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Obama endorses Ground Zero mosque

Via The Wall Street Journal Online:

President Barack Obama defended the plan to build a mosque near the site of the 2001 terror attacks in New York, telling Muslim guests at a Ramadan dinner at the White House that the nation's commitment to freedom of religion "must be unshakable.''

Mr. Obama's remarks came after weeks of the White House sidestepping the debate that has roiled New York and the nation since developers announced plans to build a $100 million, 13-story mosque and Islamic cultural center just two blocks from the World Trade Center site.

Opponents, particularly conservatives, have called the proposed mosque an affront to those who died in the attack by Islamist terrorists.

The president, in his prepared remarks for the Friday evening event, said, "I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

"But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan,'' he said.

"...This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable,'' Mr. Obama said.


Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles Burlingame was the pilot of the plane the terrorists hijacked and flew into the Pentagon, said she was furious over the president's remarks.

"I'm so angry. I believe this president has abandoned the American people,'' she said. "This isn't a fight about religious freedom for Muslims. No one has argued they don't have the property rights. This is about a project led by someone who says he's trying to build bridges and bring the community together and he's chosen probably the worst place in America and the worst way to do it.''

I'll make a prediction.

Obama's poll numbers are gonna take a little dip.

For a more reasoned, less nuanced look at this issue, I bring you some Krauthammer:

A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there -- and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated.

President Obama is not living up to this obligation.

This will not sit well with the American people.


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Comments (21)

obama is as delusional as D... (Below threshold)

obama is as delusional as Dina Lohan if he thinks this country needs a mosque near Ground Zero! Course, he's probably going to fly there each week on Air Force One to worship!

Looks like the terrorists h... (Below threshold)
John S:

Looks like the terrorists have won.

I'm actually glad he said t... (Below threshold)

I'm actually glad he said this.
It makes him more radioactive.
Bet the dem incumbents are praying that he doesn't campaine in there district.

The 'smartest man in the US... (Below threshold)

The 'smartest man in the US' can sure say some stupid things. Seeing as this time the remarks "were prepared in advance", President Present! is making a stand. Guess he's counting on all those Muslim votes this fall. Others would call it pandering.

Of course Obama wouldn't co... (Below threshold)

Of course Obama wouldn't comment on the Mosque before, he said it was a State issue. I guess he changed his mind, or did he want to give the Muslims a Ramadan celebration surprise? How precious! I thought his pushing health care was about as bad as it could get, then he insults us by saying Muslims can build a Mosque anywhere they want, after all this is America. Really Mr. Obama, that isn't even the point. Honestly, how dumb do you think we are?

"Really Mr. Obama, that... (Below threshold)

"Really Mr. Obama, that isn't even the point. Honestly, how dumb do you think we are?"

He's so dumb he's hoping were at least half as dumb as he is. Honestly folk's. This idiot would let them turn the oval office into a mosque if he hasn't already.

What a stupid thing to say ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

What a stupid thing to say - beyond being offensive!

If he felt that way, he could have kept it to himself and deferred judgment on the site to NYC, and not further damaged himself and his party politically in an already tough environment for them.

Does he actually WANT the GOP to take control of Congress so he can attempt to blame them for foiling his policies to save the economy, and divert blame from himself?

Or is he just an idiot?

I suppose Jim Addison think... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I suppose Jim Addison thinks the jewish(I presume he is jewish) mayor of New York city, Michael Bloomberg is an idiot, (see his eloquent article in Salon-I can`t link to it on this computer) or Thomas Jefferson or any of the pilgrim fathers who founded or came to this land for `freedom of religion`.

And what are we doing in Iraq or Afghanistan, if we don't support the moderate muslims who want Cordoba House built? If Obama didn`t come out strongly in favor of this, that`s all our American serviceman need fighting for the rights of moderate muslims against the fanatical extremists, in the Middle East? Our soldiers abroad, have ennough obstacles as it is.

Steve Crickmore,So... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Steve Crickmore,

So there SHOULD be a Japanese Shinto shrine at the USS Arizona memorial?

In the interests of religious freedom, of course.

Steve, please read Charles Krauthammer's article.

It's not about religious freedom, it's about what is right and what is not.

Why not? Why not build a st... (Below threshold)

Why not? Why not build a statue of Drew Brees in Indianapolis? Eat a Big Mac at Burger King? Wear clothes at a nudist resort?

Sky Captain, I have. Here i... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sky Captain, I have. Here is a good rebuttal. Kruauthmmer is one of the founding neo cons who well before 9-11, has been advocating regime change/conquest in the Middle East.

Can someone tell me WHO is ... (Below threshold)

Can someone tell me WHO is financing the building of this Mosque? I'm told that even the NYC gov't doesn't know. Are they using terrorist funding to build it (if they get to really do that)?

Although we can't discriminate this building on the basis of religion, at the least we can get is (and deserve) is RESPECT for those that died on 9/11. The Muslims should give pause for that reason alone.

Barry Obama rates extre... (Below threshold)
Gaius Piconius:

Barry Obama rates extremely high as an obfuscationist but over and over he leads with the totally misleading words, 'But let me be clear'...a sure sign that he is up to no good.
The clear confident voice, the left to right rubbernecking, the stern gaze, jutting chin and super confident voice are strikingly inappropriate to this man who is in his soul an unmitigated scoundrel. And that clear statement is completely sincere.

This guy is F'ing himself h... (Below threshold)

This guy is F'ing himself hard.

Steve Crickmore,Th... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Steve Crickmore,

The linked rebuttal is a load of carp. The title is "Charles Krauthammer Recycles Bigoted Lies to Villify Muslim Community Center", but indicates no lies that Krauthammer tells. It merely points DISAGREEMENTS the author has with Krauthammer.
Thus, the author loses many debate points right off the bat - persnaol attacks are not a good way to debate (but liberals never realize that).
Looking at the guy's post in your link (and using "Steve Crickmore logic"), he appears to be a standard liberal hack who can safely be ignored.

So, Steve, there SHOULD be a Japanese Shinto shrine at the USS Arizona memorial?
In the interests of religious freedom, of course.

Sky Captain, the prospecti... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sky Captain, the prospective Cordoba House is two blocks away from the 9/11 memorial which given the density of lower Manhattan is quite a distance, much, as to take your point...

An American flag waves briskly in the breeze beside a Shinto shrine on the major freeway leading from Honolulu to Pearl Harbor. Just five miles away is the spot where Japanese planes dropped their bombs on the American fleet. Few tourists rushing between Pearl Harbor and Waikiki realize the deep irony that flag symbolizes. But for those who fought in World War II or know the history of that encounter, the sight of an American flag at a shrine so closely associated with the adversary calls forth a whole complex of reactions

My point American public opinion especially from the right, is overreacting against all muslims,including American muslims, in almost the same way, we over-reacted against all Japanese-Hawaiians and Japanese-Americans by rounding them up following Pearl Harbour.

A shinto shrine at the USS ... (Below threshold)

A shinto shrine at the USS Arizona, no. Next to it, of course.

That`s more or less right, ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

That`s more or less right, like Cordoba Center, the community muslim center, 2 blocks away, not a mosque or shrine. There are already some tiny mosques nearby, 4 and 12 blocks away.

Today,, the New York Times reports on Masjid Manhattan (located four blocks from Ground Zero) and Masjid al-Farah (located 12 blocks from Ground Zero):

But what the two mosques have in common -- besides the sense of celebration and camaraderie that comes at the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, in which Muslims fast from sunup to sundown, give alms and focus on self-improvement -- is that both have existed for decades, largely unnoticed, blocks from the World Trade Center site.

The Times goes on to note, "Both mosques -- essentially one-room operations -- routinely turn people away for lack of space." And thus, the need for a new, larger location.

The unique aspect of the Cordoba House is not the mosque, but rather the fact it will "house a cultural centre, a 500-seat performing arts centre, culinary school, exhibition space, swimming pool, gym, basketball court, restaurant, library and art studios." The vision of the project spearheaded by Imam Abdul Faisal Rauf is that it will function like the nearby Jewish-run cultural center, which had a role "in helping the Jewish community become part of mainstream America." Rauf insists the facility "will serve as a YMCA-type community center for interfaith bridge-building."

Obama endorses Ground Ze... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Obama endorses Ground Zero mosque

The headline to this article is not correct. Obama did not endore the mosque, he endorsed the First Amendment to the Constitution. Something you guys are arguing against.

I was at the Trade Center t... (Below threshold)

I was at the Trade Center the day it fell. I volunteered to help. American Muslims volunteered with me. When the Trade Centers fell many American Muslims were inside the buildings and died as a result. When I was in the army I served with American Muslims. American Muslims Fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am proud they will have their chance to build near ground zero. It is not offensive, immoral or wrong to be Muslim, and just because one is Muslim does not mean they should be judged by the actions of other Muslims half a world away with different ideals and values. That is not how it is supposed to work in America.

I live in New York. I know ... (Below threshold)
Sunflower Pipes:

I live in New York. I know the area around Ground Zero well, I was there on 911 as a volunteer. That area 2 blocks from Ground Zero, were they want to build a Mosque, that area is America. America is a free country.






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