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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Obama Clarifies?

President Obama seeked to clarify his comments from Friday vis a vis to controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque.

Speaking Friday night at a White House dinner to honor the holy month of Ramadan, the president said, "Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," an apparent show of support for the mosque.

On Saturday, while spending the day in the Gulf, the president clarified, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

Later in the day, spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement saying "the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night.

"It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans," Burton said.

This morning former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said it best

if you're explaining you're losing.

The president will be doing an awful lot of explaining over this issue because it's very confusing exactly what his position is.


AG said...

Its so disturbing that people are out their disturbing the issue for political gain. Last time I checked, the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of New York City hasn't been renamed "Ground Zero". Battery Park isn't "Ground Zero Park." The New York Stock Exchange isn't "Ground Zero Stock Exchange." The Staten Island Ferry Terminal isn't the "Ground Zero Ferry Terminal."

Ground Zero should refer to one thing and one thing only: #1 and #2 World Trade Center Plaza. It is inherently dishonest to call Cordoba House, being planned 2 blocks away out of the sight of the New Freedom Tower, the "Ground Zero Mosque." I suppose this means that Muslims have no business worshiping in Shanksville, PA either.

Leaving aside that 60% isn't a particularly large majority, it doesn't even begin to come close to making it right to say this project is wrong because of what other people say. As for the 9/11 Families, apparently getting to claim that we were all attacked on 9/11 is a privilege reserved to Conservatives whenever they want to propagandize in favor of the latest war.

In fact I'm going to take a page out of the Conservative's playbook and take offense to these people taking offense. Cordoba House is not some monument to Al Qaeda anymore than any other mosque in this country is. This country belongs to me just as much as it does to anyone else. If the Republicans think denigrating anyone to their left as somehow less of an American is going to win them votes than that's their problem. But I'm sure as hell not going to vote for 'em as long as they do so.

mike volpe said...

So, are you saying you'd be all right with a German history museum two blocks from Aushwitz. I think the numbers are more like 65%.

I'm not sure who's using this for political gain but I think there is real and heart felt opposition to this Mosque.

AG said...

Mike, you're a talented author, but that's a very poor analogy.

Of course it would be inappropriate to build a German History museum at Aushwitz. The reason it would be inappropriate is because *Germans* attacked Poland and massacred Jews there. Its the same reason why people in the Baltic states think its inappropriate to have monuments to Russian solders because Russia conquered the Baltic States in WWII.

The German invasion of Poland and the Holocaust were no group of rag-tag insurgents, it was the official policy of the German people to do this. If anything, a rag-tag group of insurgents were the only people in Germany who *didn't* support it.

With 9/11, you're talking about an attack planned and executed by, what, 500 people? There are a billion people who consider themselves Muslim and most of them aren't Arabs. A lot of them have never lived in the Middle East, and some have never known a home other than the United States of America.

By saying Cordoba House is inappropriate, you're saying that its essentially a monument to Al Qaeda. But such a mosque would be inappropriate anywhere in America, and anyplace else for that matter.

Now let me try my hands at an analogy. Suppose you had an all-white neighborhood. One day a group of black robbers break into one house and kill its inhabitants. 9 years later a black family wants to move into a house 2-3 blocks away from that house but in the same neighborhood. Do the families in that neighborhood have emotional veto over their purchase of the house? Would it matter that 60-65% of white people from outside of town might be opposed to it?

mike volpe said...

That's a bunch of equivocating nonsense. Al Qaeda does what they do in the name of Islam. Period.

There were plenty of Germans during WWII opposed to Hitler's policies. Furthermore, Germany has a long history and Hitler is only one part. Such a center would cover all their history and it would still be very insulting.

Al Qaeda may not speak for all Muslims but that attack was an attack in the name of Islam and putting an Islamic center there would only remind the victims of that.

AG said...

Once again, the fact that Al Qaeda attacked "in the name of Islam" is totally irrelevant. A mosque is no more a monument to Al Qaeda than a synagogue is a monument to Baruch Goldstein.

As for the 9/11 Families, from what you're saying they wouldn't be comfortable with a mosque being built anywhere in America so why would you give them veto over that?

mike volpe said...

And a German history museum is not a monument to Hitler, but we still wouldn't put one up anywhere near Auschwitz.

It's the same thing. Al Qaeda attacked in the name of Islam and you want a Mosque, a symbol of Islam, to stand right next to the attack.

That's why it's really no different than putting a German history museum next to Auschwitz.