Take Two on the Proposed NY Mosque: Feeling Compelled to Comment, President Obama Succeeds Only in Stating the Broadly Obvious
Breaking weeks of silence on the subject, President Obama remarked on Friday,
Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.
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. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.
When this was hailed as an endorsement of the mosque, President Obama hastened to clarify yesterday.
I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding.
… my intention was simply to let people know what I thought. Which was that in this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion.
Now there’s a perfectly bland, blanket statement; something appropriate to observe of our Constitution to an auditorium of school children or on Independence Day or perhaps the next time you’re abroad. Can you say something a little more specific to the situation, please? A mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. No one is saying that proponents don’t have the right to place it there; some are saying it isn’t right to do so. What is your opinion, sir?