Columbus (Ohio, US), Aug.19 (ANI): US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he had "no regrets" about supporting a proposal to build the "Ground Zero Mosque".
Replying to a question from the media at the end of a town hall meeting here, Obama said: "As a citizen and as president, I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country."
CBS News further quoted him, as saying: "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."
The president clarified his comments a bit during a visit to Florida on Saturday by noting that while Muslims have the right to build the centre near Ground Zero, he could say whether it is a good idea to do so.
"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding," he said.
"My intention was simply to let people know what I thought. Which was that in this country we treat everybody equally and in accordance with the law, regardless of race, regardless of religion," he added.
White House spokesman Burton Bill Burton added the following on Saturday as well: "What he said last night, and reaffirmed today, is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a mosque." (ANI)