Decoder: Recent Comments From Critics Of The So-Called Ground Zero Mosque

Sarah Palin: Dr. Laura's wingwoman. (Image by David Shankbone.)

Sarah Palin tweet: Mr. President, why are they so set on marking an area w/ mosque steps from what you described, in agreement with many, as “hallowed ground”?

Decoder: It’s amusing that I suddenly think New York has hallowed ground. Since gaining national recognition, I’ve made it clear time and again that I have only disdain for New York City, that I think it’s less American than other places in the country. But the second it became politically expedient to think New York City contains hallowed ground, I was happy to play my cards from that end of the deck.

Sarah Palin: Nobody argues that the freedom of religion that the Muslims have [permits them] to build that mosque somewhere.

Decoder: Yes, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion “somewhere.” Maybe in Trenton or someplace like that. Secaucus–that’s a good place for religious freedom.

Newt Gingrich: You know, Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.

Decoder: I’ve just compared Muslim-Americans who haven’t broken any laws to Nazis. Abridging the rights of Muslim-Americans today because we are at war with Al-Qaeda is no different in principle than Japanese-Americans being denied rights during WWII.

Terrorists want you to eat this delicious, delicious sandwich.

Newt Gingrich: America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.

Decoder: Some guy just opened a falafel stand not four miles from where I live. It’s like Pearl Harbor with chickpeas.

Rep. Peter King: There are too many mosques in America.

Decoder: I have already tried to say this comment was taken out of context, but the unedited video makes it clear that it wasn’t. I am a sad and prejudiced man.

President Obama: I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.

Decoder: I was being more honest and accurate when I 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. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.” But then some Democrats who are running for reelection this fall gave Rahm Emmanuel an earful, so I had to backtrack somewhat. I should stick to defending the Constitution.

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