President Obama on Separation of Church-Mosque and State

He says that we can draw our inspiration from our scriptures but we have to  translate the message into a language that is understood by other fellow  citizens from different religions.

One of the points President Barack Hussein Obama makes is that the scripture  has to be translated into a universal message by the believers, one that is  befitting the realities of our global village.

To hear President’s Obama’s explanation:

The Holy Quran has a dynamic and universal message and Sir Zafrulla Khan has  explained this issue, in some details in his book titled: Islam  and Human Rights.

On a different occasion, President Obama defends right to build  mosque near 9/11 site

Source BBC 2010

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that  Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this  country. (Applause.) And that includes the right to build a place of worship and  a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with  local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious  freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome  in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their  government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must  endure.

US President Barack Obama has staunchly defended  controversial plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Opponents have protested against the construction of an Islamic cultural  centre and mosque several hundred feet away from the site of the Twin  Towers.

Mr Obama acknowledged “sensitivities” surround the 9/11 site, but said  Muslims have the same right to practise their religion “as anyone else”.

“Our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable,” Mr Obama said.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

I suppose that in the land of the free, people are free to build a  mosque”

End Quote Len Day

Since a New York developer announced plans to build a  13-storey Islamic community centre and mosque about two blocks from the former  World Trade Center site, prominent Republican politicians and a host of  conservative pundits have attacked the project.

Some relatives of people killed in the terror attacks on the World Trade  Center in 2001 are also opposed to the plan.

‘Stab in the heart’

In a speech at a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan, the Muslim holy  month, Mr Obama waded into the row, saying:

“We must all recognise and respect the sensitivities surrounding the  development of lower Manhattan, Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground. But let  me be clear, as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the  same right to practise their religion as anyone else in this country.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre  on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and  ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be  unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this  country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential  to who we are.”

The proposed mosque site in New YorkThe  site of the proposed mosque is about two blocks from the former World Trade  Center

He told the group of US Congressmen, government officials and foreign  dignitaries that America’s tradition of religious tolerance distinguishes it  from “our enemies”.

“Al-Qaeda’s cause is not Islam,” he said, “it is a gross distortion of  Islam”.

Until now Mr Obama had not commented on the mosque row, with the White House  saying that the matter was a local issue.

In voicing his support for the right to build the centre, Mr Obama joins New  York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had been the only prominent politician to  endorse it.

Opponents of the building project have called for investigations into its  backers and financing. In New York, opponents sought unsuccessfully to have the  building currently at the mosque site granted landmark protection status, in an  effort to hinder development.

Former US House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich dubbed the plan an  “assertion of Islamist triumphalism” and has denounced it in speeches.

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin wrote that “to  build a mosque at Ground Zero is a stab in the heart of the families of the  innocent victims of those horrific attacks”.

Read more  online.

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