Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Will "Ground Zero mosque" be key issue in midterms?

So will Obama's controversial defense of the right to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero be a key issue in the midterms?

Republicans are vowing that it will be, and many Democrats are nervous, but a senior White House official dismissed the notion in a phone interview with me this morning.

"It's our sense that the key issues facing the country and voters in the fall will be the economy," the official said.

"We certainly think that people have a right to disagree with our position, be they Republicans, Democrats, or Independents," the official continued. "But going into the fall, this is unlikely to be the number one issue voters are considering."

"All that said, we obviously didn't do this because of the politics," the official added. "The President did it because he felt it was his obligation."

Republicans may be planning to cite Obama's support for the mosque, which is an unpopular position, as an issue in order to tar Obama as "out of touch." Mike Allen quotes an unnamed GOP official characterizing the coming GOP message this way:

"The president is out of touch. Just because someone has the right to do something, doesn't mean people don't have the right to be outraged or upset by the insensitivity of the decision."

If Republican candidates do start saying this, let's hope media outlets quoting them also point out that it's simply a lie to suggest that Obama didn't speak directly to the sensitivities of those upset by the decision. Here's what he said:

Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But let me be clear...

Couldn't be clearer. The press coverage of this will be worth keeping an eye on.

Also: It's going to be very interesting to see how Dem candidates respond to this kind of thing. I'm not optimistic. Expect a lot of scurrying and distancing and anonymous leaking from Beltway Dems insiders about how politically foolish it was for Obama to stand up for the Constitution and for American ideals.

UPDATE, 8:32 a.m.: NRSC chairman John Cornyn also signaled yesterday that the GOP will try to make this a midterm elections issue.

And: Kudos to Mark Halperin for calling on the GOP to "do the right thing" and refrain from using Obama's mosque speech as a weapon.

Related News:
Your Take: To build or not to build?
Gerson: What Obama had to do
Republicans blast Obama comments

UPDATE, 1:00 p.m.: More GOP Senate candidates are now dragging Obama's mosque speech into their races.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 16, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday Open Thread
Next: Breaking: Hamas sides with Obama, endorses mosque!

Comments

Only 20% of Americans think building the Mosque is a good thing. Why? Ground Zero is a very sacred site.

You can't just build a church or synagogue anywhere you want. Congregations must be sensitive to neighborhoods, road networks, and the like when developing their plans.

More, this is not a zoning dispute over whether they will pay for road improvements. This is symbolism. This is about power, about a group of Muslims trying to show that they have power over us.

Muslim nations for the most part do not allow anyone to build churches or synagogues in their countries. Saudi Arabia, which controls the most holy sites in Islam, Mecca and Media, certainly does not. The double standard must be called out and the Muslims behind this project told to give an answer.

The people of this nation, and of New York City in particular, are very much against this project. They instinctively know that it is wrong, whatever idiots like Mayor Bloomberg may say.

Build the mosque, but build it someplace else. If they do end up building it, here's hoping they get to build the Islamic gay bar next door to it.

Posted by: LeeHinAlexandria | August 16, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Every person who says that peoples sensitivities over ride the first amendment should then ahve to explain to me how grief over a family member killed by a legal gun doesn't trump the second amendment. For years I've been told that gun victims have to sit down and shut up because the second amendment allows gun ownership and peoples feelings don't play into it, it's a constitutional right.

So every second amendment defender and the NRA better be out there supporting the rights of every mosque or muslim community center in this country to get built. Time to see a letter writing campaign from the NRA defending the constitutional right to freedom of religion everywhere in this country. If not I'm calling hypocrisy on these people.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"So will Obama's controversial defense of the right to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero be a key issue in the midterms?"

So...defending the right to freedom of religion is "controversial" now?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 16, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I think this is a losing issue for the Democrats in the mid-terms for the reasons stated in my post in the prior thread, which I'll repeat here.

The merits are plain and Obama has it exactly right. Principles of religious freedom mean that the builders have the right to erect the facility. Whether they should do so, however, is another matter and best left to locals.

The bigger picture is that this is yet another example of how the present GOP focuses on symbols rather than actual problems because symbols are easy to demagogue and problems are complex. The current GOP is not only anti-intellectual it is anti-rational. It thrives on division and jingoism. Every moment spent thinking and arguing about a Mosque in New York is a win for the GOP because it allows them to hide the fact that they have no solutions for the nation's problems. In fact, this kind of incendiary topic plays perfectly into the GOP's nihilist strategy: the story plays perfectly on cable news and allows the GOP, once again, to assume the hyper-nationalist stance guaranteed to whip emotions. Anyone who thinks the GOP is not exploiting this "controversy" for political reasons is hopelessly naive and certainly hasn't been paying attention for the past 2 years.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"So will Obama's controversial defense of the right to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero be a key issue in the midterms?"

Why is the position controversial? I mean, I can understand why a liberal standing up for the constitution would be unusual, but I'm not sure why it's controversial. Ba-dum-dum.

As I have noted elsewhere (and, hopefully, without leaving out important words that entirely changed what I actually said from what I meant to say), I didn't vote for Obama, and won't in 2012 (barring a miraculous Road to Damascus conversion to Reaganism on Obama's part) . . . but he's 100% right on this. Politically, perhaps he shouldn't have commented on it, but he shouldn't back down, and it would be foolish to be overly worried regarding what the GOP is going to do with it.

Freedom of religion. It's in the constitution. And how would conservatives be reacting if there was some plan to build a legally zoned Megachurch, and atheists were boycotting it and demanding it be built somewhere else because of the Crusades, or whatever. Would they be sympathetic with any argument that abridges those Christian's first amendment rights? No.

However, I'm all for the gay bar next door.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

All, I think it should be obvious that I don't think this should be a controversial issue. Unfortunately, however, it does appear to be one.

and right on wbgonne. this is all symbol.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

The gay bar next door is quite delicious, isn't it?

I'm not impressed by "you're offending my sensitivities" claims where the desired end of this plaint is the continuation of some bigoted or xenophobic notion (gays kissing in public, women showing their legs, interracial couples, foreigners in weird clothing, etc). I have a strong desire to offend such people, actually.

And I am completely unsympathetic where a faith community might insist that, as a faith community, they have some special warrant to be bigots.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Greg...IHMO the short answer to your question is NO. It's the economy now..it'll be the economy in November...let's be honest neither party wants to deal with the economy.
The R's caused this mess and don't need to be reminded of it...and apparently the American public is not going to give Obama the time to fix it and so the Dems also wish to avoid it.

lmsinca...one of my very favorite(among many favorites) posters her posted a quote on last night's thread that I thought pretty well described what is going on...

"Republicans have "shifted completely away from the Bush administration line on relations with Islam and they've obviously made the political calculation that bashing Islam and Muslims is a winning issue for them," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who blamed the "tea party movement [for] liberating the inner bigot in people."

BTW I have certainly shared in Bush bashing in the past but fair is fair and nobody is all wrong or all right. Bush seem to have two reactions after 9/11...he tried to follow both instincts but unfortunately his bad instinct won out.

He was prescient enough to instantly point out that we were not attacked by ISLAM!!!
We were attacked by 19 criminals who hid behind their religion much as Tiller did when he murdered and much as the pedophiles in Roman Collars did when their heinous activities were revealed.

LeeinHinAlex do you understand this distinction? IT WAS AL QAEDA THAT ATTACKED US NOT ISLAM!!! BUSH WAS RIGHT!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Nr. 1:

Obama did his job correctly: he defended the constitution of the United States, exactly as he promised when he took the oath.

Republicans who have a beef with this should go read the friggin oath.

Nr. 2:

He kept his personal opinion out of it, and made sure to remind us on Saturday that he kept his personal opinion out of it, just as a President should.

I bet GWB43 would not have done this much differently.

I am personally vehemently opposed to the mosque at Park51, I think it is a terrible idea and I can give you many reasons why. But I do not doubt their right to do it. That's the law of the land. End of story.

Posted by: bonncaruso | August 16, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Give it back to them in spades...

"I support the Constitution of the United States of America. Period. If Candidate X opposes part of our Constitution, I say we hear more on what other basic rights he or she wishes to retract. Let us reveal ALL their private wishes, thoughts, un-American positions. Is freedom of speech next? Social Security? Threatening our basic rights and the American way is dis-loyal and calls into question thier core character.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | August 16, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

It's only "controversial" because the press is trying to make it that way. Obama clearly said he stands up for the group's right to build the center, but has no comment on whether they should build it.

In polls, the public overwelmingly agrees that the group has the "right" to build it...even the GOP showed a majority in agreement. The only controversy available in all this is if someone *cough*thepress*cough somehow misconstrues what he said, and instead claims that his support is anything beyond their right to build it. In fact, he's erred on the conservative side of whether he thinks they "should" build it, while still maintaining a rock solid belief that they have the "right" to build it.

This is yet another case in which the President is exactly in line with the general public - but the press would rather frame it as a controversy, because they love conflict and the GOP tosses them the catnip.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 16, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking the least controversial thing a president should be able to say is that he believes in the first amendment and that it applies everywhere. But that's what the new conservative movement get's you. 2nd and 10th amendments are apparently the only ones that matter always. Don't really care about the rest unless they are inconvenient and then they need to be changed, repealed or ingnored.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I love that line...the tea party has liberated the inner bigot in people.

Again I think it's the economy and we already know that those on the fright wing will try the old xenophopic bigoted tricks they always trot out..works just like negative advertising unfortunately.

But I'm tired of the fright wing's tactics.
Of course they are doing the same thing with "gay marriage". Here is somebody to put the R's in perspective...comedian Lewis Black. Warning offensive language..as if you didn't know if you've seen Black..and remember this was when Bush was still prez...get ready to spit your coffee at the computer screen....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ANrvQC4wIk

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In response to bonncaruso's thoughtful post, I'll toss in my two cents. I haven't previously stated my opinion on this center in this location.

Politically for Obama and Dems, it is probably a problem in that it is feeding the xenophobic and bigoted wave which Republicans wish to expand and make acute as one more 'reason' to rid the US of this administration. And even if there weren't these electoral goals at bottom, I'd still find it extremely problematic for the culture because such waves of bigotry and religious or racial hatred are morally repugnant and socially destructive.

So, I wish the matter hadn't come up at all. It has provided for far too much mischief.

But I'm not sure that my wish there is correct. Sometimes, it is an inevitable and necessary phenomenon in the sequence of social events and change which leads to greater equality. Much of what King set out to accomplish could only be achieved through acts designed to provoke, at least initially.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

The poll I mentioned was done by FOX...so it's basically a GOP internal.

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/081310_MosquePoll.pdf

Right to Build:
Total: 61/34
Dems: 63/32
GOP: 57/36
Indy: 69/29

Appropriate to Build:
Total: 30/64
Dems: 38/56
GOP: 17/76 <-- hah!
Indy: 41/53

Again...this is from FOX, in which their questions refered to it as a "a mosque and Islamic cultural center a few blocks from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks". Not a totally biased framing, but certainly set up to allow anti-Islamic biases to have a negative influence.

So please explain to me how exactly is the President's position - they have a right to build it, with no stance on whether it's a good idea - is "controversial".

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 16, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Dems should use this and the R's chatter about repealing or significantly changing as an all out R assault on our Constitution.

Seriously...look at what the R's have stood for...LITERALLY monkeying with the Constitution...torture...assaults on religious freedom...pound the R's with their own reality..their own statements.

And then go back to the founding fathers and their quotes and tell the tea partiers to go back to history class. What they are proposing is not a revolution but a civil war because they do not like who got elected.

R's listen to Thomas Paine..."Lead, follow, or get out of the way!"

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I guess the entire MSM and Journalism industry can't use Google Maps. They seem to have missed Ground Zero. Facts escape them so easily these days!

We'll never have an educated public until we bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Since Reagan evicerated it, we've seen Miss Information win every beauty pagent. Bought-And-Paid-For Media is HOW 1% of the population controlls the other 99%. This "Ground Zero" story is a test to see if the 1% can use it as a wedge issue against those on the left (I don't say Dems, because the majority of them have move to the right of Nixon and Reagan).

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | August 16, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Democrats are wimps. Their response to an opponent that goes after the President on this should be to ask their opponenet what other parts of the constitution they don't support or think are flexible.

Where do they stand on the 2nd amendment, is that malleable to people's grief?

How about the 19th amendment, certain judeo/christian beleifs feel women are second class citizens, should we express our judeo chritian values and not allow women to vote.

President Bush apparently felt the 4th amendment was a hindrance, find out where your opponenets stand on searching his constituents houses without a warrant.

How about the 8th amendment. Where do we feel about that for someone the community just really doesn't like.

14th amendment - well, we see how that stands but throw that in. And let's add the 13th and 15th amendments to. How does your opponenet feel about that?

Maybe it is time to show America which party is atually for preserving and defending the constitution and which one is for changing it to suit their latest whim.

Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Very good column by Krugman this morning on SS... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/opinion/16krugman.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I see a lot of banter here about dems vs repubs; but the fact is THIS IS ABOUT DEFENDING OUR HOMELAND.

THE IMAM OF THIS MOSQUE HAS BLAMED AMERICA FOR THE TWIN TOWER BOMBING.
THE IMAM OT HIS MOSQUE HAS WRITTEN TWO BOOKS WANTING TO IMPLEMENT SHARIA IN THE U.S.
THE IMAM OF THIS MOSQUE WANTS TO CALL IT "CORDOBA HOUSE" WHICH REPRESENTS MUSLIM MILITARY CONQUEST IN SPAIN WHERE THEY DESTROYED A CHURCH AND BUILT A MOSQUE ON TOP OF IT. DOES THAT SOUND "FRIENDLY" TO YOU?
THE IMAM OF THIS MOSQUE IS GETTING MONEY FROM SAUDI ARABIA.


ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION! IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS, MILITANT AND BARBARIC CULT, WHOSE CORE PRINCIPLES ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE UNITED STATES. MOSQUES ARE MILITARY CENTERS AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE.

ISLAM DOES NOT ALLOW FOR:

FREEDOM OF SPEECH
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
IMPOSES CRUEL & UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT (HOMOSEXUALS ARE TO BE KILLED, FORNICATORS WHIPPED, THIEVES TO HAVE HAND CHOPPED OFF)
THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE UNDER ISLAM

PEDOPHILIA IS ACCEPTABLE UNDER ISLAM, BECAUSE THAT IS THE EXAMPLE THAT MUHAMMAD PROVIDED, WHO MARRIED A 7 YEAR OLD GIRL AND CONSUMMATED THE MARRIAGE! COMPARE THAT TO THE EXAMPLE THAT JESUS PROVIDED - SINLESS!

TO READ MORE ON WHAT ISLAM TEACHES, GOOGLE: TOP TEN REASONS WHY SHARIA IS BAD FOR ALL SOCIETIES

THE NAME OF THE MOSQUE IS GOING TO BE CALLED "CORDOBA HOUSE," WHICH IS THE NAME OF A TOWN IN SPAIN WHERE MUSLIMS ATTACKED IT, DESTROYED IT, DESTROYED A CHURCH THERE AND BUILT A MOSQUE ON TOP OF IT! DOES THIS SOUND "FRIENDLY" TO YOU?!

THIS MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO IS UNDOUBTEDLY A MILITARY CENTER FOR ISLAM!

Posted by: fortitude | August 16, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Terror is the use of fear or violence for political gain, and the Fundamentalists in Islam do not have a monopoly on Terror. The Grand Old White Party is so full of hate and fear of Muslims, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, etc. If we were really in a war of terror, there would be subways, buses, and shopping malls blowing up, daily. The fear and threat has been hyped over the last nine years, and most of the busted plots were FBI informants. WTF happened to the hunt for the Nine Eleven Conspirator UBL? Never Forget? LOLZ

White Republican Hate
http://www.vimeo.com/13991812

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | August 16, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@kevin

Sorry for the confusion last night. There I was reading along and suddenly a strange turn. It never occurred to me that it was a typo. After reading so many colorful comments for two days I jumped the gun.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@fortitude

Are you really unable to distinguish Nineteen Terrorist from a religion of 1.5 BILLION? The Blowback of Nine Eleven surely had something to do with the United States propping up and supporting Al Queda, Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, etc. As I understand Muslims Jews and Christians lived harmoniously in Spain. Turn off the Fox 'News' and Boss Limbaugh! LOLZ

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | August 16, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

He said "It's our sense that the key issues facing the country and voters in the fall will be the economy."

Yeah...that's so much better.

I can't help thinking that maybe they ought to try and make the mosque the key issue. Democrats can run away from the president on the mosque. But they can't run away from an economy that has more than 16 percent official U6 unemployment and heading for what looks like a slowdown if not a dip.

The Republicans have been of worse than no help but the Republicans aren't the ones in charge. Then again, the Democrats don't seem to be in charge either. A weak president makes for a weak congress.

Posted by: oxfordsystems | August 16, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think we better reflect on how we are again witnessing the successful filling of the media space by an issue of nearly zero real importance to citizens' lives. Folks are hot, angry, at each other's throats when the poor are getting poorer, the middle class heading for poor fast, and the super rich getting super richer and far, far more powerful.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Ever notice how Republicans are anti-minority whatever the situation.

They are anti equal pay for women. They are pretty much anti-minority overwhelmingly. Anti gay rights. Anti freedom of the minority religions.

THANK GOD the founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights to protect ALL Americans.

If Republicans are willing to turn a blind eye to freedom to express religion for some cooked up controversy then maybe we should just get rid of the 2nd Amendment and take away their right to own guns.

Would that make them happy you think?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 16, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

And not that rationality has any place in this discussion but do those Americans subscribing to the Holy War Method realize they are playing right into al Qaeda's hands? No matter. If it feels good say it; if it works politically do it. The Conservative movement is spent and these are its hideous death throes. The GOP is a craven collection of demagogues shilling for their corporatist overlords.

Why, for example, doesn't the GOP talk about climate change? Because it's real and requires actual problem-solving entailing difficult decisions and tradeoffs. So instead the GOP says climate change simply doesn't exist. Problem solved! Now let's get back to those Mexican Muslim Homosexuals.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 16, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I recommend Douthat's column today...http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/opinion/16douthat.html?hp

He gets much further than most conservatives I've read but he just can't help himself...there's two sides to every story and it's my job to paint them in equipoise.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, I agree. This issue has become a hot button distraction from the economy. Thanks for the Krugman piece, I missed that one yesterday. I hope people are listening because he's not alone in pointing out this SS scare is not real. I don't think Dems will actually travel down the path of cutting benefits by raising the retirement age but I've been watching the news on the deficit commission very closely. Unfortunately so much of it is being done behind closed doors it's difficult to get a sense of what's actually being discussed. Lost of rumors and speculation, no facts.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 16, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@Zattarra = "Every person who says that peoples sensitivities over ride the first amendment should then ahve to explain to me how grief over a family member killed by a legal gun doesn't trump the second amendment."

Great point, I don't believe the point of Obama speech was an endorsement of building the Mosque but more stating the obligation of the Government to protect the freedom's guaranteed in the constitution even if those freedom's are offensive to the majority. No patriotic citizen agrees with flag burning yet the government must protect free speech which means protecting the flag burners right to burn a flag in protect.

The rights habit of choosing "popular" positions over their sworn duty to defend the constitution how got to be brought to the light for what it is. They are the ones using unfortunate incidents like this to advance their platform of hate and fear.

Posted by: soapm | August 16, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

All, check out the front page of the NY Post, blaring that Hamas has endorsed the mosque:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/breaking_hamas_sides_with_obam.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

So Republicans, who hate the thought of a living Constitution, are arguing that the President would show more leadership if he lead based on the emotional mood of the nation, rather than adhering to more important Constitutional separation of church and state.

Don't you just love when WASPs act like idiots and offend so many other AMERICAN CITIZENS?

Posted by: pathfinder12 | August 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - Yeah, they are good at this, aren't they. And we too often take the bait. AllButCertain had some good reminders on how foolish this all can look when one, by choice or necessity, leaves the noise for a time.

There's an old Jewish tale of two brothers who are fighting over ownership of a cow, with one pulling the head and the other pulling the rear. Meanwhile, their lawyers are milking the cow.

See you later, I expect.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent,

Who cares what Hamas does? They don't govern our free nation - the Constitution does. Hama is for giving water to the thirsty. Should we be against it?

Posted by: pathfinder12 | August 16, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I think I am missing something here... I am very much for the freedom of religion and I think Republicans are too. Everyone is calling this a controversy over religion but no one is talking about what the real problem is here.

Think about it for one second. Ground zero is where 2 of our greatest towers stood. They were destroyed by multiple jet liners that were taken over by extremist Muslims that hate America. They killed over 3000 people. So now we want to roll over and let them build a Mosque on ground zero?

Seriously people? Please explain it to me? So when King George was taxing our founding fathers of our nation, they should have rolled over and taken it? What about Pearl Harbor? Think we should have let the Japanese just come in and build their own base?

I'm sorry, but this is a shining example of how this country is breaking down. People are not standing up for the right principles. Yes they are allowed to religious freedom. Go for it, but don't slap us in the face by wanting to build a church/mosque on top of a place where a bunch of terrorists attacked us. ROFL. I can't even fathom it. So here is a scenario for everyone to think about. We are over in their land right now dropping bombs and destroying their lives. Would it be right if we went over there and built a big Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, or Protestant church on their ground zero? Sorry. Food for thought.

Posted by: tico1177 | August 16, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Liberals like yourself and Obama are fond of using the Constitution only when it suits your purposes while trashing in every way possible with excesses of federal rule.

Sure they have a right to build a mosque at ground zero. I favor an American enterprise response building on Greg Gutfeld's idea of a gay bar next door. Then, bracket the mosque with a porn superstore. Sell sausages and hot dogs on the sidewalk in front of the mosque. Electronically fence the entire sidewalk and make it a leash-free dog walking area. They will not build the mosque in that envrionment.

Al Qaeda tactics call for using our liberties to defeat us. My recommendation puts the issue back in their face.

Posted by: Crites | August 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

An opportunity has presented itself: stand up for what the Constitution says! It is what America is "all about." Because of our Constitution, the choice is crystal clear. Keep it simple.

Posted by: dozas | August 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

All, come over to the new thread:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/breaking_hamas_sides_with_obam.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 16, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Of COURSE it's going to be a political issue! How could it NOT be?

Posted by: Desolate1 | August 16, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

republicant's want to remind everyone that they are not in favor of our Constitution, that they are against religious freedom, they are against liberty in general, and that they are bigots. As if anyone needed reminding.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@Tico = "Seriously people? Please explain it to me? So when King George was taxing our founding fathers of our nation, they should have rolled over and taken it?"

It wasn't the taxes our founders protested, it is the fact that we in the Colonies weren't fairly represented which is exactly what this is about. Who defends the rights of the minorities?

Who defends the rights of the immigrant, the slaves, those who don't have a Fox or bought representation on the Hill but are citizens and covered by the constitution?

"What about Pearl Harbor? Think we should have let the Japanese just come in and build their own base?"

If you are talking about Japanese American's then their base is America's base and there are several in that area. The country of Japan isn't what this is about. It is about American's exercising their constitutionally protected rights. Why have a constitution if we override it because of popular sentiment?

Posted by: soapm | August 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hamas is a terrorist organization as defined by the United States.

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

From following article; Obama bill passes giving . . .
billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to countries and entities that support sharia law and/or harbor, hide and support those who want to destroy the U.S. and our allies. View following article, link . . .

http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/obamas-supplemental-bill-passes-gives-billions-to-enemies/

Following article about Obama prior to him being elected President . . .
jihadists will dance in the streets, as they did on 9/11/2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked. King rightly predicts that the election of Obama would mean that the terrorists will have won their war against the United States as we will surrender to them and their supporters.

http://jbuff.com/c062608.htm

Posted by: Montana_Miles | August 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Lost in all the political demagoguery about the proposed Muslim mosque and cultural center blocks from Ground Zero is the fact that denying zoning approval would violate one of the Republicans' favorite pieces of federal law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

Sponsored by Senator Orin Hatch and passed unanimously by both houses of Congress in July 2000, this law clearly states

"No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination."

The only reason anybody opposes this center is that it is Muslim -- a religious denomination. As a long-time zoning attorney and city planner, it's extremely clear that denial would be a blatant violation of this federal law that these same Republicans wrote and unanimously supported ten years ago.

This law was passed in large part to prevent public opinion from denying zoning approval to religious uses. Now Republicans like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) tell CNN's "State of the Union" that the zoning approval should be denied because public opinion is against it. Republican strategist Ed Rollins tells "Face the Nation" that this proposal will be an issue Republicans will hang around the necks of Democrats in the fall.

If the City of New York denies the zoning approval sought for this site, it will blatantly violate RLUIPA and expose the city to one whopping lawsuit that is extremely likely to succeed.

Now is the time to take the politics out of this discussion and bring the facts to light that a federal law adopted by a Republican Congress makes the denial the Republicans seek blatantly illegal.

And it's a crying shame that nobody in this debate is paying attention to the RLUIPA law that is at the core of how this zoning application must be decided. But then again, the demagogues of the far right never let the facts, nor the law, get in their way.

Posted by: dl49 | August 16, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh yes indeed you betcha Muslim in Chief
Inman Barack Hussein Obama's Dictatorial
Demands that NEW YORK CITY Allow his blood
thristy fellow Muslim/Al_Qeada Terrorist
Build A 9-11 Muslim Terrorist Victory Mosque near the 9-11 Destoryed WTC where
3000 innocent people were murder in cold
blood by 19 Muslim Extremists IS The Final
Nail in both Muslim in Chief Sociopathic
pathological liar Barack Hussein Obama and
his wimpy coward fellow traveler gutless
camp follower Democrats for sure!.OUT!

And,don't forget that Obama & Pelosi & Reid
want Illegal Alien Amnesty for 40 Million
Illegal Alien Yet Undocumented New Democrat
Voters as well. Vote The Democrats OUT!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | August 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama we do not surrender the World Trade Center! No mosque!

Posted by: Montana_Miles | August 16, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and they are unable to read or use a map. This religious center is not AT ground zero, it is in the general neighborhood. How many blocks away is far enough for your bigoted minds? We all know -- at the bottom of the ocean for all who read anything other than your religious scripture,(which is no doubt a bad translation of books written for a culture you don't understand) and anyone darker than john boner.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Funny how twits like Sargent can find Constitutional justification for personal mandates on health care, Gov't take-over of the entire student-loan industry, Gov't take-over of car companies, etc... - but on building a mosque on ground zero??? Nope - its completely laissez-faire!

Hypocrites!

Posted by: pgr88 | August 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Unless you pay New York City income tax, your opinion doesn't matter. Mind your own damned business. That goes for Obama and everyone else who lives outside the 5 boroughs.

Posted by: vinlander | August 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

As a Canadian, I can tell you that building a mosque near ground zero is a great idea. It would go alot further to better relations for the USA with just about every country in the world. It would prove, without a doubt, that the 9/11 hijackers were wrong about America. Electing Obama kinda showed that, but with the ridiculous and disrespectful antics of the GOP and the Tea Partys, the worldview of the US is once again going downhill. To equate all Muslims with the ones who terrorized on 9/11, is to equate all white ex-military republicans with Tim McVeigh. again, it's like Prop8, the majority cannot legally commit discrimination against the minority. I empathize with all those who lost on 9/11, but to hate having a mosque being put up, is doing the job of the terrorists for them. Remember, there are Muslim armed service personell that have given their life serving your country, and it wasn't only white, Christian Americans lost on 9/11.

Posted by: katem1 | August 16, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

RepubliKKKans will use any issue around which they can weave a hate-filled message.

Can't wait for these racists to slip on their camos and disappear into their double-wides.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | August 16, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama came out forcefully in favor of the Ground Zero Mosque. He said he believed our nation’s founding principles demanded it.

Really?

Which of those founding principles? This man was a law professor. Surely he understands that our founding principles do not compel the President of the United States to support the specific act of an individual based on our founding principles. Otherwise, he no doubt supports revolution because that is the principle on which our republic began, see e.g. the Declaration of Independence.

There is, in fact, a difference between the exertion of a legal right and supporting the use of a legal right that is offensive.

Under Barack Obama’s logic, the President of the United States now supports jihad apparently. After all, jihad is an Islamic teaching and our founding principles of freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof must compel Obama’s support for jihad.

Likewise, all those religious sects still practicing polygamy can go to town. After all, there is a more solid historic foundation for polygamy than gay marriage and if we can have one, surely our founding principles now compel we have the other.

Oh — what about the Greater First Church of Satan wanting to do human sacrifice of a willing victim? I guess our founding principles demand the President support that too. After all, it is a religious belief and only willing participants.

No doubt Barack Obama will now also forcefully come out in favor of protesting abortion clinics. After all, our founding principles support freedom of speech.

Just don’t hint at opposing Barack Obama. Our very founding principle — the right of a free people to choose their own leader — makes you a fringe, anti-American racist.

The logic Barack Obama is using to support the noxious notion that a mosque should be built at Ground Zero opens up all sorts of logical avenues our Genius in Chief probably never even thought about.

Lastly, I guess his new found appreciation for our founding principles came after the National Day of Prayer. To paraphrase Keder on Twitter, the left believes putting a mosque at Ground Zero is awesome, as long as Christians are not praying in school.

Posted by: NO-bama | August 16, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

ralph....do you realize that you appear as a complete coward is so terrified that you wish to shred one of our most basic rights under the Constitution! Man up you sissyboy.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 16, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

As a Canadian, I can tell you that building a mosque near ground zero is a great idea. It would go alot further to better relations for the USA with just about every country in the world. It would prove, without a doubt, that the 9/11 hijackers were wrong about America. Electing Obama kinda showed that, but with the ridiculous and disrespectful antics of the GOP and the Tea Partys, the worldview of the US is once again going downhill. To equate all Muslims with the ones who terrorized on 9/11, is to equate all white ex-military republicans with Tim McVeigh. again, it's like Prop8, the majority cannot legally commit discrimination against the minority. I empathize with all those who lost on 9/11, but to hate having a mosque being put up, is doing the job of the terrorists for them. Remember, there are Muslim armed service personell that have given their life serving your country, and it wasn't only white, Christian Americans lost on 9/11.

Posted by: katem1 | August 16, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Vinlander,
You are right, we should mind our own business. Why? Because I know New Yorkers will not let it stand. They will not let a terrorist group simply slap the 5 boroughs in the face. I have faith in all of you.

Soapm,

Bottom line was taxation without representation. Same basic concept. They were being taxed left and right by a tyrant across the Atlantic. So they fought back.

As for minorities having a voice in this country, they can as long as they get an education. Obama is an example of a minority in a high place in this country. So there is representation, but people are not putting themselves up for it. People just accept the status quo and move on. The people are wanting to roll over and let others dictate to them how they should live.

Does everyone really want the government to spoon feed us? Are we that incapable of standing on our own 2 feet? I can see some help on education and unemployment, but soon we will end up having to give the government our own liberties. Mark my words and you will see that the government will run your life.

Posted by: tico1177 | August 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Embracing ignorance and hatred is never the correct position for a President to take. Any Democrat who doesn't have the spine to stand up to ignorance and hatred needs to be replaced by someone who has a brain and a pair.

Posted by: sonny2 | August 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

As we have Freedom of Religion in our country (enshrined in our Constitution) and that President Obama has, as has every other President, vowed to abide by and protect our Constitution, the naysayers of the building of a Mosque two blocks away from the 9-11 site are being very un-American to criticize the President for what we all know is his responsibility. They are playing politics again and still are the Party of No. They are also the Party with a base of the most ignorant, biased, hateful and ignorant people. How sad that they want to go down the drain. I guess we will have to let them. Anyone who was decent in the Republican Party has left the Party. The Party is over, it's time to call it a day.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | August 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You either believe in the Constitution of the United States or you do not. There are no zoning or other local New York laws or regulations that would stop a Christian church from being built on this site. Only hate and biggotry stand in the way. I never want to here Republicans bring up the Constitution again. They only reference it when it serves their purposes.

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

Remember when President Obama was taking his oath of office? He swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. In fact, he has the position of the chief defender of the US Constitution. No serious expert, and to my knowledge no expert, on Constitutional law has ever suggested that right of this group to build their community center on private land is not protected under the Constitution of the United States of America, not a single one.
When this became a big issue, it was absolutely the moral, legal and professional responsibility of President Obama to defend the rights of those involved. Any other action would have been grounds for Impeachment. The President did not in any way endorse or condemn the community center's location because that issue is secondary to the group's right to build it there if they conform to the local building and zoning codes, which they do. The press is completely off their rocker in suggesting that he has backtracked on the issue. He never said what a great place for a community center, he said they have as much right as ANY RELIGIOUS GROUP to build their, and they do.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | August 16, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Think this through with me. If Muslims aren't going to have any rights, if we're going to suspend the Constitution for them, why put up with them at all? Deport them all, even the ones who are citizens, since they have no rights. Confirm what the terrorists are telling them about our war on all Muslims. Create millions more suicide bombers. Yeah, that's a great idea. Then we can start doing the same thing to Hispanics, blacks, Jews, Mormons, etc.

Posted by: DaveHarris | August 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

MUHAMMAD did marry a 7 year old, but did not have sex with her until she become a women at an age where marriage was common at the time.
Capitalizing you text does not make true.

The idea that this would be a military center is not rational, though it would be really nice if the 1/100,000 of Muslims who are terrorists would be stupid enough to put their recruiting and training centers where they would be so easily monitored.

Note there are at least 1 billion Muslims in the world, and at most 10,000 terrorists in the world.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | August 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Don't see how Repblicans can "make this" an issue.

Almost everyone agrees (1) Muslims have a legal right to build it at this site, but (2) it is in very poor taste.

Look, if they want to be tasteless, hey, knock yourselves out there, Ahmed.

(Hey, we lived through a Nazi march in Skokie. Surely, we can tolerate one lousy
mosque a couple of blocks from GZ. We are above this.)

(Now, about that pork vendor who will be selling ribs and sausage right outside your front door . . . !)

Posted by: trenda | August 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Well I know I won't be voting for Obama because of his support for the mosque and his apparent affinity for Muslims.


All the GOP has to do is splice the video of Obama's speech on Friday with the video of Hamas's leader imploring that the mosque must be built and the Dems will be toast.

The fact that you are trying to bully the GOP into not running on this issue speaks to your fear and the potency of this issue to destroy the Dems.

Posted by: cleancut77 | August 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if they'll use a loud speaker to do the Muslim call to prayer, "Allah hu Akbar...Allah!" Which by coincidence is one of the last things heard by passengers on the flights that destroyed the Twin Towers.

Posted by: pamschuh9 | August 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Ah, so Obama was AGAINST it before he was FOR it ("...but let me be perfectly clear....")

Posted by: stratman1 | August 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Will "Ground Zero mosque" be key issue in midterms?
-----

WTF IS WRONG WITH WAPO JOURNALISTS?

IT IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT A GROUND ZERO!

IT IS 2 BLOCKS FROM THE 9/11 SITE.

Posted by: kkrimmer | August 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The GOP already was going to take control of the House after the midterms, but now Obama has given the GOP the Senate as well. His insensitivity to New Yorkers and to all Americans on this issue is stunning. If there were any voters on the fense, they aren't anymore as Obama just handed every toss-up race to the Republicans with this remark. There will even be Blue Dogs and conservative Democrats that will lose, just to ensure Obama does not harm this country anymore with his uncontrolled spending and socialist agenda.

Posted by: Realist201 | August 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"They killed over 3000 people. So now we want to roll over and let them build a Mosque on ground zero? now we want to roll over and let them build a Mosque on ground zero? . . . Please explain it to me. . ."
---

We'll leave aside the fact that it's not on or at ground zero--it's two blocks away.

This comment goes right to the crux of this issue--identity. And it is reflected in the pronoun usage from the comment above.

"Them" is used at once to mean al Qaeda--the people who destroyed the towers-- AND the people who want to build the mosque-- American Muslims who were not involved in the attacks. It is convenient to lump all Muslims together (in fact, this is what al Qaeda would like us to do), but it is not accurate and seems to be the source of the emotional reaction to this issue.

The confusion is further compounded by the use of "we" later in the comment. Who is the "we" who can allow or not allow the mosque to be built? All Americans? No, because that includes Muslims as well. Apparently, "we" are the non-Muslim Americans--probably the Christian ones? It's not clear. In the end, it is this unclearness that allows this debate to continue.

Who are "they"? Who attacked us on 9/11? Al Qaeda or all Muslims?

Who are we? A pluralistic society under a constitution ensuring the same freedoms for all citizens or a country of Christians who may choose to tolerate people with differing religions and cultures or not?

Posted by: writinron | August 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"So will Obama's controversial defense of the right to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero be a key issue in the midterms?"

So...defending the right to freedom of religion is "controversial" now?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness
*************************
Well, not to those whose brain stems are attached. But as you can see from some of the comments here, thinking is not a daily occupation.

Posted by: LABC | August 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This is NOT ABOUT FREEDOM.

It is about cultural insensitivity and passive-aggressive hate.

Islam has to answer for their behavior.

No one from this country needs to explain to ANYONE why they think this mosque in this location is a bad idea.

An explanation is due from a representative of islam.... oh, wait we already heard from hamas....

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, right wing sensibilities are inflamed with the idea that Muslims may be able to meet and pray near an American holy shrine. America has high ranking military officers refusing orders to go to war because the president supposedly isn't a citizen under the Constitution. So, the parts of the Constitution that are convenient to right wing sensibilities get underlined and the opposite get erased. What right wingers don't get is that Islam is not responsible for the attack on the U.S. That was the work of al Qaeda.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States!
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMRNT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF;
OBAMA TOOK A OATH AND SWORE TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!
EVERY CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS SWORE TO THE SAME OATH. THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ALLOW THAT TEMPLE! OTHERWISE THEY BREAK THEIR OATH.

Posted by: jdLaughead | August 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Obama for this wonderful gift. Keep talking, you are only making the Dems hole so deep they can't see any daylight.

Posted by: delusional1 | August 16, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


And neither can anybody else. Why do so many Americans abandon their own Constitution on this issue?

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

This is NOT ABOUT FREEDOM.

It is about cultural insensitivity and passive-aggressive hate.

Islam has to answer for their behavior.

No one from this country needs to explain to ANYONE why they think this mosque in this location is a bad idea.

An explanation is due from a representative of islam.... oh, wait we already heard from hamas....

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 11:51 AM
___________________________________________
So you don't believe in and support the Constitution of the United States?

Posted by: Lefty_ | August 16, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ah, so Obama was AGAINST it before he was FOR it ("...but let me be perfectly clear....")

Posted by: stratman1 | August 16, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

More constitutional scholars here than at an ACORN meeting.

We don't want a legal discussion.

We want to understand the Islamic hate-filled motive that would lead such a group to insult so many...

Why doesn't Islam answer any questions?

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure there was a clarion cry for churches not to be built within 5 miles of federal buildings since Timothy McVeigh was a "Christian" who blew up a federal buildings.

The people who cry about protecting the constitution are the same ones who want to strip rights away from people because of "sensitivity". Imagine if confederate flags were BANNED due to the results of the civil war and every a "slave" got up in arms about the insensitivity of seeing that flag flying on government buildings in South Carolina.

Peter King needs to shut the hell up and and he and the other goons in his party should stop playing to the base instinct of fear in people. This country, who supposedly claim to be based on freedom and superiority to others, is being ridiculed around the world for the fact that its theocratic citizens are the ones demonizing the constitution and want to change it to fit their political posture at any given time.

Posted by: hadelaide | August 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Americans would not be opposed to this mosque if they heard American Muslims condemn suicide bombings against innocent Israeli men, women, and children on busses, in restaurants, shopping malls, and schools. Instead there is silence or outright refusal to condemn suicide bombers - and lest we forget, America was the victim of suicide bombers on 911. The Imam of this mosque refuses to condemn the murders of suicide bombers from Hamas, believes America brought 911 on itself, and believes America should be governed by Sharia law.

There have been hundreds of thousands of Iraqis murdered by other Iraqi's in the Shia Sunni bloodletting but yet American Muslims are quiet about that as well. American Muslim groups were silent when the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists, made to say "I am an American and I am a Jew" and had his head chopped off in a barbarity made even more horrific in that it was posted on websites in the Moslem world and applauded!

Americans DO have the right to freedom of religion but they also have the right to express their dissatisfaction with this particular mosque at this particular location. If Moslems want to win over Americans then stop justifying the murders of innocent civilians around the world whether they are Jewish, Christian, and Moslem, in the name of Islam.

When an extreme right Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, entered a mosque in Hebron sixteen years ago and slaughtered thirty five Muslims who were praying, Prime Minister of Israel Rabin called Yasser Arafat and said "I am ashamed." In an address to the Knesset, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin denounced the US-born Goldstein as a “foreign implant” and an “errant weed”. He continued, “We say to this horrible man and those like him: you are a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism.”

I'd like to hear more Muslim leaders in America say words like that about Hamas.

Posted by: mjkoch* | August 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Grasping at straws. ...

Posted by: motogp46 | August 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama is "out of touch", according to the Republicans. Our of touch with what, the Constitution?

The 9/11 terrorists were extremists, not followers of mainstream Islam. Should followers of the true beliefs of Islam be punished for the actions of a few?

Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. I remember that there is a church right across the street from the Oklahoma City memorial. I hope that in recognition of the sensitivities of the families of the victim, if it was a Christian church, that it was knocked down.

If the RNC wants to bring this up as a campaign issue, I think the Democrats will love it. How much better can it get than "the Republicans are against freedom of religion"?

Posted by: RGee1 | August 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I actually hope the Republicans DO try and make this a campaign issue, the harder they press the better. Why?

Because when the vast majority of the country is under intense economic pressure and anxiety they will see the party that wants to return to power running around screaming about a community center in lower Manhattan.

Posted by: dwt301 | August 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

LeeHinAlexandria,

You're a fool. It has nothing to do with them trying to show they have power over us. If this were a Christian group wanting to build a church at that site, no one would complain. Because it's a Muslim group, it's a bad idea. Christians fully support religious freedom, as long as it's other Christians. The hypocrisy Christians are displaying on this issue is amazing. Ask yourself one thing: What would Jesus say? He'd say let them build the mosque. The proof: Read the bible....Jesus says time and again to love one another, love thy neighbor, do unto others, turn the other cheek, forgive, and that people be allowed to worship as they wish.

Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

LeeHinAlexandria,

You're a fool. It has nothing to do with them trying to show they have power over us. If this were a Christian group wanting to build a church at that site, no one would complain. Because it's a Muslim group, it's a bad idea. Christians fully support religious freedom, as long as it's other Christians. The hypocrisy Christians are displaying on this issue is amazing. Ask yourself one thing: What would Jesus say? He'd say let them build the mosque. The proof: Read the bible....Jesus says time and again to love one another, love thy neighbor, do unto others, turn the other cheek, forgive, and that people be allowed to worship as they wish.

Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Vacations and Racial/Religious Controversies - these are OBAMA's favorite side-shows to try to make us forget that he has turned the USA a thrid world country for your grandchildren.

Posted by: pamschuh9 | August 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

LeeHinAlexandria,

You're a fool. It has nothing to do with them trying to show they have power over us. If this were a Christian group wanting to build a church at that site, no one would complain. Because it's a Muslim group, it's a bad idea. Christians fully support religious freedom, as long as it's other Christians. The hypocrisy Christians are displaying on this issue is amazing. Ask yourself one thing: What would Jesus say? He'd say let them build the mosque. The proof: Read the bible....Jesus says time and again to love one another, love thy neighbor, do unto others, turn the other cheek, forgive, and that people be allowed to worship as they wish.

Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

If they make it a midterm issue, they will elevate the importance of the project and give it even more visibility and prestige in the middle east. Is this what they really want?

Posted by: hakafos44 | August 16, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What would Jesus say?

really, alber911emt came up with this load of genius?

We want to know what allah would say... you idiot.

What jesus would say means nothing.

Why would allah want this? It is his wish to what? drive out or kill all infidels? naaah, couldn't be that.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

So, what else is new?

This will be the FIFTH straight election cycle where the GOP campaign platform is built on the bodies of 911 victims.

Is it any surprise that this project, which is not new, is suddenly "NEWS"?

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

zattarra wrote:
"Every person who says that peoples sensitivities over ride the first amendment should then ahve to explain to me how grief over a family member killed by a legal gun doesn't trump the second amendment."

Nonsense. This is not a first amendment issue. The Government is not preventing them from building it. It would be public opinion.

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

mjkoch* wrote....
I'd like to hear more Muslim leaders in America say words like that about Hamas.

--------------------------------

They have, and continue to do so. Is there a specific number of Muslim leaders that would have to denounce the attack before you'd be satisfied?

Posted by: RGee1 | August 16, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I would never of believed that someone so smart could be so stupid if I wasn't seeing it for myself.

He probably needs a vacation.


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

The question here is not whether they have a "right" to build the mosque near ground zero, they do. That's our constitution and that's not going to change. So please, stop hiding behind that simplistic arguement and face the real one - SHOULD they build it there? Simply because someone has a "right" to do something doesn't always mean that they should.

In my opinion, they absolutley should not. It's horribly offensive and insulting, and the builders of this mosque know that, and that's the most disturbing point of all.

Posted by: harkes4ever | August 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Republicans should use the issue. This is mild stuff compared to what Democrats have used.

Posted by: TraderB | August 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I find it comic that opponents of the mosque only adhere to the Constitution when its convenient. Tell me what say you about the Christian that killed those in OK City or the preacher in AZ praying for the POTUS' death, or the MI militia plotting to kill police officers, or the Christian that flew into the IRS building in TX. I guess those folks are ok cuz they're 'Christian?' Christians did not like inter-racial marriages. Christians in the South condoned slavery. Millions of people died from Christians, yet we distance ourselves from them. I certainly don't want to be lumped in that august club, so why paint Muslims in the same brush?

Posted by: ttanner509 | August 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

docwhocuts,

You're the idiot. The First Amendment means nothing to you? The laws of our country mean nothing to you? You believe in the laws until they get in the way, until they are inconvenient, then it's to hell with the laws. You're a coward and a bigot, and people like you will never be true American patriots.

Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

This is plum silly.

I am against the mosque because I think it is a bad idea.

It has nothing to do with how I will vote in the fall. Nothing can persuade me to vote for Republicans

Posted by: martymar123 | August 16, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Our family is outraged that they will be able to build a mosque where that little dirty terrorist's body was recovered. We know it is a slap in the face but the state department sending this imam to the middle east on our dime is also a slap in the face. The Cordoba Initiative is a 100 year plan to take over the US with islam. The moronic state department thinks this man is moderate. The underlying intent is evil. Muslims words do not match their actions. Sounds like our President doesn't it?
Yes will be an issue but the biggest one is the healthcare takeover no one wants. I want these Democrat radical nut jobs out of office.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 16, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The fact that this President was OK with building a mosque on Ground Zero is akin to letting the Nazis build a huge swastika in Jerusalem - is this President so isolated and surrounded by his elitist professorial clique that he is that removed from mainstream America? Yes, I think he is, nothing else explains it!

Posted by: Capitalismworks | August 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

NOT a constitutional issue.

Nothing about religious hate, or insensitivity in there.

This is an issue about islamic hate.

This is an issue about islamic provocation.

This is an issue about islam never taking responsibility.

This is NOT about jesus
NOT about religious freedom (there is already a mosque but 4 blocks from ground 0)

This is about muslim hate for infidels.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think I understand now. Freedom of religion is an integral part of the Constitution unless somebody gets upset.

So do we need to review again that the 9/11 bombers were as much a part of mainstream Islam as abortion bombers or pedophile priests are a part of mainstream Christianity?

Posted by: RGee1 | August 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The First Amendment is great, until it's not, then its to hell with the Constitution. I don't really care if the mosque gets built or not...but as American citizens, it's their right to build it.

Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It's 1933 all over again. Except this time the scapegoats are Muslims instead of Jews.

I lived through 9/11 in NYC and nobody, especially some white-trash redneck like Joe Cornyn will tell me what's appropriate for NYC. These jerks opposed the 9/11 Commission in the first place, didn't give a d a m n about the victims' families. Now, all of sudden they care.

Pathetic.

Posted by: Garak | August 16, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Islam is building a trophy.

And the idiots on the board are talking constitution.

idiots.

Islam needs to answer questions before anyone should defend their feelings.

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

This just one of many key issues. Our Founding Fathers didn't have Islam in mind at the time.

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

There are many good Muslims in this country. They should enjoy the same religious freedom as all other Americans. The quest for religious freedom is what led to America being founded.

Posted by: BillR | August 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I am perplexed by all of the "anti-mosque" people because it seems to be counter to what they say they stand for. First of all, this is private property and the anti-mosque crowd is usually the same crowd who normally says that government should stay away from telling people what they can do with their private property. Second, this is a local issue and it is strange to see the proponents of states rights get so exorcised about something that has already been decided by local government (which one would think would know best).

Whether it is a smart idea on the part of the mosque builders, that is another issue, but this is America and in America, as long as they are not breaking the law, people have the right to do what they want to do on private property--not in some cases, when they agree with Republicans, but in ALL cases--otherwise, we no longer live in a democratic republic.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | August 16, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's rather hard to find news articles that clearly state how close or how far from Ground Zero the mosque actually will be.

All I have read is that it is some blocks away, certainly not "In Ground Zero" like some believe.

And the property is already owned by the mosque. It's their property.

Maybe we need to back off and learn a bit more.

Posted by: KHMJr | August 16, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

So the Republicans made this a campaign issue? No, I think Obama did that all on his own.

Posted by: AnnieP1 | August 16, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

HELLO? ARE YOU ALL THAT STUPID?

IT IS NOT AT THE GROUND ZERO SITE.

IT IS NOT AT THE 9/11 SITE.

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

Posted by: kkrimmer | August 16, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

There are 2 issues here: One is legal, the other emotional.

Do they have the Constitutional right...you bet. Legal right's and emotional need's often conflict....but like Obama, I question the wisdom.

Posted by: ilcn | August 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sad comment on the state of our society when one segment starts claiming that a defense of Constitutional rights is "out of touch" with the mainstream.

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

Why would any US political party want to act unpatriotic and harness disregard for the Bill of Rights just to get votes?

Posted by: Emmetrope | August 16, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Every two years an emotionally charged distraction comes along and diverts people from what’s really important in this country. Good job Greg by proving this theory correct and validating this fake issue. Once again Republicans manage to distract people from what is important and in doing so all American suffer from the lack of relevant policy debate.

Posted by: doesntmatter | August 16, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

We "Republicans" are outraged that muslims would want to build there... just as we were outraged when blacks wanted to eat at our lunch counters, go to our schools and live in our neighborhoods. Don't even get us started about gays wanting to be in our military or women going to work.

Posted by: baldinho | August 16, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

When is Obama going to speak out for the rights of Christians to be allowed to build churches in Islamic countries.


Posted by: eriksorenson | August 16, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"I lived through 9/11 in NYC and nobody, especially some white-trash redneck like Joe Cornyn will tell me what's appropriate for NYC. "

I agree. Which makes me wonder why some idiot from NYC wants to tell Arizona what's right there.

I'll be it doesn't feel good with the shoe on the other foot.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | August 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't hear Republicans saying "yes, it's insensitive" but it would be against everything that defines America and the Constitution to attempt to block the mosque on legal grounds.

Which of course means that they want all the credit for being against it without having to tell the audience they are pandering to that they can't support any legal basis for preventing it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Why would Democrats be vervous about protecting our Constitution?

Freedom of Religion

Separation of Church and State

The Government has no right to tell any religious group what it can and canot do.

Conservatives can protest Islam as much as their hearts desire, they can hate muslims as much as they want, but they cannot make our government betray our Constitution just because they cannot control their emotions.


Now are the muslims building the mosque going to deserve the death threats and bomb threats they will get from Conservatives for building the mosque? They were warned - do not stir a kettle of carzy.

Posted by: thecontributist | August 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes


Obama just made another critical mistake for the democrats.


The new question: how will the democratic party survive Obama and his continued false charges of racism ???

.

Posted by: SummerDreams | August 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The mosque-at-ground-zero issue should help liberal Democrats. Let them stick to their guns and furnish jihadists the world over a place of pilgrimage in lower Manhattan, the place where Mohammed Atta and his muslim psychopaths did their evil deed. And let liberals tell the rest of the American people how bigoted and intolerant we are for opposing the plan. Liberals are very good at looking down at and lecturing us. They can revel in their moral superiority.

Posted by: mhr614 | August 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The media add to all this. The issue is not a political one. It is a constitutional one, a matter of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. But the media harps on the politics of it.

To me, all this harping just leads us to fail to focus on our real problems, problems both parties should be working together to solve.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | August 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Just another political misstep by the President. He didn't gain a single vote that he didn't already have, but he probably lost some in the middle. This is an administration that doesn't know how to focus. It all started with healthcare and the way things were allowed to drag on. Now, this useless debate. More lecturing by the college professor, instead of executive leadership. As a Democrat, I despair over this sort of bumbling. It all goes back to having a lack of leaders at the top levels of administration, nobody who is an effective communicator or has ever run something large. Gates will no doubt be replaced by another person in this category. Add in Reid and Pelosi and you are talking about some really unappealing people, lacking in charisma and communication skills.

Posted by: 54465446 | August 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama's support for Cordoba House has finally enabled me to figure out why we can't see Obama's birth certificate or college transcripts.

Obama is actually a REPUBLICAN MOLE sent into deep cover by Richard Nixon 35 years ago in a long-term plan to utterly destroy the Democratic Party.

That is why he has ruined the economy, passed a health care bill that most Americans hate, and sued Arizona over a law that Americans support 2-to-1.

Tricky Dick's last trick...

Posted by: pmendez | August 16, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama: "I don't know all the facts, but the Cambridge Police acted stupidly."

Obama puts his foot in it, once again.

Posted by: pgr88 | August 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

docwhocuts,

You're the idiot. The First Amendment means nothing to you? The laws of our country mean nothing to you? You believe in the laws until they get in the way, until they are inconvenient, then it's to hell with the laws. You're a coward and a bigot, and people like you will never be true American patriots.
Posted by: Albert911emt | August 16, 2010 12:13 PM
___________________________________________
I try very hard not to resort to ad hominem. That does not, however, mean that I cannot agree with someone who does.

Posted by: Lefty_ | August 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The question to me is not as much about WHAT he said as it is WHY he got involved at all.

Any organization desireous of respect and an image of "getting along" in the fabric of AMERICAN life would have backed off this highly offensive subject a week ago.

But islam does not want to be respected; it wants to be obeyed.

Just becasue they have the right to do something doesn't mean they will do it right.

Posted by: jimbob3 | August 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Hamas are both on record supporting the IslamoFascist center...er, mosque at the World Trade Center site in NYC

Know that once built, in the name of the pagan arab moon god 'llah' (aka: allah, reason for the crescent moon on the roof), there will always be a place in NYC where women are shown their "places" and homosexuals are not tolerated at all....

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Building a mosque next to ground zero is like opening a gay bar next to the Vatican. It may be legal, but it is also very stupid.

Posted by: iamafg | August 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@MHR614:

"Liberals are very good at looking down at and lecturing us. They can revel in their moral superiority."

*******************************

Yes -- if there were no conservatives, liberals would have to invent us.

Posted by: pmendez | August 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

A Greek Orthodox Church as destroyed on the attack of 9/11. To date it has not been able to obtain the needed planning permissions from the city of New York to rebuilt, and, as a consequence, has not been rebuilt. Why has the mayor of the city of New York gotten behind the effort to built a Muslim community center and, at the same time, presided over a city government that is blocking the rebuilding of a Christian Church? I do not have the answer to this question, but I am prepared to offer a several possible ones. It is perfecting acceptable in this country to attack Christianity and, at the same time, it is perfecting politically correct to support a Muslim community center. I have no opinion on whether or not the Muslim community center should or should not be rebuilt, but is is a disgrace that a Christian Church destroyed in the attack has not been rebuilt and it should be rebuilt before a Muslim community center in the area is built. I believe that political correctness is the reason that this sorry has not appeared in the mainstream media. They do not care about one Christian church being rebuilt near ground zero, but they do want to make a statement about their being politically correct and supporting the establishment of a Muslim community center.

Posted by: jeffreed | August 16, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama's handlers need to do a better job of what they want our Great Divider-in-Chief reading off of teleprompters.......

Obama stepped right into this mess..........all by himself........

Just let this be a "teachable" moment for our historic Prez.............lol

Posted by: allenridge | August 16, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Another great post by Sargent. The President DOES understand the emotional gravity of the issue but also understands the legal issue of religious tolerance. Both of those beliefs do not contradict one another.

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

Of course this will be a mid-term issue. Obama has yet to learn that in his position, he can't simply speaks what he feels at a public event. Every word he speaks (outside the living quarters) becomes public record and must be tempered with discretion.

Two years into the job, and he still hasn't learned when to keep his mouth shut.

When will he learn?

Posted by: asmith1 | August 16, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that the party that supposedly stands for strict interpretation of the Constitution totally disregards it's words time after time. The Pilgrims, Quakers and Mormons came here to escape persecution like this. Don't like the people who hang at the Home Depot, well that 14th Amendment needs to be changed. Don't like Wikileaks putting the truth out there about Afghanistan, well we need to do something about that dam 1st Amendment. Why are those opposed to this Muslim building (is it really a Mosque or is it a Social Center?) also willing to close the other 6 Mosques in Manhattan? How about the one just 2 more blocks over from this one? I used to be a Nixon Republican, but am now an Obama Democrat, at least I know that Democrats tend to error on the side of human rights.

Posted by: rsteffens1 | August 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

That this could even be an issue in the United States proves that our citizenry is becoming more and more ignorant of the freedoms bequeathed to us by the Founders and preserved for us by the blood of our dead and wounded soldiers. Republicans have to be the most hypocritical human beings to have ever existed on earth. Even religion, something they claim to hold so dear to their hearts, flies out the window, when there's a religion involved that they don't agree with for whatever reasons. Republicans ought to study the history surrounding the Founders' adoption of the First Amendment and its guarantee of the free exercise of religion. During the early 1700s, there was a concerted effort in the colonies to rid the continent of baptist (then known as Anabaptist), who were labeled heretics and nonbelievers. And, Baptist were not the only religious group being attacked on these grounds. To stop this foolishness, James Madison came up with a great idea: to-wit, why not guarantee every religion the unfettered right to practice its beliefs. By doing this, Madison was able to create a system where religions themselves would continue to fight for every one's right to religious expression else they might suddenly find their own religious beliefs under attack. The system has worked good even to the point of keeping religion out of government because everyone one knows that if any one religion were able to grab the power of government to advance its beliefs then no one's religion would be safe. Now, people, this is really a no brainer. The Muslims have the right to build their mosque where ever they want without interference from anyone.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | August 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Building a church, mosque or synagogue frequently brings objections for local residents who have concerns over parking, traffic and noise issues often associated with increased traffic on neighborhood roads, environmental issues, and the tendency of the project to cause or promote substantial changes in the ethnic composition of the neighborhood by attracting a major inflow of the religions adherents. These are local problems involving zoning and land use issues, and politics, and usually the church (mosque or synagogue) wins these contests since they often represent hundreds of voters while the neighborhood just numbers a couple of dozen opponents.

The Prez and other politicians, other than from the district affected, should stay out of it, this location having special emotional connotations notwithstanding.

Posted by: droberts57 | August 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"And: Kudos to Mark Halperin for calling on the GOP to "do the right thing" and refrain from using Obama's mosque speech as a weapon." - the JOURNOLISTS at the POST

...Mark Halperin of TIME magazine can go to hell............

It was the corrupt liberal/progressive TIME that had (8) front covers of Obama during the 2008 election season while only (2) front covers for John McCain....

Now TIME is pleading with the GOP..........sorry Mark to mercy for you and your corrupt liberal/progressive propaganda rag............TIME......... :)

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

Watching Obama and this administration is like watching a ret@rd hump a door knob. Obama is one of the dumbe$t presidents in US history. He speaks with out thinking and this is his normal behavior.

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

Republicans have found the key issue of 2010, and it isn't the economy: it's the proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. They are positively giddy with glee at the prospect of spending the next 80 days or so pounding away and they aren't trying to hide it.

On the Sunday shows yesterday, Sen. John Cornyn (the head of the GOP's senate campaign committee), Ed Gillespie (former RNC chairman), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (chief deputy whip), and Ed Rollins (Reagan 1984 campaign director) all agreed that the mosque proposal would be an important part of the campaign.

But aside from bigotry, the real thing demonstrated by GOP's insistence on putting the mosque question at the forefront of their campaign is that they do not have anything worthwhile to say on the economy. The economy is in the tank, and it's the number one issue this fall. Compared to jobs, nobody cares about the mosque.

But the GOP has so little credibility on the economy that they'd rather go bashing Muslim Americans.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | August 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Every person who says that peoples sensitivities over ride the first amendment should then ahve to explain to me how grief over a family member killed by a legal gun doesn't trump the second amendment. For years I've been told that gun victims have to sit down and shut up because the second amendment allows gun ownership and peoples feelings don't play into it, it's a constitutional right.
So every second amendment defender and the NRA better be out there supporting the rights of every mosque or muslim community center in this country to get built. Time to see a letter writing campaign from the NRA defending the constitutional right to freedom of religion everywhere in this country. If not I'm calling hypocrisy on these people.
Posted by: zattarra | August 16, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Really???? Please explain how this is a constitutional issue??? This has nothing to do with the Constitution it’s a zoning issue. People like you are too stup1d to be posting here….

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Sargant you are pathetic, you write a column saying it was the Liar in Cheifs finest hour for strongly endorsing the Mosque and then you write two columns saying he didn't strongly endorse the mosques.

Such is the credibility of the left, every Newspaper from the Washington Post to the Seattle Times was praising this idiot for "strongly endorsing it".

Now the libtards are questioning not only Obama but they have to question themselves in the process.

How's the new journOlist working out?

Posted by: robtr | August 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The only press coverage I'll be keeping an eye on is Greg Sargent. He's twisted this contrived story into a debate about first amendment rights and Obama's brave defense of those rights. Nothing could be further from reality. A majority of Americans believe that there is a first amendment right to build a mosque at ground zero. A majority also feel it's unwise, to paraphrase the president. The more he engages in the straw man idiocy, the more Greg discredits himelf. For the 100th time, no one is debating the right to build a mosque. That's not at issue, the first amendment was not attacked, and therefore Mr. Obama did not need to defend that principle. On Friday, his statements seemed to indicate that he endorsed not only the right, but the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero, hence the cotroversy. What's at issue here is the wisdom of buidling the mosque, not the right to do so. The president said as much the next day.

Posted by: squid1 | August 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

What other nation's do regarding the construction of places of worship is irrelevant here. We are a nation of freedoms- and as Obama said, Muslims have the 'right' to build their mosque.

That's not news. What's news is Obama's reactionary first choice to defend the Muslim right in this country, while ignoring the grief, anti-mosque sentiment for this location, and callousness of the Imam toward those American survivors of 911 victims.

Most American cities to some degree, exercise discretion over what gets built where. Yet New York fails to impose the usual unbelievable, expensive obstacles normally erected to stand in the way of building projects. The federal EPA has demonstrated a history of inhibiting any building plans if so inclined to do so. This mosque could be stopped.

Something smells bad about the Obama administration's complete acquiesence to this project.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | August 16, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What sparks consideration is the name of the mosque; Cordoba House. In 711, general Tariq bin Ziyad invaded Spain with 7,000 troops. He burned the ships to insure no one felt failure was an option. Cordoba became a provincial capital ruled by the Caliphate of Damascus.

Where would this discussion be if someone decided to create Crusader House in a prominent Muslim country?

The prior actions of Imam Feisal Rauf display a person who has attempted to promote unity and understanding, but also there have been controversy over other actions. For example, not labeling Hamas a terrorist organization.

Whether you support or oppose Iman Rauf’s views, one must question the motives behind the naming of this mosque Cordoba House and the history tied to it. Given the recent history of ground zero, I find it offensive and humiliating.

Posted by: bfranklin1706 | August 16, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Those damn America haters who use the Constitution's gurantee of freedoms to justify building this mosque.

I think we should rewrite the Constitution, maybe with a committee of conservative patriots like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Rudy Giuliani, and Elvis.

Posted by: kkrimmer | August 16, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

After reading a few of these comments the only thing I've figured out is. The LIBS are the most poorly educated people in the US. This has NOTHING to do with the US Constitution but it is rather funny watching the stup1dest segment of the population try to convince their selves...

This is a local issue and a zoning issue. But considering it was an attack on the US it seems everyone wants a say. No religious center PERIOD should be built.

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

The mosque will be an issue if you in the press and the spineless Democrats allow it to be. This is part of the ongoing Republican and Tea Party process of fear and smear, which is all they have in the absence of any policy proposals.

We have no need to fear muslims who wish to build a mosque in NYC, regardless of where in the city they plan to build, what we need to fear are the Republicans, who lust for a return to power so they can complete the destruction of America they started, and nearly completed under the Bush/Cheney junta.

Posted by: pblotto | August 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

All this just goes to show us that the real threat to our freedom and liberty is the Republican party and its extreme right-wing branch, the Tea Party. We stared down facism in the face of George W. Bush, and now it is threatening us again. If the voters allow the Republican party to take power once again, it will be all over for American freedom and democracy. It's 1933 all over again...

Religion must die so mankind can live.

Posted by: Chagasman | August 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"We have no ideas on the economy that haven't already been proven deadly to the middle class. We have fought every piece of legislation designed to help working Americans since Obama came into office, even though we caused those hardship with our failed 'reaganomics.'

May we now distract you with lies and nutty conspiracy theories designed to play upon your racist fears, and fears of Muslims?"

-Just Asking, Your Republican Party

Posted by: losthorizon10 | August 16, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Those damn America haters who use the Constitution's gurantee of freedoms to justify building this mosque.
I think we should rewrite the Constitution, maybe with a committee of conservative patriots like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Rudy Giuliani, and Elvis.
Posted by: kkrimmer | August 16, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse


LOL another simpled$%k LIB T@RD with no clue and the bare minimum as far as education goes.

Try reading and educating yourself. This is not a constitutional issue. There is nothing in the constitution stating you can build a church any where you wish. My guess is you as most of the semi educated LIB id10t’s out there simply repeat what ever non sense you hear and think you actually know what you are talking about. Your family must be proud. LOL

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

republican'ts want to remind every American that they are religious bigots. That they do not believe in liberty. That they are affraid of freedom. That they are tremble in fear and wet themselves in terror in the face of cave dwelling criminal thugs. They want us all to remember that they do not want to uphold the values of freedom and religious self determination that make the United States one of the greatest gifts the world has ever had.

They want us all to remember that anyone who is not white, rich, and follows the exact correct religious dogma as the tea baggers is not part of "their America," the America of discrimination, hatred, inequality before the law, and oppression.

Go for it.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I understand the legal right to build.

I don't understand the logic... unless it is the logic that I do understand.

The only logical argument is a trophy (there is a giant mosque only 2 blocks from the "new" one).

or bragging rights.

or provocation.

Please, Islam, tell me why it is NOT a trophy.

If you try to make this claim, then tell me why "cordoba house"

Until Islam answers these two questions, no one need justify their concerns.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

No one says you can build anything "anywhere you wish." What you cannot do under our Constitution and our bedrock principles is deny someone the same right you would afford someone else on the basis of their religious faith.

And realy, this is a non issue except that republican'ts see that they can get the bigoted tea bagger cretins all fired up with some good old fashioned hate-and-fear mongering. Disgraceful bunch of thugs.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

This whole controversy is so contrived. What would the results of the CNN poll have been had they asked the following instead of asking about a mosque:

A developer plans to operate a strip club within two blocks of the the site in New York City where the World Trade Center used to stand. Do you favor or oppose this plan?

Dick Cheney plans to break ground on the Cheney Vice Presidential Library at a site adjacent to Ground Zero. Do you favor or oppose this plan?

Sarah Palin PAC announced plans to establish its new national headquarters at a site adjacent to Ground Zero...

Barack Obama has obtained a lease for space that will, in the future, house the Obama Presidential Library at a site adjacent to Ground Zero...

McDonalds has announced plans to build the biggest McDonalds ever constructed at a site adjacent to Ground Zero...

Walmart and Target have announced a joint venture to construct a superstore for products made anywhere but the USA at a site adjacent to Ground Zero...

Perhaps we should simply raze all of the buildings in Lower Manhattan and turn the whole area into a National Park. Of course, then someone will bring up the issue of who should/should not be allowed to enter the park.

Posted by: exco | August 16, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Philadelphia, home of Quakerism, is about to be eclipsed by an enormous mormon coven/temple. Under our laws they have as much right to build as anyone else if they follow the procedures and zoning requirements, no matter how many evangelical Christians might find their faith an unholy abomoniation, or how many other view them as crackpots. Religious freedom is for everyone, not just whoever you happen to agree with.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Standing up for the principles that this country was founded upon is now officially something "Mainstream America" is against.

Terrorists win.

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

Here is the issue:

If Republicans are allowed to make this an issue in the up comming elections, and the Democrats do not expose them for what they are (Hypocrits)on this issue, then the Democrats deserve to lose seats.

The Republicans are playing the electorate for fools, treating them like uniformed children. Not one repulican can site in the constitution where it would dissallow this mosque's right to build.

We as Americans can be as emotional as we want to be but we can not let this issue make our cry of "land of the free" a lie.

The Democrats need to meet them head on this. Never back down from foolishness.

Posted by: justonevoice | August 16, 2010 1:23 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 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Obama on this.

Why then does it bother me he went public with such a sentiment? Why do I think he should have kept his mouth shut?

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

Until someone representing the new mosque explains:

"cordoba house"

then we can assume it is belligerent and provocative motives that Islam brings.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

No one's freedom of religion is being infringed. The issue isn't stopping people from worshipping. It's from building.

There's a significant difference.

Posted by: enaughton27 | August 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

So it is OK with conservatives that two strip clubs are being built even closer to this "hallowed ground?" And what of the Muslim Americans who lost their lives that day? Plenty of them worked in and around Ground Zero and were murdered just like Christians and Jews. And what of the Mosque that exists at the Pentagon? It is even closer to the site where the plane was crashed into the building than the 2+ blocks that the Community Center is to be built. But I guess the big question is why do conservatives hate this nation so much they will stomp all over our laws and freedoms?

Posted by: clintatl | August 16, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

askgees, you're right. This isn't a constitutional issue. In fact, it isn't an issue at all, because of the first ammendment to the constitution.

Many liberals are just confused since Republicans portray the mosque as an issue, to stir up voters' fear of Muslims for political gain, but not this one.

Posted by: joshlct | August 16, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

religion has been nothing but politics as usual

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

Sure. and most of these tea party dingbats already think that Obama is a closet Muslim. So what does he do? He goes out of his way to prove that they are right. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. I think that we should build a shrine to Hirohito, Tojo and Yamamoto - and put it in Pearl Harbor, right next to the Arizona memorial.

Posted by: sameolddoc | 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 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Exco makes a really good point. This is a completely contrived "issue" because republican'ts do not have a single viable valid issue on which to run. When one of their fold actually comes out and say in public what republican'ts are planning to do to the nation if they get power the party establishment blows a fuse. Consider angle telling people that conservatives plan to abolish social security by "privatizing" it. Or when paul comes out and tells people that republican'ts want to go back to allowing discrimination in public establishments. The gop is completely bereft of ideas, so they do wat they always do - stir up fear and try to change the subject to something trivial that has no connection to them bending the nation over for a good corn holing again if they ever get their hands on power.

Posted by: John1263 | August 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

ok people, im quite shocked at how islamophobic everyone has become...

first of all, anybody who uses the example of saudi arabia not allowing churches to justify not allowing a mosque to be built in NY is an idiot.

if u ever read their religious texts, it clearly states that any religion is allowed EXCEPT in the Arabian peninsula. that is meant to be a "citadel for Islam."

that being said, don't just use Saudi arabia as an excuse. remember, there are synagogues in morocco, and churches and hindu temples in pakistan. its just saudi arabia and that's a religious reason, which is also technically in their law.

in US law, its TECHNICALLY allowed to build a mosque/church/synagogue where ever.

aside from that, there were 11 Muslims who did this atrocious crime. they had ZERO gov't backing from anywhere in the world. If you really wanna blame the religion of 1 billion people around the world for this attack, then i counter that u all shouldn't build Churches in Oklahoma City or Waco b/c looney christians were involved in that too.

Tolerance is rapidly being faded in today's world, esp. america. i'm completely shocked at how visibly islamophobic and intolerant people are becoming.

Muslims died on 9/11 as well. that day simply wasn't cool for anyone, esp. us. B/c a few idiots blow themselves up, suddenly all 1 billion people are killers? that's so stupid. OJ killed 2 people. should i start checking all blacks b/c they could be murderers?

Madhoff was Jewish and robbed so many people of their money. should the SCC start checking Jewish investors more carefully?

probably not, so stop being idiots.

There has been research done by 2 professors in Duke that suggest the building of mosques and community centers actually keeps terrorism down. U people should really go to ur neighborehood mosque and hear what those clerics say. everytime i've gone, i haven't heard, "kill america! kill kill kill, murder murder murder!"

quite the opposite. more like, "my brothers and sisters, please remember u are citizens to this great nation and we need to play a part in helping advance this great nation...we are here and we are one."
they stress tolerance on our part and stress the need for us muslims to do a better job integrating in american society while still holding our values.

not killing and murdering so stop being ignorant about the mosque.

saudi arabia is a very stupid country. i myself w/ my pakistani background (im born in america) cannot gain saudi citizenship. but again, u hate htem so much, stop doing business w/ them and stop giving that corrupt, power-hungry family more money and power. The Muslim world is far more peaceful and open than u think.

Posted by: furhanq | August 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Justonevoice:

"If Republicans are allowed to make this an issue in the up comming elections, and the Democrats do not expose them for what they are (Hypocrits)on this issue, then the Democrats deserve to lose seats."

******************************

OK, then I guess Democrats are officially toast in November.

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

What is "Ground Zero" really? And what does "sacred" mean?

I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where you can't go the equivalent of two blocks without stepping on ground bloodied from the Civil War and the French and Indian Wars. Now there are Wallmarts and such on those grounds.

Lower Manhattan is still good old Manhattan, a beehive of commercial activity with porno bars and buildings full of greedy lawyers and brokers who bankrupted America's savings and now are getting richer.

How dare Republican reactionaries (led by Karl Rove and his sleazy types) use this mosque issue to create fear and hatred throughout America! It is clear anyway where all the hatred and nastiness is coming from in American politics. If these tactics win again in November, all of us are dead Americans--not just the 3000 people who tragically lost their lives at "ground zero" on Sept 11.

Posted by: walden1 | August 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The muslims are getting exactly what they want. Just look at the disruption that this plan is causing, and the deep divisions it is seeding. The muslims are out to get us using whatever means at their disposal. When are you liberal morons going to get it?

It is time to make sure we have leaders in place who will take decisive action to wipe this scourge from the face of the earth. If mankind gets destroyed in the process, then so be it. We're making a mess of the earth anyway, so why prolong it? Let's go out in a blaze of glory.

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

Let's just abolish the Constitution today and run the country by whatever the Faux News Polls tell us to do through popular will.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

One really has to question the sound judgment of Obama on this one!! Did his arrogance cup just run over, and he had to release pressure while he was among a potential voting group?

Wonder what the two NY senators would say????

WaPo, since you are a news outfit, WHY DON'T YOU ASK THEM????

Posted by: wheeljc | August 16, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

On a weekend that was supposed to highlight the Gulf region and the attractive beaches and safe cuisine, a message that seems to contradict the most recent 3 months of hysteria and doomsday spin and fear mongering from Washington and the drilling moratorium, the PREZ appears to have intentionally sought to overshadow his trip to the Gulf with his Friday night message in favor of the GZ mosque and then several recharacterizations of this message over the weekend. Maybe the communications people at the WH are more competent than they appear.

Posted by: droberts57 | August 16, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Christians are getting exactly what they want - a chance to finish the Crusades.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 16, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

So it is OK with conservatives that two strip clubs are being built even closer to this "hallowed ground?" And what of the Muslim Americans who lost their lives that day? Plenty of them worked in and around Ground Zero and were murdered just like Christians and Jews. And what of the Mosque that exists at the Pentagon? It is even closer to the site where the plane was crashed into the building than the 2+ blocks that the Community Center is to be built. But I guess the big question is why do conservatives hate this nation so much they will stomp all over our laws and freedoms?

Posted by: clintatl | August 16, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Guess what. A bunch of strippers didn't hijack 4 airliners and fly them into the World Trade Center Towers. If you had a brain you would be dangerous. Only a LIB T@RD would try comparing a strip club to a Islamic center…..

LIBERALIM is a disease and should be treated as such....

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Does absolutely nobody have any balls any more? This is a matter of religious freedom. Can't the Democrats for once stand up for something in which they believe? Religious freedom? This is so ridiculous. The idea that we'd try to deny a religious group the right to build a study center anywhere is ludicrous.
Please, Democrats: Stiffen your spines for a change. Practice some principles instead of just worrying about getting re-elected for once in your lives.

Posted by: dadinkel1 | August 16, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's just abolish the Constitution today and run the country by whatever the Faux News Polls tell us to do through popular will.
Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Or we could leave the constitution in place and begin forced re-education for the really, really stup1d LIBS like yourself. And to think we spent our hard earned money educating simplet0ns like this……

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Guess what. A bunch of strippers didn't hijack 4 airliners and fly them into the World Trade Center Towers. If you had a brain you would be dangerous. Only a LIB T@RD would try comparing a strip club to a Islamic center…..

LIBERALIM is a disease and should be treated as such....

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why do you hate this country so much that you would trample all over our rights?

Posted by: clintatl | August 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

How does one know when one is doing the right thing?

When the Journolist tells you to do something else.

"And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But..."

That's what Americans are going to remember. Screw the sensitivies of the victims of 9-11 and their families. Screw America. Islam demands sensitivity- just don't ask for any in return, because you're not going to get any.

Posted by: drjohn3 | August 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Barry Hussein Obama doesn't care about the families whose loved ones were slaughtered by Muslims on 9/11. The U.S. is currently in the grips of the Obama Recession. Barry and weasel faced mayor of NYC want union workers to reap the benefits of the blood money from these "moderate" Muslims. Moderate Muslims? That's right, they don't exist. You either become a Muslim, or your head is chopped off. I suppose a "moderate" Muslim would allow the swift stroke of sword, whereas all other Muslims prefer the slower, sawing type motion used with a carving knife.

Posted by: JeffPA1 | August 16, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@Adrienne & Garrison:

I'll bet watching a $100 million mosque/cultural center burn to the ground will be quite inspirational!

Posted by: pmendez | August 16, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Why'd he get involved? Becuase upholding the Constitution is in the job description.

Posted by: jack824 | August 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It might not be the #1 issue but it will be an issue, trust me. Along with the New York trial of terrorists, the economy, not being lefty enough for the lefties, etc. etc..... You name it and it will be an issue and the whole sorry bunch of them will be flushing down the political toilet, come November!

Posted by: jrwbrit1 | August 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Actually, JeffPA1, I have met a Muslim or two in my life.

Turns out, you're wrong.

Posted by: joshlct | August 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Guess what. A bunch of strippers didn't hijack 4 airliners and fly them into the World Trade Center Towers. If you had a brain you would be dangerous. Only a LIB T@RD would try comparing a strip club to a Islamic center…..
LIBERALIM is a disease and should be treated as such....
Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse
Why do you hate this country so much that you would trample all over our rights?
Posted by: clintatl | August 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


Are you ret@rded???? We’re you dropped on your head as a child???? Zoning regulations are not covered in the US Constitution. No one is preventing them for practicing their religion as guaranteed in the US Constitution. Maybe you should take a little time off from the PS3 and educate yourself.

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@JeffPA1:

"You either become a Muslim, or your head is chopped off."

********************************

That is not true!

You can also become a "dhimmi" -- a 2nd-class person with few rights who must obey and pay tribute to his Moslem rulers in return for not getting his head chopped off.

In other words, people like Greg Sargent...

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

If you are running for election to a position where you must swear to “defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States” perhaps it’s a good idea to actually say something in favor of constitutional rights and liberties. If you’re too scared to stand up the Constitution and the law, what good are you? And let’s drop the pretense that this isn’t a constitutional issue. Opponents of the Cordoba House fought to have the various New York City Government Agencies deny religious freedom to Muslims. It was only after local community board and the landmarks preservation board refused to bow down to bigots like Peter King and Rudy Giuliani that the right wing adopted the new slogan of “of course they have right to build, but it hurts our feelings.” If the Republicans want to run as the party of hate, bigotry and intolerance, let them. Bring that fight on; bring it on!

Posted by: codexjust1 | August 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Japanese Americans have Shinto shrines near Pearl Harbor. So if the Moslims want to have a church near the old World Trade Center site, so what?


The Mormons practically own Utah, and the Scientologies own big chunks of Gainesville, Florida, the voodoo people have a museum in New Orleans.

Many religious cults own property in the US.

So Obama's point was that the wisdom of putting the Moslim church near the WTC is separate from our freedom to worship the way we like. That's pretty simple.

Republic Party dogma is just as rigid as the Moslim dogma, leaving no room for independent thinking and reasoning.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | August 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Japanese Americans have Shinto shrines near Pearl Harbor. So if the Moslims want to have a church near the old World Trade Center site, so what?


The Mormons practically own Utah, and the Scientologies own big chunks of Gainesville, Florida, the voodoo people have a museum in New Orleans.

Many religious cults own property in the US.

So Obama's point was that the wisdom of putting the Moslim church near the WTC is separate from our freedom to worship the way we like. That's pretty simple.

Republic Party dogma is just as rigid as the Moslim dogma, leaving no room for independent thinking and reasoning.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | August 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Leaving aside the fact that the proposed site is located in a very sparsely populated area (just where are all of the presumed worshippers expected to come from?), it seems very curious just why Ground Zero, of all places, should be chosen for a mosque. The problem with Pres Obama is not whether he stands for religious freedom, it's his INCONSISTENT behavior regarding "sensitivity." The President cancelled the traditional Christian prayer breakfast last year out of concerns that it was insensitive to non-Christians (pretty bizarre thing to say in a country with deep Christian roots). Yet, he apparently sees no such insensitivity on the part of the imam at the proposed mosque site. That's why he's a hypocrite.
And I know the Democrats are in deep doo-doo when they'd rather run on the economy than this issue, LOL.

Posted by: linguist64 | August 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Why'd he get involved? Becuase upholding the Constitution is in the job description.

Posted by: jack824 | August 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

LOL Really????? Not so but your grasp on the US political system is astounding. LOL

The JUSTICE DEPARTMENTS job is to ensure the people’s rights are not violated. Not the presidents. Stup1d is as stup1d does.....

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Why'd he get involved? Becuase upholding the Constitution is in the job description.

Posted by: jack824 | August 16, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

LOL Really????? Not so but your grasp on the US political system is astounding. LOL

The JUSTICE DEPARTMENTS job is to ensure the people’s rights are not violated. Not the presidents. Stup1d is as stup1d does.....

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Let them build their mosque near Ground Zero. Why President Obama and Mayor Blowmeberg are even mentioning it is a mystery since the First Amendment would seem to preclude actions one way or the other by government officials on the matter.

...but as long as they insist on speaking out on this matter, it's too bad they don't seem so supportive of other restrictions on government power which are laid out in the Bill of Rights, particularly the right of U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms. I think Blowmeberg in particular might want to rethink his position on that, considering the millions of endangered 'infidels' who will be living near this mosque

From the article, a 'White House official': " 'It's our sense that the key issues facing the country and voters in the fall will be the economy,' the official said". Hmmm... yeah... listen... they might want to go ahead and stick with the mosque issue...

Posted by: srb2 | August 16, 2010 2:15 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 1:20 PM | Report abuse"

I have to admit, this is pretty humorous. However, there's a serious side: let's say the mosque gets built, and lots of Muslims go there to pray. How long do you think it'll be before the imam and his flock try to have the nudie bars and peep shows closed down because it offends their conservative Muslim religious sensibilities? Then I can't wait to see the politically correct liberal chattering class tie itself in knots as it attempts to reconcile its anything-goes attitude on public indecency with its desire to be sensitive to Muslims. Make no mistake: when Muslims move into Western countries in great enough numbers, they start to make demands in the name of respect for their religion. And that NECESSARILY means infringing on other peoples' rights to dress, kiss, marry, or otherwise act in many ways that Muslims object to. Why do you think the Netherlands, France and Switzerland are cracking down on them?

Posted by: linguist64 | August 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

One problem that many of us have with this mosque is that the people behind it -- and to quote our Secretary of State, that would include our president -- do not seem to have been properly vetted by the news media. Is the imam behind this mosque one of those "moderate" imams one reads about, the kind who are gentle, respectful towards other faiths, and not at all supportive of terrorist groups like Hammas and Hezbollah? The last imam presented to New Yorkers as "moderate" and compatible with Western thinking and ideals was Muhammad Al-Gemai'a of the 96th Street Mosque in Manhattan. But then came 9/11. To quote from an article by Leora Tanenbaum in an April, 2008 piece in Huffington Post, "the then-imam of the 96th Street Mosque, Muhammad Al-Gamei'a, stated that the Jews were responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center and were guilty of disseminating 'heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism and drugs.' " Are the people behind this mosque like the people behind that mosque, or are they "really moderate" this time out?

Please, Washington Post and other trustworthy newspapers of record, do some vetting for us.

Posted by: JohnQCitizen | August 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Walsh would object to a monument to a pedophile across the street from his home.

Posted by: askgees | August 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@Imsinca: "Sorry for the confusion last night. There I was reading along and suddenly a strange turn. It never occurred to me that it was a typo. After reading so many colorful comments for two days I jumped the gun."

No problem. I was the committer of the typographical offense, after all. Really nobody to blame but myself. I'm just glad you read the followup and accepted my clarification.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 16, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at how many responders do not understand the issue. There is no question that Muslims have the legal right to build a mosque/cultural center anywhere zoning permits. Obama's statement was meaningless. There was never any legal question. Now, should they build a mosque/cultural center whose purpose is to further cultural ties when so many are against it? Aren't they defeating their own purpose? And, why did the President think his opinion mattered?

Posted by: rtatlow | August 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Christian" churches, especially the Mormons, Evangelicals, and Catholics, have been crossing the line between separation of church and state for years now, blatantly taking a public stand against gay rights and women's reproductive rights, and publicly endorsing political candidates who share their position.

These "churches" should have lost their tax-exempt status in this country years ago. Frankly, I've been tired of my tax money subsidizing political hate groups that masquerade as churches for years.

It seems to me that the Republicans are very hypocritical when it comes to their outrage. If the Mormons spend millions to keep gay people from having basic Constitutional rights, or Catholics spend millions to let the Pope -- rather than an individual and her doctor -- determine reproductive healthcare decisions in this country, then it's fine with them. But if it's a Muslim mosque seeking political and religious expression that they find as reprehensible as I find that of the Mormons and Catholics, all bets are off.

You can't have it both ways.

Frankly, I think we should do away with tax-exempt status for all church property. If they had to pay taxes on it, that Mosque probably wouldn't be built that expensive piece of Manhattan property. Along with a lot of other church properties that benefit a few at the expense of lost tax revenue for the rest of us.

Posted by: CAC2 | August 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

No one is saying that the Moslems do not have the right to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. That is only the strawman argument.

We are saying that the project is inappropriate, improper, unacceptable and offensive to the memory of the dead from 9/11 to build a mosque on a site that for years to come will tower over the hole of Ground Zero. This structure will be a victory monument for Islamists, and is meant to humiliate us in their eyes.

Our President is incapable of understanding this point of view. His use of the word "but" after saying that Ground Zero is "sacred ground" said it all, and effectively negated everything he said before. To Obama, Ground Zero is NOT sacred ground, and has no special meaning for him. He cannot empathize with the victims or their families or those of us who do.

This is the key issue before us now.

What is wrong with this man?

Posted by: Ddad99 | August 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I believe that this, along with almost every other issue is a no win for Obama. Nothing he does in the Conservative eye is done correctly. It never will be. He knows it...we all do. Sad.

Posted by: Tise66 | August 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Of course "they" have the right to build the mosque at whatever location has the appropriate zoning regulations which allows the construction of this type of structure. The people who live in the neighborhood, city, borough and/or local jurisdiction are the ones who can and should weigh in on the matter. The rest of the debate is a complete distraction from the incredibly complicated issues that face this country as we attempt to move forward in a very uncertain and struggling economy, mired in two wars, dealing with the largest single, man-made eco-disaster in my lifetime, selling our debt to the Chinese at a rate that should sicken all of us, looking to Congress for leadership that seems illusory and unavailable, immigrations issues that are tearing the fabric of this country apart, insane debt, irresponsible, reckless spending, bankruptcy, and I'm talking about the government here!!!!

How is it that building a mosque could possibly become the "primary issue" of the mid-term elections? Are you kidding me? Whatever your position on the matter, don't we have a few more important things to worry about at this point in American history?

Posted by: publicservice2 | August 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party will do anything and everything it can to avoid the REAL issue...it's the ECONOMY, stupid!

Since they're the party that got us into this mess, and they don't have a strategy to get us out, they'll use the mosque, immigration, the oil spill and anything else they can to keep the focus off the economy.

It's only a good strategy if Democrats allow them to get away with it.

Posted by: chipper2 | August 16, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Friends, friends:

The GOP is developing "safe" topics to talk about in this election, rather than the economy. We have (1) the Muslim community center near ground zero, (2) the California decision forbidding its citizens to bar gay marriages (3)-- Thank you, Senators Cornyn and Kyl for raising the issue--the unemployed people who abuse their unemployment benefits and (4) the grave danger that the U.S. will go deeply into debt because it is trying to revive a moribund economy by pumping money into it. Winning topics all. Are there any other good Republican issues? Let's work out some talking points.

Posted by: Kensingtonian | August 16, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Trample over the Constitution for your political reasons Republicans. You have no ideas for leadership so make an appeal to basic bigotry. You have already limited humanitarian aid to Pakistan through your dispicable attitude toward Moslem world. It won't take them 10 years of greed bickering to build their Mosque as it does us. Also another way for Jews to try to influence our decisions while ignoring what is right and what we ask of them!

Posted by: gany1 | August 17, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company