did he agree to go to that particular mosque?
Critics are strongly questioning the choice, given the mosque's history.
Zainab Chaudry, Maryland representative of the Council on Islamic American Relations, says the visit is significant for the 3.3 million Muslims in the country who make up 1% of the population.
He says, "Many organizations, including ours, have been calling on Obama to visit a mosque, specifically to address the anti-Muslim sentiment that we see more recently."
A year ago, Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins with Family Research Council were calling on President Obama to identify a group of Egyptians who were beheaded by ISIS as Christians, and for refusing to call the terror group who beheaded them "terrorists."
Back then, Obama explained, "These terrorists groups are desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists narrative."
Graham and Perkins profoundly disagreed.
Others are disagreeing again today.
Critics of this decision are questioning why the president chose this mosque where Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh, a native of Sudan and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization, led the institution for 18 years as the Iman.
El-Sheik helped found the Muslim American Society, an organization created by the terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood members.
He told the Washington Post, commenting on suicide bombers, "If certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwahs to permit that, then it becomes acceptable as an exceptional rule, but should not be taken as a rule."
There's much more, but it's clear this mosque has ties to extremism.
The head of a Messianic Jewish ministry believes it would be better if President Obama would have chosen to visit a Jewish synagogue instead of this mosque.
Jan Markel, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says she is racking her brain to try to come up with anything positive that American Muslims have contributed.
"Going all the way back to our Founding Fathers, they were battling Muslim pirates on the seas of Tripoli," she points out. "I'm sure there are some patriot Muslims, but I simply do not know what they've actually contributed in a significant way to our country."
She says on behalf of going to synagogue rather than mosque, "At least we share Judeo-Christian values with our Jewish brothers that I just don't see within Islamic tradition of faith."
Those who support the president's visit today argue that President George W. Bush once visited a mosque, but while Bush was not the perfect president, he, nor his predecessors from either political party, ever undermined biblical values and the traditions of America while denying her exceptionalism like we have seen during the past 7 years.
The White House says the president will "speak out against bigotry, rejecting indifference and protecting our nation's tradition of religious freedom."
The president will tell the brothers at the mosque today that everyone has a right to "stay true to our core values and beliefs."
This from a president who has single handedly, with pen and phone in the hand, undermined religious freedom for biblical Christians more than any president in the history of our nation.
Ten years ago, Americans could not have imagined a county clerk would be jailed for her biblical beliefs, bakers would be bankrupted and florists be dragged through court because of their religious beliefs about marriage.
Who would have imagined prior to the Obama administration and its national influence, that the Stormans family in Olympia would spend years and upward of a million dollars in court defending themselves and their pharmacy because of their deeply held religious belief in the sanctity of life?
The president will tell the brothers at the mosque today that everyone must "stay true to their core values," but truth be told, he is very selective and pragmatic in his invocation of religious freedom---it depends on what you want to be free to believe.
It was Hillary Clinton who clarified the Progressive concept of "core values" while giving the keynote address at the Women of the World Summit a few months ago.
President Obama chose to mock and dismiss those with core biblical beliefs when he referred to us as "those clinging to their Bibles and their guns."
Hillary has a more ambitious plan in mind.
She told the ladies at the Summit, "Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed."
Ironically, and probably unknowingly, calling for a change in head and heart, Hillary was admitting that abortion, the redefinition of marriage, family, human sexuality and euthanasia dressed up as "right to die" or "death with dignity" all stand against biblical teaching, history and more than 5,000 years of human tradition and traditional values.
The good news?
We get to vote. This year is truly a year in which America will decide who we really are, what we believe, and what we are willing to fight for.
May God help us.