Posted on August 22, 2010 in Washington Watch


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement in response to the Islamic center controversy in New York City:

“I had my differences with President George W. Bush, but I believe he showed real leadership after 9-11, when, in the agony and anger that followed, he made it clear that our war was with the terrorists who perverted the teachings of Islam not with Muslims who were faithful to what he called ‘a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others.’  Those who seek to exploit the location of an Islamic Center in New York have forgotten the words of President Bush.

They have also forgotten one of the most fundamental American and constitutional values: our freedom to practice our religion.  As President Obama has said, ‘Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country 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.’

The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has given his assent to this center and I support his decision.  The politicians like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin who try to divide America with fear and hate over this issue betray the diversity which makes our nation great and the Constitution which they profess to honor.  If the freedoms we hold dear and the values which our brave military fights every day to defend are truly in our hearts, we need to speak out against those who divide us and those who attack patriotic and peace-loving Muslim Americans.”


To learn more about Senator Durbin, click here.

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