Hamdani courted further controversy by appearing at the funeral of former President Bob Thompson. Thompson had served two terms and while his administration had worked hard on outreach to the Muslim world, he also engaged in the targeted murder of Muslim religious leaders and provided aid to the Zionist entity. For these reasons, President Al-Thani chose not to appear at his funeral even though President Thompson had been a member of the pre-transition Freedom and Religion Party, which was then known as the Republican Party.
Despite the official disapproval, Thompson was viewed positively by many in the Muslim community. Tens of millions of Pakistani-Americans remember how after the India-Pakistan war, the Thompson Administration generously opened its borders to victims of the nuclear fallout in Pakistan. Without that step it might have taken decades more before America achieved a Muslim majority.
During the beginning of his second term, Thompson became the first president to take the oath of office on both a Bible and a Koran declaring that he wanted to make no separation between the books of god. At the Thompson funeral, Hamdani appeared to promise that he would repeat that gesture, but his spokeswoman quickly disavowed any notion that he would ever take an oath on a text that was not the Koran.
"No American president has taken an oath on a bible in over a decade, all that the governor meant was that he would keep both Christians and Muslims in mind as the people of Allah when he takes his oath to protect and defend the Sharia," Aisha Zubedi said.
While the Democracy and Justice Party has often appealed to the poor, its missteps have raised concerns in traditional Muslim communities that Hamdani is going too far in pandering to non-Muslims. "Next thing you know he'll say we should let the Jews come back to America," Congressman Mohammed Mogabe declared. "If Hamdani wants votes out of Cleveland then he is going to show he will fight for us, not for the enemies of the prophets."
Hamdani has hurriedly scheduled an upcoming visit to the Ground Zero Mosque, but it may not be enough to improve his image in the eyes those who have accused him of flirting with apostasy. While the Mosque is a traditional stop for presidential candidates, Hamdani is unlikely to pay tribute to the souls of the 19 martyrs as Al-Thani did during the previous election.
Hoping to refocus attention on his economic program, Hamdani called for higher corporate taxes and accused some corporations of abusing Islamic banking, in particular Hibah payments, to avoid paying taxes. Such charges are not new, but particularly galling at a time when over a third of the country is out of work and tycoons like Ahmed Shalafi and Sheikh Johnson have used their connections with the Al-Thani government to become billionaires.
To counter Hamdani, Al-Thani's economic advisers have offered up a stimulus plan that raises the Jizya tax on infidels for the second time in a year and vowed to cut spending even further without affecting subsidies to Islamic schools or military preparedness for the Global Jihad. Though the election is still some time away, the Al-Thani campaign has also rolled out a series of ads targeting poor communities which accuse Hamdani of plotting with Jewish and Christian tycoons to subvert the Islamic system of finance through freemasonry and Communist class warfare tactics.
But frustrating his own party members, the septuagenarian McMillan appeared to an event commemorating the 2045 riots and gave a rousing speech which hit on many of the same old themes. "For thirty-six years I've been involved in politics and the only thing that I can tell you about politics is that it's all bunk. We weren't talking about the things that mattered thirty-six years ago and we aren't talking about them now."