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, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.Did I miss something? Are Muslims being treated differently or unfairly in this country? Apparently it is unfair to suggest that it might be unwise, as well as tasteless, insensitive and insulting to build a mega-mosque within sight of the ground where 3,000 Americans were murdered by radical Muslims. So our beloved leader, during an iftar, took the opportunity to, no doubt with noble bow to Islam, say that sensitivity to Islam takes precedence over sensitivity to America's dead. Until he didn't:
Already getting trounced in the polls, Democrats are reeling over the President’s decision to side with the Muslim Brotherhood over the American people by endorsing the Ground Zero mosque. So he’s trying to close Pandora’s Box.So during his Ramadan dinner Barry was merely sucking up to the Muslims gathered for the feast but once the festivities ended Obama went to his fall back position of voting "present". I wasn't aware that anyone was arguing that the Muslims don't have a legal right to build wherever they chose. At issue is whether they have a moral right to gloat within site of our national tragedy.
Politico reports [and thanks to John Hinderaker at Powerline for pointing this out] that Obama is now seeking “to defuse the controversy” by explaining that he was merely talking about the mosque proponents’ legal right to build at the World Trade Center site. “I was not commenting and I will not comment,” he said, “on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there” (emphasis added).
Good luck with that one. Compounding insult with cynicism and cowardice is probably not a winning strategy.
Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist, rivals for the US Senate race, have each weighed in on Obama's stance (non-stance?) on the Ground Zero Mosque:
First to Marco Rubio:
"We are a nation founded on strong principles of religious freedom. However, we cannot be blind to the pain 9/11 caused our nation and the families of the victims. It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism. I strongly disagree with President Obama and Charlie Crist."And to Crist:
"I think he's right - yeah," Crist, who was elected governor as a Republican but is now running for Senate as an independent candidate, told CNN. "We are a country in my view that stands for freedom of religion. You know, respect for others. I know there are sensitivities and I understand that, but I think Mayor Bloomberg is right and I think the President is right."Stay tuned-Crist will update, change and