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Building Bridges

Today, Barack Obama will visit an Islamic mosque on US soil, his first visit to an American mosque, and second of any sitting president. Presidents rarely visit houses of worship, except for their personal worship.

It will be interesting to see the reaction. After all, 29% of Americans think he is a Muslim pretending to be a Christian. Among Republicans, the number is 45%. And most of the Republican presidential candidates have been falling over each other with anti-Muslim rhetoric.

President Bush visited a mosque in DC, six days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, where he declared “Islam is peace”.



  1. Hassan wrote:

    I am interested to see how masjid/mosque administration will handle the visit. Will they take shit from Obama (he has given a lot over the years), or will stand up to him. Will they allow dissenters to be present or just meek “Uncles” (internal muslim term to refer to uncle who migrated long time ago and get excited by anything and are usually fearful of speaking up against government)

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    Hassan: Please let us know what you hear and see. You are our expert on the bigotry towards Muslims in our country.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    EBDOUG, yes I will. The readers are here much more knowledgeable and smart to know that like any other group, muslims are not monolithic. I can only give general feeling of majority.

    Obama is still reasonably popular among some muslims, specially the ones who are lower income section. He is also popular among first generation migrants who came in 80s or before.

    Economics trump everything else always. If you are benefited by government policies you may overlook other things, while people who are either harmed or are not affected may look at other issues to criticize government.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    Hassan, my mother got me started with “Passage to India” where the stupid English disregarded the brilliance of the Muslims (I’m Scotch/english). A very funny book, must more than the movie.

    I went on to trying to protect two Muslim boys (their father was and is the radiologist locally). The Redneck men wouldn’t let the boys play on the little league teams. While the Red Neck sons now work in factories, the doctor’s son (at least one of them) are or is a doctor himself.

    But my other friend was a tennis player. I could always beat her (as our little children ran around the court.)

    The uneducated don’t know that the Religion is based on the 6000 year old Jewish Religion. And don’t want to hear it.

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  5. Hassan wrote:

    Live stream from the mosque

    He met respected leaders of community (not fringe people)

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  6. Hassan wrote:

    He started well, but went into lecturing mode, some reaction from muslim activists from twitter and facebook:

    “Obama comes to a mosque just to reinforce the binary of choice forced on Muslims: pacifism or violence.”

    “Most may not realize but by consistently putting onus on Muslims to ‘solve’ ISIS, he absolves any part govt policies have played&continue to”

    “Engagement with Muslim American communities must not b a cover for profiling” – Obama. Except that it has been. Throughout this presidency”

    “Words are important, showing up is important – but don’t show up and tell me you support me when you surveil, imprison & kill my kin.”

    “The US bombed Iraq and Syria 31 times yesterday. … #MosqueVisit”

    “Is a drone-strike on one faith is a drone-strike on all our faiths? ‪#‎BarackObama‬ ‪#‎POTUS‬ ‪#‎MosqueVisit‬”

    “Obama made history today by visiting a U.S. mosque for the first time in his presidency. And we as Muslims made even more history today because the sound system at the mosque actually worked when he spoke.”

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Thanks Hassan. Your last one made me laugh.

    Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink