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McDonnell, unlike Obama, opposes mosque at Ground Zero

Anita Kumar

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, joining others across the country, said Monday that he opposes the construction of an Islamic complex near New York's Ground Zero.

His comments came in response to a question at a news conference at the state Capitol, days after President Obama told guests at a White House dinner that opposing the project is at odds with American values.

"I strongly believe in religious liberty. It's a tenet of America democracy,'' McDonnell said. "I also believe it is an issue for people of New York to decide. If it were my decision, I would not put that center there. It is a site where nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and I certainly would not locate that center there if I had a voice."

The proposal calls for the Islamic center, formally known as the Cordoba House, to rise 13 stories on land two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The nonprofit bought the property last year for $4 million and plans to spend $100 million on the complex.

Polls suggest that most Americans agree with McDonnell's position; a recent CNN poll found 68 percent opposed to building a mosque near the Sept. 11 site.

Some prominent Republicans joined families of those killed on Sept. 11 in opposing the mosque, saying it would inappropriately celebrate the religion that al-Qaeda leaders say inspired the terrorist attacks.

But Obama said that blocking the mosque would undermine the country's claim to respect the free practice of religious expression. The next day he said Muslims have the right to build the mosque but that doesn't mean he believes it is the right thing for them to do.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 16, 2010; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin  
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Look, this "Islamic" center is a joke. Of all places in New York, why AT THAT EXACT SPOT?? It's very simple. To stick it in our faces! These Muslims feel that if they can flip us the bird by building this so called museum of peace across from a place they destroyed, they can get away with anything. These Muslims are using our own niceness against us, and the dumb liberals are falling for it as always! Besides, this Imam who's building this mosque does not denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorists organizations. He's Pro-Sharia Law. He calls America an accomplice to 9/11!! After all that, he outright refuses to disclose where he's getting the money to build the site!! Where does this man get his balls?? How does this attitude "build" ties with the west???

Barack Obama suckered America back in 2008 and now this Imam is suckering us in 2010! It's time for America to stop getting suckered by a bunch of Muslim loving, terrorist enabling liars!

Posted by: emmitfitzhume | August 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse


I would like to thank President Obama for his courageous stand to protect Americans right and Liberty to practice their believe in the face of the HATEFUL comments against Muslims.
These Hateful comments are evident on FOX news and its friends.
President Obama, yes, this is how a President should run this great country.

Posted by: All-People-Made-Equal | August 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I bet he wouldn't have any problem putting a Baptist Church there, though.

Posted by: Anglo_Rider | August 16, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Dear Emmitfitzhume,
You my friend have much in common with the Islamic extremists that you hate so much, and your generalization of "muslim loving, terrorist enabling liars" proves how little you know about liberals, world history or really much of anything. America created and armed Al Quaida, these terrorists use religion as a mask for political and economic gains. Therefore Muslim does not equal terrorism. Your beef isn't with Islam but the terrorist that pervert it. Although I do believe that it would be best not to build the Mosque at that site and understand where the 9/ll victims come from, I will not agree with institutionalized religious persecution. Your obvious hatred of muslims aligns you and ties you to the terrorists, I hope you realize that. I would rather die than live in a country that condones persecution, and disallowing them to build there will do that very thing no matter what our personal feelings are. Once you start to pick and choose what you follow in the constitution that is when the America we all love is destroyed. America was set up on the principle that all people are welcome, Not just white christian males.

Posted by: jkrobe | August 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Last year I visited a mosque in France. It
was open to those who were curious. You could only go inside the door. Prayer was
done in separate rooms -- men in one, women in another. Remove shoes. This mosque in
New York will not be visited by anyone except Muslims. As for the pool, etc. How will that be handled. I am sure they do not bathe together. And, must women be covered on their heads and wear body coverings. Just curious. Anybody know?

Posted by: Naoma | August 16, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

How far away from "ground zero" does a Muslim mosque have to be to no longer be considered "at the site"? The building in question is 2 1/2 blocks away, a couple of doors down from a strip joint, coincidentally. (No one's yelling about that being disrespectful!) Folks in Kentucky are protesting a mosque being built in that state. Is that not far enough away?

This is merely an opportunity for bigots to express their views comfortably in the presence of so many of their own kind.

Posted by: flameworker321 | August 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Baptist's didn't kill 3,000 people there, either.

Posted by: ladera | August 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell's not saying, "Let's rally to stop this thing!" He's saying, "Yeah, I wouldn't put it there, but we have religious freedom in this country, and it's not my decision as a Virginian anyways." His position is fairly close to Obama's.

Posted by: Simon23p | August 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Considering the grief that America suffered at the hands of muslim extremists nearly 9 years ago, I would have to say that this building of a mosque so close to where so many lives were lost is a definite and deliberate slap in the face to those who lost loved ones and those who lived through this horrific event! I myself grieved like I have never grieved before, and I will certainly NOT FORGET 9/11! America, we need to take back our country and stand up for what we know and believe our country was built on!!! May God have pity on us and continue to bless us!!

Posted by: jomartin1220 | August 16, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

so should we burn down all the churchs in Israel because of the crusades?
Should we burn down all the churchs in Spain because of the Spanish inquisition?
Should we burn down all the churchs in America because of the missionaries who handed out small pox infected blankets to the native Americans?
Should we burn down all the churchs in Europe because of the Vatican going along with Hitlers Genocide against Jews, Gypsies, Gays and others?

Christianity is directly responsible for millions and millions of deaths.
Al Quaida would have to crash a thousand planes a day for the next 10 years to come close to the carnage and misery created by "Christians".

Posted by: MarilynManson | August 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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