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Obama on the Ground Zero Mosque

1:12 AM, Aug 14, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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A small sampling of those who have spoken out against the Ground Zero Mosque: Bill Kristol, Christopher Caldwell, Juan Williams, Rich Lowry, Abe Foxman, Bill McGurn, David Harsanyi, Neda Bolourchi, Sarah Palin, Rod Dreher, Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, and Charles Krauthammer.

Full transcript of Obama's speech after the jump:

THE WHITE HOUSE

 

Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release                                                      August 13, 2010

 

 

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

AT IFTAR DINNER

 

State Dining Room

 

 

8:37 P.M. EDT

 

 

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening, everybody.  Welcome.  Please, have a seat.  Well, welcome to the White House.  To you, to Muslim Americans across our country, and to more than one billion Muslims around the world, I extend my best wishes on this holy month.  Ramadan Kareem

 

I want to welcome members of the diplomatic corps; members of my administration; and members of Congress, including Rush Holt, John Conyers, and Andre Carson, who is one of two Muslim American members of Congress, along with Keith Ellison.  So welcome, all of you.

 

Here at the White House, we have a tradition of hosting iftars that goes back several years, just as we host Christmas parties and seders and Diwali celebrations.  And these events celebrate the role of faith in the lives of the American people. They remind us of the basic truth that we are all children of God, and we all draw strength and a sense of purpose from our beliefs.

 

These events are also an affirmation of who we are as Americans.  Our Founders understood that the best way to honor the place of faith in the lives of our people was to protect their freedom to practice religion.  In the Virginia Act of Establishing Religion Freedom, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.”  The First Amendment of our Constitution established the freedom of religion as the law of the land.  And that right has been upheld ever since.

 

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