Democrats, Republicans spar over mosque near Ground Zero

By Felicia Sonmez and Matt DeLong
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, August 16, 2010; A02

President Obama's remarks Friday and Saturday on a proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero sparked heated exchanges on the Sunday morning news shows.

(In Obama's Words: Read the transcript of Obama's remarks)

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the issue is not that there is a legal right to build the mosque but that those involved should listen to public opinion, which he said is strongly opposed to the project.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose district includes Ground Zero, countered that there is a "fundamental mistake" behind the thinking of those opposed to the project.

(Photos: The NYC mosque: Tribute to tolerance or symbol of pain?)

The fallacy is that al-Qaeda attacked us. Islam did not attack us," Nadler said.

On "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said troops in Afghanistan are being asked to find common ground with Muslims.

"If we can't do that here in the United States, we're going to have a very difficult time over there," Reed said.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Tex.) responded that "it's unwise to build a mosque in the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of a terrorist attack."

On "Face the Nation," Republican strategist Ed Rollins said the mosque is "going to be a big, big issue for Democrats across this country" at the ballot box.

Post a Comment

Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company