Mr. President, please keep watch over America and leave local issues to local citizens and their government.
President Obama’s self-insertion into the divisive issue of whether to build a mosque close to Ground Zero in New York City has only created a wider chasm between those who support the mosque’s location and those who say it is offensive and tasteless.
Freedom of speech is, of course, a central component to a democratic, free society, but in this specific case, we believe it is better for the residents and leaders of New York – those who would be affected by this the most – to handle the sensitive topic of building a mosque so close to the site of the greatest tragedy the country has endured since the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Obama said on Wednesday that he “has no regrets” when he said last week that “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.” And we agree. But to weigh in on a subject that still opens fresh wounds for many in this country – especially when we have an economy on the verge of collapse and war raging overseas – the president has more pressing issues to address. It would be far more appropriate for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make such statements. After all, it is his city. And although Bloomberg has, too, divided New Yorkers by coming out in favor of the mosque’s construction, adding the president’s support to the mix only serves to cast more controversy on an issue that needs no more.
This is a local issue, plain and simple. President Obama has already cheapened the office of President of the United States by making the talk show circuit rounds (remember his appearance on The View?) and appearing on the cover of magazines such as Essence, Men’s Vogue and even People. Now, offering his thoughts on an issue that should stay within the confines of New York City, the president’s attention is once again distracted from a nation that needs a strong leader more than ever.
Mr. President, stop acting like a presidential candidate and a reality show star and start acting like a commander-in-chief. Leave the mosque issue to New Yorkers and redirect your efforts toward healing a damaged country.