Monday, 16 August 2010

Speaking up for freedom

Thank you, President Barack Hussein Obama, for these words:

Let me be clear. As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.

A Capetonian Facebook friend posted her support of his words. An American from South Carolina posted the following: More see it as a personal stance then [sic] a politcally correct one since his father was Muslim. Too bad for him that he couldn't keep his opinion to himself.

I BEG your pardon? Since when is supporting someone's right to freedom necessarily narcissistically tied to YOUR history? I support gay rights, rights for prisoners held anywhere in the world, the freedom of speech for the BNP (so I know what they're saying, of course) - but I am NONE of these things. And I would hope that every single one of us supports the rights of those not like us.

Why SHOULD he keep it to himself? It is his SWORN DUTY and moral obligation (as it is for all of us) to stand up for the freedom of ALL Americans, everywhere, whether it's popular or not. How does creating an 'Islam-free zone' and further alienating moderate and relaxed Muslims help anyone?? Marginalising people will radicalise them - trust me, that's the last thing you want. We would do well to remember that there is no exception under the First Amendment: all religions are allowed to practise freely.

And if anyone is to epitomise my favourite poster, which states, 'Stand up for what's right, even if you're standing alone' - it should be the head of our nation, who speaks for all we stand for - our president.

Frankly, I am *ashamed* of the political climate in the country of my birth. That is NOT what America was created for or what it was about when I was growing up. Be against something, fine. But be civil, gracious and empathetic. I do NOT remember this sheer ugly, nasty, shrill narcissism pre-GW Bush. And I'll call a spade a spade: it's evil.

The United States was created as the antithesis of narcissism. THIS is what America is about: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Not 'only allow the people like me to breathe free.'

I'm with The Independent: It is regrettable that Mr Obama felt he had to underline the need for religious tolerance as he did, but admirable that – despite the sensitivity of the mosque's location – he nonetheless went ahead and gave it the seal of presidential approval.

It is more than regrettable, it's HORRIFIC and UNTHINKABLE in a country with America's constitution.

You know, Europe 'kept it to themselves' in the 30s and 40s - and six million people died. I'm not willing to take that chance.

Are you?

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