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  #1  
Old 22 September 2008, 05:19 AM
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Icon215 Obama visits mosque

Comment: Please verify/deny this rumor.

When Sen. Obama was visiting Iraq recently, he reportedly went to pray in
a mosque. He was allowed to enter but his guards (US military? Secret
Service?) were forced to remain outside as they were deemed 'infidels.'
Obama, however, was allowed in as he was raised as a muslim.
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  #2  
Old 22 September 2008, 06:30 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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In my experience, everyone is welcome in a mosque, infidel or not. In fact, infidels are often invited in as a way to reach out to them. If they stayed outside, it was more likely for practical reasons (not wanting to take off their combat boots, not wanting to bring weapons into a house of worship or something like that).

I've told this story before, but it's worth telling again. A Moslem friend of mine was visiting Sweden. As there are not that many mosques here, at least in the smaller towns, he had to pray elsewhere. Sometimes, in his hotel room, but at a couple of times in a church. Of course, he didn't pray in the kneeling way, he just sat down and had a silent prayer. He explained it like this: "It's a house of God, and we are all people of the book.". Basically, if one has a god that's all powerful, all knowing and who created everything, there can't really be many variations on the theme. With one universe, which is the observable part of the god, it's not far fetched to assume that the Christian god and the Moslem god is the same, although slightly differently described.

Even if it did happen, is it such a bad thing to have a presidential candidate who is prepared to reach out with a friendly hand to a potential opponent?
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  #3  
Old 22 September 2008, 06:32 AM
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Roll eyes

I'm sure that whoever was guarding him was perfectly happy to just let him go out of sight in a building that couldn't be checked at all.
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  #4  
Old 22 September 2008, 11:28 AM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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I've been in a mosque. Obviously I'm a Muslim too. Hmm...
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  #5  
Old 22 September 2008, 12:21 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
I'm sure that whoever was guarding him was perfectly happy to just let him go out of sight in a building that couldn't be checked at all.
If it happened as described, I assume he told them to wait outside. They may not be perfectly happy about it, but an order is an order.

That's more or less how Sweden lost Olof Palme. He wanted to go to the movies alone with his wife, on the way home, someone ambushed them without escort and shot him.
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  #6  
Old 22 September 2008, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
If it happened as described, I assume he told them to wait outside. They may not be perfectly happy about it, but an order is an order.
I'd be very surprised if the U.S. Secret Service complied with any such order from a presidential candidate. Obama has no real authority over the agents who protect him. They don't work for him, they work for the Treasury Department, and they have a Congressional mandate to protect him.

The line gets trickier with an elected president, but even if POTUS ordered Secret Service agents to stand down while he walked into an unscreened building without them, I don't think they'd do it.
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Old 22 September 2008, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I've been in a mosque. Obviously I'm a Muslim too. Hmm...
I even went to one for Friday prayers. And was warmly welcomed . . .
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  #8  
Old 22 September 2008, 12:57 PM
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I also went to a Friday service, and all the girls were geeked that a non- Muslim was interested in the religion.
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  #9  
Old 22 September 2008, 01:09 PM
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Wolf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
If it happened as described, I assume he told them to wait outside. They may not be perfectly happy about it, but an order is an order.
Bodyguards are often not subject to the direct authority of the principle. Their orders are to protect him, they are not his lackeys or errand boys. If the principle is attacked while they are standing outside on the principle's request they have failed in their charge.

Generally, the way that it works is that their is a chain of command that the principle can give instruction to the top of that chain, but not to the people actually guarding him.
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  #10  
Old 22 September 2008, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
Generally, the way that it works is that their is a chain of command that the principle can give instruction to the top of that chain, but not to the people actually guarding him.
Exactly. So the POTUS, for example, could give orders to the Secretary of the Treasury, a political appointee who "serves at the pleasure of the President." The Secretary gives orders to the top professional staff of the department, who report directly to the Secretary. Orders to the Secret Service would filter down through that hierarchy.

So practically speaking, if there were a standoff between POTUS and his Secret Service detail, the situation would probably resolve in some way berfore an order filtered through the hierarchy to the detail. And it might never filter down, if one or more of the non-political Treasury employees stands their ground and refuses to pass it along.

And a candidate, like Obama, could really do no more than ask POTUS, or the Treasury Secretary, to pass along a command.
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  #11  
Old 22 September 2008, 01:29 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Bodyguards are often not subject to the direct authority of the principle. Their orders are to protect him, they are not his lackeys or errand boys. If the principle is attacked while they are standing outside on the principle's request they have failed in their charge.
You USA-ians are wierd. You are more or less placing the guy under house arrest.

As flawed as it may be from a security standpoint, I prefer our system, where each is free to choose their own risks.
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  #12  
Old 22 September 2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
You USA-ians are wierd. You are more or less placing the guy under house arrest.

As flawed as it may be from a security standpoint, I prefer our system, where each is free to choose their own risks.
And get shot on the way home from the movies....
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  #13  
Old 22 September 2008, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
You USA-ians are wierd. You are more or less placing the guy under house arrest.
We have a very different history than Sweden re: political assassinations.
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  #14  
Old 22 September 2008, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
They don't work for him, they work for the Treasury Department, and they have a Congressional mandate to protect him.
Nitpick: The Secret Service has been part of Homeland Security since 2003. They advertise all over campus, so I know more about them than I would ever want to.
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  #15  
Old 22 September 2008, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
Nitpick: The Secret Service has been part of Homeland Security since 2003. They advertise all over campus, so I know more about them than I would ever want to.
Ah, good catch. Thank you.

So they answer, ultimately, to the Secretary for Homeland Security. Which makes more sense anyway.
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  #16  
Old 22 September 2008, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Obama, however, was allowed in as he was raised as a muslim.
Weren't Obama's parents atheists and not a practitioner of any Muslim religion?
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  #17  
Old 22 September 2008, 03:44 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Weren't Obama's parents atheists and not a practitioner of any Muslim religion?
From what I recall, his father was born a Muslim, but he was raised mostly by his mother.
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  #18  
Old 22 September 2008, 04:45 PM
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Ya, know, I have to wonder if Sen. Obama's mother had named him "Barry Henry Olson", would we be having all these debates about his religion?
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  #19  
Old 22 September 2008, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseyDawn View Post
Ya, know, I have to wonder if Sen. Obama's mother had named him "Barry Henry Olson", would we be having all these debates about his religion?
I don't think that changing your name is going to stop people from raking mud on you if they really want to. If the fact that Obama is a self proclaimed christian and was a united states citizen doesn't stop people from making crap up, I doubt that anything would.

I personally think that this Muslim crap is just people trying to say that they hate blacks without actually saying it outright to reveal their bigotry. Character assassination is so much more affective.
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  #20  
Old 22 September 2008, 05:13 PM
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Jaded

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
You USA-ians are wierd. You are more or less placing the guy under house arrest.
Only to those people who don't understand what the term "house arrest" actually means.

- snopes
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