"This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda...”
That’s how President Barack Obama, in a national television interview on September 9, described the plans of an American Pastor to hold a September 11th “Koran burning” event at his church in Florida.
Prior to the President’s TV interview, the Pastor had already been chastised by some of the highest-ranking officials in the Obama Administration. Attorney General Eric Holder had described the Pastor and his plans as “idiotic,” while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had stated that it was all “disgraceful.”
Yet President Obama apparently believed it was necessary to speak about this himself, and try to stop the Koran burning festivities.
If the disgraceful and idiotic private citizen were to carry out his intended disgraceful and idiotic plans, then “you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan” the President stated. “This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities," Obama explained, adding that "If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans. That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance..."
These are strong words from the sitting U.S. President, aimed at one, private citizen. And the fact that the stated intentions of one private citizen would draw criticism from the President and his Administration – and would touch-off death threats on American lives– is seriously troublesome on multiple levels.
First, let’s accurately assess what has been at the epicenter of this controversy in the first place. At the time of this writing (I’m composing these words on the afternoon of Friday September 10), it is unclear whether the Florida Pastor will stage a Koran Burning event on September 11th, or not. This is to say that the Pastor has only stated his intentions, and we don’t know if he will ever carry them out.
Describe the Pastor and his plans in whatever derogatory and demeaning terms you wish. Stupid. Inflammatory. Insensitive. Intolerant. Misguided. Ill-advised. My observation is that the man seems quite inarticulate, and a bit “nutty,” and I wish the Obama Administration and the worldwide media industry had not drawn so much attention to him (notice that I am not stating the man’s name – it makes no sense for me to give this character more attention).
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.