August 14th, 2010
12:08 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama throws support behind controversial Islamic center

Washington (CNN) - President Obama threw his support behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, saying Friday 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 at a White House Iftar dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The president's remarks drew praise from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced his support for the Islamic center last week.

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Filed under: issues • Michael Bloomberg • New York • President Obama • Religion
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    While it will anger a lot of people Obama is right. The same Constitution that protects Jews, Christians, etc also protects Muslims. It's "justice for all" not a pick and choose of certain religions. To do so would make America no better than Nazi Germany. The story is also mis-leading. The site is two blocks away from ground zero. It's not ON ground zero.

    August 14, 2010 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. Desmond in Canada

    Yet another example of a mature, fair-minded spiritually sound President whom US citizens should be proud and thankful to have.
    Now watch the bigots and irrational unChristlike so-called "Christians" fan the flames of fear and hatred

    August 14, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Marcus

    "President Obama is wrong," said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). "It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero. Unfortunately, the President caved into political correctness."

    No, insensitive and uncaring was to have a bunch of Iranians, during the US Embassy Hostage Crisis, have a march in NYC in which they supported their fellow countrymen's acts and behavior. That wasn't 1st Ammendment right at work, that was simply put an offense to it.
    What they want to do is exactly the opposite of what those 'beings' that did 9/11 were wanting, to show the world what Islam is really about (which is definitely not what those 'beings' worshipped) and not that it is a mere excuse for murder and terrorism.
    What Peter King want is either to make the POTUS to pander to the far right (and thus forgot that he is the president of ALL Americans) or just play politics.
    Shame on HIM.

    August 14, 2010 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. Marcus

    "Obama came out for the Islamic supremacist mosque at the hallowed ground of 911 attack," Pamela Geller, a leading foe of the Islamic center, wrote on her blog Friday night. "He has, in effect, sided with the Islamic jihadists."

    Check the Constitution, and check the oath he took in the inauguration of his term, he's a man of honor and he stand by his word.

    August 14, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  5. Marcus

    OK, watch the video on the page to which the link above will send you to, THEN disagree with what he said and THEN try to justify your disagreement without sounding like a bigot.
    If you can.

    August 14, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  6. RedMan, Canada

    Well that just proves to all the right-wingers that Obama is really a secret Muslim bent on the destruction of the "greatest country in the world". lol

    Darn, Muricans is dumb.

    August 14, 2010 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  7. aliou in Jacksonville, FL

    I can't believe a christian wants to prevent a mosk on any land here in the US.
    After such controversy do we still want christian churches in muslim countries?
    I hope all christians are fighting for freedom of all religions in the world, not just for our religion.

    August 14, 2010 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  8. Fed Up

    Oh wow! Big surprise there!

    August 14, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. Nick

    Thank you Mr. President. This country began on the backs of Europeans fleeing religious persecution. While I adhere to no religion I respect those who do and believe that freedom to practice your particular religion is at the core of what this country stands for. We cannot deny the rights of the many because of the actions of a few

    August 14, 2010 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  10. scorpio

    Now why would the POTUS take the time out of his busy schedule, just
    to let us Americans know that muslim's should have religious freedom
    to worship anywhere they choose?

    Oh right. He be muslim also.

    August 14, 2010 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  11. Freedom is Fundamental

    I am very proud of our president tonight! It would have been easy to have stayed silent on this issue, but to fight for religious liberty even when massively unpopular is a sign of real backbone.

    August 14, 2010 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  12. Marcel D (NETHERLANDS)

    this has nothing to do with discrimination about religion, but about feelings from poeple who lost there loveones because of the islamitic terror act. that obama not respect the choice from the people majority is for me ???, i think that is not democratic at all.

    the build of the mosque nearby groundzero is the same stupid choice if you build a gaybar next to a mosque.

    what is the problem to extend the range between the 2 items. i don't see the problem. that is the solution for a peacefull end.

    August 14, 2010 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  13. jyfranca

    I am not against buiding of the mosque, but I am against some politician telling us that the only way America can be appreciated as a source of good is to allow building of mosque.It is preposterous notion, America has always championed freedom and brought freedom to nations

    August 14, 2010 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  14. barry

    Not surprising. Unemployment at almost 10%, economy in the ditch, deficit out of control and our President wants to get involved in a Islamic mosque issue. Why? I personally am sick of hearing both sides on the Mosque issue. If they do build the Mosque I think they should perform gay and lesbian weddings in it. You know, everyone should be tolerant of others ideas. I do think after the President weighed in on this very important issue that will do so much for our country, he deserves a vacation or a round of golf or something. Oh and take Joe Biden with him and they can celebrate the summer of recovery together. People in this country are hurting. Stop the political smoke screens.


    August 14, 2010 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  15. leo

    Stop this blasphemy before it started.
    You must be out of your mind even discussing it.

    August 14, 2010 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  16. Carol

    It isn't about their "legal" rights. It's about their insensivity. It's about the symbolism of it.
    Once again, Obama doesn't fully get the issue.

    August 14, 2010 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  17. beck

    This presidents stands for American values. Go Mr. President!!!

    August 14, 2010 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  18. Carol

    It isn't about their "legal" rights. It's about their insensitivity. It's about the symbolism.
    Once again Obama fails to understand the issue.

    August 14, 2010 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  19. Dixon

    I am proud that President Obama will stand up for our rights. I heard the complaints from Palin, Gingrich and the wing nuts on the right and left who routinely talk out both sides of their face, what a surprise. We forget so quickly the mistakes from our past. The Native Americans, African Americans and the Japanese Americans come to mind first. Now we have people who will ignore a people's rights in an attempt to kill the constitution they disagree with. People like Palin, Rush and Gingrich will do anything for a buck no matter the consequences for our country. It scares me to think about where these people want to take our country...This is why I became an Independent after a life of supporting Democrates. I am very angry and I WILL BE VOTING!

    August 14, 2010 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    Build the Islamic center somewhere else! At Ground Zero, it will be a MONUMENT to a great victory of Islamic forces over American defense.
    Some Arab country would be a good place for such a monument, as Washington, DC, is a good place for our Washington Monument and our Lincoln Memorial.

    August 14, 2010 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  21. jules sand-perkins

    When American citizens consider the appropriateness of this Islamic center at Ground Zero, they must remember the cheering by Arab Muslims while the towers burned and collapsed.

    August 14, 2010 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  22. jules sand-perkins

    Why encourage a religion that demands the stoning of women that commit adultery?

    August 14, 2010 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  23. La Piovra

    There is no greater proof that the President has what Sara Palin has accused him of lacking. The Constitution requires that all religions be treated equally -without which clause we would have deteriorated into Northern Ireland or Iraq- yet, by reminding the public of this, he has surely provoked the barking heads into saying he is a "sleeper" on the side of "them". Clearly he knows this. Clearly he knows that this may even inspire an assassination attempt. Nonetheless, he has reminded us of what it is a President's duty to remind us of, and it is our duty to be reminded.

    August 14, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |