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August 16th, 2010
08:15 AM ET

Pres. Obama: Comments & Backlash on the N.Y. Mosque

President Obama is facing criticism from all sides for his comments on the building of an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero.

On Friday, the president said, "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”  He went on to say, “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."

The President made the comments during a White House speech marking the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month.

While politicians aren’t holding back with their opinions, we want to hear from you. What do you think about the President’s comments? Should he have even weighed in on the debate?

 Leave us a comment. We’ll share some of them in the CNN Newsroom, 11am —  1pm ET.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. scotty501

    What specific law would they use to prevent this place of worship from being built? Wouldnt they have to amend the constitution? I agree it is not good pr for this group but how do you legislate sensitivity?

    August 16, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  2. bj

    The President's comment regarding the mosque is true.We are a country that practicing your religion and building a place of worship is a right & a priviledge in America..That's What the President was espousing NOT that this mosque should be built in this location BUT everything the President says is criticized no matter his intent...
    However, the significance of this mosque and the location must be considered. I don't believe the organizers to build this mosque have any regard for how people feel....They have not condemned this terrorist act on 9/11 nor condemned Al Qaeda for their role in this act. That's a RED FLAG.
    They really need to find another location...They certainly are not acting as peacemakers. I also believe that some Muslims are Using Freedom of Religion in America as an avenue to shove this religion down America's throats....My questions, Are they loyal to America? How do they feel about Christians? How do they feel about Jews?
    Will this mosque be open to ALL Faiths especially b/c ALL Faiths suffered as a result of this terrorist act?

    August 16, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  3. er

    Hi all, I am a Muslim woman and would like to answer soem of BJ's questions. Why are people connecting Al Quayeda with true muslim believers? How dare anyone compare ME to Al Qayeda?! Al Qayeda is a terorist group for goodness sake! I am one of the most peaceful and most tolerant people you will probably ever meet and it hurts me when someone considers me a terorist just because I am Muslim. As for "us" not acting like peace makers, well that is so not true! Did any of you ever seen an Imam (Muslim priest) or any Muslim scholar living in US say on TV something bad about any other religion or call for an uprise? I am sure you haven't! But, I did watch christian scholars on public TV calling openly to hate against other religions. And that is ok? C'mon! Watch TV a little bit more people and you will see who in America is abusing Freedom of Religion. There are extremists on all side weather we liked it to admit or not. And we should all focus on taking THEM out. As for how "we" feel about Christinas, Jews, etc.? I can speak for myself and my family; we get along just fine with everyone. My two best friends are Christians, one of my daughter's best friends is a Jew and majority of my kids friends are Christians. And they come to our house all the time. Yes, they know who and what we are and they respect that. I do not judge people by race or religion or nationality. And believe it or not, Islam teaches that. I really wish people would read more about Islam; read Quran and other "legit" publications. Not someone's personal opinions about the religioin. Educate yourself people, we all need to live together and co-exist on this planet and it will be much easier for all of us if we do that in a peacefull way. No religion teaches hate, violence, killing. It is the people who mis-interpret our holly books and make our religions look bad! And I mean all religions! Read a little about Bosnian war (where I come from) and you will understand what I am trying to say.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  4. Southgate Jo

    This is one of those days when I am proud to be an American. President Obama did the only thing he could do, he acted like a true American. I am a Catholic and I have no love for Muslims or their religion. The placement of this Mosque is truly a slap in the face for just about every American. They do however, have the absolute right to build their mosque anywhere they please. This is freedom. It's not a new concept. President Obama did exactly what the constitution dictates...he wasn't prejudicial in his comments. He literally wrapped himself in the constitution and said what he had to say. I think his displeasure with this choice of places for a mosque was also true when he turned to say that he thought a better choice could have been made. Voltaire once wrote that he may not agree with what a man said but he would defend to the death his right to say it. sort of says it all I guess ......

    August 16, 2010 at 9:26 am |
  5. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    President Obama made a 42-word statement Friday: Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. 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 42-word statement has been deemed by many, a quite 'neutral' and 'true' statement of fact regarding American law. Personally, I believe a 'parking garage' would better suit the needs of NYC than ANY religious structure of ANY given faith. Yet the news media, much to the benefit and satisfaction of certain 'conservative' news outlets, will dissect, analyze, and otherwise scrutinize these 42-words. Actual newsworthy political commentaries of substantive value made by the Commander in Chief will take a back seat to this 'nonsense news' of little or no practical value. The President is going to make a substantiative address in Wisconsin today (8-16-10). Lots to analysize and scrutinize by the media, but little will be said. The national conservation will drift into the empty, non-substantiative void of religion, race and constitution change issues that have nothing to do with fixing or repairing our economy and broken government.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  6. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Equal rights religion what does our constitution say about a none Christian religion such as the Koran and if America is to observe this as a tax exempt religion then must we also observe Satan's bible as also a tax exempt religion where do we draw the line between Americas Christian god and other god's how many god's does America need .

    August 16, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  7. Stephanie

    I am beginning to wonder if the news readers on CNN have actually sat down and watched or read the President's speech on Friday. You certainly display a lack of skill at critical thinking. The constant dilemma in lige is the balance between what you CAN do and what you SHOULD do.

    A few days ago you ran stories and a blog on the increase in protests across the country about mosques being built and the fact that Islamophobia being on the increase. It is the DUTY of the President to uphold the constitution and he was addressing this in general. That CNN would criticize the President for doing his job insread of what would be politically safe is unbelievable!!

    You have made this a story once again with selective quotes and seem pleased that the Republicans are going to use this as an election issue...what to hate and divide

    August 16, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  8. Wendy

    ER,
    How dare anyone compare ME to Al Qayeda?! I LOVE the way you put that. Your comment is beautifully written. I am not part of any religion, but I am tolerant to everyone who chooses the religion of their choice (minus the extremist). You are completely right that you we need to co-exist in this world. Beside the extremist (which EVERY region has a side of) there is no religion that is causing physical harm to me and they can believe in what ever they want.

    Stephanie,
    I would place a monetary bet that there is a VERY small percentage who actually sat down and watched/read the President's speech, or even did any sort of research before SHOUTING their opinion. I hate selective quotes, especially when those quotes come from the bible. You can select quotes from the Bible to apply it to ANYTHING. You wrote an excellent post as well.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  9. Wendy Hoffman

    This repy to the Muslim Lady. I am a Christian or as I like to say a Progressive Christian and I totally agree with you. I grew up in Washington and went to school with diplomat kids. I had a lot of Muslim friends. None of this was ever an issue. Being raised in DC area back in the day we had no gripes, I even attended Mosque (I dearly want to go with my daughter) and Temple. Yes things have changed. There is so much intolerance even between Christians and I have moments where I can understand why people might hate Christians. Just as your religions has fanatics twisting the holy Quoran, so Christians have those that twist the word of God. I was recently home and of course the City and my neighborhood is awash in others from around the world. And yes there is a heavy concentration of Muslims. One lady stands out to me as she walked down my mom's street pushing her baby in a stroller. She was in the garbe of her country and quite lovely. I believe a smile is the best form of diplomacy and I smiled at her. I have nothing against her. She smiled back and seemed deeply moved that someone would show her a moment of kindness where I am sure she has been treated rudely by others, Later she saw me in the park walking my dogs and spoke saying hello as if we were old friends. Why can we not try and smile a little more? The true Muslims who do not breed hate and destruction, please reach out. Please try to rein in those that desparage the true Muslim beliefes. Please share more legitamite sites and reading for those of us that don't want to confuse the treu faith with the one of hate. Thank You!

    August 16, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  10. Pat Collazo

    I agree with the president.The members of this mosque are not responsible for the 9/11 tragedy. This counrty was founded on the principle of religious freedom. This hateful attitude will convince peaceful Muslims that this ciountry is at war with muslims not just Al Quaeda. This is precisely what the fanatic fringe wants all Muslims to believe. Blaming all Muslims for 9/11 is like blaming all Christians for Timothy McVeigh's (assuming he was Christian) Oklahoma City bombing.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  11. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    If we allow the Muslims to build a church then we must also allow Santanic religions to build near ground zero our laws sometimes dont work in our Christian way's .

    August 16, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  12. Tom Diehl

    The main part of the problem with confusing Al Qaydea with main stream Muslims is that the main stream Muslims have never been vocal about making a distinction. You may see a few ruffled feathers on a discussion such as this one, but where are the Muslim leaders or major personalities after such an incident? They should be in the news denouncing the actions of the terrorists and making the distinction that these actions are not the teachings of the Koran. They should even be pressing for the elimination of the terms "Islamic or Muslim Terrorists." Attaching the actions of these people to any major religion lends an air of legitimacy to their actions.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  13. Tamara

    Yes, the President should comment. His leadership is necessary in this controversy. There should be no confusion on this issue. The Constitution is clear on it. Best choice on the part of the Muslim community? Maybe not. Who knows what form healing will come in. That aside, The Constitution supports them.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  14. Tom

    Putting a mosque at ground zero is the equivalent of putting a nazi flag over a death camp in Germany. The attacks were driven by fundamentalist Islamics. When Islam cleans it dirty house the they can build a mosque wherever they want to.
    Tom, Independence? VA

    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  15. Judi King

    Either we believe, as a nation, in Freedom of Religion, or we don't. If we don't, then what is the difference between us and the religious extremists that were responsible for the attack in the first place?

    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  16. Rkm

    I agree as long as
    I can build a church next to the shrine of mecca

    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  17. Jan in Phoenix

    I would not have touched that with a 10 ft pole. Even though what he said was in fact correct, some battles should be left for others to wage, fight, win or lose. He cups overflows with issues already.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  18. Mark

    We must continue to affirm our religious heritage. Besides, what better way to say "you'll never defeat us" than to let it be built. BTW – this is an Islamic Education Center. There's already a Mosque less than 5 blocks from Ground Zero – been there for over 20 years, I think.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  19. Liz Charles

    Of course he should have 'weighed in' .

    The President swears to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", and that is what he did.

    Americans all should 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution' – and we should not try to redefine the greatest governmental foundation on the panet to suit our own personal fears and prejudices.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  20. Nancy Mansour

    Obama should keep his mouth shut on this issue. The Muslim community shows a horrific lack of sensitivity and caring for our loss on 9/11/01. How dare they think that they can sugar coat the damage that their "religion" caused? They are simply acting on their own behalf by putting up a monument to Islam on "conquered ground". Where is the input from the American Muslim community? Why aren't we hearing anything from them?

    August 16, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  21. Rusk

    Why not? Everybody was calling on him to as if he was God during the BP oil spill crises. Just like any citizen, the president has the right to comment on anything of social and political interest.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  22. kay

    I think everyone should take a deep breath and remember we have Generals and soldiers in Muslim countries trying to win battles as well as hearts and minds. Let's not play into the hands of those who say we at war against "Muslims"

    August 16, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  23. Tony

    The president of the United States is just that. He has taken an oath to represent the constitution and All of the people regardless of race, color or creed. It would be just as resounding a comment for him to Not take a stand on the issue of building the mosque as it has been for him to stand-up for his oath of office! This time politics didn't win out! Just doing what is PC is far from doing what is RIGHT!
    Stephen from Indy

    August 16, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  24. DAKOTA

    When any President takes office he swears to "...faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, PRESERVE, PROTECT, and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States."

    President Obama, with this oath, has no joice but to say, PER THE CONSTITUTION, that the muslims have the right to build a mosque. PERIOD!!!!

    If President Obama had NOT defended the Constitution, he would be impreachable!!!!!

    The media knows this, but having slow news days, it has stirred this into a froth of banal controversy.

    All the media has to say is that the President is abiding by his oath to be President of the US.. Nothing else is needed.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  25. Norma

    Initially I too believed that the mosque was a bad idea. However, in the Presidents speech he reminded me that it was not those with actual Islamic faith that bombed us. It was Al Qaydea whose Islamic views are extremely skewed who bombed us. Just as the KKK's Christian views are skewed to that of all other Christians and of what is actually written. That particular statement that the President states is what you should keep replaying, in order to put our emotions in check.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  26. Laurie Raynor

    President Obama was absolutely right in his comments. Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We cannot single out certain religions to discriminate against. That is not the America I want to live in. I am a middle aged white Christian woman, and I believe that all people in our nation should be free to worship as they please. We need to live together peacefully.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  27. Kelvin,

    Although the President had the right to comment on anything he likes, I feel his first comments with regards to the mosque were very insensitive to the people of New York and those who perished on that dreadful day as it seemed to reflect the same insensitivity, or "just not caring" attitude of those who are behind the idea to build a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero.

    Although I am from Southern California, I attended school in New York and had personal friends, as well as my g/f who was in the area the day the towers came down, so I am very sensitive and emotional with regards to this matter, and like so many New Yorkers, I feel it is a slap in the face of those who died that day to even consider having a mosque so close to Ground Zero and where the World Trade Center once stood.

    For those who support this idea, they either have no idea how this offends the people of New York, or simply don't care and are doing this to actually offend the people of New York and those who died. It is simply a disgrace to even consider having a mosque there and even more so when you consider that over 68% of Americans oppose this idea.

    Please have enough decency and courage to honor those who perished that day, as well as their families and the people of New York by not building this mosque anywhere near Ground Zero.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  28. dan

    There is a segment of our society can agree that the proposed Mosque's location is in poor taste and lacks compassion. However, the President is correct when he points out that the Constitution and the "ideal" that is America prohibits discrimination against religion in all forms and offers full protection under the law.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  29. George

    I hope that since Obama states the constitution gives the rights of citizens to worship as they please, that he'll also show us where it says the govt must provide us health insurance. How convienent to have him bring up the constitution but last year he avoided answering questions related to it about health care.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  30. Tony from Brooklyn,NY

    Yes, The President should have said something. Enough of this silliness Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc died in the towers. No one has a right to single out a particular group, and prevent them from building a cultural center and mosque.

    We as a country need to be better than this bigotry and hypocrisy I am seeing.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  31. Tom

    What does the Muslim faith think about Christian freedom? In Turkey the oldest Christian church in the world isn't allowed to have a school and has been pushed out more and more over the years by Muslims. Let them have sunday school in Turkey and then talk to us about building a Mosque here. Hold a bible in your hand in Saudi Arabia and see what happens to you. Say the lords prayer in public in Iran and see what happens. The Muslim faith wants their rights but won't give Christians theirs. Take your ground zero Mosque and put it where the sun doesn't shine.
    Tom, Independence? VA

    August 16, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  32. Donnell

    All comments made by President Obama are criticized and scrutinized in negative manner by the Republicans. I believe its the duty of all Americans, to uphold The Constitution. The Muslim Americans have right to build their Mosques near ground zero or any where else in American they choose, we shall not allow fear, prejudice or the Republican Party, to dictate whats fair in this country.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  33. Melvin Cole

    I feel that the President`s comment was right on time. The men who destroyed the trade center happened to be muslims. Christians have destroyed many things right here in America. That has not stopped the building of baptist, methodist or any christian base church near anywhere in America. Freedom of religion is one of the rights given under the constitution and should be observed by all.Lets not focus on the religion, lets focus on the people who commit these terrorist acts.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  34. kenneth

    i think the president is out of his mind if he thinks its ok for them to build a mosques near ground zero. after what they did with the help of the last president. i think he is being told what to do and say.he needs to stand up and be our president and stop being a yes man.
    kenneth.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  35. Tom Tawyer

    What better way to send a message to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist goups that they cannot drive a wedge between Mainsteam Muslims & non-Muslim Americans than to build a mosque near ground zero?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  36. ABEL RODRIGUEZ

    I understand that all people should be treated equally in this country. Why do we as US Citizens not put some of the pressure and consideration on the Muslims back? Building the Mosque in NYC is very sensitive a issue
    with the American People and the Muslims in the US knows this as a fact. Then why do the Muslims not reconsider and build their Mosque elsewhere? You would think as a religious group, they would be a little more considerate. I guess being so demanding is part of their beliefs.
    Demanding is just part of their makeup.

    Thank you for sharing
    Abel T Rodriguez (Plano Texas)

    August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  37. Monty Gaither

    The president was correct in what he stated. Our laws require that all religions be treated the same.

    "bj – They really need to find another location..."

    I would think that if they truly want to be seen as trying to bring us together they would choose a different location and would not have used the name of a city that was the first place in Europe where a mosque was built to force the locals to become Moslems.

    "I also believe that some Muslims are Using Freedom of Religion in America as an avenue to shove this religion down America's throats....}

    Xtians have been doing this for sometime.

    "My questions, Are they loyal to America? How do they feel about Christians? How do they feel about Jews?"

    These same questions can be asked of any religious groups.

    "Will this mosque be open to ALL Faiths especially b/c ALL Faiths suffered as a result of this terrorist act?"

    The building is more than a mosque, and they have stated that it would be open to all people.

    While criticizing the people for choosing this location and the name of the project is okay, there is no reason to citicize the President for his statement.

    Since there appears to be no legal way to stop the project, it is time to move on. It is possible after it is built that a white supremacist xtian group that will try to destroy it. If this happens, then maybe people will realize no religion is exempt from having terrorist.

    I do not advocate violence, but I anticipate it from extreme groups that exists in all religious groups.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  38. Tommy

    I agree, it seems anti-Obama factions continue to take the President's comments out of context or completely misunderstand his thinking. He remains consistent on issues regarding his outreach to moderate Islamic followers. His statements relative to the mosque were not pro or con, he merely stated a legal point and the position based on our Constitution.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  39. Steven Hanes

    I wonder if any Lakota Sioux were polled about their opinion of having Mount Rushmore carved into Black Hills before the U.S. government approved that project?

    Those that would condemn Muslim’s for wanting to defile hallowed ground with building a community center ought to question what message Christians were trying to send with a monument to four conquering heads of state for eternity.

    Radical Muslim’s brought down the World Trade Center. Radical Christians, in search of “Manifest Destiny” ethnically cleansed an entire continent. Let’s not be throwing stones from our glass towers or even attempt to cast the first.

    Just because events that happened on this continent in the 1800’s weren’t covered 24/7 by the cable network news does not mean they did not happen. Maybe someday someone will come along and lead this country by officially recognizing and apologizing for its mistakes.

    Until then, condemning groups for wanting to do what we have done with impunity for two-hundred years seems a bit hypocritical to me.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  40. Berylene Rogers

    This issue has exposed the bigotry rampant in this country. I am proud of the President for being the moral and constitutional leader that he is.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  41. Kate

    'Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion'. So what do we call it when Pres. Obama mandates to NASA that they MUST reach out to Muslims, and help them feel good about their heritage?? As one of their 3 mandated missions. Sure, Obama is not Congress, but is this not RESPECTING the establishment of ONE religion?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  42. Shirley

    If the mosque was next door or accross the street from ground zero, it would be a different story. Even if it was on the same block, I could see their point. However, when visiting ground zero, you can't even see the mosque. How is this a reminder of 9/11? These people are not true americans or believe our freedoms.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  43. Cheryl

    While as a New Yorker who lost friends on 9-11 I understand the sensitivity to an Islamic Center nearby Ground Zero, we must see this in non-emotional terms. Prohibit this because it is a faith shared by our enemy and we become our own enemy. The greatest irony is that those who oppose the mosque are allowed to do so because of the First Amendment freedoms they defend, but only when it suits them. We cannot cherry pick our freedoms at home–it will hurt us at home and abroad. People of faith also know this is a classic opportunity to do the right thing and work towards healing–do not use your faith as a bludgeon. And on a cynical practical note–were not other houses of worship in neighborhoods across NY equally dangerous in practice of and cover-up of sex with minors? People need to think before they emote every five minutes on the news....

    August 16, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  44. ElmerG

    I totally agree with President Obama. Let's honor our Constitution!!!!! Let us respect our Muslim Americans! Muslims also died on 9/11 in those towers. Let's be true Americans and not be convenient Americans!

    August 16, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  45. Tim

    He didn't need to comment at all! The White house spokesperson had already made the statement that this was a local matter. He chose to make the comment because he obviously supports the mosque! This is a complete slap in the face! And for those of you that made comments that he is just following the constitution..... What about Obama care? What happen to the Constitution there?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  46. Andra

    Who would ever thought that the President of the United States would get in trouble for stating the Constitution.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  47. Susie Bell

    While on subject of WTC, how is it possible that after almost 9 years there is still memorial??? Truely thought Americans would have done better then that....

    August 16, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  48. Rick

    I'm reading through many of the post online – 137 thus far – and find more than half not in agreement with the location of the mosque. However, watching CNN, they are giving the impression it's the other way around and most think the mosque should be built near ground zero...a slant perhaps by CNN??

    August 16, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  49. Emmanuel Ogungbesan (Grand Politico)

    Please let it be known that d Taliban and Al qaeda does not represent d Islamic faith. Just because these terrorist happens to proclaim Islam does not mean they represent the religion; just as Adolf Hitler who proclaims Christianity does not represent the Christian faith. Therefore, denying these people the right to build this mosque, is simply an indirect way of saying the Islamic religion is responsible for 9/11. American leaders should not abandon America's core values because of political expediency.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  50. Average Joe

    This is not about the president defending the building of a mosque it is our President defending the Constitution of the United States of America which is his sworn duty. I don't like the idea of the mosque but I would rather have a President that protects the rights of all relions and people than have a leader who prefers to segragate our citizens and laws on religous lines.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  51. Ishmael Campbell

    what is all this rhetoric about freedom of religion in this country and how we must enforce this freedom? Tell that to the activest federal judge who disallowed the students to use prayer in their commencement exercise because it might offend an atheist. think of the people this mosque will offend, then ask where is the equality?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  52. abelardo de anda, sr.

    What can you expect from a presidant who is a Muslim but claims to be Chirstian and the bias of CNN.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  53. Mauro Cappitella

    The building of the mosque near Ground Zero, where I lost six associates, is as unpalatable to me, as if Japan wanted to build a shrine honoring the kamikaze pilots near the Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  54. Alim Kamara. Woodbridge.VA.

    America,please, let us don't waste precious time on this issue of building a mosque near Ground zero.We do have better things to debate on like the economy/jobs.I see no reason why they should prevent people from their religious freedom.Or is it because the president got involved?And now certain politicians are trying to blow this out of proportion for their political ambitions?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  55. Orlando Hawkins

    With thousands of Americans unemployed, with thousands of students unable to complete an education, with many people striving to survive, building a mosque should be the last thing on the presidents mind. It is these sort of actions that causes one to not put too much trust into this government, making one perplexed about the governments priorities. My comments are not based off the location of the mosque (if the mosque was built somewhere else the story would not have been as controversial) but the violation that it serves to our first amendment rights and the establishment clause. If we are to be a true secular nation, then our actions have to correspond with those principles.

    President Obama does make a valid point in stating that we need to respect other peoples religions, culture, etc but that does not mean that we have to tolerate and condone unjust actions from any individual, regardless of background

    August 16, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  56. Susan Kircher

    I commend and respect president Obama for the guts and leadership displayed in publicly affirming the right of the Islamic community to build a Mosque near Ground Zero. We live in a free country, why are people choosing to forget this?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  57. jcw

    The pain is too fresh and painful, which blind us and binds us. There is too much displaced anger that is pointed to either a religion, or race. It is not Muslim, or Islam at fault, but, the fault of individuals, who had hatred in their hearts that exploded, which took out innocent people everywhere.

    it is not only right for us to have a mosque there, but, a center that is open to all religions, race, and creeds. A place where hatred has no place to spread to. A place of tolerance. True, evil will hate it, and strike at it with all its tools at its disposal. It is only a reminder, healing must take place. Common sense has been replaced with anger towards all. We must have a start to peace, if there is to be one at all.

    No one likes the idea of a mosque towards a place that seems to be victimized over and over again.... that's the gist of what I hear. NIMBY. Get a grip, folks! How much longer can you hold the hatred in, until you become the very same thing you despise the most? I have to be reminded of that in all of my endeavors in life. I have faced my own pit of despair, and saw my dark reflection that is on every face of everyone that is opposed to peace.

    If there is going to be mending of fences, then, take the chance, and let this mosque be built. Help them to make it a place of tolerance, not of hatred, please.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  58. Aliou, Florida

    I support the right of the muslims to build on their property like the president said.
    We are supposed to lead, not follow in matters of freedoms. Why is it so hard for many americans to understand that? A lot of religious zelouts and integrists hide in both the dem and republican parties. Certainly, I respect the families of 9/11 victims, but not only were there many people of other religion who died in the 9/11, but also, we have never investigated the bush administration for their involvement in the matter. We really never had proof of Alqada involvement, we only had a claim and many stories from detainees who had every reason to lie to the interrogators.

    Moreover, The way the right wing and the Bush administration made it their pretext of choice to invade our freedoms, rule by exceptions, ... that really make it a toss up on the who.

    That said, our constitution guarantees such freedom of religion for all religions.How would we be leaders if we only support the right of christians in our country and out of our country?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  59. Floyd

    Here again is classical GOP and others sniping at the President. If does not comment GOP will negative if does like he did GOP snipe. GOP said focus on jobs, unemployment but criticize our President. Election, election is all they are worried about really getting election to live good , spend our money and critize our president. Vote them out rebulild America not America's Politics. Get rid of the far right GOP, DEM, and conservatives. Let's right the ship.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  60. Lindsay Shiels

    To any of you who thing the President was wrong in his comments about the First Amendment, and say that you, as a Christian would not be able to do something like this in another country, where the Muslim religion is the main religion, think of it this way...if you deny them the right to build their building wherever and whenever they choose, then you are reducing yourselves the the level of those other countries. Just because they don't allow it, doesn't mean that Americans should follow suit. The Constitution of the United States and its First Amendment guarantee the right of every citizen to freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  61. Emmanuel Ogungbesan (Grand Politico)

    My question to those opposing the construction of this mosque is; would they have objected to it if a church was proposed instead? If the response is "NO"; are we then going to hold the Islamic faith responsible for the 9/11 attacks?

    August 16, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  62. chris

    A few points regarding the proposed WTC victory mosque.
    There are basic solid reasons for people being uncomfortable with this proposed mosque and islam in general. I would not mind a church,temple,kovil or synagogue being built in this location, because the followers of these religions do not consider others to be sub-human infidels,useful only for converting or killing. They also do not have global subjugation as their stated long term goal. They are tolerant and respectful of others, even, and most importantly, when they are in the majority and in control. Islam is undeniably not. We can see for ourseIves what happens to countries or cultures that extend a welcoming hand to islam, most recently in Europe.I agree with rkm, who said they can build a mosque there when a church can be built in mecca.
    I would take it a step further and say that islam needs to reform itself into a true religion rather than a repressive ideology. When it does that, and universally embraces and accepts religious freedom, freedom of speech,thought and expression, equality for women, human rights for all and respect for all life, it will be a religion worthy of respect and tolerance.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  63. David from NY

    The vast majority of the people I know in NY have not reconciled with the events of 9/11. The Muslims building this mosque really need to do their homework. If that particular group of Muslims really think that they will receive a warm welcome in that neighborhood, then unfortunately they are very insular and in for a rude awakening. NY is a national symbol of that is why it was attacked by extremists, because of it's symbolic value.

    In a perfect world, the people trying to build this mosque would be recognized for their ideologies and welcomed, but this is not a perfect world. Instead, this local neighborhood has seen and will continue to see the ethnic similarities with the extremists responsible for 9/11. In the very best case, building the mosque will still cause de facto segregation and civil unrest in that area of Manhattan, and it will be a powder keg for disaster.

    As for the President, it's kind of ridiculous for him to say he's impartial on the issue and that he was only commenting on the law and letter of a citizen's freedom of religion when he was hosting a *Ramadan dinner.* He really needs to stop shaking hands and kissing babies if he has any interest in getting re-elected, because the people of America have pulled the wool back from their eyes and they are not buying the act anymore.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  64. Average Joe

    I am pleased to see the majority of the comments are in support of our Constitution and the man sworn to protect it even from ourselves.
    Some of you are speaking from anger and like some I had colleagues that died in the towers that day.
    For them we should fight to make sure the extremist foreign or domestic do not win by ensuring we have leaders that protect our constitution and the rights of all our citizens.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  65. Aliou, Florida

    Anyone opposing this project to build an islamic center near ground zero should think again: Are you are religious monstrosity in hiding?
    If you think not, then do you then support everyone's religious right?
    If you think yes, then why the exception to muslims?
    If the why comes out funny to you, then it's probably funny. And you are probably a bigot without knowing it.

    Same goes for race issues.

    I had a black friend who was a hiring manager in a company. She always had this nagging habit of double checking and hesitating to hire blacks, at all levels of qualifications. I asked her the same kind of questions and the answer scared her. She has been biased against her own race because of the corporate culture she worked in. She felt she might lose her job each time there is a black candidate. She always felt she may not be making a good decision in hiring a black person, no matter how wonderful and qualified that person may be.

    So too, no matter what a muslim or the muslim religion does today, many don't even want them in this country, period. So taking their cultural center to the desert would not change some feelings.
    Someone may even make it their holly call to seek them out in a desert and blow them up.

    So be very careful of the sentiments you feel. They may be tricky, shameful and dangerous. Not worthy of the person you are.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  66. Emmanuel Ogungbesan (Grand Politico)

    I know alot of my friends that knows I'm a devoted Christian will wander why I'm taking such a stand. To those I'll say; championing the cause of "religious freedom" is a "Christlike" thing to do. First of all, no other religion was called to evangelise more than the Christian Faith. Therefore, it will do more harm to the cause of Christ if we try to deny these folks the right to build this mosque, because of the consequential effect it will have in other more dominated Islamic societies. Even if they are denying us the right to build church's in their territories, this will further embolding and fuel that sentiment and thereby hurting the cause of Christ as their intolerance for our Evangelism will more than multiply.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  67. orlando hawkins

    Also, its seems like the media is practicing the propaganda model at its finest. CNN along with other news stations is diverting the attention away from the real issue and it seems like most people have feel victim to this: The main concern should not be the location of the mosque(with all due respect to the victims of 9/11) but the violations to the Constitution that this sort of act brings. If the mosque was built in, lets say Chino, California, these actions by Obama would be viewed differently and he would be portrayed as the "Ideal American": one who shows tolerance and respect to any individual or social group, regardless of background.

    The violations to the constitution should be very alarming to all Americans. This country is truly not a secular one, nor have we tried to live up to this secular principle since the days of Jimmy Carter(who basically made the norm that one has to be christian to be a president and why Obama announced that he would change his religious views to Christianity).

    Building a mosque (regardless of location) should be viewed no different than building a church, or a temple etc. If this is scary to us, then it should be noted that the establishment of all western institutions should be scary to us as well, since all the tenants of these religious are very controversial and unjust.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  68. Karl Brown

    The president was perfectly correct in his comments and stance on the issue. Anyone who holds all of Islam responsible for the acts committed by terrorists who practiced an extremist form of Islam is being ignorant and hateful. By the opposition's logic, we should all be afraid of all caucasians because Timiothy Mcveigh was white.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  69. Joseph

    From my point of view this is legal issue and not one of religion vs. state. The constitution provides that all citizens shall have the right to practice their beliefs. As far as my opinion on the location: I belive building a mosque at ground zero is comparable to building an embassy in the middle of Hiroshima. We dropped the bomb to save lives and end a world war. The terrorists of 9/11 claim they serve allah and dedicated their acts to their faith. I simply find it in poor taste to build the mosque there. If it's on private property...in a word...Waco. look how well that went.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  70. JOAN HOPSON

    I do not care what the President says about building the mosque in the ground zero area – he may have an opinion but who wants to hear it??? The answer to whether or not they should be allowed to build the mosque cannot be answered with a simple Yes or No – one has to consider WHO is behind the purchase of this land and WHO will provide the money to build it. Of course the Muslims have a right to build a mosque in this country but I believe they should be a little more sensitive as to were it is constructed – there are many other properties available in New York City. That is what concerns me the most – why is it so necessary to build it so close to the World Trade Center area – not all muslims were responsible for the attack on
    9/11 but the attack was made by muslims.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  71. sandy

    The president should have weighed his comment more carefully. Coming back and 'clarifying' makes it seem like he spoke his mind and then thought better of it. He should not have commented on this issue. The reality of the situation is that putting a Mosque in tht spot is insensitive, at the very least.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  72. Ras

    I think the majority of the American public is scared to admit that when 9/11 occured we put Islam and Muslims alike on trial for what happened, and the opposition of the mosque directly stems from this racist thinking. How could building a Mosque, which is a place of worship just like a church, be a slap in the face to the victims of 9/11? Muslims, Christians, and people of other faiths died in the 9/11 tragedy. Not allowing them to build the mosque is a direct contridiction of every thing we say we believe and stand for as Americans. With that said, I believe the builders of the mosque should consider how this will affect them and the surrounding commuinity if they do build the mosque in the area of ground zero.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  73. Phillyfireguy215

    I have no problem with what Obama said... for the record I don't like the direction he is taking the the country in. He is no different than any other corrupt politician. This mosque thing is an issue for me... if anyone does the slightest bit of due diligence on the issue they may feel the same. I love to learn thing especially religions and philosophy. And of all religions that i've learned about Islam scares me. Their basic belief is of conquest in the name of God, All things and people MUST submit to God. And anyone who feels differently is considered an infidel and Must be killed. Scary... they quietly scheme under the guise of just another religion wishing for freedom to worship, but in reality they are just biding their time til they can try to overthrow our Constitutional Republic (or at least what used to be a Constitutional Republic). Unfortunately we are now a democracy were the idiot masses can dictate policy for everyone....

    August 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  74. beth

    I think this issue really reflects two things occuring in our society:

    1. This is about freedom of religion and individual rights. Our country’s culture is supposed to about freedom of religion and individual rights among other ideals. The idea of the mosque at Ground Zero may not be the most sensitive or common sense idea but if we begin regulating people’s common sense and freedom of religion we are no better than the strict, freedom-squashing governments our country has been defending and fighting against since our inception.
    2. And with that said, the intolerance that has surfaced is scary. This isn’t what we are supposed to stand for as a society, this is not what countless Americans have stood and died for over the past couple hundred years. I realize this comment will make people mad, but, maybe the terrorists have already won – they’ve taken away our tolerance. Think about it.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  75. Yas

    I think the media did such a great job convincing Americans that "Islam" is the reason why the twin towers collapsed and that “Muslims” did it. Muslims were ready to talk and tell their American neighbors and friends that those criminals that planned such a crime do not represent in anyway, shape or form neither "Islam" nor "Muslims" but do you think the media gave enough space for such discussions or clarification? Everyday America watches the news hearing about “John Smith” shooting and killing, kidnapping or rapping... “John” can be a Christian or a Jew. But do you really think his actions represent you as a Christian or a Jew? Do you think that you have the right to buy a house or build a church in the neighborhood where John committed his crime? Think about it for a second….that’s exactly how American Muslims feel.
    With 1.7 Billion Christians and 1.4 Billion Muslims living on this planet. How many out of the 1.4 Billion Muslims were responsible for the Sept 11 tragedy?? Do you really believe that 1.4 Billion people from Doctors to engineers to scientists will follow a religion that permits killing?? Have you ever heard, read or suffered from their actions before September 11th? I highly doubt it…. Muslims have been living around you longer than you think… in peace and harmony. And will continue living and contributing to America in peace and harmony.
    America needs to know the truth about Islam and Muslims. America doesn’t know. America doesn’t know that Muslims believe in Jesus. America doesn’t know the Muslims read the bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament) America doesn’t know that Allah (Arabic) is God in the Arabic language Also known as Dios (Spanish) Dio (Italian). Muslims believe in and pray to the same God you believe in if you are a Christian or a Jew. Know, Learn, read and seek answers….. Only then you will know that a story like shouldn’t even have made news.

    Thank you for reading !

    August 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  76. marie

    I can't build something anywhere I want because of codes, zones, etc.

    I have nothing against a mosque but, why should they be able to build that mosque in that area.

    August 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  77. Raphael

    Why shouldn't he make a commment on an issue so fundamental to our way of life here in the U.S. Its also the appropriate time to make it. What I am most concern with is the President's willingness to walk back or parse his comments. He should show more courage.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  78. sean mallonee

    I just want to say, no the terrorists dont represent all muslims but remember all of the terrorists were muslim. I think it is disrespectful and insensitive for them to want to build a mosque near ground zero, not just to victims and families of the victims from 9/11 but to every soldier participating in the war over there. I think they are taking advantage of the constitution and thinking only of them selves, and by doing that they are spitting in all of our faces. Of course Osama, oops I mean Obama, is going to tap dance around the issue because he is more worried about his approval rating than anything else!!!!!!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  79. mary ann ner

    all i can say is for the building of the mosque near NYC where the 9/11 bombings took place is that that we should respect each other in terms of religion and beliefs, instead of fighting about this construction, we should try to understand both sides of the situation. try to help each other and cooperate to build a better world and better place with harmony with whatever beliefs we have.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  80. mary ann ner

    it's not the time to blame who's who..it's time to reach out with different beliefs and religions..and try to understand everybody has the opinion and the right to comment for the president's speech

    August 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  81. Bridget

    Republicans: change the Constitution to allow Arnold Schwarzenneger to run for president.

    Republicans: change the Constitution to disallow a child of Mexican heritage to be an American citizen upon birth.

    Republicans: change the Constitution to not have a mosque close to Ground Zero, yet they staunchly stand firm on having the Confederate flag fly in the face of African-American citizenry.

    There are three synagogues in our neighborhood within five blocks of each other. Why is one on a very busy street, and why do they have two within two blocks of each other on a residential street? Let’s consolidate them into one, move it far away from our sight.

    Republicans: praise the Constitution/Bible, and don’t live the life.

    August 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  82. kevin

    How chilling is this – if a mosque was already located within blocks of ground zero, would we tear it down?

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  83. Andreas

    I support freedom of all spiritual religions. If the government restricts the building of the Mosque in New York, then they should remove all Christian churches in areas were Christians have killed Native Americans.

    August 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  84. Hengkie

    The right and the wisdom is two different thing. Does Muslim has the right to build a mosque next to the white house? According to the law, you can say yes. But is that wise to be approved?. Obama has to be a gentlemen, dont just sell lips service to impress Muslim leader. He has to be honest to answer the question about the wisdom of building the Masque close to ground zero. If Obama honest from the stand point of the law? Please be honest also from the standpoint of his conscience. And answer the question of the wisdom behind that move.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
  85. Ed Thomas

    SEE: No Mosque at Ground Zero
    Thursday, 22 Jul 2010 02:13 PM
    By: Frank Gaffney

    The Center for Security Policy today unveiled a powerful 1-minute video opposing the construction of a 13-story, $100 million mega-mosque near the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center.

    The twin towers were destroyed on 9/11 by adherents to the barbaric, supremacist and totalitarian program authoritative Islam calls “Shariah.” And the imam who is promoting this mosque has publicly declared that he seeks to “bring Shariah to America.”

    Shariah’s followers have long built mosques on the most sacred sites of those they have conquered; for example, on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, at Constantinople/Istanbul’s St. Sophia Basilica, and in Cordoba, Spain, the capital of the occupying Moors’ Muslim kingdom.

    A growing chorus of New Yorkers and other Americans, including, notably, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, have expressed outrage at the prospect of a similar, permanent beachhead for Shariah being use to defile ground zero, and symbolize America’s defeat at the hands of her enemies.

    We say, “No Mosque at Ground Zero.”

    August 17, 2010 at 12:22 am |
  86. Jayson

    Of all the people in this country I expect our president to understand how sensitive this situation would be to all Americans and especially those family's who have lost loved ones. Its very interesting to me that now after this catastrophe event someone wants to build a muslim mosque – the timing and the location couldn't have more significance.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  87. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    Why is this ground more special than Pearl Harbor? Japanese people have businesses and places of worship near there. The Japanese visit the Arizona Memorial in large numbers everyday and nobody complains about it. Our country allows for freedom of religion, so it's time to stop the political rhetoric and move on.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  88. Arlene LaHera

    The developers should withdraw the plans and move the center. If it is finished and 68% of people were against it, I do not see it having a positive effect on the community nor Muslims who worship there or go for recreation.
    They will be targets for Christian fundamentalist's and we'll have to pay a bundle in "federally guaranteed freedom of religion security protection."
    We need to be protected from religion and religious men.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  89. Diane E Organ

    The building of a Muslim mosque has nothing to do with 911. The mosque is NOT going to be built ON ground zero, but FOUR blocks away, so please stop the confusion by emphasing that point in reporting. Another point that needs clarification is that our soldiers are not fighting Muslim religion, but the extremists that declared war on America, Let us not perpetrate the hatred of the Muslim religion through our reporting but clearly define who America's enemies are. The president was correct in his statement. I expect the leader of the free world to control his emotions and lead with intelligence. We ARE a nation of tolerence and respect of other faiths, so let us not confuse the Muslim
    religion with our true enemy,

    I empathize with those who lost loved ones on 911 and my heart reaches out to them. If only they could find it in there hearts to rise above the hatred that is being manifested and misdirected, maybe then their hearts will heal and life for them will be joyful again.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  90. Chris

    President is right. He took the prefix out of their race, and treated them like AMERICANS. chill people.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  91. Mohammad Haque

    Religious rights are not subject to the popular vote or majority vote. I am as much a victim of 9/11 as anyone, watching FIRST HAND, with my own two eyes both planes hit and both towers fall from just blocks away, running from the cloud of ash weighing on my back, having a close beautiful family member pass away- an employee on the 86th floor, not finding his remains for months after posting missing person signs, and watching his 4 beautiful children grow up into amazing adults without their father, being unable to return to my school for MONTHS while it was being used as a first responders facility, watching barges full of rubble and mammoth size pieces of metal taken away from RIGHT NEXT to my school when we finally did return with broken hearts, watching my parents suffer directly from bigotry infused backlash, watching my rights wither away while my religion was being hijacked as severly as those four planes were, watching 9/11 be used as cannon fodder to push the economical agenda of a president under the banner of a word as pure as freedom, and just as importantly, feeling the inexplicable void of two missing bohemoths beneath which my friends and i spent so many of our youthful days after school laying in the plaza between the two towers- staring and dreaming of being able to touch the tops, feeling the gaping hole of a city which bathes every cell in my body.

    But you wont find FOX News or politicians asking me how i feel about public outcry and phobia against a Muslim community center 2 blocks from a place where so many innocents and heroes were taken. I guess I'm just disappointed in people who still cannot distinguish Islam and Muslims from Al-Qaeda. "Sure they have the right, but why not build it somewhere else?" Why not? Because some Muslims, like me, also need a place to ask for God's guidance near a place where their life was forever turned upside down.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  92. Alex B

    We are still America, right? We need to stop being stupid and realize that it wasn't ALL Muslims, or ALL Islamics that attacked on 9/11. It was a specific group, that just so happened to be Muslim. If the attackers were Christian, would we be protesting a Christian Church being built? Most likely not!! We are a nation of the people, by the people, for the people. Muslims are people too.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  93. Ashley Pieciak

    I feel that NO RELIGION should be uplifted in the area surrounding 'Ground Zero" Instead of making it an "Islamic" community center it should be made into simply a community center. It should help to spread awareness about all peoples, all religions. Gaining knoweldge is the first step towards fostering relationships that are based on, not love exactly, but not fear either.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  94. Gabriel Menchaca

    We as Americans do not put civil rights to a public vote. That's why we have a Bill of Rights, to protect minority rights from the tyranny of the majority.

    If we don't stand up and ensure the protection of everyone's constitutional rights, how can we expect anyone to stand up and protect our own?

    August 17, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  95. Diane Turrell

    President Obama was absolutely correct in his statement. The people who plan to build their place of worship had nothing to do with 9/11 or the extremist population that mean harm to those who do not believe as they do. It is ethically and morally wrong for the media and political realm to stir up fragile emotions and blow this out of proportion simply to further their own agenda.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  96. frank dileo

    this whole discussion is absolutely ridiculous!!!! the constitution protects their right to build the mosque so let it be. there are radicals in every religion. this is the thinking of a child its called transference, if one member of a group does something bad you blame the entire group. sound familiar....its called racism! besides i dont hear about the reports of christians hacking up members of other faiths in the news.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  97. Pete

    Does freedom of religion extend to those who believe in the violent overthrow of the US government? While I believe that this is one a small segment of the Muslim faith, It disturbs me that the mainstream clerics do not repudiate jihad as a part of the faith.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  98. Eric

    I have been arguing about this for weeks. We are American, which in the constitution allows one to put a mosque or church or religious center where ever is allowed by local government. As a NY native i feel if everyone is worried about insulting anyone the apologize for it, but to attack a religion for the actions of few is un-American. Let us lead by example and allow the construction of this center, and let the government worry about protecting us.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  99. JamesNJ

    We have to get over that "We're so special" feeling in this country. When we bombed Hiroshima it killed 80,000 in an instant and most of our armed forces was Catholic. Today there's a Catholic Diocese there. So what's the problem ?

    August 17, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  100. Lynn Luckeroth

    Freedom for all..or none. I didn't see the country banning Christian churches when a few crazies bombed abortion clinics or killed doctors/nurses who preformed them...sounds like a terrorist cult to me. To take away a freedom from one religion and not another is discrimination...

    August 17, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  101. Jamal

    It's so hypocritical the people who claim to hold the constitution as the core of america are the same people, willing to bend it's words the second it differs from what they desire. If it's wrong for muslims to build a mosque because ground zero is near there location, Than is it also wrong for catholics to build churches near daycare centers? Obviously you would say this is wrong, but this is the very question if you can take away the muslims constitutional rights because it doesnt make you feel good,where will it stop? This is the same attitude that has people saying the 14th amendment should be changed because they there really afraid of the demographic of this country changing. You cant follow a law when it's convient for you, either it is the rule or it's not!

    August 17, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  102. Fritz

    We are at war with terrorism, NOT a religion. I saw the report given by Mary Snow and she exuded what I saw as a strong dislike for the mosque idea. If the mosque doe not come to fruition, remove the Catholic church that was in her video segment. The terrorists used religion to their "comfort" for what they did. Religion is not the enemy, certain people are, and whether or not they use religion as a justification for what they have done, or will do, then that's just a bastardization, a twisted view or misinterpretation. I despise all religions because it seems to be the only reason we ever have wars. The Greatest Story Ever Told is just that: a story....a fairy tale.....look at what Fred Phelps gets away with in the name of the Bible and religion. Look at all the Aryan hate groups, same thing......stab someone because of color or race or religion.............if the Muslims want a mosque, it should be allowed. There are a lot of people riding the fence on violence in America, the so-called "home-grown terrorists", and if this fails to pass and the mosque be built, then this country ought to prepare for quite a bit of internal damage because I'd bet my house it's going to explode at a very alarming rate. Obviously, I hope I'm wrong.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  103. Vickie

    I think that there was nothing wrong with what the Pres said. People who carry holstered guns in public don't care if there are people around who may have lost loved ones to gun violence. They only care that it is their right, People who display the confederate flag don't care that it brings up traumatic memories to black people and others. They only care that it's their rignt. It's always tthe the other person who needs to be sensitive and to give in. These muslims are not the terrorist, why can't they excercise their rights in an effort to bring about an understanding for Islam. Practice what you preach.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  104. Jesse R

    Regarding the mosque near ground zero. While the promotion of violence in the nation of Islam is up for debate. Islam's oppression and degradation of women is a fact. Islam's persecution and execution of gay people is a fact. And of course, Islam's well documented hatred of Jews is undisputed. As a gay American I would just as soon see a Nazi field office in my neighborhood. Tell all the facts about this religion. It is absolute hypocrisy for anyone in the Muslim community to claim their rights are being threatened.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  105. Leonard

    Obama never said that he approves or disapproves of the plan to build the mosque near ground zero, only that according to the letter of the law, they have the legal right to.

    This whole topic has brought to mind a line from the movie The American President. The President (played by Michael Douglas) said:

    "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free."

    It's the same when you apply it to religion. Though it may enrage us that a mosque may go up at ground zero, because of the religious freedom that everyone is guaranteed by the Constitution, we have the duty to uphold and embrace the ideals that our forefathers fought and died for, the ideals that make this a great country.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  106. alfonzo porter

    Unfortunately, the issues surrounding the achievment gap cannot be addressed without holding parents accountable legally for educational neglect. Elevate educational neglect to the level of child abuse in America!! If the school staff can be held accountable for outcomes, then who is accountable for what comes in? When children show up already 2 years behind in kindergarten , mitigating the academic deficiencies becomes impossible. The solutions are outlined clearly in my new book, "More Like Barack, Less Like Tupac: Eradicating the Academic Achievement Gap by Countering Three Decades of the Hip Hop Hoax. We have pockets of excellent and we have convened a national conference on the achievement gap; at which, your guest John Jackson was our Keynote speaker. Stop talking, we already have the Education Begins at Home Act, passed a few years back and sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis, (IL). Parents are the only stakeholders not held to account for these children. the time has come to remedy that and finally put the achievement gap issue to rest now. this is the challenge for our generation–The young minister's methaphorical mountaintop has suddenly appeared upon the horizon and our task now is to deliver the best academically prepared children on this globe. We have concrete answers.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  107. Eileen Lupkes

    Tony,
    If we have so much religious freedon in this country; WHY can't I pray at the Senior Citizen's Center here in downtown Tucson? Why was our Day of Prayer not observed this year everywhere in the US? Why has the pledge of Allegiance taken out of our schools? AND why can't we pray in our schools?
    If that rich guy wants to truley help the people, he needs to turn that Burlington Coat Factory back into a plant and give people jobs again. We need to lower the wages a bit to get our clothing industries back in this country. The Levi factory closed in Centerville TN and 300 jobs were lost several years ago. Why can't our President give those factories money to sew. We already raise our own cotton and wool, then ship it to Mexico and China and then we buy the clothes back at WalMart and the Dollar stores! I go to Good Will first before I will spend a dime on clothes from those stores. We need to buy American again!!!!!!!! Eileen

    August 17, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  108. Rick

    The building is two blocks away and has absolutely no view of ground zero! so if thats too close than what would be the exceptable limit? And why wasn't it figured out and made available to all the public? And one more question if someone commits a crime where people are killed and they say they do it in the name of Jesus do we keep churches from being built for a square mile? I think alot of people are allowing themselves to be manipulated by christian fanatics!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  109. Ol'Bob

    It is so sad to see that 70% of people in the US have no respect for the US Constitution.

    From my experience as a junior college instructor it is rare to find a student who has even read the Bill of Rights let alone the entire constitution. Most students have not idea what the constitution says and when they find what it says and means they rarely agree with most of it.

    But, everyone of them calls them selves a patriot.

    Ol'Bob

    August 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  110. Pete

    I want to see the Imams in the NYC Mosque start preaching peace & tolerance, and telling their followers that this represents Islam. Their silence speaks volumes.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  111. Barbara Strzemp

    The President of the United States expressed himself very well. Being a highly intelligent, aware individual, President Obama showed his absolute adherence to the Constitution of the United States, as well he should. Beyond that, he did not weigh in on the "wisdom" of putting a muslim place of worship on a particular site.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  112. lekedria harris

    I think that people are taking President Obama's opinion out of context. no matter what he said we still are overlooking the fact that the 1st amendment of the constitutions guarentees us the freedom of religion and assembly.. we cant deny them that right. on the other hand they should be more considerate to the families of the 911 tragedy.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  113. Douglas Stuart

    Only one question to all those that say no: Exactly how far away does it need to be from ground zero? How many blocks, cities, states, or countries? As I recall, this is America. I served my country not for just some, but all Americans; not so that some may trample on the rights of others.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  114. Elvia M. Chalmers

    What I think doesn't matter because he can't win for losing.

    It's really not his issue, it's Mayor Bloomberg's issue. The president cannot be a part of every decision in America. We better be mindful those of us who desire "freedom" of religion that when we make decisions about anything we set a precedent.

    I believe it's "very" poor taste, but someone sold the property to them and now it's theirs to do with as they choose as long as it is within the law. We live in the United States of America. This discussion should have taken place prior to the sale of the property. Should the government buy all property within a certain range of ground zero??

    August 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  115. Roy

    obama couldn't possibly have kept his mouth shut even though it would've been better for him politically, because he is a proud muslim. The election is over and he is president so he feels he has the power to get away with it. He has built his own government on top of the American government which doesn't need the voters approval so he does have the power. No American president has ever had this kind of power because America was a republic, but it is now a communist dictatorship under obama.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  116. Trudy Van Horn

    I believe that this comment by Pres. Obama was to get people talking about the mosque and not about what is going on in this country. I believe that it is being used to take people's minds off his problems regarding the economy and everything else that is hurting the American people. In two and a half months we will have an election and the democrats will be hurting badly. What does the President do but create a diversion. I believe it was well thought out and planned by his advisors. Look at how long this has been on the news! Wake up America to the slyness of this administration before we lose our country.

    August 18, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  117. John Falkowski

    Another presidential comment that should not have been made in the first place. Just like his comment Re: the professor at Harvard, .."I think the police acted stupidly"... it's a local matter period. It is NONE of his business....period!! But since he has publicly endorsed the Muslims right to practice their religion does that also mean he also endorses their practice of stoning people to death... ?? It's part of their religion as shown in the video clip circulating on the Net of the death of a young girl because she embarrased her family

    August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  118. Cher

    I think it is outrageous! It will be nothing but a slap in the face of America for this to be allowed!! Build the Mosque, but somewhere far away from the 9/11 Ground Zero...Obama's comment just proves once again that his alligence is NOT to the U.S.A. but to the Muslims...He is deliberately distroying our country!! There is no might be or maybe to it...He hates America and it is plain in his actions for the past 2 years!!

    August 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  119. Gene Lucas

    What's all the fuss about? There's been a mosque only 4 blocks from ground zero, which was there before the twin towers were built.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  120. myvoice34

    anything the Presidents says is always taken and used against him. His people need to better prepare his comments. He is right on this issue about their right to build there.The people who are trying to build there though need to step back and think about what there doing.They need to be good muslims and Americans and say this offends too many people and could cause more harm than good.Its a good time to show America Islam is not about divsion and build somewhere else.You have the right,the right to do whats right for all involved.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  121. bernard lemieux

    The construction of a mosque near "groung zero" is stirring up a lot of contrevercy. Who would believe that the backers of this project only found out after the purchace that the site was close to "ground zero" ; a fluke, just lucky? I don't think so. There was a multitude of other properties they could have purchaced. The location is thoughtless and unacceptable. Can you imagine if anyone had the audacity to request to build a catholic church or a synagogue near the site of Mecca. The question would not be if they have right to build but how long they would live if they persisted. I hope the authorities have the fortitude to deny them a building permit. They have the right to build a mosque, but not there. New York is not just an other city but a flagrant historical symbol for both sides. Don't do something you will regret forever!

    August 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  122. Jeff Miles

    Mosque Supported by Al-qaeda – A symbol of victory over Infidel America.

    Feisal AbdulRauf who has proposed this grand plan is a hidden
    terrorist!!! His dad was a member of muslim brotherhood of which
    al-Zawahari (Al-qaeda) is a part of!!!

    And this guy sees hamas as a peaceful organization and not as a
    terrorist outfit inspite of US declaring it!!
    He has also blamed US policies for the 9/11 attacks!

    He is also for islamization of US by bringing the shariya!!! anything
    more u need about this park51Mosque aka Cordoba (the place in
    spain where the first muslim conquest in 711 AD, ended successfully
    as part of islamization of the world) venture???

    There is an amazing level of ignorance among americans including FBI !

    August 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  123. Kim

    Do Americans have Islamic phobia ? We are protected in America by the First Amendment as our Constitutional right . Do you want the Constitutional argument or the Freedom of Religion debate ? We have Christianty,Islam,Judaism,Buddhism,Hinduism and the list goes on and on and that's why we call it the First Amendment ! It doesn't get radically crazy until Americans see planes flying into New York and all of a sudden we are under attack and fighting a war against terrorist. One week Americans see an Islamic woman with her nose cut off on Time Magizine and the next week Americans are Islamic phobia ? Who is Iman and it's a fair question for CNN and Fox News to be asking and we want the evidence ! Shariah law isn't acceptable !

    August 20, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  124. Rob

    The Presidents position should not be any big surprise to anyone. The division/wedge that has been imposed on this country within the last year and a half has all been all planned out by Mr Hope and Change. I guess most of his supportors didn't understand his true meaning of the catch phase. To bad for us all.

    August 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  125. anthony tensley

    He's the president of course anything he comments on will be put through a microscope especially by republicans..but what I don't understand why is it that republicans is never questioned what they say for instance ..washington is out of touch with the american people...then why is they running for office where do they think congress and the senate or located..why cnn never ask republican politicians why do you criticize Obama so much and never talk about solutions for the american people..and most importantly why don't you ask them who are they talking about when they say the "American People" who are they talking about..are is just rheteric for onservatives to here.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  126. Kathy Rayford

    Anything he says is wrong even when it's the right thing to do. This country has become so hateful, nasty and racist lately that anytime anything is said the "PRESS" jumps all over it and continually talks about it until it becomes bigger than it really is, especially since there are mosque all over and in every city. It;s almost like you can come but "SHUT UP"

    August 26, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  127. Hal Tapkins

    ""Of course I believe in the First Amendment, but..."" BUT???? How can there be a but? ""You have the right to remain silent, but if you don't talk I will send you to Guantanamo"" You have the right to vote, but if you do we won't count it"" Come on, you either have a right, or you don't. As soon as you say BUT, you are attacking our Constitution, and undermining our system of government! Shame.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  128. Travis

    Why is it that every situation of disagreement comes down to being a racist. People can't even have a difference of opinion without being labeled. Soon they'll be throwing people in jail if you disagree. Sounds very dictatorial to me. Oh well we made our bed so now we've got to sleep in it.

    August 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
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