The separation of mosque and state?

The  separation of mosque and state?


Posted: July 24, 2011
9:00 pm Eastern

© 2011


As the White House and Congress debate cuts in federal spending, millions of  dollars are being funneled overseas to help build many Islamic mosques and  structures.An Atlanta television news station, WSB-TV, reported that “the State  Department is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to save mosques overseas.”  The anchor noted that the State Department’s Agency for International  Development granted enormous funds for mosques in Cairo, Cyprus, Tajikistan and  Mali.

A USAID official spoke with and confirmed about $2.3 million  was used on the Cairo mosque “to help lower the groundwater at the mosque area,  replacing the old sewage collector, and providing a healthier environment for  people living in the area.” In addition to that 1,000-year old mosque, more than  $15 million was given by the U.S. and the Egyptian government to restore another  1,300-year-old mosque, a Roman tower, a Greek Orthodox church and other  buildings. And in Cyprus, $5 million in U.S. federal funds was granted to  restore a mosque and a Greek Orthodox monastery. went on to  confirm that the Mali and Tajikistan mosque projects involved funding for  computer equipment. Though USAID won’t specify exactly how much of their monies  in 2010 profited mosques, the agency says it committed $18.8 billion for all of  its global projects.

The U.S. State Department confessed that, “Since its creation by the U.S.  Congress, the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation has also provided  financial support to more than 640 cultural preservation projects in more than  100 countries. This accomplishment … represents a contribution of nearly $26  million …”

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The Associated Press reported that during America’s recession in 2010-2011,  the Obama administration has doled out 6 million of American tax dollars to  restore or preserve 63 historic, religious and cultural sites, including Islamic  mosques and minarets, in 55 nations under the guise of “Cultural Affairs” and  “Cultural Preservation 2010 Awards,” and they include:

  • $50,000 for conservation of Sundarwala Burj, a 16th-century Islamic monument  in New Delhian, India
  • $76,000 for the restoration of a 16th-century grand mosque in China, with  one of the longest histories and largest premises in the world.
  • $67,000 for the restoration of the mid‐18th‐century Sunehri Masjid (Golden  Mosque) in Lahore, Pakistan
  • $77,000 to restore minarets (tall slender towers attached to mosques) in  Nigeria and Mauritania, Africa
  • $80,000 for the restoration of the 18th-century Sultan Palace of Ujumbe in  Mutsamudu, Comoros, with its highly ornate ceilings featuring Arabo-Islamic  calligraphy and designs
  • $30,000 for the restoration of the 19th-century fort at Lamu, Kenya, a  significant center for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures where Muslim  religious festivals have been hosted since the 19th century
  • $10,000 for the restoration of the Kofar Kansakali Gate in the Medieval  Walled City of Kano, Nigeria, where the stone-laying ceremony was performed by  the Emir of Kano, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero, an influential Muslim spiritual and  community leader in Northern Nigeria
  • $49,000 for restoration of a mid‐19th‐century Musafirhana (hostel) in  Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, originally intended to house and feed Muslim  travelers for free
  • $54,000 for the preservation the 6th century Castle in Vushtrri, Kosovo – a  city that overthrew its once-dominant Christian population with a Muslim  majority via the Ottoman conquests and a military post of an Ottoman garrison
  • $30,000 for conservation of murals at the early 19th-century palace of Ahmed  Bey ben Mohamed Cherif, who led a fierce resistance against French forces from  that palace in Constantine, Algeria
  • $100,000 for the restoration of 17th- and 18th-century monuments in the  Kasbah of Mehdiya, Morocco, which was built in 1185 by Yacoub el Mansour, the  third Almohad Amir and Muslim military conqueror who was responsible for  capturing thousands of Christians and killing tens of thousands
  • $95,000 for the preservation of the Varendra Museum Building at Bangladesh  and its prehistoric and historic collections – gallery six of which contains  Persian, Sanskrit and old Bangla stone inscriptions and sculptured stones of the  Muslim period.
  • $34,000 for the preservation of traditional Uzbek music in Uzbekistan, which  is one of the many forms of Islamic regional music.
  • $450,000 for the restoration of Qala Ikhtyaruddin, the 15th-century citadel  of Herat, Afghanistan – once used by Alexander the Great but also used in more  modern times by even the Taliban. The extremely large project is employing many  local Muslims seven days a week via U.S. funds.

Where are the separatists of church and state when it comes to separating  mosque and state? The First Amendment provides citizens with the freedom to  choose their religion; it doesn’t provide the federal government with the right  to fund the building of mosques overseas. In fact, it specifically says,  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

One thing is certain: President Obama certainly has kept the global promise  he made to the Muslim world from Cairo in 2009, when he said that he considers  it “part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against  negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear” and create a “partnership  between America and Islam.”

And that’s exactly what the president has done. In countless speeches and  actions since taking office, President Obama has sympathized and supported  pro-Islamic ideologies, practice and culture, in and outside our country. That  is why even the New York Times published a multiple-page report on how the  “White House quietly courts Muslims in the U.S.”

To be fair, in 2011 the U.S. State Department has also doled out monies to  restore Buddhist monasteries and early Christian Frescoes in Greece, as well as  17th- and 18th-century church paintings in Peru, etc., too, but the ratio is far  less for non-Islamic projects. Should the federal government be subsidizing any  of these religious projects, especially when the U.S. is broke and indebted up  to its ears? How long will we continue to finance other countries’ economies as  our own goes down the tubes? Maybe it’s time we ask all the countries we’ve been  aiding to return the favor?

Are these really examples how you want the federal government spending your  taxes? I’m certain that the 9.2 percent of unemployed citizens in our country  would rather see these monies building jobs in America. (And President Obama  wonders why the majority of Americans don’t want to pay more taxes?)

The federal government’s actions using taxpayers’ monies to build Islamic  structures overseas during a recession brings me back to the wisdom of our  fourth president, James Madison, who said, “In framing a government which is to  be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must  first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place  oblige it to control itself.”

I understand the necessity of America maintaining good global relations with  other countries, but when we can’t even rebuild our economy, should we really be  rebuilding others? Does diplomacy always have to include America dumping dollars  at everyone’s front door? And if part of the increased Islamic grants under the  Obama administration is to appease the wrath of extremists, then America is to  be most pitied. For we above all should know that bribing Muslims not to bomb us  is bad and futile diplomacy.

In a little more than a month, the U.S. will be commemorating the 10th  anniversary of Sept. 11. Ten years ago we all declared, “We will never forget.”  But when does subsidizing Islamic structures and culture abroad with U.S.  taxpayers’ monies cross the line and trample on the memory of 9/11 victims and  their families? They brought down our twin towers and we build up their  mosques?

Read more: The separation of mosque and state?

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