As noted last week in the Baltimore Sun, Barack Obama made a pilgrimage today to a mosque in that racially divided city to reassure the Muslim community in America that he has its back when it comes to religious freedom.
It is interesting to hear the president speak of religious freedom in this context since he has worked so hard to suppress it in others — especially in the case of Christians who want to exercise the free practice of their beliefs independently of government coercion. (As an example, consider the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order that is currently challenging before the Supreme Court a requirement under Obamacare that would force them to offer contraceptive services).
But there is another problem with Obama’s message that relates to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the mosque he has chosen to visit. In his remarks, captured in the video below, he laments:
We’ve seen children bullied, we’ve seen mosques vandalized. It’s not who we are. We’re one American family. And when any part of out family begins to feel separate or second class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.
Perhaps he should done his homework before selecting this house of worship as a setting for his humanistic sermon. Investors Business Daily has an eye opener about this mosque:
President Obama is conferring legitimacy on a Baltimore mosque the FBI just a few years ago was monitoring as a breeding ground for terrorists, after arresting a member for plotting to blow up a federal building.
IBD has learned that the FBI had been conducting surveillance at the Islamic Society of Baltimore since at least 2010 when it collared one of its members for plotting to bomb an Army recruiting center not far from the mosque in Catonsville, Md.
Agents secretly recorded a number of conversations with a 25-year-old Muslim convert — Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain — and other Muslims who worshipped there. According to the criminal complaint, Martinez said he knew “brothers” who could supply him weapons and propane tanks.
“He indicated that if the military continued to kill their Muslim brothers and sisters, they would need to expand their operation by killing U.S. Army personnel where they live,” FBI special agent Keith Bender wrote. Martinez said that in studying the Quran he learned that Islam counsels Muslims to “fight those who fight against you.”
I accept that there are peace-loving Muslims in the United States, who, as Obama intones, are “worried about the threat of terrorism.” It seems as though it would be a cinch to find a mosque attended by Muslims who share that belief.