The former mayor who helped lead the city through the tragic aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, came out in opposition of building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.
“This project is divisive,” Rudy Giuliani said on the “Today” show this morning as he commented for the first time on the debate that has swept the nation. “This project is creating tremendous pain for people who’ve already made the ultimate sacrifice. All you’re doing is creating more division, more anger, more hatred.”
NBC’s Matt Lauer reminded Giuliani of comments he made roughly 14 months after 9/11 in which he evoked freedom of religion as one of America’s founding principles, and asked how Giuliani reconciles his opposition to the mosque with his espousal of the idea that “no one’s going to interfere with you” because of that principle.
The one-time presidential candidate quickly acknowledged the developers have a constitutional right to build the mosque but deferred to the question, “Should they build it?”
“The question here is of sensitivity, of people’s feelings, and are you really what you pretend to be,” Giuliani said. “If you want to claim to be the healer, then you’re not on the side of the person who’s pushing those divisive issues.
“I was the first person on Sept. 11 to step forward in the heat of battle and say, ‘No group blame, do not blame Arabs, it’s a small group.’ But the reality is that, right now, if you are a healer you do not go through with this project. If you’re a warrior, you do.”
Giuliani also said he agreed with Gov. David Paterson, who proposed the mosque be built on a location not associated with the same sensitivities as the land near Ground Zero.
(Source: NBC New York)