Obama on the Ground Zero mosque: Sounds like a plan

posted at 9:46 pm on August 13, 2010 by Allahpundit

C’mon, did anyone expect differently? Would you have expected differently from Bush? He’s playing to a global audience so he took it as an opportunity to reiterate the “Islam vs. radical Islam” distinction. Domestic sensitivities are secondary. Besides, the left has invested so much energy over the past month patting itself on the back for its moral superiority that they’d have wigged out if he had sided against them here. He can deny them a public option, but god help him if he denies them a Teachable Moment at the wingnuts’ expense.

So what’s a poll-readin’ president to do? On the one hand, he’s at a Ramadan dinner and doesn’t want to alienate either the audience or his base. On the other hand, he’s staring at supermajority opposition to the mosque. Hey, I know: How about a statement that mostly dodges the question of whether it should be built in favor of the easier question of whether the owners have the right to build it? Not a Bloombergian lecture, in other words (unlike Bloomberg, Obama’s not a lame duck and thus can’t afford to wag his finger like The Enlightened so enjoy doing), but rather a pat on the back for free exercise and a pat on the back for the mosque’s opponents by acknowledging their “emotions.” He’s basically voting present. But since the media is pro-mosque too and eager to leverage authority on behalf of its position, this’ll be spun tomorrow as some sort of stirring statement in defense of the right to … alienate everyone around you, I guess, in the ostensible interests of “dialogue.”

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities – particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as 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 is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. 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.

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack – from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

That is who we are fighting against. And the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms – it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race or religion; wealth or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us – a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today.

Note to The One: Your leftist pals emphatically do not respect “the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan.” Respecting sensitivities would involve, at a minimum, not shrieking “bigot” — literally shrieking it in some cases — at everyone who says a word in protest of the development. But since he’s been grand enough to acknowledge that the “emotions” surrounding Ground Zero are legitimate, here’s a question: What exactly does that mean for the Park51 group in practice? Clearly it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t build on the site if they want to, but does it mean … they should consider moving to another site? Does it mean they should maybe knock off the insanely hypocritical fingerpointing about not respecting other people’s sensibilities? One of the core issues in all this is the extent to which cultural sensitivities should and shouldn’t be observed in the interest of harmonious co-existence. (That’s the point of Gutfeld’s gay bar idea, of course.) The “bigot!” crowd on the left manages to duck that dilemma by insisting that those who oppose the mosque basically aren’t fit for civil society and shouldn’t have their concerns factored into the “co-existence” equation in the first place. Obama apparently disagrees, but as I say, I’m not sure what that means in practice. Just words, maybe?

Speaking of Gutfeld, he says he invited Park51′s spokesman to come on “Red Eye” to chat about all this — and got no reply. (Audio here.) So much for dialogue.


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NO NASCAR driver has ever even qualified for Indy. Case closed.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Does John Andretti count?..The drivers in Indy are just as talented I agree..But there is a lot of difference between NASCAR and Indy..I agree why should any NASCAR star go to to Indy racing when the money is better in NASCAR.

Dire Straits on August 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I guess it’s now save to say that Obama Hussien FINALLY found his home church!

Winebabe on August 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM

“Does John Andretti count?..”

No because he got his start in open wheel. I used to watch him and his brother Michael race go carts and sprints at Raceway Park here in Indianapolis back in the day.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:18 AM

So. When was the last time Obama was caught in a church during Sunday services?

memomachine on August 14, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Well you see his old church spoke of the evils of whitey and Marxism and you just can’t get that “version” of Christianity in D.C. so he seems to have lost interest in Jesus. Funny how that works with Obama and things that don’t benefit him or are radical left in nature.

Conan on August 14, 2010 at 10:18 AM

We should not accept the premise that Al Qaeda is separate from Islam. They are part of the spectrum of Islamic action, just as aggressively evangelical Christians are part of Christianity.

Now, as a Episcopalian, I will not be likely to be going to the corners of the World to spread the light in hostile lands. We are all much too ecumenical and squishy for that. But I do not deny that evangelical Christian who do so are part of the main-stream of Christianity. Just because they offend some people is no reason for me to deny them.

Similarly, Al Qaeda is just the activist branch of Islam. Most Muslims would not go out strapping bombs on themselves, but they understand those who do. Conquest to Islam is analagous to evangelism in Christianity. It is the messy work that we all acknowledge must be done, but few of us engage in ourselves.

Haiku Guy on August 14, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Why are my comments being scrubbed?

portlandon on August 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Aren’t John and Michael cousins?..Plus a boat load of NASCAR drivers started in Open wheel..Stewart, Gordon(s) Jeff and Robbie, Harvick..I knew that John started in open wheel and then went to NASCAR and then qualified for Indy after NASCAR career was started and no longer had a full time gig in cup car.

Dire Straits on August 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Looks like someone is engaged in a bit of a post-deleting jihad. I’m guessing certain aspects of the mosque story are verboten. Every time I look at the post count on the front page it’s gone down. Sensibilities indeed.

Immolate on August 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM

The Dutch media, in trying to minimize Geert Wilders (who will be in NYC to protest the Ground Zero mosque this September 11) is reporting that Obama supports and approves of the 9/11 Mosque.

The uber-left leaning media in Holland think this shows multicultural tolerance.

(The same fatal naivete leading to their nation’s dissolution under an onslaught of a million plus Muslim immigrants, arrived since the 1970′s, in a land of only 16.5 million people.)

profitsbeard on August 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Why are my comments being scrubbed?

portlandon on August 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I was wondering the same thing…I posted about an hour ago and no sign of it…odd, since there was no cursing or derogatory statements in my post

ajsleepy on August 14, 2010 at 10:32 AM

I think it’s long past time for some civil disobedience.

Metanis on August 14, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Why are my comments being scrubbed?

portlandon on August 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM
I was wondering the same thing…I posted about an hour ago and no sign of it…odd, since there was no cursing or derogatory statements in my post

ajsleepy on August 14, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Strike that…all appears normal now…

ajsleepy on August 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Latest post count on front page, 449. Highest I saw, 479. This would not rate the term “surgical strike”.

In my stricken post, I was talking about insurance and the assumptions that lead from that. I guess that’s out of bounds.

Immolate on August 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM

“Aren’t John and Michael cousins?..Plus a boat load of NASCAR drivers started in Open wheel..Stewart, Gordon(s) Jeff and Robbie, Harvick..I knew that John started in open wheel and then went to NASCAR and then qualified for Indy after NASCAR career was started and no longer had a full time gig in cup car.”

You’re right on the cousins thing. John Andretti raced indy cars before NASCAR. I saw him race pocono and michigan before he started out in NASCAR.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Latest post count on front page, 449. Highest I saw, 479. This would not rate the term “surgical strike”.

In my stricken post, I was talking about insurance and the assumptions that lead from that. I guess that’s out of bounds.

Immolate on August 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Down the memory hole. 1984 and all that…

Inanemergencydial on August 14, 2010 at 10:39 AM

“Aren’t John and Michael cousins?..Plus a boat load of NASCAR drivers started in Open wheel..Stewart, Gordon(s) Jeff and Robbie, Harvick..I knew that John started in open wheel and then went to NASCAR and then qualified for Indy after NASCAR career was started and no longer had a full time gig in cup car.”

You’re right on the cousins thing. John Andretti raced indy cars before NASCAR. I saw him race pocono and michigan before he started out in NASCAR.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

You left out my favorite example of a NASCAR great who started in ‘Open wheel’, but it probably just shows my age.

Tim Richmond.

listens2glenn on August 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:38 AM

I enjoy talking racing.. student and fan of the motor sports particularly NASCAR..A lot of experts consider Michael Schumacher of F-1 to be the best motor sports driver..

Dire Straits on August 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I wonder if this wilkl be the week Scooter’s poll numbers go below 40 %? I won’t be surprised if they go below President Bush’s lowest numbers soon. What a disgraceful excuse for a POTUS.

kingsjester on August 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Hey, look at us!

NASCAR

We’re hijacking the thread.

listens2glenn on August 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM

You left out my favorite example of a NASCAR great who started in ‘Open wheel’, but it probably just shows my age.
Tim Richmond.
listens2glenn on August 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Scroll up, I mentioned Richmond. An awesome Indy care driver.

tommyboy on August 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM

As far an sticking pork/ham sandwiches into the construction of the building-

Maybe I am just remembering a local story wrong, maybe it was just the finishing touches of the mosque/community center but I was under the impression that mosque/muslim center building was a Muslim only thing, that you can forget working on this project if your a Christian/Jewish laborer.

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM

listens2glenn on August 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM

No hijack..just borrowing it..:) Tim Richmond was before my time but a lot of NASCAR drivers recognize him as a very good racer.

Dire Straits on August 14, 2010 at 10:49 AM

428 down at least 60 comments

Inanemergencydial on August 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM

428 down at least 60 comments

Inanemergencydial on August 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Very Strange. Between that and the viruses HA posters have been getting, it does tend to raise one’s curiousity.

kingsjester on August 14, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Down the memory hole. 1984 and all that…

Inanemergencydial on August 14, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Yep. Except that, if you don’t like how we run the site, instead of being sent to Room 101 like Winston Smith was, you can go comment on another blog.

I think this thread’s run its course.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Maybe people should consider why some comments had to be deleted. We were getting calls for violence, something we are NOT going to allow to pollute our comment threads, and it being a weekend, neither AP nor I wanted to spend it tied to our desks and performing cleanup just become some jerkoffs can’t control themselves. If that bothers people, then they can go to other blogs and comment elsewhere.

Ed Morrissey on August 15, 2010 at 7:56 AM

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