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Obama Suggests Ground Zero Mosque Opponents Hate Islam

President Obama used a White House press conference today to issue his most forceful language yet in support of the Ground Zero mosque, making clear that the project should go forward and suggesting that those who oppose it do so out of animus toward Islam.

With respect to the mosque in New York, you know, I think I’ve been pretty clear on my position here. And that is is that this country stands for the proposition that all men and women are created equal, that they have certain inalienable rights. One of those inalienable rights is to practice their religion freely. And what that means is that if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on a site.

Obama continued to frame the issue as whether there is a “right” to build the huge mosque and Islamic center just two blocks from the World Trade Center site. But this time he indicated that opposition to the site involves hostility in general to the concept of freedom of religion and to Islam specifically.

We are not at war against Islam. We’re at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts. And we’ve got to be clear about that.

While there is a certain amount of anti-Islam feeling going on here, mainstream opponents of the site merely feel there is an association with Islam, the religion invoked by the hijackers, that makes the mosque’s presence inappropriate and brings forward unwanted associations for those affected by the tragedy. No one would build a German cultural center next to Auschwitz, and it doesn’t mean they don’t like Germans or that they think we are still at war against Germany.

The president’s thoughtless comments today are an unfortunate attack on good people who are not blaming all of Islam, as he indicated, for the attack. Once again, a man who pledged to be a uniter has stirred further division.

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6 Responses to Obama Suggests Ground Zero Mosque Opponents Hate Islam

  1. Gee, I feel chatty today.
    Of course we have “animus” toward the Islam religion. The Muslim community has never apologized or offered any rational for the attacks on America, they continue to cry out “death to America” for any slight, the doctrines of their religion are brutal, deadly and sexist to the extreme, most of their laws are directly opposite to American laws and we believe that their goal is to destroy our way of life. Just as the terrorist murderers used our freedoms against us, the Mosque would-be-builders use our freedoms to force their unwanted, in-your-face building on the victims of 9/11 (all of us).
    .

  2. I have to admit that I’m getting sort of aminussed toward Islam. I don’t hear the “moderates,” wherever they are, saying anything against the cultural insensitivity of the Cordoba Mosque project. I hear Rauf saying that we need to build the mosque because otherwise muslims worldwide will kill us and if we don’t build the mosque at Ground Zero, then extremists will have dictated the agenda. This man is as slippery as a oiled eel. Paraphrase of his arguments: “Build it where I want because you are threatened with violence if you don’t and anyway this is outreach in the name of peace. Build it where I want because otherwise the people who are theatening violence if you move it will have dictated the agenda.” Huh? Couple this sort of attitude with the way in which islam comfortably exists worldwide with the most horrific “local customs” such as acid throwing, female genital mutilation, denial of basic freedoms to women, and so forth, and, yeah, I’m getting a little animussed.

    • You both make great points. I watch a lot of cable and rarely if ever do you see – certainly not in the days after the attacks – a “moderate” Muslim show up to condemn the attacks or do something like declare Hamas a terrorist organization, which is about as complicated as declaring McDonald’s a burger joint. And now we’re supposed to support this mosque because the hornet’s nest Rauf stirred up by trying to put it there is going to sting us? Give me a break.

  3. This mosque thing has really gotten silly. No one can think anymore. Honestly, almost every “terrorist” we have caught, if that’s the word, has been associated with a mosque, but does this mean the mosque was behind the acts or the conspiracy or they just worshipped there? That is never clear. I guess we just take our chances. We are sort of a chance-taking people, so this is not new. I really do see us as that–chance-taking–rather than bigoted or book-burning. Muslims are 2% of the population, seemingly pretty melted into the pot, why stir it up now?

  4. Keith,

    You make a good point.

    Finding “moderates” within Islam (even mainstream, so-called liberal Muslims or even academics) is nigh impossible. Imam Rauf, Mrs. Khan and two of their associates have all refused to answer questions about Hamas on CNN and Rauf’s public relations guru on Sean Hannity’s show, said Hamas was *not* a terrorist organization (which threw Sean into a frenzy). These people are not moderates.

    The Cordoba Initiative’s mission in lower Manhattan is not about moderation; it about our submission to the project’s internecine goal: the establishment of a dominant, virile, Islamic Mosque in the very heart of Ground Zero.