President Obama says no regrets about his remarks backing Ground Zero mosque
A short comment was made by President Obama when asked about the comment he made on the Ground Zero mosque being built.
There is much debate about whether a mosque should be built in such a sensitive area — just a short distance from where the 9/11 attacks took place, says ABC News
President Obama was asked by an Ohio reporter if he was sorry he had made any previous comments saying it was okay to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
President Obama said he had no regrets on giving his opinion.
His answer was simply: “The answer is no regrets.”
This was Obama’s first comment in public since Saturday on the highly debated question of whether a mosque should be allowed to be built on the site that has been earmarked for it, says ABC News
On ABC’s show Good Morning America Karl Rove, adviser to former president, George W. Bush said, with regard to whether it was okay to build a mosque near Ground Zero that “Obama did real damage to America’s standing in the world by this inconsistent and incoherent answer that he gave Friday night with a different answer on Saturday morning.”
Obama is hoping that allowing the mosque to be built will improve relations between Americans and Muslims.
During a dinner in which Ramadan was honored, Obama stated:
“Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities — particularly New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country.
And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And 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. 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 that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.”
On Saturday Obama stated his comment about building a mosque near Ground Zero thus:
“In this country, we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion. 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.
And I think it’s very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about.”
Some San Francisco residents, as well as people who live in New York and in other parts of the country, are hurt by this decision to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
And others have weighed in on the idea of building that mosque near Ground Zero too.
New York Republican representative Peter King said: “President Obama is wrong. It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero,” says The Guardian
Betty McGilvery, a San Francisco resident says: “Yes, it’s true that religious freedom is part of our founding fathers’ good intentions but at the time the Founding Fathers wrote up the Constitution there had been nothing quite like 9/11. I wonder if the Constitution would read differently if 9/11 had happened at the time they wrote it.”
“That event now has to be considered when it comes to deciding to allow there to be a mosque near Ground Zero. Nobody objects to anybody’s religion, but people object to innocent people being brutally murdered. This is such a sensitive issue, respect for those who died should prevail. Why not have the mosque built in another place rather than at Ground Zero? Why not ask the American people to vote on this issue? Their opinion has to matter too.”
See here for a recent poll that cited 68% of Americans as being against the plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
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