Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque

So often liberals get so far ahead of themselves, so far out, that they say things that sounds so marvelous, so wonderful, so perfect, that they say them, write them, believe them, without reflecting on the practicality of them. This is a perfect example of that phenomenon: woolly-headed liberalism. Why Obama should visit a mosque. Idealistically, sounds grand, magnificent, righteous.

Roger Cohen is a New York Times reporter. He's a good reporter. He's a liberal. All of those qualities are fine with me.

I’ll admit it: I’m thin-skinned about the kinds of slurs and innuendo about Muslims that have accompanied Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Years of being subjected to them while I covered the Bosnian war did that.

I wasn't in Bosnia as he was, but I watched and read news from Bosnia that revulsed me. And I heard things that revulsed me. One thing that revulsed me was seeing Karadzic on the news, reported on as someone of importance, not as a war criminal. Another thing that revulsed me was seeing Serbs taking advantage of the paralysis of the UN, of Europe and the US, to herd up Bosnians and murder them en masse. Srebenica sickened me. The whole enterprise was a disgrace.

Give Americans the Rorschach test today and what they’ll detect in the ink blots are bearded Muslim “suiciders.”

Americans is a sweeping term. I object to this sweeping term. Jews is another sweeping term. I object to sweeping terms.

Obama has visited churches and synagogues, but no mosque. He had to apologize after two Muslim women wearing head scarves were barred from appearing behind him at a recent rally in Detroit. Obama should visit a mosque. He has repeatedly shown his courage during this campaign; Americans have responded to his intellectual honesty. One of the important things about him is the knowledge his Kenyan and Indonesian experiences have given him of Islam as lived, rather than Islam as turned into monstrous specter.

True, there is political posturing on Obama's part. He has shown political courage. And it is also true that Islam is not a monster, but another major religion. But to visit a mosque, whilst a perfectly sensible idea to a liberal ideology, would be political suicide. There will be enough time for President Obama to visit a mosque after he wins the election. For him to do so during the campaign would be to hand a Swift Boat to the Repulicans as they are in the process of losing the 2008 election.

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