How does a New York developer permitting issue become a national and perhaps a world-wide political debate?
Well, in the world of America and in the global space of politics, anything can happen.
Anything, such as blowing up two skyscrapers in the country’s most crowded city; Anything, such as some calling President’s actions treasonous while he was trying to uphold the constitution; Anything, such as taking advantage of a Presidential statement (and perhaps a bonehead of bonehead political moves) and turning it into political dynamite designed to blow up right in the face of frantic Democratic Party candidates who can smell gunpowder hovering above.
Last Friday, President Barack Obama took a stand on a very emotional issue during a super-charged and angry election season and started the debate that has materialize into part-lynch mob, part xenophobia, part-political gotchas, and part-political back-stepping so far as its effects.
When President Obama took a position on the New York City 9/11 Mosque commotion, he set off quite an feverish stir on talk radio stations, barber shops, and water cooler conversations and Internet blogs—even if, in the scheme of things, the issue of the Mosque really is not all that important.
However, right now, it is not so much as to what is being said, but what is not being said.
On Friday, in front of a group of Muslim dignitaries from across the globe, President Obama stepped right into the firing squad and said, “But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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 will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”
Then, this weekend when asked about his Friday comments, Obama said, “"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there".
So, while some talk radio callers are now calling for Muslims to be departed for the acts of a few militants in 2001, while some republican politicians are claiming that Obama favors the Mosque next to the twin tower site (which claim is not at all supported by facts) and while some democrat candidates--fearful of popular reprisals-- are taking the bait and are stepping out of the dark, the Mosque issue is strangely becoming the acid test of patriotism and in some cases, the guise for hatred or anger towards other nationalities and religions.
No matter how some of our political candidates are trying to twist the truth, the facts are, again, President Obama has not taken a definitive stand on whether he favors that mosque to be built on that piece of property next to one of the most solemn sites on American soil, Ground Zero.
Instead, Obama only spoke to the very precise “right to build a mosque” issue. He did not address whether it was wise or unwise to build the mosque, in fact, he said he would not engage that discussion at all. Most importantly, Obama absolutely did not state whether he supported the controversial Mosque at that location or the question of questions—whether he would advocate or use government action to prevent that the mosque not be built.
So, amid the emotional outbursts and the political games being played in this election season, it is time for reasonable people to actually act, well, reasonably. It is time for some of our political candidates and elected officials to stop misleading the public claiming one thing when they actually know exactly what Obama said and what he did not.. Most importantly, given what he has wrought on the world political stage, it is absolutely time for President Obama to come out of hiding on the issue and specifically state affirmatively his opinion towards the Mosque Ground Zero issue.
The world should not be forced to read between the lines and guess what Obama, “great communicator” means. He opened the door and it is time for him to walk through and face the people on this issue.
Specifically, I want to know if he:
Believes it is wise or unwise to build the Mosque at that site near Ground Zero?
Favors or does not favor the Mosque near the Ground Zero Mosque?
Is willing to use government action including prohibitive action to prevent the Mosque?
Until President stands up in front of America and in front of the world and makes his positions clear and unambiguous, those claiming he favors the controversial Mosque near at the 9/11 site should stop saying so until speaks on that precise question.
Should the President prefer to remain silent on the issue as he already has promised, he is giving his opponents and even some of his allies to speculate, misstate and even intentionally claim facts they know do not exist and which only rallies the majority of the American masses up that emotional patriotic poll to safe haven.
Postscript: As I ask President Obama to state his opinion on this issue, I believe that the Mosque should not be built on this site. I absolutely support the right to build a Mosque at ground zero, however, feel that doing so would be unwise given the incredible emotions related to the location and the nature of the event. If Muslims believe this is their way to show support for America, they can certainly do so in a way that does not engender such confusion, suspicion and even raw passion.
I would also want to know the true motivations behind trying to put this religious edifice at that site. As a compromise, I would suggest that a non-denominational site built be dedicated so that all religions can feel comfortable praying with due respect for differences.
The ultimate question of questions is whether we as a nation will use governmental action whether by force or otherwise to prevent the Mosque being built at that location-- solely on the basis of Muslim terrorists causing and being responsible for the 9/11 attack. Hopefully, that question will never be addressed.
by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz.com