President Obama Uses Ramadan to Announce "Unshakable" Support of Ground Zero Mosque (Updated w/ Statement from 9/11 Families)
Friday, August 13, 2010
A little while ago, Governor Palin tweeted:
Will Obama express US lingering pain& ask Muslims for tolerance by discouraging 9/11 mosque while he celebrates Islamic holy month tonight?
Well, she just got the answer to her question and retweeted Greta Van Susteren's tweet:
BREAKING NEWS ! PRES OBAMA: Obama Backs Mosque Near Ground Zero WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on... http://fxn.ws/cry0ir
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near ground zero, saying the country's founding principles demanded no less.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York and the nation.
"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."
Read the full transcript of his speech here.
This isn't about religious freedom. It's about common decency. It's about the pain of 911 that is still so raw. It's about the fact that the majority of New Yorkers do not want the mosque there. They are not saying people don't have a right to worship. They're saying why there on such sacred ground? This is what Governor Palin was talking about in her Facebook post, "An Intolerable Mistake on Hallowed Ground."
People are also asking other tough questions, like what is the deal with this imam? Where is the money coming from? Why won't he condemn hamas as a terrorist organization? We'd better ask these questions. Our security depends on it. Why isn't our President asking them?
So President Obama, who turned his back on any public celebration of the National Day of Prayer his first year in office, decided to announce his support of the mosque as he celebrates Islamic Holy Month tonight at the White House. Interesting.
I respect the diversity of America, the freedom people have to worship as they see fit. What I have a problem with, however, is the failure of the President of the United States to comprehend how the victims' families, New Yorkers, and each American citizen deserve to be heard, our pain respected, and common decency to prevail. But once again, he appears to be completely disconnected from the people he's been hired to serve. Perhaps he'll reconsider his position as he heads out to yet another vacation.
Well, Governor Palin, you asked.
Update: Family members of 911 victims have issued a press release regarding President Obama's support of this mosque:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
Statement of Debra Burlingame, Co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, in Response to President Obama’s Remarks about the Ground Zero Mosque
9/11 Families Stunned by Presidents Support of Mosque at Ground Zero
New York, NY, Aug. 14 — Barack Obama has abandoned America at the place where America’s heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see. Since that dark day, Americans have been asked to bear the burden of defending those values, again and again and again. Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots.
Muslims have worshipped in New York without incident both before and after the attacks of 9/11. This controversy is not about religious freedom. 9/11 was more than a “deeply traumatic event,” it was an act of war. Building a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah. Those who continue to target and kill American civilians and U.S. troops will see it as a symbol of their historic progress at the site of their most bloody victory. Demolishing a building that was damaged by wreckage from one of the hijacked planes in order to build a mosque and Islamic Center will further energize those who regard it as a ratification of their violent and divinely ordered mission: the spread of shariah law and its subjugation of all free people, including secular Muslims who come to this country fleeing that medieval ideology, which destroys lives and crushes the human spirit.
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 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.
We will honor the memory of our loved ones. We will protect our children, whose lives will never be the same. We will not stand silent.
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
Co-founders Debra Burlingame and Tim Sumner