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Obama Visits Indonesia’s Grand Istiqlal Mosque

Well he skipped the Sikh Golden Temple in India, possibly because the headdress requirement would make him look like a Muslim. But President Obama visited the enormous Istiqlal Mosque in Indonesia today, hoping to spread his “Can’t we all just get along” message to the Islamic world.

Here’s the pool report by Sheryl Stolberg of the New York Times and Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal:

Motorcade pulled out of shangri-la hotel at 8:10 am. Hundreds of camera toting onlookers lined the streets with armies of motorcycles backed up at the corners.

The Istiqlal mosque is a vast, white concrete structure, reminiscent of the Kennedy Center with a large dome on top.

Potus started in a VIP entrance and went to the large drum used for the call to prayer. Pool waited in a large brick courtyard, used by the faithful during the call to prayer, as Potus got the full tour, including the prayer room and the inside of the dome.

Potus, in a gray suit, and Flotus in a silky flowing chartreuse pant suit and beige head covering stepped onto a pale blue carpet laid out for their arrival with the grand imam, Haji Mustapha Ali Yaqub. Flotus head scarf was adorned with gold beads and a black fringe. She also wore thin lace footie socks — very elegant.

Potus turned to the pool, breaking from his conversation with the Imam, to say the Imam pointed out that there is a Catholic church next door and at Christmas time, the mosque allows parishioners to use the mosque’s parking lot “because they don’t have enough facilities.”

“That’s an example of the kind of cooperation” between religions in Jakarta, Potus said.

Well, let’s not get too carried away. I’m sure Indonesia is a wonderful place, and you can visit to see for yourself if you like. Unless you hold an Israeli passport, in which case, you can’t.

Here’s a photo of Obama and Michelle, who is garbed appropriately but apparently unnecessarily – it’s not required of non-Muslims to wear a headscarf. The adorable little guy is Imam Haji Mustapha Ali Yaqub, chief cleric at the mosque.

Here’s Ahmadinejad on his visit to the same mosque a few years back.

Oh well, maybe they weren’t fully aware of his denial of the Holocaust, threats to nuke Israel, oppression of his own people, and so forth.

Here’s some video of Obama making nice during an address at the University of Indonesia, discussing how the two great democracies, the United States and Indonesia, will lead the world to an era of tolerance and greatness, or something, and muttering some words in Indonesian.

12 Responses to Obama Visits Indonesia’s Grand Istiqlal Mosque

  1. Independence and freedom for Indonesians (except females who must be corralled like the dumb animals) impressed our Prez. , How wonderful that MrO can speak the language of Indonesia when he has so much trouble communicating with Americans.
    MrsO, looking like Gumby in her green outfit, probably made her first and last trip to the countries that treat women like dumb animals, no matter what college they attended or how ‘toned’ their arms appear.

  2. If your a left-winger and you read this article you will probably say, “Wow, what a great photo op” and “my, the President is repairing our relations with Muslim nations.”

    Indonesia is HOTBED of ANTI-SEMITISM. Israeli passport holders may not enter and there is only one synagogue (near the Brantas River) in Surabaya. One.

    The Indonesian Government gives money to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and various other factions; many of these dollars are then funneled to Al Queda.

    Mr. Obama can play “peace maker” all he wants. By giving aid and comfort to anti-Semitism, hatred, bigotry and racism in this most vicious, hostile country, he remains a bigot in my book.

  3. How pitiful Mrs. Obama looks stuffed into a floppy pantsuit and her head bundled up to please muslim men. Her pants are too long to walk in and there are many photos of her grabbing at them to be able to take a step. What is really revealing is that way that BO and the Little Muslim Guy are laughing and talking and having a great time, dressed in regular clothing, and MO Is pretty well ignored. I am glad this happened and I am glad that the poor muslim guy had to touch MO’s hand. This opens a window into the real world of islam: gender apartheid and the subordination and devaluation of women. Wonder if MO now has a few more reasons to be proud of her country?

  4. Poor Michelle looks awful trying to fulfill the dress requirements.
    That pant suit is wicked, the pants are ridiculous and the sleeves are extra long, plus the whole top is very long
    I think as a western woman, I would dress in my own clothes, albeit modestly.

  5. To belabor the obvious, that pantsuit, which happens to be in my favorite color (affectionately known as monkey vomit green in our house), needs to be hemmed! Do these 5-star hotels not have full-length mirrors? And the scarf–well, babushka, no comment. If it preventing the loss of fingertips or something, OK. To repeat myself once again: two words, STY-LIST!!!

    As for the politics–I am sure that Indonesian segment was all about how this country had promise.

  6. Mr. Koffler,

    The Golden Temple is the holiest of shrines for the Sikh Community. It is not a Hindu temple. It is bad enough that there were reports that he avoided visiting the Golden Temple because he would have to cover his head and would be surrounded by turbaned Sikhs (possibly portraying him as a Muslim?) However, in Indonesia, he actually visited a Muslim Mosque and although this is a an amazing gesture towards their faith, it is unfortunate that not only are Sikhs confused for Hindus as stated through your blog posting, Sikhs are also mistaken for Muslims by the White House administration.

    Today the first combat, turbaned Sikh (Simran Lamba)was enlisted in the United States Army. I think we all really need to get a grasp on the worlds faiths and religions in order to clear the ignorance that only spreads hate and racism.

    A link to the US Army Sikh story.