There is an interesting aspect being overlooked with regard to the Ground Zero mosque and President Obama’s comments about it.

Whether it is interpreted that he is for or against the building of the mosque, the setting of the comments itself was more telling. The fact that the initial statement was made at a Ramadan dinner hosted by the same president who has two years in a row cancelled the National Day of Prayer breakfast says more than anything else.

The National Day of Prayer has been a national event since it was established in 1952 by Harry Truman, and this is the first president to so publicly distance himself from it. So, President Obama says he believes that all religions have the same rights, but he himself does not have to treat them equally.

The fact of the matter is this, many churches all over the country have to sue their local governments over zoning issues in order to exercise their right to build a church. None of the churches involved in these suits are trying to build on what even the most ardent supporters of the mosque admit is sacred ground.

It was nice of President Obama to offer us a lesson in the First Amendment, but this is not about the right to build. This is not a case of Islamophobia. There are many mosques in Manhattan.

It is a question of respect for the memory of an event unlike any other in our history.
Frank Phillips, Auburn

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