On Friday night, Barack Obama gave his full-throated endorsement to a mosque and "cultural center" on private property that has been purchased in Lower Manhattan adjacent to the site where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood. By Saturday, however, he wanted the American people to know that he was not commenting on "the wisdom" of putting such a mosque by that hallowed ground - just "the right" of its backers like Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to do it, pursuant to the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.
Unfortunately for the President - but fortunately for the country - it is too late for such ludicrous contortions and dissembling. However much Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats now regret his original White House statement, it has created a "teachable moment." Not just about the Ground Zero mosque but about the larger enterprise it is intended to serve: bringing the law of Saudi Arabia and Iran, shariah, to America.
Imam Rauf makes no bones about that being his purpose. So do some of his most prominent backers, like the Muslim Brotherhood front, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Brotherhood's Palestinian franchise, the designated terrorist group Hamas. In fact, according to the New York Post, on Sunday, Mahmoud al-Zahar, an Hamas co-founder and leader in Gaza, told WABC Radio host Aaron Klein: "We have to build the mosque [at Ground Zero]. We have to build everywhere. In every area we have [as] Muslim[s], we have to pray and this mosque is the only site of prayer."
Al-Zahar also enthused about shariah, calling it the "tradition of Islam" which "is controlling every source of our life as regards to marriage, divorce, our commercial relations." He added ominously that, "Even the Islamic people or Muslims in [the United States] are living now in the tradition of Islam."
What else have we learned so far from Mr. Obama's teachable shariah moment? We now know that the President is willing to associate with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), not just in Cairo - where he insisted they be invited to hear his famous paean to Islam last year - but in the White House. For example, leaders of known MB front groups like Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America and Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council were in the company at the Iftar dinner Friday when Mr. Obama fervently embraced the Ground Zero mosque.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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