Even a relentless ideologue such as he can see which way the wind is blowing. But will this hedging be enough to convince the gullible that he has not betrayed them? Probably. "Obama supports 'the right' for ground zero mosque," by Jason Kobely for AP, August 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero in New York, but he's not saying whether he thinks it's a good idea to do so.
Obama's comment Saturday during a trip to Florida expanded on a statement he made at a White House dinner on Friday. At that event, he said Muslims have the same right to freedom of religion as everyone else in America.
Obama said Saturday that he didn't comment on the wisdom of putting a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks -- but rather was commenting on the right to build a mosque there.
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," Obama said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about. And I think it's very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."
The mosque would be part of a $100 million Islamic community center just two blocks from where nearly 3,000 people died.
Hamas-linked CAIR, meanwhile, is dead chuffed:
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, praised Obama's remarks.
"We welcome President Obama's strong statement of support for American Muslim religious rights and hope his remarks will serve as encouragement to those who are challenging the rising level of Islamophobia in our society," Awad said. "We urge other national political and religious leaders to speak out in defense of the freedom of religion and equality of all Americans enshrined in our Constitution."...