After stating that "We shouldn't have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way," Tim Pawlenty has continued to argue that no Mosque should be built near the World Trade Center site in NYC despite being asked to detract his despicable statement by dozens of prominent Muslim groups. According to Politico:
Pawlenty’s spokesman Bruce Gordon said there’s “no misunderstanding” over the governor’s comments, which suggested building a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center attacks was unpatriotic.
“The governor's message is clear: New York is a big place. Find a different location for the mosque,” Gordon said in an email.
This question bears repeating: Why does building a Mosque degrade or disrespect the victims of 9/11? The attackers are not regarded by most followers of Islam as Muslims - in the same way that soldiers who torture and kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis are not regarded by Americans as representatives of their country. Equating the vicious terrorists of 9/11 with a religion followed by over a billion people is simply ridiculous.
Americans also have the right to follow any religion they please, and Islam should be treated no differently. Republicans are tapping into people's xenophobia and prejudice in a pathetic attempt to win votes. It's very sad and a sign of just how desperate they are.