Ground Zero Mosque Taking On New Political Life

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero hit a whole new level of controversy this weekend when President Barack Obama broke his silence on the issue.

By Sunday morning, the comments had taken on a political dimension. Critics didn’t mince words.

“It was probably the dumbest thing that any president has said, or candidate has said, since Michael Dukakis said it was okay to burn the flag,” Republican strategist Ed Rollins said.

Members of the GOP pounced on the president’s comments, which came just three months before key midterm elections.

“I think it tells you he has a very disdainful view of the American people,” Ed Gillespie, former chair of the Republican National Committee, said. “His favorability ratings have come down.”

The latest flap started Friday at a White House dinner marking Ramadan, when President Obama defended the right of Muslims to practice their religion in America.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan,” Obama said.

By Saturday, the president was clarifying his remarks and distancing himself from any perceived support of the proposed mosque.

“I will not comment on the wisdom of the decision to put a mosque there,” he said.

Democrats defended the president.

“The mosque is an unfortunate situation, but we do have a right to practice our religion freely wherever we choose,” Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said.

“This wouldn’t be a controversy if this was a proposal to build a synagogue or a church,” Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine said. “We don’t prefer people, and we don’t punish people based on their religion.”

Local officials have been sounding off on the issue as well.

“If the imam and the Muslim leadership in that community is so intent on building bridges, then they should voluntarily move the mosque away from Ground Zero,” NY Congressman Peter King, a Republican, said.

“Ground Zero is hallowed ground. Two blocks away, first of all, is not-so-hallowed ground,” Democrat and NY Representative Jerrold Nadler said. “Second of all, we should not – government officials should not – be in a position of pressuring people where to build their mosque or their church or whatever.”

None of CBS 2’s calls to Cordoba House this weekend was returned.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Willie says:

    I would agree with you guys, if the building was even in sight from Ground Zero, besides, these are American citizens like you, who happened to be Muslims, they also lost 400 something people on 9/11…a fact that you continue to ignore…

    Nobody should pay for the mistakes of others, even if they had the same religion, the same family name, or the same ethnicity…and YOU Americans more than anybody else should know that…otherwise, you shouldn’t be building anything near the natives…or in the south near Afro Americans, or in that matter near any mosques after the wars you started in Iraq…

  2. T says:

    I ve the decision should be left to the direct families of the 3000 people who died there

  3. T says:

    The end result should not be based on freedom of religion, but based on sympathy and respect for those of us who lost their families in the tragedy. Its just not right, you wouldnt want the man who just murdered your family moving in next door would you? And for those who keep asking the question ”well how far away is far enough” youre barking up the wrong tree, and obviously didnt have any relatives die on that day, and if its the wishes of those who did lose their families on that day to request that the mosque be located elsewhere, well then they should be shown that respect at least. Its not the place or the time for a mosque near ground zero

  4. T says:

    i UGGEST ATTHE NEXT TIME VOTING COMES AROUND, THAT YOU VOTE FOR SOMEONE WITH AN AMERICAN NAME

  5. bill johnson says:

    Disrespect our own that is what Obama has done. It burns within my soul. Would it be ok for the kkk to build next to the site of the 1963 Birmingham black church bombing. The answer is NO..No Obama you are wrong wrong!

  6. Mira says:

    HEJ YOU ALL I WOULD LOVE TO TELL YOU THAT AMERICA IS A BIG PLACE WITH A BIG HEART AND SHE BELONG TO EVERYONE WHO LOVES HER SINCERELY AND RESPECT THE HERO AND THE VICTIMS OF SEP 11 2001! YOU GOT IT! I AM GIRL RAISED AND BORN IN EUROPE BUT REALLY AMERICA AND HER TRUE AMEIRCANS ARE THE BEST PEOPLE ON EARTH!

  7. Mira says:

    PEOPLE ARE REALLY NAIVE YOU WILL BE SURPREISE WHEN ONE DAY YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN THAT EVERYTHING IS RELATED TO MONEY MAKING……………………………SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET BIG GIFT ….YOU WILL SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Mira says:

    SEEMS THAT PRESIDENT DOESNT CARE FOR THESE POUR VICTIMES THAT WERE IN PAIN AND IN FLAME AND OTHERS OTHERS RELATED TO THESE DAYS …….I NEVER FORGET THA PAIN AND THE TEARS OF THESE AMERICANS AND ALL OVER THE WORLD ON 11 SEPT 2001!.

  9. Mira says:

    AMERICA IS TOO BIG COUNTRY AND I WOULD THINK THAT OUT THERE MANY EMPTY SPACES TO BUILD THEIR FAVORETE BUILDING ANYONE, ALBANIAN, ARMENIAN, ROME, INDIAN, CHINESE AND OTHERS OTHERS …..AND ARABE…..FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AND WEST TO EAST…..GOOD LUCK TO THEM BUT NOT TO THE GROUND ZERO OVER MY DEAD BODY……

  10. Mira says:

    I agre with you DON J JONES!

  11. Don JOnes says:

    Why is it so hard for , supposedly, “intelligent people,” to understand; that, to build a Muslim Mosque anywhere near ground zero of the two towers brought down by Muslim extremists in a cowardly attack on innocent American civilians, is tantamount to the U.S. Air Force placing a monument depicting a B-29 Flying fortress, complete with an atom bomb replica at ground zero in the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. It is unconscionable, and an unspeakable offense to anyone’s sensibilities, and would constitute an unheard of insult to all Americans, regardless of their religious affiliations, or beliefs.

  12. lola says:

    There is reason why America became what it is today. FREEDOM! people are so blind and are creating hatred in their hearts. How can you discriminate against the whole group. Media is not always telling the truth and I am a witness at that. They switch things around to make it more interesting. Look at the holocaust…Hard and sad times for the Jews. They were human beings, innocent children burned alive….How can we talk like this? Especially if you have a religion…Practice love not hatred. 2 blocks away from ground zero is nothing. So if a church was created there it would not be a problem??? a food place would not make it better either(it just shows that you are celebrating the death of those who died)….Think before you write people. Think for yourself…don’t take others opinion.

  13. lola says:

    I feel like this is so stupid. Why does it matter? The mosque can be there as long as there is no practice of terrorism or whatever. Is it safety that you are concerned about? I really don’t understand. Ofcourse if they build a mosque there….it will be checked all the time.

  14. Marie says:

    the imam of this Cordoba initiative mosque has a dubious agenda to say the least. It is no surprise that after obama’s endorsement on holy night of ramadan from the whitehouse no less, that hamas is speaking out for it openly.
    It surprises me that with so many questions as to the funding sources and preference for becoming sharia law compliant, he and this group were not investigated.
    You cannot lie and say you are for peace when you knowingly disrespect victims at this site. why the refusal to build somewhere else? over 100 mosques already in ny. religious freedom is provided to all.

    1. Willie says:

      The same question again…How far you guys think it should be?

      1. The Truth says:

        How ’bout the bottom of the Atlantic?

  15. Gruntled Employee says:

    I think they should just put an Applebee’s there, then everyone can be happy!

    1. Willie says:

      Now that’s a lighthearted idea…I like you already

  16. elias elsar says:

    Most people don’t know history. Mosques have often been placed at the scene of an Islamic VICTORY. That is why it is being referred to as the CORDOBA Initiative. Just like Cordoba, Spain was the scene of a great Islamic victory. Despite their talk..they don’t walk the walk. There is NO COMPASSION or understanding for the victims. This is the wrong place and the wrong time.

    1. Willie says:

      Well then…you set the right place and the right time…speaking of victories…have you heard of the Crusaders?

  17. medsforwillie says:

    willie, take your meds.

    1. Willie says:

      I’ll double the dose just for your pleasure🙂

  18. mulsikcuf says:

    America! You have lost all your senses and dignity. By allowing the mosque to
    be built at the very place where thousands of your citizens lost their life
    is just unfathomable.Not only are you being apathetic to the relatives of the
    victims. You are also glorigying the muderers.You are being a traitor to your
    own people and country. You have lost the respect of your very own people and
    the people of the freeworld who look upon you to be the leader and protector
    of the non Mulim faith. They can build their mosque anywhere, but why chose
    this very place.

  19. chris says:

    before you leave a comment you should know who did sep11. OBAMA KNOWS.

  20. Ricky Tulda says:

    We need to respect other peoples right to exercise their religious practice and activity provided it will not harm anybody, but building a sacred place in places where it reminds someone of hatred and bad memories…. is really not a good idea, we still have an island here, perhaps…..

  21. malsikcuf says:

    America! You have lost all your senses and dignity. By allowing the mosque to

    be built at the very place where thousands of your citizens lost their life

    is just unfathomable.Not only are you being apathetic to the relatives of the

    victims. You are also glorigying the muderers.You are being a traitor to your

    own people and country. You have lost the respect of your very own people and

    the people of the freeworld who look upon you to be the leader and protector

    of the non Mulim faith. They can build their mosque anywhere, but why chose

    this very place.

    1. A says:

      It is 2 blocks away from Ground Zero and provides service to a community that needs a service place like this. The center is not just for Muslims but is a community much like a YMCA open to all. In fact they are putting a memorial to the victims within the center so people can go there and view. The issue is that it is Muslims that want to build this center, not that a center is being built at all. Why are we so focused on the fact that peace keeping people want to build a center there too. Many american born muslims died on the 9-11 attacks just like everyone else. There is no clear rational reason to not allow them to build their center.

      If you want them to build it farther away, then how far is far enough?

      In reality we as a country should be behind this center, because it promotes tolerance and acceptance to learn about a culture we know very little about. Just because something is unknown should not make it dangerous or scary. Go out and talk to someone of the Muslim faith and you will learn that they don’t agree with the extremists just like us. If you think they should be lumped together then should all Baptists be lumped with the Westboro Baptist Church, which protests at fallen soldiers’ funerals?

  22. OGUNDEJI MUSIBAU says:

    THE QUESTION IS WHO OWNS AMERICA? IT BELONGS TO PPLE OF EQUAL RIGHTS I SUPPOSE? THEN LEAVE ISLAM ALONE.

  23. Define Freedom says:

    Haters suck. People who spread hatred and fear based on stupid personal assumptions suck.

    Teach your kids to hate, and they will learn to hate you as well. You are defining what Americas future is now.

    I want an America that embraces the next man for his convictions and merits in life. Who cares about your religion. And really why should it matter.

    God created us all. Not out of hate, but love.

    Plus the haters should really learn how to speak and spell correct English.

  24. Patrick Warner says:

    More to the point is why New Yorkers are anxious is because similiar Muslim projects have expressed ” ideals that include service to humanity, speaking out against injustice, and promoting a high moral standard amongst society” through “the implementation of a program that seeks to achieve these ideals which they call Iqamat-ud-Deen, the establishment of the Islamic system of life. ” The President and the Mayor must acknowledge and address these concerns.

  25. TST says:

    Willie,
    As you say .I will hate on till the earth turns black to save my country from a Islam Muslim Sharia Law taje over . YES, I understand how work there take overs , you don’t . Little sad person .
    Old Nam Vet

    1. Willie says:

      Well, good that you’re an old Nam vet…so you’re an expert of innocent killing…you have more in common with the radicals than I do…or maybe you were just a obeying orders without thinking…

  26. STH says:

    911 was not carried out by Muslims but by a bunch of lunatic terrorists. Alqaeda paint an extremely distorted version of Islam, which is not supported by majority of Muslims. The proposed Mosque project will hold the fact that America is a champion of religious freedom, which it has always been popular for.

  27. Grace says:

    Research after research proves that the “religion of Islam” recruits and then brainwashes their converts. A lot of people convert to Islam while in prisons. Where is that peaceful loving Muslim country that everyone wants to immigrate to? The UK regrets that it allowed this peaceful loving religion to grow there. Some of their more recent headlines:
    In the UK headlines

    MUSLIM THUGS CONTINUE TO TAKE OVER EAST END LONDON

    DISABLED ELDERLY MAN LATEST VICTIM OF BRITAIN’S “STREET JIHAD”

    12 & 13 YR. OLD PAPERBOY BROTHERS ATTACKED & BEATEN BY MUSLIM GANG
    MUSLIM STREET JIHAD LEAVES BRITISH MAN BRAIN DAMAGED

    MUSLIM GANG USES IRON PIPES AND CLUBS TO BLUDGEON 14 YR OLD ENGLISH BOY

    RACIST MUSLIM GANGS ATTACK & RAPE BRITISH WOMEN

    POLICE HUNT THUGS IN FAITH HATE ATTACK AGAINST CLERGYMAN

    2nd LONDON EAST END PRIEST ATTACKED & BEATEN BY MUSLIMS

    Street Jihadists attack in Blackburn UK

    Street Jihad – 10 Muslims Batter Brit & wife – Leave shoeprint on his face

    1. Willie says:

      Just like every group of people in the world, there is the good and the bad, come on, check out the news…the crimes in the USA are unheard of…without any reason…your ghettos, your prisons, your KKK, your right wing radicals…I can go on forever…

      Or is it just when the word Islam is in the subject???

  28. Ross Feliciano says:

    We Christians are not allowed to even have a page of the Holy Bible in Saudi Arabia lest we will be persecuted by the police. We tolerated the Muslims to build their mosque right in the heart of Christianity in Rome and yet we can not even build a chapel for Christians to worship God in Saudi Arabia, now President Obama is doing the opposite.

    However, there is a one among the Moslem countries that we can practice our Christian faith freely and that is Kuwait; moreover, the radicals are like vultures waiting for the right moment to strike when the government will be paying attention to what they wish to curtail our freedom following the examples of Iran and Saudi Arabia. My friends it is enough that we Christians have already granted the wish to the oil millionaires to build their mosque right in the heart of our Christian country, the Vatican.

    1. Texan Liberal says:

      Your freedoms apply to the United States, not anywhere else. What, do you think because you’re a U.S. citizen that every other country on the planet has to cater to you? Get a grip, people. If you want religious freedom, then you live in the U.S. If you want only one group, say Christian, then go to a country that only allows Christianity!

    2. Willie says:

      Excuse me Mr. Feliciano, but evidently you don’t have a clue about the Middle East, because in most countries of the Middle East there are all kinds of Churches and don’t forget that it is there that the 3 major religions started…besides…Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country but doesn’t necessarily represent Islam, any more than the USA represent Christianity…

      Guys…all you have to do is go on the internet and check out these naive facts before speaking out of HATE…

  29. Willie says:

    The Mosque is not an unfortunate situation, 9/11 was, now if you want to be drama queens, then go on..and just like you wanted to change “French fries” because the French didn’t go your way on Iraq, then just be it…you were never sensitive towards Vietnam, even though it was a mistake, never were sensitive with the Iraqis, when a war started looking for WMD, and then “Democracy & Freedom”…because evidently…to you right wing, shallow, hateful, redneck Americans…only Americans matter…but of course…
    The KKK have been there for ages…haven’t seen any reaction in the USA, ahh maybe because they went after blacks and Jews, and to you, those don’t count…so exactly how far should the building be, for you not to be oversensitive about it? ugly Americans will take that country down before you know it…HATE ON AMERICANS….HATE ON…

  30. mike says:

    Is ther any proposal to built a church? God help Obama n his democrat. do not be surprise that USA would be defaeted from inside, by a president like him

  31. i_speak says:

    Obama is being his usual self – eloquent at double-speak.

  32. Lisa says:

    I think if the Muslim people in charge of building this mosque had any decency, they would have never even dreamed of putting it up in this area anyway. This is only a slap in the face of Americans. If we had done something like 911 to them and then turned around and wanted to build a “shrine” to commemorate the fact…

    1. E says:

      Well stated it is difficult to believe that others can not see this act for exactly what it is …a victory celebration! Healing and religious tolerance would prompt the imam and his followers to move the place of worship to a less hurtful zone.

    2. A says:

      How far is far enough from Ground Zero, and what basis do we use to determine this? Would you be outraged if the Westboro Baptist Church wanted to build a community center there? So what if someone else wouldn’t let us build a “shrine” (which that is not what this is) in their country, the point of the U.S. is that we are a melting pot of different religions, ethnicities, and cultures and therefore should be tolerant of all. As an American and New Yorker I don’t view the building as a slap in the face at all. In fact if we prevent this building from being built there I think that would be the true slap in the face to Americans,

      1. Ed says:

        distance effects impact, idiot

    3. A says:

      Distance effects impact… that doesn’t address the question though, at what distance is this okay and what can we use as a basis to determine this? In other words what is the basis for saying 2 blocks isn’t ok but 200 is, and I am not talking about basis as saying why 200 is better, but what is the unit of measurement that states x is the right distance to build the center.

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