It's great to see President Obama stand up for religious tolerance at a time like this:
According to the teachings of Islam, Ramadan commemorates the revelation of God's word in the Holy Koran to the prophet Mohammad. The word has become the foundation for one of the world's great religions.
During Ramadan, we are reminded of Islam's long and distinguished history. Throughout the centuries, the Islamic world has been home to great centers of learning and culture. People of all faiths have benefited from the achievements of Muslims in fields from philosophy and poetry to mathematics and medicine.
This reminds us that one of the great strengths of our nation is its religious diversity. Americans practice many different faiths. But we all share a belief in the right to worship freely. We reject bigotry in all its forms.
And over the past eight years, my administration has been proud to work closely with Muslim Americans to promote justice and tolerance of all faiths.
Oh sorry. That was President Bush, well known left wing terrorist sympathizer.
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.
"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable."
Considering that the majority of Republicans ignorantly believe he is a Muslim (and a large number of others are fine with tossing the First Amendment if it makes someone -- of the right persuasion --- uncomfortable) I think that's pretty bold and I'm glad to see him unequivocally stake out the sane, rational position, regardless of the polls. But it's a sad comment on this country that two years after Bush spoke those words and almost nine years after 9/11 that the president reaffirming religious tolerance is suddenly considered controversial.
Again, I ask, why now? I realize that there was always a fair amount of Muslim hatred going on after 9/11, but shrieking harpies like Pamela Gellar were in the margins and nobody felt comfortable saying that mainstream American Muslims should be shunned. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but the only thing that's happened between then and now is the election of Barack Obama, who millions of morons believe is the (secret) first Muslim president, apparently bent on turning the US into Saudi Arabia.
What the hell is happening to this place?