Most of Barack Obama’s success in the early primaries is attributable to his selling the notion that he would step beyond the partisan politics practiced by mere mortals. He would be a uniter of all people, causing racism and poverty to disappear. Now that the bloom is off that rose, facts are contradicting that image. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Sen. Obama met with one of the most anti-semitic Muslim clerics in America during his recent visit to Michigan. Here’s some of the details:
Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, said in an email that he met with Obama at Macomb Community College. A mosque spokesman, Eide Alawan, confirmed that the meeting took place. During the meeting, the two discussed the Presidential election, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq war, according to Qazwini.
As usual, Debbie Schlussel asked the most important question:
Barack Obama claims he’s against HAMAS and Hezbollah and is offended by President Bush’s speech in Israel about Obama’s ethos of “appeasement.” So why is he meeting with one of Hezbollah’s most important imams and agents in America, Imam Hassan Qazwini? And why is this open anti-Semite and supporter of Israel’s annihilation getting to discuss “the Arab-Israeli conflict” in a private one-on-one meeting with Obama? What was said? I think we can do the math.
This week, Sen. Obama took offense at being called an appeaser, then spent the rest of the week distancing himself from his statement at the YouTube debate. One of his minions even tried ignoring the fact that Obama originally said that he’d meet with Ahmadinejad, Castro, Chavez and Kim Jung Il without preconditions. This after Sen. Obama fired Robert Malley for having contact with a member of Hamas.
The first, and most obvious, question I have is this: If it’s wrong for a campaign staffer to meet with Hamas, why isn’t it equally wrong to meet with Hezbollah? Both terrorist organizations are dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Both terrorist organizations commit acts of violence against Israel in the form of rocket attacks. The inevitable conclusion one must draw of Hamas and Hezbollah is that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them.
The next question I have is why this isn’t being reported in the press. Is the media that unaware of the meeting? Or are they that disinterested in the meeting? You’d think it was big news if a presidential candidate meets with an agent of Hezbollah.
Here’s more of what Debbie Schlussel is reporting about Qazwini and his mosque:
Qazwini is very open about his support for Palestinian homicide bombings, HAMAS, and Hezbollah. And he’s a good friend of Hezbollah spiritual leader, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah–the man who issued the fatwa to Hezbollah terrorists to murder over 300 U.S. Marines and U.S. Embassy civilians in cold blood. Qazwini’s mosque has held rallies and celebrations in support of Hezbollah, and many of Hezbollah’s biggest money-launderers and agents in America are his congregants.
When I went undercover to his mosque in 1998, he and others welcomed Nation of Islam chief racist Louis Farrakhan as “our dear brother” and “a freedom fighter.” Qazwini applauded Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic statements saying that Jews were the “forces of Satan” and that there needed to be a “jihad” on the American people.
What are we supposed to believe about Obama’s policies towards terrorists? If he’s willing to meet with them here in America, why should we think that he won’t meet with terrorist-sponsoring leaders like Chavez and Ahmadinejad?
I don’t see anything virtuous about sitting down with terrorists, which is what Sen. Obama did in meeting with Qazwini. In fact, he gave Qazwini a special, private meeting.
Another question I have is why his campaign didn’t publicize the meeting. If Sen. Obama thinks that this is simply outreach to the Muslim community, shouldn’t he highlight this on his website? The fact that it isn’t highlighted on his website tells me that he didn’t want this publicized because of the meeting’s controversial nature it points out another weakness in Obama’s candidacy.
He’s had difficulty earning the trust of Jewish voters throughout this process. While many Jews are liberal, I’d doubt that anyone in the Jewish community would tolerate him meeting with a representative of Hezbollah. This meeting will fortify Jews’ belief that Sen. Obama can’t be trusted.
This meeting also reinforces the image of Sen. Obama being a Cartesque pacifist, too. People like inclusive candidates only until they start including terrorists in their meetings.
Cross-posted at California Conservative