August 14, 2010

Obama Supports Ground Zero Mosque, Confirms 2008 Observation (Updates: Dinner Attendees Reinforce Confirmation, and a Non-Walkback Walkback, and Press Covering Tracks)

Imagine that.

That also means he supports these guys:


These guys are:

  • Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the person spearheading the Ground Zero Mosque, who told Ed Bradley of CBS’s 60 Minutes a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
  • Dr. Mohammed Javad Larijani, who “was the Iranian representative who defended Iran’s abysmal human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in February and June of this year. Among other things, Larijani told the Council: ‘Torture is one thing and punishment is another thing. … This is a conceptual dispute. Some forms of these punishments should not be considered torture according to our law.’ By which he meant flogging, amputation, stoning, and the criminalization of homosexuality, which are all part of Iranian legal standards.”
  • HE Sada Cumber, who “is U.S. representative to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Sada Cumber. The meeting was part of the Initiative’s so-called ‘Shariah Index Project,’ a plan to rank and measure the ‘Islamicity’ of a state or ‘how well … nations comply in practice with this Islamic legal benchmark of an Islamic State.’”

As to Mr. Cumber’s “Islamicity” ranking, on a 1 to 10 scale, does Iran get a ranking of 9 burqas, or 10? And yes, it was stupid of the Bush State Department to have such a person on board.

The administration hasn’t just ramped up its moral support for the Ground Zero Mosque. It’s also providing financial support (bold is mine):

The State Department is sending Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – the mastermind of the Ground Zero Mosque – on a trip through the Middle East to foster “greater understanding” about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States. However, important questions are being raised about whether this is simply a taxpayer-funded fundraising jaunt to underwrite his reviled project, which is moving ahead in Lower Manhattan.

Mr. Rauf is scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, the usual stops for Gulf-based fundraising. The State Department defends the five-country tour saying that Mr. Rauf is “a distinguished Muslim cleric,” but surely the government could find another such figure in the United States who is not seeking millions of dollars to fund a construction project that has so strongly divided America.

By funding the trip so soon after New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the go-ahead to demolish the building on the proposed mosque site, the State Department is creating the appearance that the U.S. government is facilitating the construction of this shameful structure. It gives Mr. Rauf not only access but imprimatur to gather up foreign cash. And because Mr. Rauf has refused to reveal how he plans to finance his costly venture, the American public is left with the impression it will be a wholly foreign enterprise. This contradicts the argument that a mosque is needed in that part of New York City to provide services for a burgeoning Muslim population. If so many people need the mosque so badly, presumably they could figure out a way to pay for it themselves.

On June 26, 2008, during the presidential campaign, I documented how Barack Obama and people around him or associated with him already had a number of “terror-supporting and/or terror-sympathetic relationships you can believe in.”

Now that he’s president, his State Department has further enhanced and added to such relationships.

Told ya.


UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Here are some terror-supporting and/or terror-sympathetic dinner guests you can believe in, via Frank Gaffney at Big Peace

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.

… As the AP reported (“Obama makes clear support for ground zero mosque”), “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.’

… 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.”

Hate to have to scold ya, but I told ya.

UPDATE 2, 9:55 p.m.: Claudia Rossett, who is a must-follow for developments in this story — “Seriously, Where Is Imam Feisal … and What’s with His Web Site?”

UPDATE 3, 10:00 p.m.: Obama’s trying some kind of non-walkback walkback

The White House on Saturday struggled to tamp down the controversy over President Barack Obama’s statements about a mosque near Ground Zero — insisting Obama wasn’t backing off remarks Friday night where he offered support for a project that has infuriated some families whose loved ones died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

… Obama’s comments Friday night — at an Iftar dinner at the White House marking the start of Ramadan — were widely reported as offering support for the specific mosque project in question near Ground Zero.

But on Saturday, Obama seemed to contradict himself, telling reporters at one point, “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about. And I think it’s very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about.”

Team Obama is figuring out something I’ve learned in the past week or so by being out in various venues: People who are ordinarily apolitical and who don’t follow the news all that closely have learned of and are very disturbed and angry about the Ground Zero Mosque — even those who instinctively lean somewhat to the left. What’s more, it seems that most of the folks who feel this way aren’t even aware of the most damning aspects of the story (Rauf’s statements and positions, undisclosed funding, etc.).

On this one, they’ve stepped in it bigtime — but again, it’s fundamentally because of Obama’s “terror-supporting and/or terror-sympathetic relationships you can believe in.”

UPDATE 4, 10:55 p.m.: Sometimes you just have to shake your head and marvel at the lengths to which the establishment press will go to try to cover for this guy as it sends its credibility straight into the toilet –

President Barack Obama told CNN Saturday that in defending the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near ground zero in a speech on Friday night, he was “not commenting on the wisdom” of the project.

I guess that’s why the report from the AP’s Erica Werner on Saturday morning was headlined: “Obama makes clear support for ground zero mosque,” why her missive told us that “Obama elevated it to a presidential issue Friday without equivocation,” and why a related New York Times headline read “Obama Strongly Backs Islam Center Near 9/11 Site,” and why the Times’s underlying story told us that:

Aides to Mr. Obama say privately that he has always felt strongly about the proposed community center and mosque, but the White House did not want to weigh in until local authorities made a decision on the proposal, planned for two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

This isn’t about whether the President thinks it’s a nice abstract idea. It’s clear that he believes it’s something that should be built because of where it’s being built.

Oh, you won’t find Werner’s report now if you look for it at AP’s main web site. You can find it here at my web host.

UPDATE 5, 12:30 a.m.: Just to be clear where the establishment press started with the story, and how furiously they’re trying to walk it back, here is an earlier opening from AP that appeared at MSNBC, excerpted at


Yeah, I know. The AIP’s addition of “alleged” is gratuitous. More importantly, if you go to AIP now, the link to MSNBC takes you to the AP’s latest attempt at walkback assistance:

Obama defends plan to build mosque near ground zero

Weighing his words carefully on a fiery political issue, President Barack Obama said Saturday that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York’s ground zero, but he did not say whether he believes it is a good idea to do so.

The wire service seems to have done an extraordinary job of purging the just noted original. I haven’t found it anywhere. This FreeRepublic post has the first eight paragraphs.

The one I have saved at my web host has the “forcefully endorsed” opening.



  1. What is so insensitive about being Muslim? The American Muslims building this mosque believe in religious tolerance. There is not anything insensitive about that. Many American Muslims died in those buildings when they went down and many American Muslims have fought the 2 wars that have followed.

    Comment by Sunflower Pipes — August 14, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  2. #1, I just demonstrated that Rauf thinks America is partially responsible for what happened to it on 9/11.

    He has also told overseas audiences totally opposite things from what he is saying to English speaking audiences. He thinks sharia law would be a good think to establish here. That is NOT tolerant, and you are wrong.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 14, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  3. #1, You’re wrong on both counts. Many American Muslims OPPOSE the mosque, because they realize like anyone with common sense (this excludes most liberals) that a symbol of the ideology (whether it’s a corrupted form of it or not is irrelevant) that fueled the 9/11 murders does not belong two blocks down and within sight of Ground Zero.

    And as Tom and many, many others have demonstrated and by the mosque backers own words, the idea behind this project has nothing to do with tolerance. The fact that they are pursuing this project to begin itself proves how insensitive they are. There’s nothing insensitive about being Muslim, however there is a lot that is insensitive about Muslims touting that fact over the graves of victims killed in the name of Islam.

    Comment by zf — August 14, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  4. I wonder what would happen if the fanatical portion of the Catholic Church (think Inquisition) flew Muslim-loaded 767′s into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, THEN wanted to build a cathedral in its place under the guise of “religious tolerance & dialogue.” If you think that would happen, I’ve got some oil-free Florida oysters to sell you. Give me a fricking break.

    Comment by Anon — August 14, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

  5. [...] full post upon World – Google Blog Search [...]

    Pingback by “Obama Supports Ground Zero Mosque” and related posts | Today Hot News — August 14, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  6. The excerpt from the AP annoyed the hell out of me. Again, he tries to make it an issue of freedom of worship and tolerance when it blatantly is not. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn…

    Comment by zf — August 14, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  7. Once again, our dim bulb of a president misunderstands the controversy, and votes “Present” again. He prefers confirming his ignorance of the American experience rather than risk offending his Muslim soul mates.

    Comment by Joe C. — August 15, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  8. Obama swore to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, “ which says, in part,

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Given this, it seems to me that Obama was merely stating the obvious when he said,

    “Now, that’s not to say that religion is without controversy. 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. 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.”

    Am I wrong?

    Comment by AJ — August 15, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

  9. #8, well … let’s put it this way:

    - Virtually everyone in the establishment press interpreted what Obama said as an “endorsement” of the project: AP, NYT, NY Daily News, NY Post, Politico, etc., etc.

    - The Muslim world seems to have interpreted what Obama said as an endorsement, based on pronouncements from CAIR et al.

    So what you’re claiming is the everyone’s interpretation, including the ones made by people who bend over backwards to support him, is somehow wrong.

    The reason for the difference is:
    - Where Obama chose to say what he said.
    - How Obama chose to say what he said.

    His fundamental problem is his willful ignorance (or feigned ignorance), as demonstrated by these sentences from his speech:

    Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al-Qaida’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.

    If AQ’s cause is “not Islam,” it can be reasonably argued, given the terror-sympathetic and terror-supporting connections of Rauf with AQ (sympathy) and Hamas (appears to be more than that), that the Ground Zero Mosque’s true cause is what Obama describes as “not Islam.”

    If it’s “not Islam” — and based on Rauf’s stated beliefs and Obama’s own words, it’s not — the argument is no longer about religion.

    You don’t let a guy who told Ed Bradley three weeks after 9/11 that the U.S. was “an accessory to the crime” permission to build a “mosque” two blocks away from where the “crimes” (actually, “terrorist acts”) were committed.

    You don’t give the same guy, who from all appearances is a fan of the “kill the Jews” hadith discussed in the post, permission to build a “mosque” two blocks away from Ground Zero.

    You don’t give a guy who thinks that imposing anti-democratic and Dark Ages sharia law on the whole country would be a good thing permission to build a “mosque” two blocks away from Ground Zero.

    We’re also forgetting that AQ killed soldiers and civilians at the Pentagon. Rauf in effect also told Ed Bradley that the U.S. was an accessory to that crime too.

    For Rauf to have even a chance with me, he would have to demonstrate that he’s somehow a legitimate moderate. It’s really too late; he can’t.

    Therefore, by Obama’s own definition, Rauf is “not Islam.” He is a terror sympathizer who gives aid and comfort to, as Obama himself said, “terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children.” Rauf and his supporters around the world will rejoice if an in-your-face monument to the greatness of Islamofascism is built two blocks from Ground Zero.

    Obama ought to man up, go to the exact words of his own speech, and make it clear that he can’t endorse the plan as long as people who are “not Islam” are involved in it.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 16, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  10. [...] it somewhere else” is an improvement, but as I argued last night in a comment, as long as Rauf and his cadre believe as they do, the argument really isn’t religious. [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — August 16, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  11. The constitution says Feisal Abdul Rauf doesn’t need anyone’s “permission” to build the mosque. And you are correct. Most of the mainstream press did get it wrong. Anyone who reads the entire speech can see that.

    Some interesting thoughts on Mr. Rauf:

    Comment by AJ — August 16, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  12. #11, Goldberg and the State Department are engaging in dangerous fantasies.

    First, in pretending that because they “know” Rauf, they gives themselves permission to pretend that Rauf hasn’t really said what he has said, hasn’t really associated with those he has actually associated with, and hasn’t advocated that Western values be turned upside down in the name of instituting sharia law.

    Their other fantasy is that someone who would kill you with bombs and planes and guns if given the chance is your only enemy. The person who undermines your own values while taking advantage of your innate decency can in the long run be every bit as damaging by weakening you to the point where when it’s time to respond to violent confrontation, you either can’t, won’t, or won’t be strong enough to resist.

    As explained in #9 and in today’s related post, Obama’s own words in his own speech Friday condemning AQ as “not Islam” give him — and you — the ability to discern that the GZM is not about religion, and as such, does not have the presumptive Constitutional protection you believe it has, and should not be permitted.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 16, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  13. This gentleman at the National Review says it better than I can:

    Comment by AJ — August 16, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

  14. Sorry no sale. Barro misstates reality:

    But the developers of Cordoba House (why do I even need to say this?) are not terrorists and did not attack the towers.

    The reason he “needs” to say they aren’t terrorists is to distract us from the reality that they ARE terrorist-sympathetic and terrorist-supporting. The paper, broadcast, and photographic trail on Rauf and others is extensive, and growing.

    BTW, have they rejected the coveted Hama endorsement yet?

    This isn’t a GOP or Dem issue — yet. NYC is what, 80% Democrats, yet the opposition there among the non-Ruling Class is passionate, and justifiably so.

    It WILL become a GOP or Dem issue if Democrats who get it don’t speak out. Until they do, I assume they’re with Obama, not only because they’re silent now but because they should have known about Obama’s own network of associations, which in sum represent “terror-supporting and/or terror-sympathetic relationships you can believe in,” when he ran for President.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 16, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  15. Exactly what mechanism should be used to deny the owners of this property their right to do with it as they please?

    Comment by AJ — August 16, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  16. #15, I see you’ve run out of arguments.

    The zoning people and others involved who thought that the site was worthy of historical preservation until the PC idea of a GZM came along could have weighed in and said “preserve it.”

    Rauf and others could take Gov. Paterson up on his offer to help find them space, though he seems to have crossed the line into a 1st amendment problem with what he said and how he said it.

    Rauf could, if he is legitimately a moderate and interested in dialog, undertake to change his strategy and go somewhere else.

    Or … someone could make a legitimate argument as I have, that by Obama’s own words those behind the mosque don’t represent “true Islam” but instead associate with, sympathize with, and perhaps even promote terrorism, and that they are therefore “not Islam.” You should be able to take it from there.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 17, 2010 @ 1:46 am

  17. #15, there’s also of course exerting enough pressure in public opinion to the point where Rauf & Co. decide that given the tidal wave of objections and outrage, it might be better to go somewhere else. Supposedly they’re already heading in that direction.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 17, 2010 @ 2:25 am

  18. This isn’t about the right to build, it’s about the wisdom of doing so. Muslims build mosques on conquered land, so I cry BS on the “religious dialog” premise. As such, I’ll ask the question again: What would happen if a group of Christians flew Muslim-loaded 767′s into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, or the Dome of the Rock, THEN came back and wanted to build a cathedral at that spot in the name of “religious dialog?” Libs would call us “insensitive” imperialists, and we’d be fighting WWIII. Fricking idiots.

    Comment by Anon — August 17, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  19. It is not insensitive to be Muslim. It is not even insensitive to be Muslim close to ground zero. These people who want to build the Community Center are not responsible for the acts of Islamic fundamentalists any more than I am responsible for slavery or the KKK. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world very few of them are our enemies. Americans need to learn this or our enemies will use it against us. They will say Americans hate you, they don’t care who you are, they don’t care what you believe. They will let you move there or work for them but they will never trust you, they will never accept you.

    Comment by Sunflower Pipes — August 19, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  20. #19, it IS insensitive, and worse, to state, as Rauf did to 60 minutes three weeks after 9/11, that the U.S. was “an accessory to the crime.”

    Uh, these were terrorist acts of war, not “crimes,” and we did nothing to deserve it and did nothing to contribute to it.

    It’s as if you either didn’t read anything at this post, or don’t want to accept its content’s implications.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 19, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  21. Why shouldn’t they build a Community Center two blocks from Ground Zero? Do people think it is offensive to be Muslim or do they just think it is offensive to be Muslim so close to Ground Zero?

    Comment by Sunflower Pipes — August 20, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  22. #21, it’s a mosque.

    Again, it’s as if you either didn’t read anything at this post, or don’t want to accept its content’s implications.

    Comment by TBlumer — August 20, 2010 @ 11:14 am

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