If those who wish to build this Ground Zero mosque are sincerely interested in encouraging positive "cross-cultural engagement" and dialogue to show a moderate and tolerant face of Islam, then why haven't they recognized that the decision to build a mosque at this particular location is doing just the opposite?
Now, such a legitimate question as this can, and often are, when filtered through the media, presented with wholly unsupportable spin. See, for example, "GOP takes harsher stance toward Islam" from Ben Smith, who ought to know better than that, and Maggie Haberman at Politico.
Obama's remarks provide a clear, national focus for the simmering question of Islam in American life, and Republicans showed every sign Saturday of beginning to capitalize on it, with Republican candidates in New York and Florida seeking to inject the issue into local races as Democrats largely held their silence.
That stance in the GOP — both in terms of political strategy and policy views — appears to be carrying the day. Most of the potential Republican presidential hopefuls, led by Sarah Palin, came out sharply against the mosque.