"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama told an intently listening crowd gathered at the White House Friday evening to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan."On private property in lower Manhattan"--as if this were a piece of property like any other and not part and parcel of 9/11 devastation. And if "our committment to religious freedom" is so "unshakable," why was a Greek Orthodox church destroyed on that unforgettable day denied the freedom to rebuild, while a mosque, of all things, was given the go-ahead?
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
Update: 9/11 families are "stunned" by the president's stance:
We are stunned by the president’s willingness to disregard what Americans should be proud of: our enduring generosity to others on 9/11 — a day when human decency triumphed over human depravity. On that day, when 3,000 of our fellow human beings were killed in a barbaric act of raw religious intolerance unlike this country had ever seen, Americans did not turn outward with hatred or violence, we turned to each other, armed with nothing more than American flags and countless acts of kindness. In a breathtakingly inappropriate setting, the president has chosen to declare our memories of 9/11 obsolete and the sanctity of Ground Zero finished. No one who has lived this history and felt the sting of our country’s loss that day can truly believe that putting our families through more wrenching heartache can be an act of peace.Meanwhile, Rex Murphy thinks he knows how the GZM can "fix" things:
For example, a mosque in deliberate proximity to the scene of the Ground Zero slaughter will surely -- unavoidably -- have a section, a room, or a display, perhaps a miniature museum, on the events of that horrible day -- giving some interpretation on what happened and why: what that day said, and did not say about Islam.
Could there not be, for example, photographs of the 19 fanatic terrorists? They could be presented in some sort of stylized rogues gallery: Here are those who plotted and executed evil jihad against America. Underneath, there could be a statement of categorical condemnation: These were a band of betrayers and corrupters of Islam, who did perverse deeds in Islam's name. We Americans, Muslims all, in this holy place condemn and scorn their deeds and motives.Righto, Rex, and maybe they could also have some choice quotes from Obama's Ramadan speech about Islam being all "diverse" and "tolerant": Surely that would placate those who lost loved ones during a violent display of jihad. (Question for those who play the "corruption/perversity" card--and I'm not sure that Rex is really one of them, since I sense that his tongue may have been lodged in his cheek when he wrote the above: If Islam's founder had had access to today's modern accoutrements of asymetrical warfare--bombs, bullets, semtex apparel, airliners ripe for the hijacking that could be turned into giant projectiles, maybe even a few nukes--do you think he would have used them to spread the faith? Or do you think he would have, you know, gone the Jehovah's Witnesses route--knocked on doors and handed out religious literature?)