Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack jumped head on into the fray regarding plans to build a Muslim mosque two blocks from the location of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center by Islamist extremists. Opposition to building the religious center so close to Ground Zero by Republican Leaders has been strong.
Republicans have used the proposed mosque to their political advantage in an election year where they hope to regain seats lost two years ago. GOP leaders have demanded Democratic candidates declare their support or opposition publicly but few have.
House Speaker and fellow California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is one of only a handful of Democrats to make a statement. Pelosi yesterday told KCBS in San Francisco, “There is no question that there is a concerted effort to make this into a political issue by some, and I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition for a mosque is being funded.”
After outrage began to build in response to her controversial comments, Pelosi clarified her position in a written statement today. “The freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Where a place of worship is located is a local decision,” Pelosi said.
In a press release issued by her campaign office today, Bono Mack stated, “Nancy Pelosi has once again embarrassed herself by jumping into a controversial issue on the wrong side and in a bizarre way. Pelosi has called the mosque at Ground Zero nothing more than an urban development decision for New Yorkers. Once again, she misses the entire point.”
“Ground Zero is today an American, historical memorial. It is hallowed ground, where three thousand innocent citizens, from all over the world, were murdered in an attack by Islamic terrorists. The Imam, who wishes to build this mosque on hallowed ground, refuses to state that Hamas is a terrorist organization. He refuses to state that America was a victim to terror on 9/11. And, he will not disclose the sources of the money or what the real purpose is for building the mosque. By itself, Nancy Pelosi is wrong. But it gets worse, much worse and more bizarre.
Bono Mack continued, “Pelosi now wants to investigate, not the Imam and his terrorist relationships, not the funding, not the possible middleastern connections but instead, Pelosi wants to investigate the American people who oppose the building of this mosque. It is bizarre. In Pelosi’s world, a world that Alice in Wonderland would find confusing, the terrorists are given the benefit of the doubt, and patriotic citizens, including the families of victims who died, are to be investigated.”
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, after being challenged to state his position by Republican opponent Sharron Angle, broke rank with President Barrack Obama by declaring he felt the mosque should be built elsewhere.
Bono Mack has similarly called on her Democratic opponent, Steve Pougnet, to denounce Pelosi’s comments. Bono Mack has characterized Pougnet as a “Pelosi/Boxer” liberal. Pougnet could not be reached for comment.