August 17th, 2010
12:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Moving the mosque debate into the political vacuum

President Obama's mixed message about the efforts to create an Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York has political Washington, and CNN's John King and Bob Costantini talking.

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soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Chris

    You can agree or disagree with the comments but this idea that there are mixed messages is so unbelievably simple-minded that is makes me sad that you people are gainfully employed journalists.

    Giving equal credence to both sides of the argument is not journalism. All you do is parrot the talking points of each side (or public opinion polls) without any analysis at all and your inability to process any nuance is a disgrace.

    August 17, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Rick in OP

    With regard to the mosque near Ground Zero, there is little doubt they have the legal right to build on that site.

    However, I also have the legal right to stand in front of that mosque, or any other mosque in the United States and hand out cartoons portraying the image of the Prophet Mohammed with the face of a pig or a monkey. Just because I have the right to do so does not mean I would do it. My decision for my actions is based on my respect for the feelings and beliefs of other individuals. To do so would just be mean and hateful on my part and are not the qualities of basic human decency taught to me by my parents.

    If the Muslim community cannot be sensitive to outcry over the placement of the mosque in this portion of New York City, then I think we have a hell of a lot deeper issues with them than the location of a mosque. And I would have thought the President of the United States would have realized this, too.

    August 17, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Susan L.

    Why are you talking? Oh, yeah. You're political hacks.

    It's not incoherent at all. It's hardly his fault that you're stupid and incapable of understanding anything more nuanced than a sledgehammer. He is standing up for the Constitutional right of Muslims to build a mosque wherever they want to. He's also not commenting on whether or not that particular spot is a wise choice. You in the political hack world call that incoherent. You want black/white, good/evil all the time. Well the world isn't like that. He is 100% correct that constitutionally they have the right to build that mosque wherever they can buy a piece of property and meet local zoning laws. But after all the outcry and uproar, one can seriously wonder whether or not building it there at this point is a great idea. Sorry that grey areas (and apparently grey matter) is beyond the political hacks. You're used to black/white Presidents like George W. Bush who would have said "The Constitution be damned! They shouldn't build there!", all the while knowing that there was nothing, constitutionally, that he could do about it. But he'd take a purely political stand that was blind to foreign policy concerns or Muslim-Americans concerns. Barack Obama gave you the opinion of a Constitutional Law Scholar with an eye towards foreign policy, and then polietly begged to stay out of the political question of the wisdom of building there that is something he should stay out of.

    August 17, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. jpmichigan

    The President has 'foot in mouth disease'. Flip flops over issues, has done so since the campaign that put him in office, it either that or he is just a liar. Obama is following the Dreams of his Father, as stated in his book. His father came to the USA to achieve with federal money and Economic degree, took it back to Africa to promote and Socialistic, Marxist government. He was also a Muslim. His ill – advised comments about the Muslim Mosque/Cultural center in lower Manhattan, has set off a fury of questions regarding his real agenda! Often in the past he has made discouraging remarks about the United States and its people, to the people in other countries. Does a honest, loyal and true American do this?

    August 17, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    There was no mixed message. Why are so many people not understanding something as simple as yes, they have a right to build a community center near Ground Zero but no, it might not be a good time to do so?

    What's mixed about it? Most of America understands it and agrees with that statement because it's part of what being an American means - having Constitutional rights. The rest watch Fox News.

    August 17, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Dave

    Everyone join me in bring the same mosque anger to catholic schools. The nerve of these people wanting to teach our children with all those priest running around. Didn't the vatican cover-up for these perverts? Let's join together and protect our children from these animal catholic churches. We need to have the same attitude about them as we do the mosque! Animals, how dare they build churches around children. Don't they now how sensitive we are about our children. Why would anybody want to allow catholics to build churches, have alter boys, register children for school and have sunday school when they continue to breed these monster priest!!!!!!!!! Come on American let's stand up and fight!

    August 17, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Gary

    People really want to elect candidates with the best ideas.

    August 17, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Nitty

    It seems to me a lot of people in the media have a hard time diciphering the english language. I listened to the Presidents remarks on both occasions and I didn't hear him backtrack at all! He simply stated the 1st Amendment and the next day restated his beliefs saying that he was not commenting on whether it was a wise decision or not! But once again the Media being hungry for controversial stories makes up this so called backtrack! Was the President accurate in his statements? Why don't you so-called journalists focus on facts and stop ginning up fake news stories! How about focusing on the fact that if this Muslim-Americans are denied their rights today we'll be denied ours tomorrow! ENOUNGH WITH THE FAKE NEWS STORIES!!!!....

    August 17, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. bpat

    It will take 100 years from now for everybody's GOD to be one. It will take 200 years from now for this one GOD to be 'none'. It will take 300 years from now for the GOD to be an 'human' in everybody on this planet and other livable place like this planet. So HUMAN lets not get so consumed in the debate of place for any GOD as one day we all have to lend a place for him in our own mind.

    One should redirect their debate or discriminating attitude towards e.g. an alcoholics, a drug addicts, a gambler, a smoker, a terrorist or a lier instead of places and people of different religion, color, nationality, gender, language or disabilty.

    August 17, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Nitty

    Ask the other side if I can built a church 2 blocks from the IRS offices where the guy flew is plane into last year! Surely that's Hallowed ground?

    August 17, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why should building this Mosque be soemthing that we should concern ourselves with? We don't own the land that it is being built on. Why can't the President state his constitutionally correct opinion and be done with this? He was right in what he said.

    Plainly put: Who the hell do some of you think you are all of a sudden to decide who should build what,and where? The fact that we finally have a President who is willing to listen to all sides DOES NOT mean that he should take your narrow-minded, lacking breadth and depth opinion and run with it.

    I hope to God Obama tires of trying to reason with the unibrow, slack-jaw, share-a-tooth crowd that some of you have become. I hope he puts his size 13s down and becomes the little dictator that some of you deserve. It is quite incredible how we kowtowed to a COMPLETE IDIOT for eight years, and cannot seem to help and support someone who is on the RIGHT side of the law, and on the side of MANKIND.

    August 17, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. diridi

    this Mosque is for political things....okay, right now, economy, jobs, and immigration, and energy are the biggest headaches...not this constitutional binding dictum...absolutely not....there are other burning issues....we need to worry....immigration, well, whoever hire illegals, and non-citizens...just jail...

    August 17, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. David Belger

    How could it be mixed he said the same thing that everyone is saying the first amendment give us the right of freedom of religion so they have the right to put Mosque there, However the wisdom behind it. So what's so mixed about that. Bin-Laden won we lost anytime we're willing to sacrifice our rights, see 10 thousand + of our fellow citizen sacrifice their lives and trillions of dollars spend he's won.

    August 17, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Whatever

    OMG the President was addressing Muslim Americans for the start of Ramadan (a holy holiday). Everything taken out of context although he is right in regards to freedom of religion in this country. Why do people act like White Americans have a corner market on the Towers going down on 9/11. A LOT of Americans and YES OMG some Muslim Americans died that day in those Towers. Did anyone stop churches from being built Tim McVeigh (religious fundaMENTAList) blew up a federal building or the Waco, TX relgious fundaMENTAList burned down the building killing children and women?!?! Crickets churping. All those constitution lovers should SHUT UP – – Freedom of religion is shared by all. They have the approval of the city council so why is everyone that does not live n NYC harping on it. Americans do not need to debate this consitutitional right otherwise there will a lot of trouble ahead. Count how many mosques there are in one city heck in NYC compared to the number of churches and synagues... and then talk about being "fair". SHUT UP EVERYONE!!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Steph

    Is no mixed message. The press is making it a mixed message. And there is already a mosque there. I saw it yesterday at CBS news. So what is the point. Send your own team to investigate the truth John King.

    August 17, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Conservative Democrat

    What horsecr&&. We, in America, love to spend time debating symbolic bull that doesn't affect 99.999999% of Americans. Yes, some people are upset because of this, but big deal. The location of this mosque doesn't actually affect peoples' lives at all. Why don't the politicians in Washington forget this drival and try to figure out how to fix the economy. Oh, I know why. Fixing the economy is hard, and they will have to make unpopular decisions.

    August 17, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. water bearer

    How was it a "mixed message"????? The President CLEARLY stated that our Constitution prohibits religious discrimination. Pretty clear and concise to my ears. He also CLEARLY stated that he wasn't going to weigh in on his opinion about whether it should be built there or not. He did exactly what the POTUS should do. Uphold the Constition for ALL Americans. . . .and ALL Americans includes Muslim Americans!

    August 17, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. glib lib

    Mixed Message?! There is no mixed message. President Obama said of the organizers of this Islamic community center (not a mosque) "they have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country" which is perfectly in-line with the 1st Ammendment of the United States Constitution. Then he refused to give his personal opinion on the matter. Point blank. This is the media making news out of nothing.

    August 17, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Steve in Denver

    How can we be talking about this? The first amendment guarantees the people who want to build this the right to not be persecuted based on their religion, and the fifth amendment prohibits taking of property without due process of law.

    Opposition to this islamic center is nothing short of undermining the Constitution in a treasonous effort to make us a christian theocracy. All of you politicians and pundits who understand this (I. E. can read the constitution) need to grow a spine and stand up to the rabid right wing. Opposition to this use of private property is wrong.

    August 17, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. larry

    The United States of America was founded on freedom of religionand most republicans and teabaggers have forgotton this. The teabaggers are acting like Nazi brown shirts because they have brown chins.

    August 17, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. ja

    i guess we will tear down the catholic, protestant, jewish, and every other denominations' place of worship, due to atrocities, look in the mirror

    August 17, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. sensibile Cape Coral FL

    Being a Muslim is no different from being a Methodist. a Lutheran, a Catholic or an Anglican. It's a religion. The stupidity of the American people is a national disgrace.

    August 17, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Jamison

    It is completely outrageous to me that Republicans are able to make this "sensitivity" argument. After all, isn't it the Republicans that always accuse democrats of being "sissy sensitive bleeding hearts". Isn't that why democrats are called "liberals"?

    Well my fellow Republicans, get over it. Stop being panzies just for political gain. You Republicans have re-defined the term "flip-flop" the past 18 months. In fact, if the polls turned around on this issue tomorrow, I would bet my life savings that Republicans would change their party stance on this issue in a matter of nano-seconds.

    My advice to ALL Americans. Don't let the Republicans trick you to thinking they are on your side. The Republican party is on the side of 1% of us Americans...the ones that make $1million+ year, period.

    Most importantly however, for all the raucous caused by the Republicans in defending our Constitution, it is mind splitting to me that they get away with taking this stance. By simply saying, "well we know they have the right, but..." these Republicans are getting away with trashing our Constitution. Our Constitution has to be bigger than any election or political argument. It has to be 100% in STONE.

    We, as Americans, actually begin to win the war against terror by telling the world we are better than any terrorists because we are a tolerant society that welcomes all types of people and all types of people have an opportunity in the promise land.

    When young Islamists around the world believe that message, they turn away their local extremists. Though, when we yield any credibility to the Republican arguments about this issue, we are only encouraging young, impoverished folks on the other side of the globe to take a closer listen to extremists because we are telling them that the U.S. is holding all of Islam accountable for 911.

    That my friends, is just wrong.

    A Proud American – Jamison Gilveli

    August 17, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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