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Obama, the Mosque and the Constitution

There have been thousands of reader comments about whether an Islamic complex should be permitted near Ground Zero in New York since President Obama first said blocking the mosque would undermine the nation's commitment to religious freedom then backed off a bit, and the flood continues today with
Michael Gerson's column the point of attack.

Readers both attack and defend the mosque and its proposed location; they cite the constitution on the one hand or the horror of 9/11 on the other, but there are strong voices on both sides.

We'll start with paulmathieu11, who wrote, "Obama's remark on Friday was the correct and moral one. His parsing later was unnecessary and weakened the initial message... Islamophobia is indeed an emotional issue and Obama and [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg are right to speak up. The "hallowed ground" excuses for the phobia are thin gruel: there are protestant temples in Hiroshima where hundred of thousand were killed by Protestants..."

But helpfulhenry said, "Gerson is the typical Obama apologist. What Obama lacks is leadership, common sense and a total disregard for what happened on 9/11. One of his many liberal propagandist (Gerson) keep trying to prop him up. It is embarassing."

chazmull suggested, "...It would have been perfectly appropriate for President Obama to say, 'I don't agree with the decision to build a Muslim cultural center two blocks from where Muslim extremists killed 3000 Americans. I believe this is insensitive and will divide us more than it will build bridges. However, the decision is not mine to make. Our deepest principles recognize the right of freedom of religion and rights of private property. So while I disagree with their decision, we should all vigorously defend their right to make such a decision.' "

mgregory29 asked, "Did anyone at the White House dinner for Ramadan get up and categorically condemn what the 19 hijackers did? Waiting till hell freezes over for that..."

st50taw wrote, "Credit where credit is due. You got this one just about exactly right. Do we want to thump our chests while we give the Taliban and al Queda one more recruiting tool? I don't think so."

jhough1 said, "Right on. But a President is supposed to have a position. There is no question that he seemed to back away from a good position when he got absolutely predictable criticism from the Limbaugh-Krauthammer types... Why cannot he stand and show strength even on this question of principle?"

childressp wrote, "The test of a society's values is when adherence is difficult, not when its easy. The Constitution is quite clear here. Banning an Islamic cultural center (if all proper permissions have been obtained) is impinging on the right of Muslims to practice their religion. We all may not like it, but as I said, the real test is when sticking to our values is difficult."

Tamerack said, "Puhleez! Your analysis is hogwash. Readers are not ignorant and do not need instruction on how to think. Your defense of the Mr. Obama's postion is pathetic."

patmatthews wrote, "Religious freedom is the foundation of America. Anyone espousing anything else should be considered un-American. First Muslims will be targeted? Whom will be next, Buddhist, Atheists, etc? Who's religion will be considered below the standards of American Christian Politics next? I think these people, whether they be GOP, Tea Party, Evangelic Christian's, are ALL wrong for picking on one religion; Islam; as if the Christian Crusades did not happen..."

jenniferbugenator said, "The Muslims who flew the planes into the buildings equated Islam with violence and terrorism, and any idiot should be able to understand the affront to the wounded left behind from that attack. Nobody denies the right to build the damn thing, however anybody with an ounce of human compassion would understand why the mosque does not belong there..."

mty917 wrote, "As far as I can tell, they are building an office building on the site. Why no outrage over the fact that the 9/11 temple will now be an altar to gold? Where is outrage over porn shops two blocks form this sacred ground? Call it what is, bigotry."

gandalong3 said, "God save America from those who are hell bent on making her into a bastion of hate and intolerance. Many fought and died so we move away from such vices. It seems the descendants of the perpetrators of inhumanity to their fellow men are the same ones now calling for more intolerance towards another minority group. God help you all overcome such hate and God save America."

Nov2010_ wrote, "Democrats fight AGAINST prayer after school on school property. Democrats fight FOR muslims right for beheadings, female genital mutilation, stoning of women for adultery, honor killings, and forced and arranged marriages."

bethg1841 said, "The outrage is directly directed at Muslims, or religion for that matter. Did the murder of thousands of people really have anything to do with religios freedom? The issue is about sensitivity toward U.S. citizens who lived through a devastating attack by a group of fanatics who are opposed to religious freedom. The organizers should have withdrawn their proposal to build at the site out of respect for the survivors. Rather, they continue to play "king of the hill".

We'll close with timothy2me, who wrote, "So the US constitution is now a liberal, left wing document. I can live with that."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  August 16, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
 | Tags: 9-11, Gerson, Mosque, Musliims, Obama, World Trade Center  
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Next: Could Islamic Center issue harm GOP?

Comments

Known GOP offender Ed Rollins, was on "Face The Nation" Sunday, claiming exactly how the "9/11 families" are opposed to the mosque. As in, monolithically.

Attn: Ed - Simple 1st Amendment freedom, which you can learn up on by Googling. It's not hard, and it's not changing.

Your ignorance is astounding, and you insult the intelligence of the 9/11 families by implying that they aren't able to understand the Amendment either...

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | August 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

For me, this is a simple question: Do you believe in the Constitution or not? A simple "yes" to that question ends the discussion. Why? Because religious freedom is basic to who we are, just as the President said. When you begin to equivocate on that question for what ever reasons, or when you start to invent rationalizations against such a constitutional choice, the reset of the world looks at us and thinks: "Aha! Just as I suspected. They only reserve such constitutional rights to a select, elite few!" And they would be right.

Posted by: jaxas70 | August 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who wants the government to take any action against the NYC mosque is a traitor to this country. There is no two ways about it. Either you acknowledge that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land or you are at war with America.

It has become obvious that the right wing of this country is firmly opposed to the Constitution of the United States. We can't say when exactly it will come to this, but civil war seems inevitable. The sooner that Constitutionalists prepare for this fact, the more likely we are to win.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | August 17, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who wants the government to take any action against the NYC mosque is a traitor to this country. There is no two ways about it. Either you acknowledge that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land or you are at war with America.

It has become obvious that the right wing of this country is firmly opposed to the Constitution of the United States. We can't say when exactly but it will come to this, but civil war seems inevitable. The sooner that Constitutionalists prepare for this fact, the more likely we are to win.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | August 17, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, President Obama, for showing courage and doing the right thing on this issue. The mosque opponents are nothing but modern day Know-nothings. In this country, we do not impose double standards on the exercise of our God-given and Constitutionally protected rights. Muslims have the right to build a mosque anywhere that a church, synagogue, or Hindu temple could be built.

There is no connection between the Islamic center and 9/11. Zero.

How blind of some not to recognize the applicable precedent: the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. That act is now universally viewed as an egregious violation of every principle this country stands for. But some want to repeat the mistake by holding all Muslims guilty for all times for a specific act perpetrated by a few fanatics. Shame.

Posted by: tbarksdl | August 17, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

As a follower of the principals of Jesus, I can agree with Him that the world is full of Pharisees, who pretend loudly that they are properly religious. But they instead act only with intolerance. That is why they killed Jesus.

Posted by: jamesrichard3 | August 17, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Praise to President Obama, he did not succomb to electoral needs. I cant agree more on his speech and as well on the clarifications the day after. It has to be clear that the terrorits of 9/11 by no way were the represantatives of any country or of any religious group, moreover this will show once more the values of a democratic country as opposed to dictatorial regimes where freedom is denied by the day. You loose these values and you loose USA.

Posted by: pierocerri | August 17, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Wars rage in Iraq and Afghanistan, the world economy teeters on the brink of Collapse II, mid-term elections around the corner, the residents of the Gulf remain desperately in need of jobs, a natural disaster of astounding proportions has hit Pakistan, and what penetrating questions does the US news media ask:

1. Anything in Sarah Palin's tweets we can write about for a week without doing any actual work?

2 Anything on Liz Cheney's website we could use to stir up public rage?

Add to this mix a poorly worded poll that was sure to polarize people anymore, and you have a week-long story that looks a lot like a dog chasing its tail.

Posted by: exco | August 16, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Their Pakistani fellow muslims are drowning in flood. Why don't this cordoba people send their 100 mil to aid the relief? That might give a clue that these are indeed peace loving muslims, who are behind this mosque that majority of Americans object to. Or this stupid mosque is a statement to prove their right? And damn be their wretched brothers and sisters. In any way, these cordoba people are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Posted by: patriot0523 | August 16, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

When the ADL weighed in with an opinion on this issue, it gave a pretty clear indicator of who's actually behind this protest.

"Zionists"

These people HATE Islam with a passion.

And they're thick in Washington DC. You can't turn around there without bumping into somebody from the Israeli lobby. Especially in the State Dept.

So while they've got everybody looking for a Muslim behind every tree, they're unfolding their own agenda across the world.

Say what you will, but's it's my belief that these are the actual masterminds behind the 9/11 attack.

It allowed them to cement their power in the United States. Because the best way to drive people to you is scare the hell out of them and then offer protection from the "outside" threat.

Our threat is not external, folks.

And I'm not referring to radical Islam either. These people are already here, well entrenched, and in control of our government.

And they didn't fire a shot...


x

Posted by: xexon | August 16, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

We all stand by our Constitution and First amendment but President went beyond.
Since he was on this topic why did he not ask them to move few bollocks away and show some respect for the citizens who lost their loved ones.
No this plan is purposely being done to show that how our Laws can be utilized for the benefit of this group.
Where is the money coming from. Why not use these funds to help Muslim country of Paksitan?
Is it too much to have respect for others or want to abuse the laws of this nation.
\Some one must get full accountability of this purchase of land and also of building.
Understand they now wan to buy next door also.
Why oh Why not show respect to the people who lost their loved ones and back away and build somewhere else but it is to show rest of the nation that we don't care for you infidels.
You have won your rights and this nation has given you equality under the Law and now it is your turn to show the people of this nation of all nationalities and faith that you are listening to their cry and will build somewhere else.
Let us see if you have guts to do that

Posted by: shadikatyal | August 16, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post AncienMarin! You saved me the trouble of typing a long paragraph...

Posted by: jgmann | August 16, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the President got it right when he said that we cannot block the Mosque on constitutional grounds..it truly would go against what this country stands for.

But what most critics are not taking into account are the statements after which essentially are 'I'm not going to comment on the wisdom of the decision'. The wisdom is indeed flawed regardless of whether the reasoning is to build a bridge...it is insensitive. BUT, again...based on the Constitution, they have every right to build the Mosque/cultural center there.

Oh..and Newt (they hypcrite) and Sarah need to shut up..there words are only creating more hate...very unleaderly (yes..I know its not a word) like!!!

Posted by: chefra | August 16, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit that the trajectory of this debate is more than a little troubling. I am not a fan of the President and am disappointed at his dissembling leadership on this and many other issues, but I am particuarly not a fan of those who beat the drum for "freedom" and "constitutional principles' and then ignore both.

I spent twenty years in the service and lost friends both in New York and at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001; it would be easy for me to succumb to the visceral anger that those losses churn up, but when I do that, I surrender to the terrorists who struck us on that day. I will not let them have that victory.

I understand that many will find that construction of a Muslim cultural center two blocks from where Muslim extremists killed 3000 Americans to be insensitive, or even offensive. I just hope that those same people recognize how offensive it would be to ignore the right of our fellow Americans - and we cannot forget that the Muslims who own the property and wish to build a community center and mosque are AMERICANS - to use their privately held property to follow their faith and exercise their religion.

The freedom to do each is exactly what the men and women in military service - in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the word - are fighting to protect.

Posted by: AncienMarin | August 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Americans are showing their bigotry with this mosque debate. How embarrassing!!! Obama is right and shouldn't back up one bit. It's not about the muslim/moslems....the 911 folks who killed one of my very one family members were political terrorist. Nothing religious about their cause at all. Don't be fooled by the jihadist...40 virgins crap!!!

Islam means peace. When we start associating Islam with terror then we have dranked the kool-aid of bigotry. We show how dumb and stupid we are. Obama should continue to teach and never stoop down to the level of bigots....regardless of polls. I'm sure polls show a majority of whites supported blacks sitting on the back of the bus also back in 1950. Americans don't always get it. This is one time where we just don't get it. Klansmen did their dirty work on the behalf of Christianity. What were we suppose to do...ban churches?

Folks will find any reason to find fault with our President. All you are doing is confirming what many believe about Americans.

Stay the course Obama...that's why we voted for you. We were tired of the entire world hating Americans and thinking we are fanatical nut cases. Making a big deal out of the mosque is doing just that.

Posted by: kentonsmith | August 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

We are not innocents, but should the Muslims do unto others as we have done to the American Indian? As brought out in James Bradly's book, "Flyboys", the Mount Rushmore monument carved out the faces of four presidents who had all supported the ethnic cleansing of the American Indian. "A Pulpit of Stone" honoring white supremacy in sacred territory.
I would think that is certainly a painful reminder to the last survivors of America's Indian Wars. Therefore, two wrongs don't make a right, the Muslums will knowingly be causing a lot of anger, pain and hostility.

Posted by: jobhunter10 | August 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

We, the people are struggling with this issue- it is not democrats,Republicans or independents, a bitter pill for some and others, just a drum beat. Most people are upset because their voices are not heard.People who have objected to a Mosque are mostly sentimental and not against Islamic faith. What has raised the issue to the fore front,is mostly political, though for many it has not brought CLOSURE.I have not lost any of friends or relatives.

The fear factor is obvious,we are at war with certain Islamic groups.Many people want our troops back home and not in a casket. I do hear the anguish which is muddled by our own President. Perceptions are different and there is tendency to blame all islamists. They are pleading to have a mosque else where.

Since, I am history nut, after Islam became a religion in and around 647 A.D., there was attenpt to force people convert to Islam. That is reverbating in my school days-middle and secondary, I attened government managed school with predaminantly muslim students. All most all were teachers, were of islamic faith. Day in and out, some of us were punished for not learning Islamic teaching and that has left gash in my mind, but the physical gashes would heal.Hoards From the west invaded India, destroying the properties,temples and any religios relics. There mass conversions, raping of women to produce chidren- this was in early 7th century- this continued until Moghals arrived, more benign and started to change what had happened.The trauma was enormous: give an example, like in Heros time in Europe, Mohamed Bin Tugaluq decided to move the capital(DELHI)in summer, to escape the heat, Hyderabad. When protests came, he ordered the citizens chained and draged with elephants. Thousands died. This just illastrats the conditions then.By the way in school,a non-muslim student was a pariah. British system worked in India.Even after the independence in 1947, millions were shot and killed,raped at the pleasure of British officers- this has happened on both sides.

The usual proverb "you give an inch, they swallow the whole hand. In India, they are treated better than the blacks in USA.With all this, still killings are going on. The governemt is helpless- read any newspaper of today, the same slogan. Being a HINDU, is just a philosophy, any body may become a Hindu, if they want to. Indian constitution, though young,just 60 years old, is fighting the elements with muslim population of 160 million. In general, they do not care to hold hands. If all of you think, the targets are Americans, that is wrong notion, it is not to say all muslims are bad.Their first allegiance is to ALLAH- always turn towards Mecca and Medina

Historicals facts are mostly written by English authors. Sorry to say, it is like inviting a cobra into the household offering MILK.With out blinking an eye I can write about rise of Islamism. This is the last battle ground. Do not be afraid and allow the media or the politician

Posted by: jayrkay | August 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Before we demonize the President, let's look at the facts, please.

First, the imam behind the idea of the Ground Zero Mosque was actually selected by the BUSH - yes - BUSH Administration to tour the Middle East talking about Islam in America, due to his reputation for moderation (see: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/liz_cheney_breaks_with_bush_ad.html).

Second: Our President merely opined regarding the constitutional right to build a mosque (or any other religious building) at a particular location. He was not supporting the mosque, or issuing an opinion on Islam.

While I don't think building the Ground Zero Mosque is likely to result in greater interfaith understanding in the present climate, I also don't think that the inflammatory rhetoric against it is justified either. Let's all take a deep breath, shall we?

Posted by: SubRosa2 | August 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So where exactly is the exclusion zone? Two blocks too close ?? What about 3 or 4 or 10?? Or two miles or two-thousand miles? Speak up all of you strict constitutionalists - give us some parameters.

Posted by: newrussianguy | August 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

NOW CAN YOU IMAGINE THE RAGE FROM THE LEFT IF IT WAS ANNOUNED THAT WALMART WAS GOING TO BUILD A STORE AT THAT SITE? THE LEFT WOULD GO BANANNAS. SEIU WOULD BUS IN THOUSANDS OF PROTESTORS. LIBERALS SUCK!

Posted by: Cobra2 | August 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JUDGE NOT LEAST YE BE JUDGE, STOP BLAMING THE PRESIDENT FOR ALL THE ISSUES GOING ON IN THE WORLD FOR HE IS ONLY (HUMAN)HE DIDN'T CAUSE ALL THE ISSUES HAPPENING TODAY BLAME THAT ON WALLSTREET AND PEOPLE LOSING FAITH, WE ALL MUST PRAY, PULL TOGETHER AND MOVE FORWARD LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE THE BIGH PICTURE IS ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE, REALLY PEOPLE LET IT, PRAY, MOVE FORWARD NOT LET THE PAST GO BECAUSE IT IS JUST THAT THE PAST WE CANNOT CHANGE IT YES REMEMBER IT LEARN FROM IT GROW FROM IT BUT DON'T DWELL ON IT BECAUSE GOD IS EVER PRESENT AND EVERYTHING WILL BE KNOWN ALL IN DUE TIME PRAY, FORGIVE AND LIVE,LAUGH,LOVE!!!GOD HAS US ALL.MOSQUE OR NO MOSQUE READ YOUR BIBLES ALL OF THIS IS FOR A REASON.

Posted by: JACZY1 | August 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

JUDGE NOT LEAST YE BE JUDGED!!!..THE WORLD IS IN ENOUGH BS WITHOUT ADDING THIS TO THE LIST THE PRESIDENT IS ONLY ONE MAN(HUMAN)STOP TRYING TO LAY ALL THIS COUNTRYS ISSUES ON HIM WALLSTREET CAUSED MOST OF IT AND PEOPLE LOSING FAITH THE REST, LEARN TO PRAY, FORGIVE AND KEEP IT MOVING, REALLY PEOPLE, IT'S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD, THE PAST IS JUST THAT THE PAST..

Posted by: JACZY1 | August 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The argument that two blocks away is "overlooking" the WIC site sounds a little bit extreme.

The fanatics that crashed into the WTC, who wanted religious persecution and restriction, should not be our example for conduct.

When we rail as a nation against Islam, the Muslim extremists have accomplished one of their goals.

Lastly, mosques in California, Tennessee -- are they too close to the ruins of the WTC?

Posted by: okiedeadhead | August 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This is just a fabrication of the right to drum up hatred and intolerance. There are already two mosques four and 12 blocks away from ground zero. Putting one in an existing building two blocks away in no way constitutes desecration, especially since ground zero isn't a shrine for any religion -- people of all faiths died there.

This country was founded by people who were fleeing religious persecution. If our response to the religious intolerance of the 9/11 terrorists is to respond with more religious intolerance, what will the inevitable result be?

Posted by: bkvam | August 16, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

charles krauthammer's article says it best so far: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081204996.html?wpisrc=nl_most


the offense is in such a magnitude that for b.o. to ignore the offense and turn his back on it is the same thing as stepping down from the presidency of the USA and claiming to be dictator from another land....

Posted by: marybryan | August 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Freedom of religion people. This includes all religions in all places.

How about we ban all Christian churches near the Oklahoma Federal building because crazy Christian Timothy McVeigh blew it up? How about that?

Posted by: Voodoo_Idol | August 16, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Pope John Paul II had the wisdom to tell Catholic nuns that Auschwitz was not a good place for them to pray. Obama has neither the wisdom or the compassion of this remarkable pope.

Posted by: ravitchn | August 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Since Obama was born in Hawaii and lived his young years also in Jakarta, obviously his interest would not be in early America or the inhabitants of the West before America moved in. Everything concerning life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was mingled in a faith in Jesus Christ and the Christian religion. (This is for the Europeans, not the Indians, although as hard as they were to convince, I do believe that for the most part, they are some of the best Christians around today.) I can say this, the Europeans may not have all been perfect, but they sure as heck were Christian for the most part, and they were the basic culture on which this country was built. In which, I can say with out a doubt, that the United States of America was built on the faithful of the Christian religion. Mr. Alexis de Tocqueville said as much in his 'Democracy in America' (1836). No President of the United States who believed what he was saying would ever have made the statement about the acceptability and/or constitutionality of building a mosque near the 2001 site of islamic terrorism. In this, Mr. Obama is terribly out of touch.

Posted by: allset707 | August 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Huckabees and their inbred teabagger Baptist cousins of Fred Phelps want to cherry-pick their Constitutional rights for others like they cherry-pick Leviticus for their intolerance, hatred and exclusion.

Posted by: areyousaying | August 16, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I wish the rednecks who have never lived in New York or who have never visited this city would just go to H-E-Double hockey sticks. In case these idiots don't know, New York is a city of immigrants and not all of them practice Judeo-Christian beliefs. Yes, Muslims live in New York and a few worked at the World Trade Center and died when some of their extremist coreligionists decided to bomb the building by flying planes into the twin towers.

The World Trade Center was a mini-United Nations with people from different parts of the world who worked in those buildings. It doesn't serve the memory of all those people to stop a group from practicing their religion two blocks away. Instead, of allowing the racist, Nazi xenophobes from having their day, we should fight these people head on and tell them that this country was founded on the principles of religious freedom. So that everyone would be able to freely worship. Not just white people but people of all colors should practice their religion.

In an age when racism has become fashionable it is time for us to stop this. And to Newt Gingrich and his Nazis--go back to whatever trailer trash neighborhood you came from in Dauphin, PA. We don't need your brand of racism here.

Posted by: missgrundy | August 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Will America allow Japan to build a memorial in Pearl Harbour?

Posted by: arianehechter

Is this trumped-up, over-dramatic Rovian wedge issue the first step toward a Huckabee Jesulandia that will throw Muslim American citizens in concentration camps like they did with Japanese American citizens after Pearl Harbor?

Posted by: areyousaying | August 16, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The issue for obama is not whether the muslim sect should build near the 9/11 site, but why did he voice an opinion.

When the building issue was first raised to the W.H., I was stunned to hear their response of "It is a local issue and the W.H. is not taking a position." What, obama finally learned to leave a local matter alone and not federalize it?! AMAZING!

So, he had it right for a change. But, apparently obama being obama, he had to listen to himself talk and he messed it up with his Friday statement. Then, he makes it worse by taking back his obviously inferred comments.

If he had only kept to the script and kept quiet...no problem. But, as I said, obama being obama...

Posted by: familynet | August 16, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Some Americans want freedom only for themselves, and like-minded others. But that isn't what our country is about. It is wrong and hypocritical to insist on one's constitutional rights, even the right to offend, and then to deny others the right to exercise their freedoms just because you dont' agree with them. All Americans, on both sides, are guilty of this today. Personally, i believe tea partiers are guilty of the worst hypocrisy when defending their ugly hateful posters and signs but crying foul when a peaceful group want to build a community center somewhere close to the site of the 9-11 bombings. Lets not cherry-pick when it comes to whose rights we want to defend. i dont' believe the lie that the "majority" of Americans are that hypocritical, that ignorant, or that full of hate.

Posted by: Not2Late2Change | August 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Do we show the world our democratic way of life by throwing our very basic freedoms over the side every time there is a situation where those very freedoms are threatened? How long do we harbor hatred -- a thousand years? It's exactly these old hatreds that have produced this situation. It was a gang of murderous outlaws who brought down the World Trade Center, and because we did not treat them as such that they have come to represent the whole Islamic world. And in treating them like a legitimate entity we have fallen into the trap they set -- for what they want is war. And when we react with intolerance and irrationality, they advance their killing cause. The only way to fight this is to adhere to our democratic way. We win by example, not force.

Posted by: 85edwardearthlinknet | August 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Is this the "hallowed ground" they speak about?

"Opponents of a proposed lower Manhattan mosque and community center speak in hushed tones about the sanctity of the "shadow of Ground Zero."

Tell that to the patrons of the Pussycat Lounge, a strip club where a photo of a nearly naked woman marks its location just two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.

Or the Thunder Lingerie and peep show next door, where the marquee sports an American flag above a window display of sex toys and something called a "power pump."

In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny

Posted by: Ralph4 | August 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Will America allow Japan to build a memorial in Pearl Harbour?

Posted by: arianehechter | August 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The President is doing his job by upholding the Constitution of the Untied States.

Christians and Jews who would deny Muslim Americans First Amendment rights are just as disingenuous as their Abrahamic cousins, the Muslims, by claiming this is not a political wedge issue or one to high-five religious terrorism. All are insensitive and ignorant and show the war mongering Abraham for what he was.

Soap Opera Sarah is right. The Democrats have no cajones. When Obama grew a pair for this one to fight the Huckabee agenda of overthrowing the Constitution for his Leviticus cherry-picked version of "God's Standards," the rest of the Dems ran and hid in fear.

Dems don't deserve to stay in power if they can't stand up to RNC Fox News and the 25% of Americans who are its lemmings.

Posted by: areyousaying | August 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

How come no one objects to the PENTAGON MOSQUE?

Muslims have been praying inside the Pentagon since September 11 but right-wingers have been strangely silent.

From the Washington Times Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Navy imam Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam lifted his voice to God as he called to prayer more than 100 Department of Defense employees Monday at a celebration of Ramadan at the Pentagon.

God is most great, sang the lieutenant commander and Islamic leader, in Arabic, as iftar — the end of the daily fast began.

Uniformed military personnel, civilians and family members faced Mecca and knelt on adorned prayer rugs chanting their prayers in quiet invocation to Allah."

Posted by: Ralph4 | August 16, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Another tempest in a teapot. The mosque will be built and no one will even remember this 10 years from now.

Posted by: the1joncook | August 16, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Americans wake up! Here we have the president, like him or not, fulfilling his oath to defend and uphold the constitution and the sheople of America are led by the nose by a group of opportunistic propagandists to believe he has done something disloyal. Can all Americans be so ignorant? I surely hope not. If anything it should awake us to the fact that these same propagandists will be coming after our rights next if we are so easily hoodwinked. We should be wary of these opportunists who would love to take away our freedoms one at a time or in one fell swoop. Maybe when we start to lose our right to read what we want to, associate with whom we like and think what we want we will snap out of our trance of television, Xbox and MTV and stand up for the principle this country was founded on. Freedom!!

Posted by: rocknwroll | August 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Americans wake up! Here we have the president, like him or not, fulfilling his oath to defend and uphold the constitution and the sheople of America are led by the nose by a group of opportunistic propagandists to believe he has done something disloyal. Can all Americans be so ignorant? I surely hope not. If anything it should awake us to the fact that these same propagandists will be coming after our rights next if we are so easily hoodwinked. We should be wary of these opportunists who would love to take away our freedoms one at a time or in one fell swoop. Maybe when we start to lose our right to read what we want to, associate with whom we like and think what we want we will snap out of our trance of television, Xbox and MTV and stand up for the principle this country was founded on. Freedom!!

Posted by: rocknwroll | August 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Notwithstanding the legal right to build, could not the clerics who wish to build here be more sensitive to the deep and still present national heartache of this site?

Unless of course, they wish to put a bit of salt into a yet unhealed and tender wound.

Posted by: travisg2 | August 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution and the Constitutional Law Professor/President say "It's the First Amendment and private property stuff." And the courts say that you don't have be wise when you exercise Constitutional rights. So what's the big deal? This is America!!! Believe it or not, vigilance is price of freedom! Freedom ("We hold these truths to be self evident..." type of ideas)wasn't purchased by "'pro-commercial'or any other type of slavery", anti Irishism, anti Catholicism, anti Mormonism, anti Church of Christism, anti-Semitism, anti Black, or any other type of mob rule. But those thoughts existed anyway and states and cities and organizations were formed around them and despite their existence, because the ideas of freedom and tolerance are greater than the ideas of bigotry.
But then, I remember that the polls have said Americans frequently are unfamiliar with what the First Amendment says anyway.

Posted by: watts2 | August 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The muslim insistence on building the edifice so close to ground zero when they can build it anywhere else is all about muslim attitude. That is the problem.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | August 16, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes in this country Muslims are protected by the Constitution even though they don't respect the rights of other religions in their Muslim-majority countries, even when their constitution affords freedom of religion. Most of the mosque and Islam promotional efforts around the world are funded by the Saudis. It seems the Democrats are now actively supporting these efforts. If the Cordoba initiative supporters are so determined to build a symbol of love and tolerance, than they would not hesitate to show their love and tolerance by building a symbol somewhere else! Their fight to build their mosque in an inappropriate location just shows their agenda for a different kind of symbol. Perhaps the Pork Producers Association should plan to have a showpiece next door.

Posted by: legitbrownie | August 16, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

What I find interesting is that if the Constitution is used to permit this project to proceed, they will have once again "hijacked" our own "technology" to further a private agenda. And no I am not anti-Muslim, I am merely struck by the irony.

As I have said from the beginning, they can build this mosque/cultural center by right, but I ask them to please see the macro issue and respect the pain that close to 70 percent of our citizens have expressed.

It is not an attack on your religious or property rights in the main. I know 70 percent of Americans are not bigoted, anti-Muslim, or anti-Constitution. So please acknowledge that there is real anguish being expressed. Insulting the psychologically and enotionally wounded as narrow-minded bigots is as egregious as racial slurs against the developers.

Posted by: hakafos44 | August 16, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Build it! If we are a free and open society, and if we believe in the Constitution and especially the First Amendment, there is no rational or moral argument against building it. There is, however, an on-going Republican and Tea Party campaign of spear, fear and xenophobia, and organized campaign, aided and abetted by their propaganda arms in the right wing media, and their enablers in the mainstream media (that means you Washington Post) against muslims and any and all brown people. It is unamerican, unpatriotic and unacceptable, and the sooner we all reject it, the better off we will all be.

Posted by: pblotto | August 16, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans didn't want that mosque built, why were they so enthusiastic about the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ten years ago?

This really smacks of more attempts by so-called Christians to ignore the fact that they are not members of the only collection of religions in the world.

Posted by: david6 | August 16, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Obama and other liberals take great pains to instruct the great unwashed masses about how islam is a religion just like Judaism and Christianity. The difficulty is that for years we have read about killings and massacres committed by muslims in the name of their god. The horror of September 11 appears to have increased the number of attacks in the US -Fort Hood is merely one of them. The liberal press refused to publish the cartoons that impelled so many muslims to riot and kill the world over. The cringing cowardice of the liberal press epitomizes the liberal attitude toward this strange religion- to back up and bow as muslims assert more and more pressure on an America unused to this exotic and essentially un-democratic cult.

Posted by: mhr614 | August 16, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

No coherent reason for not building a mosque at Ground Zero can be given as "sacred soil" has been desecrated in this country for years. From the establishment of a holocaust museum on the Mall of America decades before a second-rate memorial could take shape there to honor the liberators of Europe, obscene tourist traps on the fields of Gettysburg, Walmarts on the Wilderness battlefield where 16 thousand Americans perished to the present day when we have succeeded spectacularly as a nation in importing racial and religious hatreds from the Mideast into our nation.

Posted by: slim2 | August 16, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

There is no need to build a mosque near "Ground Zero".There are many other sites that would suffice.Hopefully,the New York Building Trades Council will step up and demand that the site be changed ...or it will not be built.Contact its` President,Ed Malloy at 518-435-9108.

Posted by: bowspray | August 16, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The President stepped in this pile of doo-doo on his own. Then he tried to wipe it off. he should have blqmed it on geogre Bush...that would have pleased at least some. Don't build the mosque there. It's a simple concept There are an overwhelming number of people who are offended by thew very thought. Build it somewhere else...but not there.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | August 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Comments like that of greatgran1 sound a lot like those of Himmler. What virulent hatred! You'd make a great SS stormtrooper.

Posted by: Garak | August 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Muslims wish to build a prayer room on the spot that dirty little terrorist's body landed. Now tell me that is not to honor this creep? There is no doubt that is meant as a slap in the face but the state department sending this imam to the middle east is also a slap in the face. The moronic state department figure stated he was a moderate showing how completely clueless our state department seems to be.
And a waiter comes up with 4.8 million to buy this property. Ah right........... follow the money!
The Cordoba Initiative claims to be a charity and interfaith but only a dimwit would believe this. They have a 100 year plan to take over the US with islam and have stated this goal. They say one thing but do another. Their actions do not match their words. Sounds like our President doesn't it? I want these Democrat radical know nothings out of office. Republicans, you had me at hello.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 16, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have embraced extremist bigotry as their election cry for 2010.

Fear, Hatred, Distraction, Distortion and Division. That's all they have to offer America.

Posted by: thebobbob | August 16, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the same politicians and pundits who opposed 9/11 victims' families when they pressed for a commission to investigate how it happened suddenly show such great concern for them.


As for mgregory29 when he asked, "Did anyone at the White House dinner for Ramadan get up and categorically condemn what the 19 hijackers did? Waiting till hell freezes over for that..."

Did anyone at any of the White House seders get up and categorically condemn Israel's attack on the USS Liberty? Waiting till hell freezes over for THAT...

Posted by: Garak | August 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama declared America was no longer a Christian nation. He cancelled our national day of prayer, yet removed his shoes and joined the Muslims on the Whitehouse lawn for theirs. He is the 1st president not to attend services on Christmas. Why is anyone surprised at his nod of approval on the building of this mosque and the obvious significance, (spit in your face), of the location!

Posted by: inmanorj | August 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's apply some logic:

Terrorists claim to act as Muslims.

Terrorists kill thousands at Twin Towers.

Conclusion: Muslims shouldn't be allowed to build (follwing all land use regulations) near area where crime was committed.

Question following the above logic: Should Catholic churches be allowed to be built anywhere near elementary schools?

Posted by: jimat2nd | August 16, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The President, per maxwellsmart (I remember his dad!), is right as to the Call to Prayer. Now let it be heard loudly five times daily in the mayor's & councilpersons' homes and offices. What's Arabic for "chutzpah?"

Posted by: phvr38 | August 16, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

God Bless the USA, our constitution and our freedom. We have the freedom to choose our lifestyle, and cultural values. We may not always agree with our neighbors, but at least we may think freely, hold independent thought and be proud.

Perhaps, in more liberal Muslim nations; i.e., Egypt and Jordan, is relious expression and tolerance allowed; howver, most Islam forbids other religious practices.

Posted by: solid3 | August 16, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Lest we forget, the World Trade Center is in a neighborhood the nation calls "Wall Street" or the "Financial District". Something dosen't make sense that people think a mosque would desecrate a "sacred place" when its already home to Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, AIG and a host of others who flew a jet plane into the nation's economy and started this recession we're into.

Posted by: blackhat35 | August 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let them built it. A few comments here and asked where are the churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia . Which begs the question why we have Freedom too.

There ought to be a small mosque built on sight showing their respect and sorrow for what happened there too.

Posted by: justmehla | August 16, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse


One has to wonder why the people from other countries come here and want to make the same things here they left behind.
Cubans are doing this in Miami, now Muslims want to do this New York and other places in the country.

Why are these people spending their energy and money doing this here? It is already there in their countries so go back and enjoy it with rest of your people.

This is much simpler. Why waste time and our resources?

Posted by: swavde | August 16, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I have not heard anyone who opposes the building at Ground Zero acknowledge that many innocent Muslim-Americans were killed in the attacks as well. I would think that this would be an opportunity to heal and promote tolerance, not bigotry, ignorance and xenophobia. If public officials realize that there is no legal justification to prevent the mosque and cultural center from being built there, they ought to refrain from making comments otherwise.

Posted by: rolenz | August 16, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This situation is avoidable. An alternate location is possible. Where is the compassion of those building this Mosque? Where is the understanding? They are free to build it there. They are also free to build it elsewhere. If there was compassion and understanding they would in fact build the Mosque elsewhere. A shadow now hangs over the building of this Mosque. Why continue?

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The debate over the mosque at Ground Zero has many up in arms.
----


HEY WAPO IT IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT AT GROUND ZERO!!
(2 blocks away)

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Posted by: kkrimmer | August 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Let them build it. New Yorkers will take care of the rest. I wouldn't want to be a muslim anywhere near that obscenity when they decide to take action. How do you say bye-be in arabic?

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | August 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

President Obama, Hamas is a terrorist organization as defined by the United States. So Hamas and Obama are in agreement on N.Y. Mosque! WHAT?
Read following article, view link . . .

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/hamas_nod_for_gz_mosque_cSohH9eha8sNZMTDz0VVPI

Posted by: Montana_Miles | August 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The hijackers that killed the people in the planes and that destroyed the Greek Church and Twin Towers and Other Structures including the people at Ground Zero;
the hijackers were associated with a 9/11 Mosque in Germany.
The Germans have closed that mosque as the above terrorists used it as a meeting place for planning their terrorist acts.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10911542

Posted by: Montana_Miles | August 16, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The community center and mosque MUST be built.

At this stage to walk away from this would be a complete victory for two camps: (1) The radical Islamic terrorists, (2) The local rabble and rabble rousers represented by Gingrich, Palin, Fox News, and conservative (hardly!) talk radio.

The center was never going to be built at ground zero. It is two blocks away. The organizers are EXACTLY the brand of Islam we hold as friends, the brand of Islam, which if the people in Iraq and Afghanistan would adopt, our soldiers and loved ones serving there could come home.

What is so awfully clear from this entire episode is that the rabble rousers have the capability to completely warp the discussion of any topic. WATCH THEM - they could very easily lead America to Nazism. Nazi's killed my paternal grandparents, but Nazism isn't just about Jews. Any convenient group will do. And American Muslims are a good target for rabble such as Gingrich and Palin to claw their way up to power.

BEWARE of the American Nazis who now have a perch of honor in the GOP and the false clothing in which they prey on the gullible. Thomas Jefferson would have spat on them.

Posted by: mark_cohen | August 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Imam that is proposing building the Ground Zero Mosque will not call Hamas a terrorist organization. The people that attacked the Twin Towers and other structures including, the Greek Orthodox Church, which still after nine years has not got the go ahead from the Government to rebuild, those terrorist attacked these structures where they were associated with Hamas, the Imam will not call them terrorists!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10911542

Posted by: Montana_Miles | August 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I have no problem with a Mosque being built in the area and I would hope that the community is invited in to the Mosque. I also wouldn't be against the person who sarcastically said he was going to build a strip club next to the Mosque; it both are within in the laws of the city, they should both be able to build.

Extremists don't make a religion or a belief system. I'm sure there are Churches close to the Oklahoma City bombing area.

Posted by: delray | August 16, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

OK, though religions from the East does not recommend,what place of significant historical or contemporary building in the US to be blasted for constructing Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Jain temples White House?! In the name of freedom of religion, will the Americans including the President support it? (I apologise for needlessly insulting great religions). If one's religion advocates wiping out others' religion, is that also coming under freedom to follow one's religion? It is unfortunate that U.S. President opted to join the debate. If America wants to lead, they should be more careful in choosing Presidential candidates.

Posted by: Luckyman411 | August 16, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama: Man of the World
March 6, 2007

"I was a little Jakarta street kid," he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office. He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics and more likely to be aware of their nationalism if he once studied the Koran with them."

"Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated, Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/03/06/opinion/06kristof.html?_r=2

Posted by: maxwellsmart | August 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex being nuked, that is what Barack Hussein Obama with his support for the 45 Park Place NYC NY Mosque, is encouraging. If the Mosque is built at 45 Park Place NYC NY, Islamists will see America and the rest of the West as enfeebled and decadent and it being timely to push things to the next level by starting to attack Western cities with nuclear weapons. A Ramadan mubarak to you all.

Nuclear War on BRITAIN - BBC Broadcast Attack Warning !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMY6Cog9E48

Posted by: Adrian_Wainer | August 16, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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