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Mark Levy
Dear Mark
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Ground Zero Mosque and Happy Meals


Dear Mark: You conservatives can't have it both ways — either you believe in the Constitution, or you don't. At a recent White House dinner, President Obama expressed his support for the constitutional right of Muslims to build a mosque at "ground zero." What is wrong with the president's position? — Gotcha Good in Georgia

Dear Gotcha: Not so fast. Nobody is arguing whether Muslims have a right to build their mosque at ground zero. Only liberal pundits and President Obama are making this a constitutional issue. The argument is whether building a mosque at the sight of the worst attack on American soil is appropriate. Just because something is legal does not make it right.

The controversy began when President Obama was speaking at a White House "Iftar" dinner. "Iftar" is a meal celebrating the end of a Ramadan fast. Obama said: "Let me be clear: As a citizen and as president, I believe Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in the country. 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 unshakeable."

First of all, Barack Hussein Obama did not hold any public activities recognizing the National Day of Prayer earlier this year. Yet the White House hosted an "Iftar" dinner, which in itself should tell you where Obama's heart lies in all matters Islamic.

Second, it is ironic — or should I say hypocritical — that the president would hide behind the Constitution to avoid taking a serious stand on the controversial mosque issue, yet he trampled all over the Constitution with his health care bill that forces people to buy a product or face fines and penalties.

The president tried to clear up the misunderstanding the following morning but only muddied the waters further when he said: "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." Excuse me, Mr. President, but your remarks at the Iftar sounded like an endorsement of the ground zero mosque to me.

Of course, Obama doesn't want to comment on the "wisdom" of the decision — he is afraid to alienate a possible voting bloc. President Obama has once again shown his lack of "cojones" by not taking a firm stand against the location of this mosque. A true leader could have simply said: "Although Muslims have a constitutional right to build their mosque at ground zero, I feel this is the wrong place and the wrong time. My administration will gladly work with the Muslim leadership to find a more suitable location." Wow, that was easy.

Obama has made it his mission to reach out to Muslims, but when will the Muslims finally begin to reach out to us? Moving the ground zero mosque would be a good start.

Dear Mark: The food police are at it again in California. This time, San Francisco is trying to ban Happy Meal toys unless kids' meals are more nutritious. Is this really a health issue? — Not Happy in La Jolla

Dear Not Happy: Is this the same San Francisco that gives away free needles to illegal drug users? Let me get this straight: Shrek toys are bad for public health, but promoting heroin is good for public health?

Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



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