by John Hawkins | August 17, 2010 1:41 pm
“I’m hoping Obama’s endorsement will do for the Ground Zero mosque what it did for Corzine, Deeds, Coakley, & Specter.” — John Hawkins on Twitter
In what may have been the biggest unforced error of his presidency so far, Barack Obama foolishly endorsed the mosque at Ground Zero at a Ramadan dinner,
In his speech on Friday, Mr Obama said: ‘Let me be clear: As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right to practise their religion as everyone else in this country.
‘That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.’
Then, after Obama was predictably hit with a tsunami of criticism, he quickly changed his vote to “present,”
But the next day he insisted he had not been commenting on the ‘wisdom’ of placing a mosque in such a symbolic place.
Challenged about his comments during a family trip to Florida at the weekend, the President said: ‘I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there.
‘I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding.’
Mr Obama said that ‘my intention was simply to let people know what I thought. Which was that in this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion.’
The White House insisted Mr Obama was not backing away from his initial comments.×
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Spokesman Bill Burton said: ‘What he said last night, and reaffirmed today, is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a mosque.’
Some people called Obama’s remarks courageous. They were not.
Courage would have been getting up at that Ramadan dinner and saying that even though they had a right to build a mosque on that spot, they should show sensitivity to the victims’ families by doing it elsewhere. It also would have taken courage for Obama to admit, after the heat was on, that he was endorsing the mosque. Instead, Obama took the coward’s way out in both cases.
Ironically, he also unintentionally elevated the Ground Zero mosque debate into a national issue in a way that no one else could have. Because Obama opened his big yap, Democrats across America are finding it much more difficult to tactfully ignore the whole debacle. Now, they either have to speak, and infuriate the reactionary Left, which wants to defile Ground Zero because conservatives oppose it, or they have to take an incredibly unpopular stand on an emotional issue less than 3 months before an election.
Harry Reid apparently decided that discretion was the better part of valor,
The 1st Amendment protects freedom of religion. Sen. Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else. — Reid assistant Jim Manley explains Harry Reid’s position on the Ground Zero Mosque
There are now more Democrats in Congress speaking out against the mosque. Some of them are even quite vehement about it,
They have a constitutional right to build this, but with rights come responsibilities.… Building a mosque near Ground Zero is insensitive, an affront to the victims of 9/11, and it lacks respect for the general public’s feelings.… I think another location should be chosen. — Rep. Michael Arcuri (D., N.Y.)
So, are Harry Reid, Michael Arcuri, & the other Democrats who are now speaking out hateful bigots who despise Muslims? That’s certainly what they said about conservatives who opposed the mosque, for exactly the same stated reasons. I guess that nothing matters but the party label to these liberal parrots who don’t know how to argue other than by shouting “racism” over and over again.
Last but not least, if these liberals had brains in their heads and weren’t so focused on proving they’re more englightened than the great unwashed masses of Americans, they might consider how they’re harming moderate Muslims with this sort of stupidity.
Building a mosque on that spot is extraordinarily offensive and would be the biggest victory for radical Islam since 9/11. When liberals support radical Islam, they disempower moderate Muslims. There are plenty of Muslim immigrants in this country who came here to get away from radicalism. Now liberals want to help it follow them here in the name of “tolerance?” Tolerance and sensitivity are a two way street. You can’t spit in people’s faces by building a celebratory mosque at 9/11 and then credibly claim you want to “build bridges” to the community. Even a liberal should be able to understand that. They should also understand that moderate Muslims who genuinely do want to “build bridges” to the community don’t want to be lumped in with Hamas-loving bad guys like Faisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero Mosque.
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