For a fellow black cat, President Obama sure doesn’t seem to have my surefootedness nor an ability to land on his feet when he gets himself into a jam, as he did on August 13 during a dinner at the White House for Muslim leaders to honor their holy month of Ramadan. In a prepared speech, he brought up the proposed mosque 2 blocks from Ground Zero and said…
“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have 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 unshakable. 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.”
It certainly sounded like he has no problem with that mosque. So naturally, it gave the right-wing wackos reason to scream, “See, what did we tell you? He’s a closet MUSLIM! One of THEM!”
So the next day, Obama tried to backtrack by saying…
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding.”
He’s beginning to remind me of that Woody Allen character, Zelig, who would try to fit in everywhere by morphing into whatever type of person he was with.
I agree with Adele that if Muslims want to build a “community” center, fine. But making it a mosque intentionally excludes everybody but, uh, Muslims.
Obama certainly could have handled it better and sounded like he wasn’t caving to extremism. Michael Graham of the Boston Herald eloquently provided the words Obama could have and should have said.