This was the statement recently released by Muslim reformer Dr. Zhudi Jasser through his organization, American Islamic Forum For Democracy:
. . . Mr. President, this is America and you have fundamentally misunderstood the stakes in this discussion and the sentiments of the American people. Instead, you have focused on the very issue that the Islamist propagandists wish you to-- the narrative that Americans somehow need lectures about Islam, Muslims, and religious freedom.
Your message to Americans will be spun on Al Jazeera and by Islamists across the world that President Obama reassured a friendly global Muslim audience at the White House Ramadan dinner that he was going to remind Americans about the principles of religious freedom for Muslims since they seem to be trampling over those principles in the local dispute at Ground Zero in New York.
Mr. President this is not about religious freedom. It is about the importance of the World Trade Center site to the psyche of the American People. It is about a blatant attack on our sovereignty by people whose ideology ultimately demands the elimination of our way of life. While Imam Faisal Rauf may not share their violent tendencies he does seem to share a belief that Islamic structures are a political statement and even Ground Zero should be looked upon through the lens of political Islam and not a solely American one.
As a Muslim desperate to reform his faith, your remarks take us backwards from the day that my faith will come into modernity. I do not stand to eliminate Imam Rauf's religious freedom; I stand to make sure that my children's religious freedom will be determined by the liberty guaranteed in the American Constitution and not by clerics or leaders who are apologists for shar'iah law and will tell me what religious freedom is. . . .
(emphasis added) Do read the entire statement. As I have said ad inifinitum on this blog, Islam will never moderate unless and until our government becomes honest with the American people about Islam and stops treating all Muslims as a single group, all the while pretending that the Wahhabi religious dogma that gave rise to al Qaeda is an anamoly. Nothing could be further from the truth. On this, Obama is 180 degrees of wrong, hurting not merely all Americans, but indeed, Muslim reformers and all Muslims who wish simply to practice their religion in peace without having to live under the yoke of a theocracy.