As conservatives continue their hateful campaign against building the proposed Park 51 Islamic community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City, Democratic leaders have started to push back. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told a local news station earlier this week that the mosque was a “local decision” and that we’re “not at war with a religion, we’re at war with terrorism.” Illinois Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, despite being in a tough race, spoke out in favor of building the mosque as well. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) said it wasn’t the “role” of politicians to tell people where to worship and that the mosque’s organizers “should be able to” build where they want. Speaking at the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association breakfast yesterday in Illinois, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) continued this trend by slamming the mosque’s critics. He called opposition to the mosque “one of the most disgraceful things that I’ve heard,” and used his trademark humor to mock conservative opponents for being scared of “Muslim point guards” that might play basketball at the community center:
U.S. Sen. Al Franken gave a quip-filled speech at the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association breakfast Wednesday, attacking Republicans for opposing the building of a mosque blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. [...] Franken said conservative opposition to the mosque is “one of the most disgraceful things that I’ve heard.”
“I don’t know how many of you have been to New York, but if a building is two blocks away from anything, you can’t see it. It’s a community center. They’re going to have a gym. They’re going to have point guards. Muslim point guards,” Franken said, to laughter and applause.
Unfortunately, Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL), who shared the stage with Franken at the event, came out against the mosque on the same day. “I think we should be sensitive to people on Planet Earth in these special places whether its Auschwitz, Pearl Harbor or Ground Zero, that they not be subject to political controversy that could cause great harm,” he said.