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Islam Norquist And Gingrich: Debating A Mosque Near Ground Zero


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Most political experts believe the opponents of the Ground Zero-area mosque and community center are on the safest ground when it comes to public opinion. While President Barack Obama has supported the Muslim community’s right to build the mosque as a matter of religious freedom, every major potential 2012 GOP White House contender has expressed strong opposition to the project.

Now, some in the party, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, are expressing doubts about whether focusing on the mosque is appropriate.

In remarks to Washington Wire, two leading GOP voices — Newt Gingrich, a vocal critic of the mosque, and Grover Norquist, who has long advocated Republican outreach to the Muslim community — expressed their views on the proposed mosque and community center.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform:
“The Republicans are poised to win a massive election in November as a repudiation of Obama’s overspending. And some Republicans who are not on the ballot in 2010 have decided to distract the electorate from the winning message with a side issue over whether a mosque should be built in Manhattan, a subject to which no congressman or senator has any authority. …

“In the longer term, six months from now, the only people who will remember this conversation are religious minorities who feel threatened by the idea that non-Christian places of worship are political footballs. …

“Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, all have to wonder if some politicians are deciding that their First Amendment rights are subject to political winds. The people doing this are losing the Republican Party Muslim voters, Sikh voters, Jewish voters, and Mormons.”

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker:
“I am in favor of religious liberty and support the right of Moslems to have over 100 mosques in New York City alone (compare that to Saudi oppression of all other religions). …

“I do not object to a 13-story mosque and community center being built in the South Bronx (which needs the jobs) or many other sites– I object vehemently to it being built near Ground Zero where more Americans were killed in America in one day than any other time since September 1862. They were killed by radical Islamists. …

“My opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is principled and focused on the outrage of triumphalist radical Islamists choosing a deliberately provocative site. …

“As to politics– the American people are instinctively opposed to the Ground Zero mosque by 68-29. Why would taking the 68% side be a weakness?”




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