President Obama spoke warmly about Islam during his speech at a mosque today, highlighting the contributions that Muslims had made to the fabric of American society.
“Islam has always been part of America,” he said, detailing the beginnings of the religion among African slaves brought to America. He also pointed out that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Virginia statute for religious freedom that the “Mohammedan” should have his faith protected in the United States.
Geller pointed out that the same mosque was placed under FBI surveillance in 2010, “following he arrest of one of its members who had been plotting to bomb an Army Recruiting center near he mosque.” That’s not the only troubling history associated with the mosque.
It’s not clear yet whether Obama will also address the situation of one of the mosque’s most notable members: Adnan Syed, the convicted murderer whose case was examined in the hugely popular Serial podcast last year. He used to worship at the mosque, and his family still does.
At the same time that Obama will speak at the mosque today, Syed will be sitting in a Baltimore courtroom a few miles away facing a key legal hearing. Starting this morning, Syed’s case is getting a second post-conviction hearing, which will last until Friday. Doug Colbert, a University of Maryland Law School professor who represented Syed in 1999 during his bail hearings, said that the hearing will make-or-break his chance for freedom.
Additionally, Geller took exception to this portion of Obama’s speech saying, “it’s just not true.”
“The very word Islam comes from ‘Salam’ – peace,” he said. “The standard greeting is ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ – ‘Peace be upon you,’” he explained. “Like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity. “Whoever wants to enter paradise, the prophet Mohammad taught, let him treat people the way he would love to be treated,” he said as the audience applauded.
“For Christians like myself, I’m assuming that sounds familiar,” he continued.
The entire Breitbart News Daily interview with Pamela Geller can be heard below.