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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/18/10

President Obama said Muslims Have the Right

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Milton Lee Norris
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Last week President Barack Obama addressed the Muslims at the Ramadan Iftar dinner at the White House. In his welcoming address he shared his thoughts on the proposed building of the Mosque and community center in lower Manhattan. He made clear what he thought by saying""So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground." He then went on to say that "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 speech means that they, the Muslims have the right to build a Mosque and community center; he did not comment on whether they should build there near ground zero. Some people and politicians accused President Obama of as back sliding or back stepping, when the next day he said,.. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there." http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/14/obama-on-islamic-center-not-commenting-on-wisdom-of-making-a-decision/

First of all, why do some people and or politicians feel that they must interpret what he said? In his speech President Obama did not say that the Muslims should build a Mosque or community center near Ground Zero; he spoke of having the right to build in lower Manhattan. I believe that many people and or politicians hear what they want; it makes for a better platform so that they can continue to criticize and attack President Obama.

There are some people that are saying, why not build the Community Center and Mosque a couple of blocks away, as if that would really matter; how hypocritical is that? Since when is a couple of blocks going to make that much of a difference? Let's be honest; some people including some of the Politicians, from both sides don't want a Mosque and Community Center to be built in New York City.

One doesn't have to look far to see what was done in Staten Island. I'm sure that President Obama is aware of what happened when a Roman Catholic Church in Staten Island, which had already agreed to sell property to the Muslims, decided against this and withdrew from selling this property. Though President Obama may not speak on it, I'm sure that he's aware of the different levels of racism that continues when people of color try to buy a house or property next to some White people and for some reason they're turned down. I believe that President Obama knows that this country is riddled with institutional racism, which makes it difficult for some people to move forward, as do many people who are citizens and who live in this country. Whether people admit it or choose to remain in denial of these occurrences doesn't negate these incidences. People are talking about ground zero, but the recent withdrawal of the Roman Catholic Church to sell to the Muslim community in Staten Island shows the temperament of racism against the Muslim community; this was no where near ground zero.


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One might say that writing has become my fondest passion; it is a love that always gives, and one that I feel comfortable sharing. I write because writing has become the voice in which I can speak to many people, share experiences, stories and (more...)
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