Obama backs mosque near ground zero
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near ground zero, saying the country's founding principles demanded no less.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation.
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
Obama made the comments at an annual dinner in the White House State Dining Room celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Republicans were quick to pounce on the president's remarks.
"President Obama is wrong," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero. While the Muslim community has the right to build the mosque they are abusing that right by needlessly offending so many people who have suffered so much."
The White House had not previously taken a stand on the mosque, which would be part of a $100 million Islamic center to be built two blocks from where nearly 3,000 people perished when hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Press secretary Robert Gibbs had insisted it was a local matter.
It was already much more than that, sparking debate around the country as top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich announced their opposition. So did the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group.
Obama elevated it to a presidential issue Friday without equivocation.
While insisting that the place where the twin towers once stood was indeed "hallowed ground," Obama said that the proper way to honor it was to apply American values
"Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us , a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today," he said.
Entering the highly charged election-year debate, Obama surely knew that his words would not only make headlines but be heard by Muslims worldwide. The president has made it a point to reach out to the global Muslim community, and guests at Friday's dinner included ambassadors and officials from numerous Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
Unfortunately, they have a legal right to build it there but the idea of putting a mosque so close to Ground Zero is just stupid and I believe has zero to do with religion or tolerance. It is a historical fact that moslems build mosques near military victories and the destruction of the WTC is a biggie for them. If they are so interested in tolerance and healing, why not build an interfaith facility that includes the religions of all the victims of 9/11? And don't be so surprised that Obama backed the mosque. He has done nothing in the past 20 months that the American people have wanted. So why would this dictator do any different now?
Is it perfectly legal and would obama
put his name and office behind building
a shrine dedicated to the NAAWP?
National Association for the Advancement
of White People on PRIVATE PROPERTY
in New York?
true & honest tolerance
"change we can believe in"
All point to the need for an interfaith
facility. But that's not what Obama stands
for and certainly not on his radar.
The not so liberal liberals will defend
this sort of crap to the hilt!
Thought I'd revisit this board to see if it is still the playpen of the ignorant and prejudiced.
Now "dr" I know you are an angry retired civil servant, so I don't expect much of you intellectually, but really....
1. It isn't a mosque. It is the equivalent of a YMCA or YMHA.
2. If you are one of those ignorant Americans who see Muslim plots everywhere, pray tell, which branch of Islam is behind them? From what goes on every day in Iraq, I don't see much chance of Sunni/Shia cooperation in any plots.
3. Since the Oklahoma City terrorist attack was the work of radical Christians, should we ban Christian churches from a radius around the Federal Building site in Oklahoma City?
4. How would you honor the Muslim Americans working in the Twin Towers who were killed during the 9/11 attacks?
5. Osama Bin LAden and his ilk represent how ignorance and hate can subvert religious values, so is your answer to show that Christians can hate just as much? I think tha hundreds of years of European history have made that point. That's why the Founding Fathers made religious freedom and freedom from religious interference in Government affairs a cornerstone of the American way of life. That's what the President is standing up for.
Interesting that support for the religious center, which is actually two blocks north of the WTC site. is strong in Manhattan. So why don't you butt out?