Tone-deaf President Obama says the Muslim developers have a constitutional right to build their mosque a stone’s throw from Ground Zero. The moral and cultural issues, however, aren’t worthy of his comment. Now Democratic speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, adds her own valuable insight to the controversy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, commenting publicly for the first time on the Islamic community center proposed near Ground Zero , said the dispute over what she described as a “zoning issue” needs to be decided by New Yorkers. She also suggested probing the funding sources behind those protesting the project.
Pelosi weighed in after both President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed their views on the project that has touched off a national debate about religious freedom and political correctness. Though Obama and Reid appeared to be on opposite ends of the spectrum over the issue, Pelosi came out agnostic.
“I think everybody respects the right of everyone in the country to express their religious beliefs. The decision, though, as to how to go forward in New York, is up to New York,” Pelosi told local reporters in San Francisco. “I look to my colleagues in New York. Some of them have different views on the subject. It’s up to them to work it out.”
That may have been the position Obama was trying to take when he first weighed in Friday during a Ramadan dinner at the White House. The president appeared to support the mosque project, but the White House later clarified that he was underscoring the developers’ right to build the center — not endorsing it outright. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid afterward came out in opposition to the project.