September 01, 2010

Liberty At Risk - What is it?

Liberty At Risk Artwork by Dan Youra

Dan Youra is the creator of Liberty At Risk, four illustrations depicting New York cityscapes, where a colossal mosque with golden domes and minarets towers above Manhattan. The art portrays a larger-than-life Obama, as a saintly, religious leader, who extinguishes, shrouds, topples and drowns the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Dan Youra is an editorial cartoonist with a recognized talent for political caricature. Deploying the main tool in his trade, namely, exaggeration, this creative artist paints a picture of conquest and surrender, where image outshines substance, and, where trophies trump treasures.

Youra stages the battle for the mosque, not as a fight between religions, ideologies or cultures, not as a conquest of victor over vanquished, but rather as a surrender. A president with a messianic complex and a confused religious identity fiddles away the nation’s primary assets - “its common Defense and Blessings of Liberty,” as identified in the Preamble to the US Constitution.

In August, Obama blessed the Manhattan mosque at his Ramadan dinner at the White House. He anointed “freedom of religion” status upon a radical group, which makes specious religious claims. He invests money from the US Treasury to send the mosque’s leaders to the mideast to solicit mega millions for the construction of the mega mosque. Having sanctified the mosque as a City on a Hill, a monument to his own Church of Hope and Change, Obama ignores his oath to the nation to “provide for our common Defense and promote our general Welfare.” The most fundamental asset of America - its security - is jeopardized.

Three images dominate the art of Liberty At Risk: Manhattan’s mega mosque, Saint Obama and an abused Statue of Liberty.

Mosque: Lower Manhattan is transformed into a gilded mosque with minarets and domes ascending above the skyline up to a crescent moon.

Obama: A saintly Barack Hussein Obama, adorned in religious vestments, walks on water, while abusing the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty: Lady Liberty is extinguished, shrouded, toppled and drowned in the four-part series.

Mega Mosque

The mega mosque is a bloated behemoth, which spires above the tallest skyscrapers of New York, exactly as it is visualized in the projections of both proponents and opponents. Its advocates envision it as a victorious trophy to shine from Manhattan to Mecca. Its detractors disparage it as a monstrous golden idol, casting shadows across their worse nightmares. In reality, the proposed mosque would occupy a drab building, dwarfed by neighboring skyscrapers on a nondescript street in lower Manhattan.

The mega mosque’s power is in its image and symbolism. To the leaders of the muslim world it is the ultimate prize, a defining tribute to the greatest act of invasion into the heart of the Western World’s headquarters, a conquest capped by the submission of the fallen.


The public is in a quandary over Obama’s religious faith. Neither he, nor anyone else, seems to know what his religion is. The One doesn't have one. He sees himself as part of them all. He is the Master of Uncertainty, the Father of Ambiguity. Even as he is accustomed to beginning his sentences with "Let me be perfectly clear . . ." he has not been clear in one statement about anything, since the first day the media dragged him out of Chicago's south side.

In the artwork Youra portrays Obama’s religious identity as trans-sectual. His attire transcends sects. “Saint O” is donned in a white outer vestment, often seen interchangeably on a Catholic bishop strutting around the Vatican or on a Muslim imam, crouched over in prayer with his butt raised toward the west. His holiness sports a white Roman collar atop a black cassock. Blue jeans and white sneakers are the foundation of the ensemble. A halo encircles his mighty mitre, inscribed 'Omam' - a unique brand name for the leader of The One religion. The omni-religiosity of the Omam of Manhattan is manifest in his walking on water, hardly a muslim image.

Statue of Liberty

The One’s acolytes in the media are playing the Manhattan mosque as a “freedom of religion” issue, an interpretation that is simplistic and misses the mark. The first amendment to the Constitution does not use the phrase “freedom of religion” or “freedom of worship.” The Bill of Rights, as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known, was adopted four years after the Constitution. The amendments do not somehow trump the document’s founding principles, enumerated in the preamble, spelled out in subsequent pages and identified as the reasons for which the Constitution was established.

The preamble to the Constitution states that it is established to “form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity.”

The president's number one job is to defend the Constitution. He takes an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The desire by some radical groups to build a monument on the site of their greatest conquest does not trump the president’s #1 Job - protect our asses. The phrases "freedom of religion" and "freedom of worship" are reconstructions of what the 1st Amendment actually says, namely, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". To list “freedom of religion” in the same litany with “freedom of speech” and “freedom of assembly” is inaccurate. Siting a mosque is not “prohibiting the free exercise” of a religion. The radical Islamic imams do not have some automatic freedom to built mosques anywhere they want. Some countries do not even recognize Islam as a religion.


In the art Manhattan is recognizable by the Hudson River on the left flowing to the harbor and Statue of Liberty park, by the East River on the right flowing past the United Nations, the Con Ed power station and under the Brooklyn Bridge. The crescent shaped moon hanging over the Manhattan is a universally recognized symbol of Islam.

The message of Youra’s Liberty at Risk is this: If Manhattan becomes an outpost of Mecca, it won’t be because the imams conquered it, it will be because the Omam surrendered it.

Liberty At Risk is a series of four separate pieces of art. They are Liberty Extinguished, Liberty Shrouded, Liberty Toppled and Liberty Drowned.

Liberty At Risk animations.

Dan Youra’s art series is published at Right On Toon.

© 2010 Youra Media