As noted below, President Obama came out strongly for the Cordoba Center in New York last night at the White House’s annual dinner celebrating Ramadan.
“Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities — particularly New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
“But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And 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. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.”
There’s nothing political to be gained by this; indeed, all it will do is feed the Orcosphere. But the first job of the president — no matter who he or she is — is to do the right thing for everyone in this country, not just the ones who are the right color, the right faith, or just the right.