President Obama gathered at the White House to celebrate Ramadan and released his first statements concerning the Ground Zero Mosque. It came as no surprise that Obama is backing the Ground Zero Mosque.
“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 in his first comments on the controversy.“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,” Obama told those in attendance at the White House Iftar dinner.
“Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan,” he said.
“The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved one is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders.”
“Ground Zero,” Obama said, “is, indeed, hallowed ground.”
“Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam,” he said.“These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, Al Qaeda has killed more Muslims that people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11,” Obama added.