"I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground," the president said in remarks prepared for the annual White House iftar, the sunset meal breaking the day’s fast.
"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are" . . . . --President Barack Hussein Obama
From the New York Times editorial 8/17/10:
"Newt Gingrich, who has been beating this drum for weeks, accused the president of “pandering to radical Islam” and said the mosque would be a symbol of Muslim “triumphalism.” We were hesitant about repeating those comments here. But the country ignores such cynicism and ugliness at its own peril. Make no mistake, the rest of the world is listening.
Like President George W. Bush before him, President Obama warned against linking all followers of Islam to terrorists. “Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam,” he rightly said. It is our tolerance of others, he said, “that quintessentially American creed,” that stands in contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001.
Too many Republican leaders are determined to whip up as much false controversy and anguish as they can, right through November. Some Democrats will cave. We were disturbed on Monday when a spokesman for the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said that Mr. Reid “thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”
Mr. Obama and all people of conscience need to push back hard. Defending all Americans’ right to worship — and their right to build places to worship — is fundamental to who we are.