“Ground-Zero mosque” debate

Cordoba House - Park51 mosquePresident Obama says he has no regrets about insisting that any religious group has the right to build a house of worship wherever it is legally approved, like the Islamic center planned for a site two blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood.  But conservative bloggers have been pushing the so-called “Ground-Zero mosque” story as a political wedge between Obama and Congressional democrats around the country facing re-election battles.  Political science Professor Graham Wilson, author of “Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective,” says it’s a classic case of public opinion swayed from Constitutional principles by xenophobic cries, these hostile to all of Islam not just the radicals responsible for 9/11.

“It would be great to see all the living ex-presidents issue a joint declaration that religious tolerance is core American value and that toleration includes Islam.  The American public needs to be reminded what the Constitution says, and both our friends and foes in the Islamic world need to hear us saying that loud and clear.  Let’s be clear: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’”

Contact GrahamWilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

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