It has been 17 years and 342 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In June of 2009 President Obama delivered a major speech in Cairo on United States-Muslim relations. Future historians will spend their careers dissecting not only this speech but many others delivered by Obama during his Presidency. Here is the link to the full text of his speech: .

The President took note of his background by saying, “Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.” We are all products of the breadth of our past experiences. Obama’s benign, childhood experiences with those of the Muslim faith have positively colored his perception of Islam to the detriment of the safety of each and every one of us. Apparently his experiences in America have not compensated for nor overshadowed his advocacy for the Muslim faith. Has he been Christian in name only, as a means of making him an acceptable candidate for President? Yet it is the height of irony that only in a free and diverse America could he rise to the position of Presidency for in Muslim-majority countries such as Iran it is the clerics that rule.

He went on to say, “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” President Obama did not run as a candidate for President of the United States on a platform of fighting negative stereotypes of Islam. Yet his actions and inactions, especially four years ago, have given birth to those who wish no less than our total destruction. It is not his responsibility to fight negative stereotypes of Islam. That is accomplished by the actions of those who practice their faith. But it is his responsibility to protect the United States of America “from all enemies foreign and domestic” as he swore to do when he became our President. His leadership rests not on advocacy for any religious belief but rather on his strong adherence to protecting the very foundation of our country.

Obama went on to say, “Yes, a few Muslim extremists give Islam a bad name, and sometimes Muslims do bad things, but we are no different here. Americans have also done bad things, so who are we to judge?” His philosophy is rooted in the theory of moral equivalence. No one can take comfort in the fact that Obama rationalizes San Bernadino and Paris by referring to America’s treatment of Native Americans and Black Americans as “bad” and therefore we should accept that Radical Islam is justified in its current “bad” acts.

He rejects American exceptionalism by saying, “Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.” Yet in the space of 200 years that is what America became…an exceptional nation. It became a nation that causes people all over the world to seek. It’s ideals of freedom and democracy are a beacon to all those who experience oppression – political, social or economic. Does he truly believe that our exceptionalism will cause our failure?

Perhaps the most troubling thesis was his pronouncement, “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.” We did not choose to make war with Islam but rather the most violent believers of Islam have declared war on America and every other infidel nation. Reluctantly we have been pushed to the brink and must consider the unthinkable…war to insure our ultimate survival.

Obama continues to cling to his warm, childhood memories of a Muslim faith that gave him comfort and solace as a child. His belief in Islam is reflected in this statement, “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.” His childhood faith has failed him and us, as a nation. Where are the Islamic voices rising up, amassed, condemning and rejecting this perversion of their faith? Could it be because they do not believe it is a perversion? Is it we, grounded in Judeo-Christianity, who are ignorant, clinging to the hope that main stream Islam will reject violence born out of a belief in an apocalypse in which they will prevail?

Lastly Obama in that revealing speech said, “But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path.” We heard what his version of the right path is in his speech to the nation on December 7, 2015, ironically delivered on the 74th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II. President Obama’s refusal to face an enemy that wants to destroy us while using the rationale of upholding our values is troubling on many levels. The right path for us is our very survival as a free country. It appears it is not the path that Obama embraces.

Can we survive another year of President Obama’s leadership based on a tenet of tolerance for the most radical of Islamists? He pays lip service to the destruction of ISIS as his directions to achieve that goal continue to be ineffectual. We all hope we can survive but deep down there is a palpable unease within the country. We rush to arm ourselves at a record pace fearing that another San Bernadino and Paris are inevitable. We wait for the other shoe to drop and fear that we may be next. Pray for us.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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