GOP Assails Obama’s Stand on New York Mosque

Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:18pm

Republicans swiftly condemned President Barack Obama’s comments about the construction of a mosque near ground zero, saying he was insensitive to the suffering the 9/11 terrorist attacks had caused.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement Saturday saying Obama’s sentiments were inappropriate.

“The fact that someone has the right to do something doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do,” Boehner said in the statement. “That is the essence of tolerance, peace and understanding. This is not an issue of law, whether religious freedom or local zoning. This is a basic issue of respect for a tragic moment in our history.”

Obama said Friday night he supports Muslims who wish to exercise their right to build a mosque a few blocks from ground zero in Manhattan. Obama said America’s “commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.”

On Saturday, Obama followed up on his comments, saying he wasn’t endorsing the particular project being proposed but simply supporting the right of the mosque’s supporters to exercise their religion in accordance with the law.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Obama should have urged Muslim leaders to locate the mosque farther away from ground zero but instead “caved into political correctness,” the New York Times reported.