President Obama Sends Message to Killer’s Mosque. Did He Ignore Victim’s Family?

President Obama Sends Message to Killer’s Mosque. Did He Ignore Victim’s Family? October 8, 2014

 

My mother was an amazing woman, loving wife to my father and adoring grandmother.
She made me feel loved everyday.

 

President Obama has set off a bit of a firestorm by sending a congratulatory message to the mosque where Alton Nolen, the man who committed the Oklahoma beheading, worshipped.

The message itself is a routine congratulatory message to Muslims during the celebration of Eid al-Adha. I don’t know if the White House extends similar congratulatory messages to Oklahoma Jewish worshippers during the High Holy Days, or if the head of the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention or the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City receive White House congratulations during Easter and Christmas. We’ve got a lot of faiths here in Oklahoma. Do they all get this white-glove treatment?

If they do, I haven’t heard of it.

I feel reasonably certain that no other house of worship in Oklahoma City has had such a message hand-carried and then read aloud to them by David Myers, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships; especially not after one of their members went out and murdered a grandmother shouting the religious slogans of their faith.

While the message itself is a pro forma political attaboy, (or in this case, attaimam) I don’t think it’s customary to issue such messages to all faiths. I’d bet the ranch that this extreme case of a White House aide hand-carrying it over 1500 miles to read it aloud to worshippers is more than a little bit unusual.  If this was common practice with all faiths, we’d need a lot more directors.

What really galls me is the one-sidedness of the behavior. So far as I know, President Obama chose not to send a message of condolence to, or in any other way acknowledge, the family of Colleen Hufford. Colleen Hufford is the 54-year-old grandmother who lost her life to a knife-wielding man shouting Islamic slogans.

Based on her daughter’s statements to the press, Mrs Hufford’s family has been supported by their Oklahoma community and, lately, by the larger American community. But there was no mention of any word from the Mourner in Chief.

Colleen Hufford was not a political inconvenience. She was not and is not a challenge to the politically correct script our government and most of our media is reading to us.

Colleen Hufford was, according to her daughter Kelli Hufford, “a caring and compassionate woman.” She was Meemaw to her granddaughter. She loved to garden, and was a devoted hockey fan. One thing you realize watching her daughter’s statement is that this was a good woman, with a loving family. To see her daughter’s full statement, go here.

Here is the formal statement from Colleen Hufford’s family:

For her life to have been taken in such a tragic act of violence adds a depth of grief we are trying to comprehend. We want to thank the wonderful family and friends who have come to our aid during this very difficult time with messages of hope and prayer. 

Here’s the message the president sent:

Michelle and I would like to extend our best wishes to Muslims in the United States and around the world who are celebrating Eid al-Adha, and to congratulate those performing the Hajj this year.

“As our Muslim neighbors and friends gather for Eid celebrations, Muslim Americans are among the millions of pilgrims joining one of the world’s largest and most diverse gatherings. Hajj brings together Muslims from around the world — Sunni and Shiite — to share in reverent prayer, side by side. It serves as a reminder that no matter one’s tribe or sect, race or religion, gender or age, we are equals in humanity.

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47 responses to “President Obama Sends Message to Killer’s Mosque. Did He Ignore Victim’s Family?”

  1. Islam is one messed up religion. The more closely it is followed, the more dangerous it is. The only reason most Muslims don’t pose a problem to society is because they compartmentalize the Quran. The more violent aspects of it they attribute to being applicable to a different time and not today. But if they were truly faithful to the Quran, they would pose problems similar to the extremists. The religion just sucks. There’s no polite way to put it. We have no choice but to try to befriend as many of these misguided people as we can just so we do not alienate them and create an us versus them scenario, which would be much worse than trying to humor them.

    • We who use the Bible as the basis of our religious understanding should not be quick to judge another religion based on its primary book. After all, we celebrate a book with Palm 137:8 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

      9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      Do we not compartmentalize the Bible to greater or lesser degrees? And yet there are extremists within our own faith (or would you color all Christianity with their color) who believe even words like these can be treated as guidance.

      • Psalm 137 is a beautiful lament for their homeland of a people who have been taken captive into exile and slavery. That one verse is harsh true, but it’s an angry expression of grief over having had this done to one’s own children, not a commandment. So far as I know, it has never been considered a commandment.

        As for murdering children, are you familiar with ISIS?

        Here it is in toto:

        Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem
        137 By the waters[a] of Babylon,
        there we sat down and wept,
        when we remembered Zion.
        2 On the willows[b] there
        we hung up our lyres.
        3 For there our captors
        required of us songs,
        and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
        “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
        4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song
        in a foreign land?
        5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
        let my right hand wither!
        6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
        if I do not remember you,
        if I do not set Jerusalem
        above my highest joy!
        7 Remember, O Lord, against the E′domites
        the day of Jerusalem,
        how they said, “Raze it, raze it!
        Down to its foundations!”
        8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastator![c]
        Happy shall he be who requites you
        with what you have done to us!
        9 Happy shall he be who takes your little ones
        and dashes them against the rock!

        • Kwd, like so many, you look away from this most dangerous threat to freedom, Islamic fundamentalism, by pointing to minor and long ago matters of Judeo-Christian transgressions. Islamic fascism is here and now. Get your ideological head from the sand and begin to accept the real threat that it is to religious and cultural freedom in the world.

      • No. If I need guidance I will read something current. Ancient scriptures, whether the Torah, Bible, Quran or any other source are of no use to me. Muslims are especially idiotic for letting the Quran teach them how they should live.

      • kwdayboise, Bill S. has already rejected the scripture. He’s an ex Catholic atheist-in-the-closet.

        Having said that, you are absolutely right- one of the big differences between Catholicism and Protestantism is that we’re willing to compartmentalize scripture and realize that we’re not at the same place culturally as say, the writer of Psalm 137 who was probably trying to encourage those in bondage in Babylon.

      • You do realize the difference between a poem in which the author talks about dashing babies heads in for a literary reason, and a historical book, right? That’s what Psalm 137 is. So let’s try and be real.

    • Perhaps that is what Mr. Obama is doing but it reeks of hypocrisy and cowardice in my opinion.

      Were he truly a man of good will, if he really cared, rather than cultivate his sorry legacy, he would speak freely and honestly to all people of all faiths.
      He would invite all to seek to respect each other, honor each other’s faith expression and lead by example.

      What he does is what he always does…his behavior and comments divide, upset, and separate.

      As we are well aware his half hearted efforts at stepping up to the plate are pretty obvious with what is currently happening on the border with Turkey and Syria.

      • It is particularly frustrating that Turkey is letting the Turks’ hatred for the Kurds keep it from fighting for Kobani or even letting Kurds pass through to Syria.

        • If the Kurd refugees fleeing Kobani at the border are slaughtered by ISIS, we are faced with an entire world of immoral nations including Turkey. In ISIS, we have the complete villain and on Turkey’s border we have farmers with livestock and children who are being prevented from entering. If they are massacred, all nations of the world will smell for a long time….including Turkey which will have no peace with Kurds going forward. The pacifist leaning Catholic sites are not talking of ISIS excepting an initial post each….because ISIS breaks their paradigm into fragments…that dialogue works on everyone.

          • I think that ISIS shows how dangerous religious fanaticism is and the ones who can call them on their lunacy more than anyone else are atheists. We know they are totally full of it. Other religious people only see them as partially full of it because they hold similar beliefs. ISIS wouldn’t last a day if they pissed off Stalin.

            • Well….I can prove Christ to you :). 2 Kings 4 was written by a Jew who didn’t believe in the Trinity. Watch what he writes unwittingly.
              A mother of one child sends to Eliseus that her boy is dying. Eliseus sends his servant Gehazi with Eliseus’ staff which he lays on the now dead child but nothing happens. So Eliseus comes himself and descends on the boy matching his eyes to the boy’s eyes and his mouth to the boy’s mouth and his hands to the boy’s hands. The boy’s body grows warm. Eliseus walks about and then descends on the boy again and the boy sits up and coughs 7 times…but no mention of eyes, mouth, hands.

              The boy is mankind dead in sin. God ( Eliseus) first sends his law ( the staff) by Moses ( Gehazi) …but nothing happens. Hebrews says, ” The law brought nothing to perfection”. Galatians says, ” Had there been a law that giveth life, salvation would be by the law”.
              So God must descend on mankind ( the boy) Himself…first as Christ in pain ( a man must squinch up his large face to make his eyes and mouth match a boy’s eyes and mouth). Then God must descend a second time but now in the text, there is no mention of eyes, mouth, hands during the second descent of Eliseus on the boy. It is now the Holy Spirit who descended on Pentecost and that’s why the boy coughs 7 times which is the number of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah.

              So a Jew wrote about the Trinity descending on man without the Jew knowing it or believing in the Trinity since prophecy need not be known in meaning by the prophet as when Caiphas said, ” Do you not see that it is expedient that one man die rather than the whole nation perish”. He meant “let’s kill Christ and the Romans will think us loyal to them and won’t come down on all of us when there are Jewish rebels like Christ.”. God meant Caiphas’ words theologically…it is better that one man die for sin and that therefore all do not perish. So God used Caiphas’ evil words to prophesy about the salvation brought by His Son.

              I was agnostic when young and very dangerous…and God had mercy on me in instants and the OT says…” it is easy in an instant for the Lord to make a poor man rich.” It is only surfacely talking of money. People here are interceding for you….you can take that to the bank 🙂

              • That is all very nice and all but I think I’m good. What you read into that Old Testament story is very, how can I say, ambitious. I have no idea how you came up with that interpretation.

                • Mark 10:18
                  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”

                  To enter purgatory after death, you must participate in God’s goodness….not man’s approximate goodness that varies per incident. A man can be “good” within his routine and then suddenly be in prison after using excessive force on an intruder as happened recently in the midwest and in Florida….two men with no record are now going in for long prison terms because their routine ” goodness” failed when a sudden unusual temptation was thrust on them….and both murdered what they thought were criminals. Routine goodness lasts only as long as the routine.

                  • When I said “I’m good” I didn’t mean it the way you took it. It is more like, I’ve got what I need. I’m good. I don’t need what you are offering.

  2. “is not a challenge to the politically correct script our government and most of our media is reading to us.” What do you mean by this? Trying to be fair to those that have not committed acts of violence may be “politically correct” I prefer that to language that seeks to inflame a whole group. I agree that this was a strange occurrance delivering to this particular mosque, but don’t think we need to read too much into it. It couldn’t have been meant to insult this poor woman in any way.

    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2014/10/president-obama-sends-message-to-killers-mosque-did-he-ignore-victims-family/#ixzz3FbE2EFa7

  3. . It’s a weird omission but I never heard either of St. John Paul II writing to murder victim families as he wrote to US officials to stop the execution of a murderer of their loved one. I followed the papers at the time and saw no report of his reaching out to victim families….which kind of went along with his not meeting any victims of sex abuse of which he was aware in 1985 when he appointed a cleric to assess the situation in the US….I add that detail for young Catholics whom Weigel has convinced that 2002 news reports alerted the Pope.

    • You raise great points. The late Pope’s inability/unwillingness to acknowledge the sex abuse crimes and victims was inexcusable and stains in a massive way his legacy, which is otherwise very life-affirming. It truly scares me that so many Catholics are willing to gloss over his negligence, or believe that the reporting of the crimes was the result of a bias against the Church. And I have no respect for George Weigel any longer. That said, though, I doubt – although who knows – that the Pope sent special greetings to those he believed to be abusers. If we believe that the Pope was wrong, then we have to believe Obama’s actions were just as inexcusable.

      • But Gigi…the mosque was not abusive because their man was and muslims have died in the US army fighting in Iraq. I think Obama was odd sending to them though. He was sending a message to US muslims that they are not responsible for their wackos…BUT DID HE CHECK THEIR SPECIFIC SERMONS. I doubt it. What if their sermons were condoning of jihad? Hopefully not but he should have checked.

  4. I really have a hard time liking anything Obama does or has done. That would not be true about Bill Clinton or Jimmy Cater. There were aspects of their presidency I liked, even though predominantly we disagreed. With Obama it just strikes me he lives in a different nation or a different world.
    Now that I’ve seen a picture of the poor woman, i really feel for her and her family. May God make this right in the end for all.

  5. I’m not familiar with your publication,
    but I sense that you have incorrectly personalized Obama’s generic holiday
    wishes to this place of worship. Obama, all his faults notwithstanding, has been very respectful
    of the 3 Abrahamic religions. I’ve regularly seen his posted wishes to the Jewish
    community during holidays as well as Christian. To suggest that this message went to
    this mosque specifically as “the killer’s mosque” sounds very
    inflammatory about Obama’s intentions, and not truthful to me. I’m not wishing to cheerlead for Obama, but I think you’ve looking for an insult where none existed.

    • I don’t follow the president’s regular attaboys and attagirls. He may well issue them to every individual church, mosque and temple in the United States on a regular basis. That would be many tens of thousands of messages, but he does have franking privileges.

      However, I doubt very much that the president sends the director of the Interfaith Division of Homeland Security to personally read these missives at each worship service. If he did, we would need many tens of thousands of such message-reading directors. If they fly commercial, it would almost certainly raise the bottom line of all the airlines.

      That action of sending this director is, under the circumstances, inflammatory. The circumstance I’m referring to is that Mrs Hufford was beheaded by a member of this religious organization who was shouting religious slogans while he did it. The president not only went way out of his way to honor this religious organization at this terrible time, he ignored the victim’s family.

      This combination is offensive to most of the larger community of which I am a part. If there is anything inflammatory in this, it’s the president’s actions.

      There is nothing untrue about any of this that I know of. I’ll be happy to add other facts if they are provided.

      • A few things: 1) The President’s message to ISGOC had NOTHING to do with the horrifying act of Alton Nolen; David Myers of DHS came to praise the congregation for its good efforts in restoring the community in the wake of a previous tornado’s ravages. One thing has nothing to do with the other. 2) The congregation completely condemned, disavowed, and repudiated Alton Nolen’s acts of violence; their statement is on their webpage. He was not well-known to them, and thought him a bit strange. 3) The killer struck immediately after he was fired; this was most likely a workplace killing, although the investigation is ongoing.

        There are some deranged individuals who use religion to justify all manner of atrocities; every religion has them. I believe it is wrong to associate this killer with either a religiously based killing, or with the whole of Islam, as well as to insinuate that either this mosque was culpable, or that the President was celebrating these acts. That’s as ugly as if we took the barbarism of white supremacists or Timothy McVeigh and attributed them to Christianity as a whole. Given that I’ve seen this report on Breitbart and Fox news, it’s clear to me that connections between these evil acts and the President are being wrongfully spun to demonize both Islam and the President.

        If you care about the truth, look a little deeper and who tells these stories, and why. My Gramma always said, a half-truth is a whole lie. It sounds better in Yiddish, but English will have to do.

        http://www.newson6.com/story/26649203/members-of-okc-mosque-speak-out-against-alton-nolen

        • Why baby, #1 how do you know it had nothing to do? There were no reports of Eid messages to other specific mosques. #2 there have been some reports from former members that jihad is preached, including forced conversions. I suspect they have a lot of prison “ministry” and perhaps Nolan came into contact with the people there. It would be easy to co-opt a person with violent tendencies and a willingness to convert.
          #3 he was not fired. He was suspended for several things regarding performance and behavior according to what I’ve seen. When someone yells “Allahu”Akbar”, has been trying to convert people to Islam and makes statements regarding religious convictions justifying actions, that is not workplace violence.
          Saying “all religions” is specious. Islam, from its beginnings has converted by force, with violence and armed struggle. A basic tenant is Dar al-Salam versus Dar al-harb, House of Peace vs House of War. To deny that is to ignore One of Islam’s bases. There are many other basic tenants, but Im sure your grandmother would want you to read about them yourself.

  6. A few things: 1) The President’s message to ISGOC had NOTHING to do with the horrifying
    act of Alton Nolen; David Myers of DHS came to praise the congregation
    for its good efforts in restoring the community in the wake of a
    previous tornado’s ravages. One thing has nothing to do with the other.
    2) The congregation completely condemned, disavowed, and repudiated
    Alton Nolen’s acts of violence; their statement is on their webpage. He
    was not well-known to them, and they thought him a bit strange. 3) The killer
    struck immediately after he was fired; this was most likely a workplace
    killing, although the investigation is ongoing.

    There
    are some deranged individuals who use religion to justify all manner of
    atrocities; every religion has them. I believe it is wrong to associate
    this killer with either a religiously based killing, or with the whole
    of Islam, as well as to insinuate that either this mosque was culpable,
    or that the President was celebrating these acts. That’s as ugly as if
    we took the barbarism of white supremacists or Timothy McVeigh and
    attributed them to Christianity as a whole. Given that I’ve seen this
    report on Breitbart and Fox news, it’s clear to me that connections
    between these evil acts and the President are being wrongfully and
    falsely spun to demonize both Islam and the President.

    If you care about the truth, please look a little deeper at most
    especially WHO tells these stories, and WHY. My Gramma always said, “a
    half-truth is a whole lie”. It sounds better in Yiddish, but English
    will have to do.

    http://www.newson6.com/story/26649203/members-of-okc-mosque-speak-out-against-alton-nolen

    • No one has done that. You should read the other things I wrote. The idea that the president did this because of the tornado which happened a year and a half ago, (and ignored all the other faith groups who helped) does not track.

      The president dissed the victims’ families with this.

      Get over it.

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