Wednesday, August 18, 2010

President Obama needs to show strong leadership on the mosque debate

Washington Post
August 17, 2010

President Obama over the weekend walked head-on into the debate over a Muslim community center planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, rather than provide clarity and leadership, he muddled his stance and appeared to backtrack in the face of criticism.

At a Friday night iftar dinner at the White House, Mr. Obama offered a spirited affirmation of freedom of religion. "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Mr. Obama said. "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." Clear, unambiguous and principled.