NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech about the city NOT outlawing a mosque near ‘ground zero’ World Trade Center is being hailed as one of his finest hours.
New YorkDaily News:

He’s usually a technocrat, and often comes across that way, but today’s speech was a stirring declaration of principle.

Key passage, quoted around the world:

Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.

“This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.

“For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right.

Putting my (uninvolved) discomfort at the dichotomy aside, I think he’s right about that.

It’s not how others act, it’s how WE act that matters.

Read the whole speech here at