ANALYSIS: Is Criticism Of Obama’s Choice Of Mosque To Visit Always Bigotry?


US media are reporting today on President Obama’s historic visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB), his first ever visit to a US mosque. According to a CNN report:

February 4, 2106 President Barack Obama, in his first visit to a mosque in the United States, said Wednesday he was seeking to rebut “inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans” from Republican presidential candidates.

Attempting to recast what he said was a warped image of Islam while encouraging members of the faith to speak out against terror, Obama described Muslims as essential to the fabric of America.

“Let me say as clearly as I can as president of the United States: you fit right here,” Obama told the audience at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a 47-year-old mosque with thousands of attendees. “You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America too. You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American.”

 The GMBDW reported earlier this week on the ISB which we described as:

…an organization that acted as part of a wider US Muslim Brotherhood coalition and led by a longtime President with deep ties to the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and who presided over at least some of the tenure of an imam with his own extensive links to the US Muslim Brotherhood.

Predictably, some have lumped all criticism of the President’s choice of the ISB together with such “inexcusable rhetoric.” For example Dean Obeidallah, a former lawyer turned political comedian and writer, has written:

The anti-Muslim bigotry from the right in America is so predictable it’s actually boring. They’re like Pavlov’s dog, but instead of salivating, they instinctively attack anything Muslim. No offense intended to dogs, which are far smarter. So I expected that many conservatives would freak out when they heard that President Obama would be making his first visit to a U.S. mosque on Wednesday in Baltimore. (I will be attending the event.)

For the record, the GMBDW agrees for the most part with this analysis. As we have frequently complained, there is a daily tidal wave of not only rhetoric but pseudo research on what we have called the Muslim Brotherhood “bogeyman” that is said to behind every ill-deed perpetrated by a Muslim anywhere in the world. Furthermore, and to our unending dismay, our own research is sometime used to spin unsubstantiated and fanciful stories about the same networks we have so carefully tried to document. That said however, it is worthwhile to look at what Mr. Obeidallah goes on to say about criticism of the President’s mosque visit:

The reality is that it doesn’t matter what mosque Obama visited. The anti-Muslim industry, in a six degrees of Kevin Bacon type of way, would connect the mosque leaders to someone who once ate a falafel with a guy who is friends with a dude who is a neighbor to a guy allegedly in the Brotherhood. Now if you are wondering what exactly is the Muslim Brotherhood in America, you are not alone. I’m Muslim and have appeared at hundreds of Muslim-American events across the United States and have yet to meet a person who even mentioned it. And if you Google “Muslim Brotherhood,” you will be treated to numerous articles written by these very same right-wing publications incestuously citing one another for support. But putting partisan BS aside, does anyone actually believe that Obama would make his first visit to an American mosque that’s tied to radical Muslims or terrorism? But facts don’t matter to these media outlets. They smear every visible Muslim, be they members of Congress, Muslim organizations, or even Muslim American comedians—with the goal being to marginalize Muslims from every aspect of American society.

 The charge of playing the “guilt by association game” has also been made against the GMBDW from time to time but as we have said before:

What is never done in these pages is to assert that an individual or organization is tied to the Brotherhood merely on the basis of a casual association and/or “six degrees of separation.” Any individual or organization so designated has been done so after consideration of available evidence and in line with the methodological questions discussed earlier. There is no other alternative given the Brotherhood policy of rarely identifying its affiliates around the world.

In the case of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, it was most certainly not a case of  “someone who once ate a falafel with a guy who is friends with a dude who is a neighbor to a guy allegedly in the Brotherhood” but rather both the ISB imam and President who were directly and closely tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood. (As for whoever has heard of the US Brotherhood, we should mention that one such party is a US Federal court that once listed entities referred to as “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and/or its organizations.”)

Finally as to the question of whether anybody would “actually believe that Obama would make his first visit to an American mosque that’s tied to radical Muslims or terrorism, the GMBDW would have to answer that on the basis of the evidence concerning the Islamic Society of Baltimore, the answer has to be that we for one believe it.

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