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N.M. SOLONS AVOID MOSQUE DEBATE.

Byline: STEVE TERRELL

Congressmen say N.Y. should decide on ground zero issue

By Steve Terrell

The New Mexican New Mexico Abbr. NM or N.M. or N.Mex.

A state of the southwest United States on the Mexican border. It was admitted as the 47th state in 1912.
 

New Mexico's senators aren't going along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who this week bucked President Barack Obama by saying a Muslim organization in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
 shouldn't build an Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman Jesse Francis "Jeff" Bingaman Jr. (born October 3, 1943) is the junior U.S. Senator from New Mexico. He has been in the Senate since 1983 and is a member of the Democratic Party. Bingaman was Attorney General of New Mexico from 1978 until his election to the U.S.  and Tom Udall, along with U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of Northern New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District -- all three Democrats -- said in separate statements that the question of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" should be up to New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 officials, not Congress and not officials in New Mexico.

Unlike Reid, neither of New Mexico's senators is up for re-election this year.

The issue of the Islamic Center in recent days has exploded into a divisive national issue, with Republicans loudly opposing the construction of the proposed 13-story center and polls showing similar sentiments among many Americans. Obama in a speech on Friday declared the project was a matter of freedom of religion -- though the next day the president said he wasn't commenting on the wisdom of the plan.

Bingaman said through a spokeswoman Tuesday, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he believes those who want to build a mosque at that site should be able to do so. As the mayor of New York, he is in a better position to make this kind of decision and I don't have a valid basis for objecting."

On Monday, Bingaman had answered a question about the issue by conservative blogger Nathan Good of Tatum, N.M., at ResistNet.com. "I believe that we must maintain and promote a climate of religious tolerance in our country," Bingaman said in an e-mail to the blogger. "Our country is founded on such tolerance, and I feel that it is necessary to protect individual and religious convictions. I believe that all individuals should be able to freely practice the religion that they choose."

Udall, in a statement, also evoked freedom of religion. "We are a country that was founded on the principle of freedom of religion," Udall said. "It is enshrined in our Constitution, and I believe every American is entitled to that basic right. That said, this is a matter that should be left to the people and government of New York The of this article or section may be compromised by "weasel words".
You can help Wikipedia by removing weasel words.
 City to determine."

Lujan said this week: "This is understandably a sensitive issue, especially for those who lost loved ones to the September 11th tragedy. In instances like these, I wouldn't want New Yorkers telling us what to do in New Mexico, so I'll trust the people of New York to review this issue and make the best decision for their community."

A spokesman for Reid, a Nevada Democrat facing a tough re-election race in November, said Monday, "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Sen. Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace some·place  
adv. & n.
Somewhere: "I didn't care where I was from so long as it was someplace else" Garrison Keillor. See Usage Note at everyplace.
 else."

Many Republicans say the issue isn't one of constitutional rights but insensitivity to the victims who died when hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center. On Monday, former House Speaker and possible presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told Fox News, "The folks who want to build this mosque -- who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists."

The organization behind the proposal, the Cordoba cor·do·ba  
n.
See Table at currency.



[American Spanish córdoba, after Francisco Fernández de Córdoba (1475?-1526?), Spanish explorer.]

Noun 1.
 Initiative, say their mission is "to cultivate multi-cultural and multi-faith understanding across minds and borders."
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Title Annotation:Local News
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Aug 18, 2010
Words:593
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