On this we can make two points too:
(i) It was never a matter of "freedom of religion", but of sensitivity to the feelings of those families who lost loved ones on 911. The bus ad above says it: "Why There"?
Many made the point: would the Japanese build a Shino shrine at Pearl Harbor? Would the KKK be allowed to build a shrine at the site of the 16th St Baptist Church? It's a matter not of law, but of consideration (especially given that imam Rauf claims that he wants to build something to help heal the wounds of 911 -- rather pouring on the salt, it would seem).
(ii) "Distorting the teachings of Islam"?? Where does Obama get off deciding what does or does not "distort" the teachings of Islam? Has he read the "Al-Qaeda reader"? If not, he has no right to speak. If he has, he would have found that the motivations of al-Qaeda in attacking the WTC on 911 were soundly doctrinally based and that those motivations and justifications have never -- never -- been gainsaid or refuted.**
He also ignores that the imam promoting the mega-mosque, imam Rauf:
- Supports Sharia in place of democracy
- Supports the restriction on free speech
- Refuses to denounce Hamas
- Has lied about his commitment to religious dialogue
- Has lied about whether the islamic center planned for the Ground Zero site will contain a mosque or not
- Has lied about whether or not the project is getting foreign funding
- Is involved with the group that helped fund the jihad flotilla against Israel
What's grotesque about Obama's approach here is that he gives greater weight to those who would build this supremacist mosque -- led by a highly dubious imam -- than he does to the feelings of those injured by 911. As Robert Spencer says, Obama speaks about "religious freedom" as if there were no other mosques in the US (there are about 2,400).
**********Krauthammer says it better. (July 2):
... President Obama’s National Security Strategy insists on calling the enemy — how else do you define those seeking your destruction? — “a loose network of violent extremists.” But this is utterly meaningless. This is not an anger-management therapy group gone rogue. These are people professing a powerful ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in whose name they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize, and kill.