Obama showed that the "Ground Zero mosque" argument is not a simple one, and in fact has two major segments. The first is whether or not the mosque "should be allowed" to be built. The second is whether it "should" be built.
When you throw religion, politics and a seminal tragic event in modern American history into a pot, it's going to get sticky, messy and potentially unpleasant. Such a cocktail requires a thoughtful discussion.
In just under seven minutes on AC360, Rev. Benham managed to deeply offend, disgrace and degrade the religion of Islam and all its 1.4 billion adherents -- many millions of whom live here in the United States, and of whom I am one.
As an eighth-generation rabbi whose father came to this country in 1938 to escape religious persecution, I applaud and am inspired by President Obama's remarks in support of the Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan.
While Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama have their hearts in the right place, the very idea that the Cordoba House hysteria is about "religion" is not really accurate. This the latest right-wing wedge issue.
Obama was right to express his views on constructing a mosque near Ground Zero. His position will be remembered with the same regard as George Washington's letter to the Jews who built the Touro Synagogue.
Scholars have built up an impressive array of research into how radicalization works in practice on the streets; it normally happens in four distinct stages and often results from lack of Islamic education.
There remains an unfortunate and irrefutable perception in the Muslim world that Americans only pay lip service to their own ideals of freedom. Fortunately, President Obama's defense of the Cordoba House helps to change that.
Adherents to Islam form a vulnerable racial minority before a prejudiced media that uses religious misnomers like "Islamic terrorist" to develop public support for attacking adherents to Islam, a word that literally means "Peace."