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August 23rd, 2010

Braley Supports Ground Zero Mosque, Says it’s Just a Local Zoning Issue

Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley says that it bothers him when people make statements that are outrageous and inconsistent with our American values.  Ironically, it seems that he is not bothered by an Islamic mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York City.  Braley was asked about the Ground Zero mosque by following his speech at the Des Moines Register Soap Box last Thursday.

When asked for his thoughts on the mosque, Braley said, “Well, there are a couple of thoughts.  One is that local zoning decisions are made locally.  Just as Iowans don’t want people from outside of Iowa telling them how to make zoning decisions, this is an decision that the people of New York are going to have to deal with.”

“The other one is that we have always been a country that has been based and founded on religious diversity.  So, these are delicate issues because they are the types of issues that people are really passionate about, and at the same time, it’s our religious diversity that has made this country great,” Braley added.

When asked directly whether or not there should be a mosque built at Ground Zero.  Braley said, “Well, I don’t know what you are talking about, because Ground Zero is a very specific area.  The mosque you are talking about is in the general area of Ground Zero.”

When pressed further, Braley said, “Well, I can tell you that people should be promoting religious worship as a place where people can get their spiritual needs met, and that’s a local zoning issues.”  He added, “It bothers me when people make statements that are outrageous and inconsistent with our American values, but those are also issues that come up all over, and it’s part of our religious diversity.”

Hundreds of New Yorkers protested the proposed $100 million mosque yesterday.  One of them, Herb London of the Hudson Institute, disagrees with Braley’s notion that the Ground Zero mosque is simply a zoning issue.

London told, “The mosque issue is most certainly not merely a zoning issue.  It is a symbolic matter of having a mosque two blocks from the hallowed ground, where 3000 New Yorkers lost their lives nine years ago.”

London also took issue with Braley’s argument that the proposed Ground Zero mosque should be allowed because of religious freedom.

“No one I know is opposed to another mosque, in fact there are 31 in NYC alone.    The issue is location and the adamant view of the progenitors that it must be this site.  By any stretch, this unwillingness to compromise is a sign of provocation, and if Sunday’s rally is any indication, New Yorkers are united in opposition, despite the sentiments of the mayor and the Community Board,” London added.

The religious freedom that Braley so proudly defends has nothing to do with freedom at all.  Instead, what people like Braley and Pelosi support is a dangerous form of religious appeasement.  America is at war with radical Islam, yet people like Congressman Braley and Speaker Pelosi are not even suspicious of, or willing to question those who want to build the Ground Zero mosque.

Earlier this month, London wrote an article that should make every American suspicious of the proposed mosque.  London wrote, “In the case of the downtown mosque, several questions remain unanswered.  If a mosque can be built anywhere, why is it being constructed adjacent to the former World Trade Center?  Although denials abound, the title of the mosque, Cordoba House, reveals a great deal.  In Cordoba, Muslims built a mosque on a Catholic church as a symbol of their triumph in Spain.  That symbolism may be evident at the New York site as well.”

London also included a statement on religious freedom that Congressman Braley would be well served to understand and adopt. “Freedom of religion, like any freedom, is not absolute; freedom is defined by limitations. Indians are not free to use peyote indiscriminately in religious services as drug use violates the law of the land.  And religion that promotes hate, or is an incitement to violence, should be, and can be, curbed.”

Braley’s position on the mosque mirrors that of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and pits him against Democrats like Nevada Senator Harry Reid and Governor David Paterson of New York, who both feel that building a mosque at Ground Zero is completely insensitive.  This is just another sad example of how Bruce Braley is out of step with his constituents and a majority of Americans.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson serves as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prior to founding Iowa's largest conservative news site, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. In that capacity, Robinson planned and organized the largest political event in 2007, the Iowa Straw Poll, in Ames, Iowa. Robinson also organized the 2008 Republican caucuses in Iowa, and was later dispatched to Nevada to help with the caucuses there. Robinson cut his teeth in Iowa politics during the 2000 caucus campaign of businessman Steve Forbes and has been involved with most major campaigns in the state since then. His extensive political background and rolodex give him a unique perspective from which to monitor the political pulse of Iowa.

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