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Park51 by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Barack Obama was still a community leader who did choose to speak out about the wisdom of building a Mosque near Ground-Zero? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On August 7th 2010,

on this day the impeachment trial of President Rod Blagojevich concluded in the US Senate with acquittal by a single vote cast by his fellow Illinoisan Barry Soereto raising speculation that a last-minute deal had been cut on the Mosque at Ground-Zero.

Elected to the 109th Congress in 2004, Soereto served not only the first Muslim Senator, but also the Chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Over the next five years he toured the world, reaching out to multi-faith leaders in a bold attempt to "hit-the-restart-button" on Christian-Muslim relations. He candidly admitted that his childhood neighbourhood in Jakarta was a breeding ground for fanatics. And yet the initial shock of seeing an elected American politican on Al-Jazeera eventually passed. But just when it appeared that Soereto's campaign had finally receded into the background, a new controversy emerged which would transform the Senator into a truly international political figure.

"Islamic Community Center is also a more apt description...." - reader's commentTwo Mosques near the World Trade Center had been severely damaged in the September 11th attacks. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf convinced a Muslim-run real estate company and developer called Soho Properties to build a new cultural center with a prayer space in Lower Manhatten. Liberals argued that Muslims had a constitutional right to build a Mosque at Ground-Zero on the basis of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Patriots maintaned that it was a monstrous offront to the memory of the victims of September 11th.

"Bazza was bought! That\'ll be his Ground-Zero!" - reader's commentAs big as this issue was, an even bigger issue emerged almost immediately. That issue was a taped recording of the President appearing to offer his former gubernatorial seat for cash. And yet the case against Blagojevich was badly mishandled, and despite easy passage through the House, the Senate vote hung on a knife-edge, perhaps the casting of just a single vote might swing the balance. And so Blagojevich turned to a most unlikely ally in Soereto. Ironically, Blagojevich's father was from Serbia, elements of whose National Army allegedly committed anti-Muslim genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina during the 1990s.

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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