Democrats try turning mosque debate against GOP
Democrats were stunned and somewhat speechless last August when Republicans accused them of proposing “death panels” as part of their healthcare reform initiative.
This August, it’s the proposed construction of a Muslim cultural center and mosque near lower Manhattan’s “Ground Zero” that is dominating the end-of-summer doldrums. Once again, Democrats are struggling to gain the upper hand in the debate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in on Wednesday, saying, “Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.” The Democrat may have been tweaking Republicans from across the U.S. who are railing about the New York City mosque all the while complaining about the long, intrusive arm of the federal government.
Republicans have argued that allowing a mosque within blocks of the site of the Sept. 11 attacks would be an insult to the families of the thousands killed that day. But Pelosi, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is also noting that if Republicans’ hearts were in the right place, they would stop opposing legislation to help emergency responders and others suffering health problems related to the attacks.
Pelosi says it’s fine to look into who would fund the construction of the Islamic center, but that “we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction” of the facility.
A few days ago, a former House speaker — Republican Newt Gingrich — created a stir when he called the planned Muslim center a symbol of “Islamist triumphalism” and said it would be like placing a “Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.”
That may have backfired as other staunch conservatives like Pat Buchanan said Gingrich’s comments went too far.
Whose view do you agree with on the mosque controversy?
Photo credit: Reuters/Omar Sobhani (Pelosi in Kabul in May)