Saturday, August 14, 2010

Obama defends "Ground Zero mosque"

The NYT reports:

“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.

But, he continued: “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.”

In hosting the iftar, Mr. Obama was following a White House tradition that, while sporadic, dates to Thomas Jefferson, who held a sunset dinner for the first Muslim ambassador to the United States. President George W. Bush hosted iftars annually.

 

Bravo, Mr. President.  I recommend this commentary from Glenn Greenwald.  The president has taken a courageous stand, and done the right thing as well, even if he may incur some political cost.  (I imagine there are a few southern Democrats this morning who feel that their (re-)election chances in November are toast.) Would that he extend that courage to matters like Israel's blockade of Gaza, settlement construction in the West Bank, and pushing harder for a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He might do well to read Margaret Atwood's essay in today's Haaretz - on how Middle East peace needs prophets, not yes-men.


1 comment:

Sunflower Pipes said...

American Muslims died in the Trade Center, American Muslims died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, American Muslims pay taxes and work hard. Why would it be respectful for them to not be able build close to the Trade Center? I see no respect in that. Build your mosque praise your lord. I am an American and I will stand with you.
Sunflowerpipes.com

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