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Ear to the Ground

Obama Defends Ground Zero Mosque Plans

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Posted on Aug 14, 2010
news.bbc.co.uk

President Obama’s remarks came in a speech Friday at a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.

President Obama has come out strongly in defense of controversial plans to erect a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Muslims, the president said, have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else.

Republican politicians and conservative pundits have kept up a steady drumbeat of opposition to the project. —JCL

The BBC:

US President Barack Obama has staunchly defended controversial plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Opponents have protested against the construction of an Islamic cultural centre and mosque several hundred feet away from the site of the Twin Towers.

Mr Obama acknowledged “sensitivities” surround the 9/11 site, but said Muslims have the same right to practise their religion “as anyone else”.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 17, 2010 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Mal:

I guess we’ll have to disagree on the meaning of “American Exceptionalism”. For me it has nothing to do with moral superiority, only a superiority of our constitution over other forms of governance. It’s the only one like it: It’s “exceptional.”

We can argue all day long about how far we’ve drifted from upholding the original precepts of that charter, but I think, all in all, it’s pretty good, especially the way it has been tweaked and retuned by those 27 amendments over time.

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By Malcontent, August 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

By rico, suave, August 16 at 10:43 pm

“Malcontent:

Precisely.”

What does that mean?

Why does “American Exceptionalism” only seem to apply when we are contemplating war, but not when we are trying to live up to our constitution? You know, the document that’s supposed to be at least partially responsible for said “exceptionalism” in the first place.

I thought we were supposed to be pretending we are better than everybody else.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Malcontent:

Precisely.

Pat Henry:

You asked the question in the passive voice. Nice touch. You fill in the blank and I’ll let you know.

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By Malcontent, August 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

By rico, suave, August 16 at 12:12 pm

“What if a bunch of fundamentalist Christo-fascists attacked the Kaaba, ... build a YMCA a few blocks from the site? How well do you think that would work out.”

Does Saudi Arabia have a first amendment? I know they are Amerikan allies, with a government reminiscent of 1850s Montgomery AL, but I’m pretty sure they only get wads of our cash, to finance terrorism, not our constitution.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Capt suave,

Whose findings?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

Pat:

Accept the findings.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Capt suave,

What if it is found out that traitors in our government along with Israelis and their arab assets did 9/11.

What would you be prepared to do?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

wildflower:

Come on now. No. Of course I’m not trying to say that. As you would not say that all conservatives are fascist fundamentalist wackos who cling to their guns and religion and fear of the “other”. Would you?

I never used the word “all”. I used “fundamentalist Muslims” specifically separate a very small fraction of misguided jihadists from the vast majority of Muslims worldwide. Find me a quote in any of my posts that supports the charge you make against me that I think “all” Muslims are al Qaeda wannabes and bin Laden lovers.

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By wildflower, August 16, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Re Rico, Suave: “Fundamentalist Muslims attacked the WTC because it was a classic symbol of evil Western capitalism and culture.”

Exactly what are you trying to say, Rico, Suave?  Are suggesting all people who are of the Muslim faith should be held responsible for the extremist views and terrorist acts of a Bin Laden and friends? 

If so, your argument seems incredibly unjust to me. It’s like saying all people who are from Oklahoma should be held responsible for the extremist views and terrorist acts of Timothy McVeigh and friends.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 16, 2010 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Fundamentalist Muslims attacked the WTC because it was a classic symbol of evil Western capitalism and culture. What if a bunch of fundamentalist Christo-fascists attacked the Kaaba, and ten years later some well meaning, ecumenical Christian group wanted to build a YMCA a few blocks from the site? How well do you think that would work out.

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By bogi666, August 16, 2010 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whom posted this nonsense. Obama did not endorse the mosque, because it is a community center, he only stated the Constitutional right about religious freedom. td is getting increasingly incompetent; censorship, rejecting comments for not using the password when there is no password and then asking for donations? This website has been infiltrated by Zionist operatives.

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poolman's avatar

By poolman, August 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are fine and dandy in theory, but it isn’t what we truly practice as a nation.  Especially significant is when our own government promotes a war against Muslims.  This was made a national issue by the MSM, whereas it should not have been an issue at all.  We love to have an enemy and those that control us use that to their benefit.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 15, 2010 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Do not care if they build a Mosque or a Shrine to the Great Unyun, or Harry Potter, just tax the clowns!

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, August 15, 2010 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s plans for an Islamo-Fascist takeover of America are in conflict with his plans for World Socialist Domination.  The guy is a little confused but who can blame him.  When you have that many problems to deal with it’s hard to remember who is supposed to take over what.  Even Glenn Beck gets confused now and then but nobody notices.  That’s one of the benefits of total insanity.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, August 15, 2010 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

There is nothing to back out of that doesn’t amount to religious prejudice. None of the talk about ‘sensitivity’ holds water on this issue. The only offense that can be taken is based on the bald uncritical association of terrorist acts with Islam.
That sensitivity celebrates the violation of constitutional rights.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, August 15, 2010 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Though I am a practicing Muslim and nothing makes me happier than seeing beautiful mosques, synagogues or churches built in place of crumbling old buildings and waste land, I am opposed to the building of this particular mosque for the simple reason that it has become a controversial issue and has given the bigots and racists an opportunity to vent their dangerous venom.

If you look at this project from an economic point of view, it should be welcomed as an opportunity to create jobs and renovate and beautify a run-down piece of property. However, because of the crude bigotry that still exists against Islam and Muslims, the people behind this project are better off in investing their money in some poor Muslim country needing jobs and development.

However, the bigots should be reminded, just for the record, that in the 9/11 tragic event,(whose true perpetrators have not been identified yet!) a good number of Muslims have also perished. In proportion to the numerical presence of Muslims in the USA, it is possible that the percentage of Muslims who perished stands as the highest among any other religious denomination.

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By CatholicExDem, August 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Day One, Obama says he’s all for the right to build the mosque.
Day Two, Obama says he’s NOT for building THIS mosque.
Now THAT, my son, is a POLITICIAN !!!!!
We can ALL stand behind that sort of clear-minded, incisive thought. HA HA HA HA!!!!!!
I LIKE that Obama, he makes me LAUGH !!!!

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By wildflower, August 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

Re Hammond Eggs:“Obama apparently took it all back today.” 

Your statement is not simply not factual, Hammond Eggs.  It appears that some news editors like those at Politico have tried to manipulate the facts in an effort to push the slant you are pushing, but it’s pretty clear to anyone who takes the time to read the facts that it’s not actually the case.  If you’re interested,
Talking Points Memo has posted Obama’s complete speech as well as a comment on this - “Pouring Gas on the Fire” – Josh Marshall:

“Notably, whereas Politico writes that the White House had made no effort to suggest that the president’s original statement referred to a equal right to build rather than support for this particular effort, the Times says that had indeed done just that. What stands out here is that there is nothing surprising about Obama’s stance since I believe this is the stance of most people who take a 1st Amendment stance on this. Who the people behind the project are is beside the point. Getting drawn into the design of the building is irrelevant. We don’t discriminate on the basis of religion. Call it the American values position.”

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, August 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

The visceral stupid bigotry that associates terrorism with any particular religion may make victims feel better, but it is exactly the same toxin that caused 9/11 to begin with. Boy did these terrorists have American culture psyched to a tea. They knew how to spread the poison of fear and intolerance which they knew already existed in the American psyche, waiting to be unleashed.

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By Hammond Eggs, August 14, 2010 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Obama apparently took it all back today.  The man is a night crawler.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

As long as they pay the annual property taxes, I’m OK with it.

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By OBL, August 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i dunno why people are so fired up about this.. its not like it was muslims who attacked on 911.

anyway, i think its a great decision if only to watch all the rednecks running around, frothing at the mouth, tiny heads exploding…

champagne comedy.

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By Malcontent, August 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

By Xntrk, August 14 at 4:54 pm

While I understand (and feel) your frustration with all the diversions from important topics, I must take issue with this statement; “But, either way, it is a decision to be made by NYC.”

No. It is not. It is a first amendment issue and therefore not the prerogative of any state. It is, categorically, a right not retained by the states.

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By wildflower, August 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

ReXntrk: “I wonder why the Big O inserts himself into these local arguments when his ratings are going down with every poll. I don’t care if they build the Mosque, or turn it into a Peace Park.”

I very much agree it is a local issue, but, unfortunately, the issue has been exploited to such a degree by a group of intolerant unscrupulous individuals that it has become a national “freedom of religion” issue. As such, I fully understand why Obama addressed it, and I am glad he did. Personally, I think the NYC “locals” are doing incredible job in creating the actual 9/11 Memorial, and it’s truly unfortunate their efforts are being overshadowed by malicious politics:

“.  .  .  The Memorial will consist of two massive pools set within the footprints of the Twin Towers with the largest manmade waterfalls in the country cascading down their sides.  .  .  The names of the nearly 3,000 individuals who were killed . . . will be inscribed around the edges of the Memorial pools.

The Memorial pools will each be nearly one-acre in size. The names of the victims will be inscribed on parapets surrounding the pools, within groupings that will allow for family members, friends, and co-workers who shared life’s journey and perished together to have their names listed side by side.?

An eight-acre landscaped Memorial Plaza .  .  . will create a contemplative space separate from the sights and sounds of the surrounding city.?.  .  The Memorial Plaza will be one of the most sustainable, green plazas ever built, with nearly 400 trees surrounding the Memorial pools. .  .

.  .  . The design provides numerous benches for visitors to the Memorial.??The Memorial Glade, a small clearing in the grove, will create a space for gatherings and ceremonies. The Glade will be ringed by Sweetgum trees, which have leaves that will begin to turn brilliant colors of red and gold around the time of the September 11th anniversary. By reminding the visitor of the natural cycle of life, the Memorial Plaza will convey a spirit of hope and renewal. ?

.  .  .  This large urban forest will link to adjacent green spaces at Battery Park City, City Hall Park, the churchyards at Liberty Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, Liberty Plaza, and the new Liberty Park just to the south of the Memorial, providing habitat and green space within Lower Manhattan.?”

http://www.national911memorial.org/site/PageServer?pagename=new_memorial_about

http://www.national911memorial.org/site/PageServer?pagename=new_memorial_plaza

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By Xntrk, August 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

I wonder why the Big O inserts himself into these local arguments when his ratings are going down with every poll. I don’t care if they build the Mosque, or turn it into a Peace Park. But, either way, it is a decision to be made by NYC. Those are the people who suffered the most. Worse yet, they continue to do so with the health problems caused by the fires. The ineptitude on the part of the people in charge on 9/11 and during the clean-up is criminal. Yet they are denied health care and support, just like the Vietnam Vets crippled by Agent Orange.

But, we are mesmerized by arguments over Memorials and are supposed to ignore the things our President should focus on. Jobs and the Economy, real Health Care Reform, and ending The AfPak War would be a nice start. Then there are the small things, like Immigration, Covert Surveillance by Government, freeing Political Prisoners, stopping the restrictions on Freedom of Speech and Assembly.

You all know what I am talking about. The Media and our Government keep us entertained with junk and rubbish, while they steal everything - even things we thought were nailed down…

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By Sunflower Pipes, August 14, 2010 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is so wrong with being a Muslim? American Muslims died in the Trade Centers on 911, American Muslims volunteered to help on 911, American Muslims fought in Iraq and Afghanistan; American Muslims have the right to build a mosque near the Trade Center.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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By wildflower, August 14, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

I must say I was surprised, impressed, and wholeheartedly agree with everything President Obama expressed in this speech:

“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.  The writ of our Founders must endure” . . . .

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/08/obama_offers_support_to_islamic_center_near_ground.php#more?ref=fpblg

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By Aaron Ortiz, August 14, 2010 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Could something be controversial if BOTH sides are completely nuts?

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