CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 2, 2016 – Except for the endless analysis, Iowa, which was seemingly the only state in the union for the past month, is now a thing of the past. It’s on to New Hampshire. But wait, Barack Obama won’t let the campaign news pass without thrusting himself back into the headlines on Wednesday.
That’s when the president will make his first presidential visit to an American mosque in Baltimore, but, as usual and by design, the tour will be marked by controversy. Mr. Obama thrives on “sticking it” to the American people by pushing his agenda to the edge. His mosque visit is just another example.
Why? Because the center Obama chose has extremist ties. Does anyone honestly believe that is an accident? If you do, where have you been for the past seven years?
The trouble lies with a former imam who served at the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) for 15 years who was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He also reportedly was associated with Islamic radical Anwar al-Awaki.
Such events are not uncommon with the president. He has at least half a dozen advisers in his own White House who are also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Furthermore, the timing of the visit following the caucuses in Iowa is clearly an attempt to dilute interest in the presidential campaign.
Difficult as it may be for Obama to do, he has also incited the anger of some so-called “peaceful” Muslims. Zuhdi Jasser angrily spoke out on FOX News, saying, “As a Muslim American I’m just insulted, this is disgraceful that this is one of the mosques – or the mosque – that he’s chosen to visit.”
Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh was the imam at ISB between 1983 and 1989 and again from 1994 to 2003. While there, he was a regional director for the Islamic American Relief Agency, which was part of a parent group called the Islamic African Relief Agency. According to the Treasury Department the parent organization provided funds to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terror groups.
Of course, in the Obama-spin world the president might respond by saying “Well, Osama bin Laden is dead and so is al-Qaeda.” Even it was true that al-Qaeda is dead, terrorism is not, and the president is keenly aware that any advocacy of Islam on his part plays directly into the agenda of Islamic extremism.
The official White House position is that the president intends to “celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life.”
Conservatives are not buying into the Obama spin, even though they are certain the mainstream media will ignore the terrorist links of the ISB.
It is all calculated to keep Barack Obama in the limelight in the midst of a presidential campaign season and to bolster the message for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Whether or not the leading Republicans take the bait or the story gets legs remains to be seen, but it certainly has nothing to do with an effort by Mr. Obama to challenge what he terms as “Islamophobia.”
In fact, it is the president’s own Justice Department that is releasing all the disturbing information. That, too, is by design. Barack Obama loves nothing more than an undignified and unpresidential “in-your-face” conflict.
Says Jasser, “(Obama) is visiting a mosque that (is) against our Muslim reform movement. Historically, as I said before, they are basically a radical, extreme mosque and is not representative of modern Muslims in America.”
Meanwhile, the ISB issued a statement Monday describing the mosque as “one of the flagship communities in the nation.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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