POLITICS -- August 13, 2010 at 8:55 PM ET
Obama Backs Effort to Build Mosque Near Ground Zero
President Obama on Friday night weighed in on the debate over whether to build a 13-story Islamic community center and mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York, saying the country's founding principles demanded no less.
"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," the president said.
"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," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
Watch his remarks:
On Tuesday's NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown spoke with four people who have been closely following the debate, including two people who lost loved ones on 9/11.