Ed Driscoll

'Obama Defends Ground Zero Mosque Plans'

Two words. Unforced error:

President Barack Obama on Friday endorsed plans for a Muslim mosque two blocks from ground zero in New York City, declaring that “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”In remarks prepared for delivery at a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Obama said all Americans have the right to worship as they choose.

“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, Obama said. “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.”

Obama emphasized the point as New York City is immersed in a deeply sensitive debate about whether a mosque should be built near the site of the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

It was the president’s first remarks about the mosque controversy. The White House previously called the matter solely a local one.

At the dinner attended by two Muslim-American congressmen, Obama acknowledged that hot-fire emotions the planned mosque and cultural center have stoked.

“Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground,” the president said.

“But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as president, I believe that 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.

Obama said Islam is not the enemy, al-Qaida is.

The White House was much better off declaring the Cordoba House a local issue. By wading into this, if conservatives weren’t already fired up, ready to go (to coin a phrase) this November, they will be now after reading this. And as Jon of the Exurban League blog adds on Twitter, the president “even wading into the issue feeds the ‘out of touch elite’ meme. Can’t wait to see how this is framed by Drudge, Fox, etc.”

Speaking of Fox, Greg Gutfeld should likely have plenty of fun with this latest development.

Meanwhile, at Pajamas HQ, Anne Bayefsky explores a possible “Iranian Connection to the Cordoba House Ground Zero Mosque?”

Elsewhere, Blogger “Yid with Lid” has related thoughts that are well worth reading.

Update: At Commentary, Jennifer Rubin has a quote from Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and then her own thoughts:

Rep. Peter King is the first elected official to respond, with this statement:

“President Obama is wrong. It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero. While the Muslim community has the right to build the mosque they are abusing that right by needlessly offending so many people who have suffered so much. The right and moral thing for President Obama to have done was to urge Muslim leaders to respect the families of those who died and move their mosque away from Ground Zero. Unfortunately the President caved into political correctness.”

Obama has shown his true sentiments now, after weeks of concealing them, on an issue of deep significance to not only the families and loved ones of 3000 slaughtered Americans but of the vast majority of his fellow citizens. He has once again revealed himself to be divorced from the values and concerns of his countrymen. He is entirely – and to many Americans, horridly — a creature of the left with little ability to make moral distinctions. He sympathies for the Muslim World take precedence over those, such as they are, for his fellow citizens. This is nothing short of an abomination.

More reaction as it comes in. Speaking of which, as always, feel free to have a “Shout-Out,” as the president would say, in the comments below.

Flashback: “Obama White House ordered coverup of religious symbols for Georgetown speech.”

Related: I’d say this question has now been definitively answered.

Related: As the link on the National Review page to Victor Davis Hanson’s latest op-ed reads, “These days, an insular yuppie as president may not be the Democrats’ best asset.”

And how.

Related: Josh Trevino quips, “Man, and we threw out Jimmy Carter just for telling us to wear sweaters.”


More: Blogger “Irish Spy” tweets, “I wonder how many D candidates are facepalming right about now, knowing they’ll be asked if they agree w/their leader on the GZM?”

Update: Glenn Reynolds adds, “It’s the return of the ‘damning but.'” Meanwhile, Jon of the Exurban League has “an uncomfortable thought:”

Imagine yourself on the evening of Sept. 11, 2001.

As you sat there in shock, what if someone had told you that in 10 years, the World Trade Center would still be a crater. However, just off of Ground Zero, a gigantic, 13-story mosque would be erected. A mosque endorsed by President Barack Hussein Obama.

You would have thought we had lost a war, wouldn’t you?

Note the first comment to Jon’s post.