Debra Burlingame: 9/11 Families Stunned by President’s Support of Mosque at Ground Zero

9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
Statement of Debra Burlingame, Co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, in Response to President Obama’s Remarks about the Ground Zero Mosque

9/11 Families Stunned by Presidents Support of Mosque at Ground Zero

New York, NY, Aug. 14 — Barack Obama has abandoned America at the place where America’s heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see. Since that dark day, Americans have been asked to bear the burden of defending those values, again and again and again. Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots.

Muslims have worshipped in New York without incident both before and after the attacks of 9/11. This controversy is not about religious freedom. 9/11 was more than a “deeply traumatic event,” it was an act of war. Building a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah. Those who continue to target and kill American civilians and U.S. troops will see it as a symbol of their historic progress at the site of their most bloody victory. Demolishing a building that was damaged by wreckage from one of the hijacked planes in order to build a mosque and Islamic Center will further energize those who regard it as a ratification of their violent and divinely ordered mission: the spread of shariah law and its subjugation of all free people, including secular Muslims who come to this country fleeing that medieval ideology, which destroys lives and crushes the human spirit.

We are stunned by the president’s willingness to disregard what Americans should be proud of: our enduring generosity to others on 9/11–a day when human decency triumphed over human depravity. On that day, when 3,000 of our fellow human beings were killed in barbaric act of raw religious intolerance unlike this country had ever seen, Americans did not turn outward with hatred or violence, we turned to each other, armed with nothing more than American flags and countless acts of kindness. In a breathtakingly inappropriate setting, the president has chosen to declare our memories of 9/11 obsolete and the sanctity of Ground Zero finished. No one who has lived this history and felt the sting of our country’s loss that day can truly believe that putting our families through more wrenching heartache can be an act of peace.

We will honor the memory of our loved ones. We will protect our children, whose lives will never be the same. We will not stand silent.


9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
Co-founders Debra Burlingame and Tim Sumner


Editor —

We thank our fellow Americans for standing with us, including Doug Powers at

Please, also visit our coalition web site

  96 comments for “Debra Burlingame: 9/11 Families Stunned by President’s Support of Mosque at Ground Zero

  1. Byron
    August 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    President Obama has not “abandoned America”….to the contrary, he is supporting the right to religious freedom, one of this country’s most important values. The human decency and kindness of which you speak so highly is curiously lacking in your own opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” (despite that it is neither a mosque nor located at Ground Zero). You claim that Islamic jihadists will see the proposed Islamic center as a symbol of their progress, but the reverse is true. If your group and others like it are successful in stopping this project then it will be a triumph for al-Qaeda: they will have proven that American values are no match for the fear of terrorism.

    • lea
      August 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      Byron, this is not about religious freedom. this is about sensitivity to the families who continue to struggle with the horrific murder of their families. we can practice any religion we want in this country, and have, so stop making it sound as if you are arguing the 1st amendment to a bunch of novices. Were those 9/11 victims allowed to practice their religious freedoms as they burned to death or suffocated in those towers? Did their prayers to God, Allah, Buddha go unheard? At the very least, this Imam Rauf should be offering space in his “religious center” for people of other faiths to have a voice. He will not do that because he wants Sharia law in this country. You are so blind.

    • SIgh
      August 15, 2010 at 1:37 am

      Editor — SIgh repeated the Islamist propaganda that many Muslims were victims on 9/11. The best we can tell (and we only looked because CAIR and Imam Rauf brought it up), 27 non-hijacker Muslims were among the 2,976 slaughtered by Muslims on 9/11. Imam Rauf and CAIR Executive Director first asserted that “300” Muslims were killed that day in an patently obvious attempt to spin Muslim “victimhood” that day to have been the near-equal of the most heralded demographic, the 343 FDNY who heroically died while saving others.

      SIgh attempted to promote a list created by the Muslim Brotherhood in October 2001, a virtual myth, of 60 Muslims who died that day. 30 of the names on that list were made up, complete fabrications, 27 of those named were actual victims, and 3 names were similar to the names of those who actually died. Yet no one has actually done a study on what faiths those that died. I dumped SIgh’s comment because we will not further a falsehood.

      • Sigh
        August 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

        Then remove the link and post the rest of what I said if you don’t agree with it. Shakes head and sighs, I should have know I was wasting my breath here.

        Editor — SIgh; You’ve done your drive-by by here before. Answer this: does Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf advocate for sharia law here in America and how is that discriminatory ideology in any way compatible with our Constitution?

    • Kevin Smith
      August 15, 2010 at 6:17 am

      I really wanted to give Paul a good ol’fashioned cursing, but instead I will just say this,” Paul ,you are an idiot! It is morons like you that elected this Commie/muslim, non-citizen in the first place.Of course you are going to try to justify this traitors actions,so you yourself can feel justified for your ignorance.If you feel it is wrong to still defend our country from idiots like you and Obamanation, then “GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA, YOU TRAITOR!

    • SFC MAC
      August 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      @Byron and Paul:

      This proposed mosque is nothing less than an in-your-face provocation on the part of radical muslims. That mosque, if it’s ever built, will serve as yet another cesspool of Islamic jihad indocrination and support for the very terrorists with whom we are at war.
      Islam, at its very core, is a fascist, violent cult. The stated purpose, as outlined in the Koran, is world domination through a Caliphate. Their presence shouldn’t be tolerated any more than neo-Nazis, Communists, or Socialists.
      The concept of “tolerance” has been stretched to accomodate some of the most despicable, intolerant malfeasants on the planet.

      Note to bleeding heart Libtards: We are drawing the line against a culture of miscreants responsible for bloodbaths in the name of Islam. We won’t back down or apologize for it, either.

      Oh, and by the way Paul: I’m a retired Soldier with 30 years in service and two tours in Iraq. When you grow up, we’ll compare DD214s.

    • Elaine
      August 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      People who think the mosque at ground zero would somehow be a good thing are purblind to the history of Islam. If you read the Koran, sira, and hadiths as I have, you cannot come to any conclusion other than Islam is a very ugly cancer. Muhammad recruited very few converts when he preached, once he changed tactics, and started to politicize Islam by forced conversions or death, Islam took off. A great book on this is Islamic Imperialism. He and his wife, Aisyia, sat calmly for a full 8 hours as 800 Jews were beheaded. Another part of the book talks about another Muslim who had a penchant for piling the skulls of the “infidels” he beheaded into a pyramid. Another Muslim would nail horseshoes in the bare feet of his adversaries. Islam is not peaceful, and Mrs. Burlingame is absolutely correct should this mosque be erected it will be seen as a symbolic and literal victory over the infidels by Islamists world wide.

    • duvexy
      August 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Where was his religious tolerance when it came to the National day of prayer?

  2. Mark Bernhard
    August 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    There are 2 questions that I pose here.

    1. No one from the administration or the mayor’s office has revealed where the funding is ultimately coming from?

    2. Although I am not a resident of NYC, nor am I familiar with the demographics of Lower Manhattan, is there a significant Muslim population in that area to warrant building of the mosque?

  3. Todd White
    August 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    How many of the New Yorkers that are outraged at Obama’s support for the mosque voted for him? Obama received 79% of the vote in New York City in 2008, and a recent poll shows 58% of New Yorkers are against the building of the mosque near ground zero. Logic shows that there are many New Yorkers who voted for Obama, but are outraged at his support. Remember folk, this is part of that “CHANGE” that you were “HOPE”ing for.

  4. JonInVa
    August 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Poor Paul. Still holding onto fantasies about this “religion of peace”, while adhering to the same old tired (and historically and factually false) premise that the Catholic Church (and/or Christianity in general) killed “millions” over the years. What a crock.

    The church doesn’t ruin lives – people ruin lives, whether in the church, part of the church, or outside the church. Most people who have a problem with the church do so because they have no moral courage and self-control to live the teachings. Instead, they blame the church for calling them out, via their own consciences. And then they leave and spend their entire lives trying to destroy their “tormentors” of conscience. Pathetic, really.

    And along with that fact is the primary difference between Christianity of any denomination, and Islam – that most atrocities committed in the LONG AGO past, when the Church had more secular and moral authority, were committed “in spite” of any religious faith, and not due to it. It was about secular power and wealth by those with military power and political power, such as Kings, Dukes, and others. The fact that they were Catholic (or any other Christian faith) was the least influential aspect of their desire to expand their power.

    Islam, on the other hand, is not only a religious “faith”, but a political idealogy as well. And EVERY act of terrorism is committed with Islam and the Prophet on the lips of their “martyrs”. And hiding behind the 1st amendment, against the wishes of most Americans, is another crock. If “Freedom of Religion” means that the government has no authority in the matter, and that anyone is free to practice their faith as they choose, then that fact, by default, leaves the power of zoning and authority for accepting such a building near hallowed ground in the hands of the States and thereby the People, per the 10th Amendment.

    Just as there are constantly battles over shopping malls or housing projects near or on Civil War battlefields, the argument behind the “mosque” is not one of “religous freedom” but of common sense, decency, compromise, and respect for not only the dead, but our country in general. Every soldier or civilian who has died in the war on terror since 2001 is a victim of this ONE single act in New York, D.C. and PA. In addition, we would see how fast the 1st amendment would be thrown out the window should someone propose building a Confederate History Museum next the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore. After all, only some 5% of southerners owned slaves, and most fought for states rights and not slavery. So what’s the big deal? Or how about a memorial to Japanese dead killed in WWII next to the Pearl Harbor memorial? Or all those brave German soldiers who were not Nazi’s but simply fighting for their country? A nice monument in the name of “bringing us together”, on the mall next to the WWII veterans memorial would be just dandy.

    Fools. Only an idiot could possibly accept, or worse, defend the blatant slap in the face of Americans by the backers of this travesty in Manhattan. It is a sign of conquest, not consolation and peace. It is in a place where pieces of wreckage were found, which necessarily begs the question whether remains of our fallen fellow citizens are also scattered among the debris. As Obama said, it is “hallowed ground”. And that fact alone should preclude hearing the “call to prayer” eminating from that place like a dagger in the hearts of those forever grieving. Because that would be next, and we all know it. Or at least those who actually love their country’s past, present and future. I mean, how could it not? Our President once said it was the most “beautiful sound on earth”. Unbelievable.

    And lastly, there is moral, ethical or even logical reason why America needs to “tolerate” anything about Islam. Islam, as a religion, has for America, been nothing but a scourge. It brings nothing to the table but death. Not the people or Americans who may belong to that faith. But the faith itself. It is not part of our countries heritage. It had nothing to do with our founding or our growth from colonies to greatest, most free, country in the world. Why should we tolerate it when the majority of Muslims around the world despise us? Are in direct opposition to our values and freedoms? Who believe our Judeo-Christian (and even atheist) citizens are only worthy of subjugation and either conversion or death?

    If Muslim Americans want to practiced their religion, so be it. But that does not in any way mean there is any reason at all that Americans, whose current and historical roots, values and traditions were founded on a diameterically opposed faith, should kowtow to it.

    • blackbird
      August 14, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Amen!!! JonInVa thank you.

      • dav820
        August 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm

        JonInVa–I second that amen! Thank you for putting into words a reasoned and insightful response to those who would dishonor that hallowed ground.

  5. blackbird
    August 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    “…Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request…” and now from the president “…This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable…” everyone can make up their own minds exactly where president’s sensibilities lie.

  6. Joseph Autera
    August 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I share the disgust you and your patriotic organization have for the President’s total disregard for the sanctity and symbolism that Ground Zero holds for so many whom lost family members and friends in the horrific ACT OF COWARDICE (as well as an act of war)that was the attack on September 11th against unarmed non-combatant’s. For the Commander-in-Chief to offer tacit support for such actions by not taking a stand against such disrespect and disregard is unconscienable. In my opinion, it is tantamount to extending an invitation for Mullah Omar to attend a Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony, and his foolishness likely will not be suffered lightly at the polls in November and 2012.

    Paul, as a former NCO in the US Army and a professional who continues to endeavor to protect civilians around the world (regardless of nationality, race, color or creed) from acts of cowardice, teror and war, and one who has spent nearly my entire life fighting for and defending freedom, let me be the first to grant you your wish – you truly are UNAMERICAN. The statement posted here does NOT say that the Muslims should not be allowed to build a mosque, any mosque. Nor does it say they should not be allowed to practice their religion. It simply points out the obvious instigation, disrespect and hipocrisy that building that particular mosque in that particular location presents.

  7. August 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Very well said. Obama has only proven once again that he’s a defeatist, and ignores the polls that have shown that 70 percent of Americans oppose the mosque. This must be made a leading issue in the coming elections in November.

    By the way, I tried to send a trackback ping with a manual pinger system, but kept getting errors. Can you fix the blog options so that it can pick up manual pings from Wizbang and Forret’s manual pinging systems? Thanks.

  8. August 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    While at the pharmacy, Paul should get more koolaid. We KNOW this has nothing to do with religion. Period, and for Obama to give his support of what, not days ago, his admin bleated was a ‘local issue that the WH doesn’t get involved in’ (snort) is disgusting. (and many other ruder words.)

    Building this mosque there is against everything that IS what America stands for. And if people don’t understand that, well it boggles my mind.

    I also will not stand silent as I continue to stand WITH the 9/11 families and all decent Americans…

  9. valwayne
    August 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    All Americans support religious freedom and tolerance. However, tolerating, in your face hatred, from radical Islam trying to celebrate what they consider their victory on 9/11, is not an American value. Obama and the Democrats have utter contempt for the American people who oppose building this Mosque next to ground zero, and contempt for the families of those that died. That Obama would inflict more pain is unbelievable! The best way to answer the contempt is in Nov. Every Democrat on the ballot in Nov needs to be defeated. If not the insanity will go on and on!!!

  10. Anna the Netherlands .
    August 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Obama , a man without any shame , in my yes a muslim himself because he is willing to let muslims show that they don’t care , it’s gonna be a building thats is showing of the hate they have against us Christians , don’t believe them , their language is TAQIYYA , they want to rule the world , and building on Ground Zero is a sign of muslim victory !!

    Sorry for mistakes English
    is’nt my natural language .

  11. August 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I think this statement by Debbie should be in every paper in every Blue or Purple state before the Election in Nov. People rarely hear or read anything outside of the leftist MSM on any of these ‘sensitivity’ issues and it would be good for voters to see how relatives think about this mosque situation. Liberal dems love to use the Consti. when it suits them. Even if they stretch the legal interpretations or downright lie. In the same speech at Ramadan din din, Obama said, Muslims have contributed hugely to America for 200 years. List one contribution Mr. Prez. Just one.

  12. junglejim123
    August 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Obama proves time and time again that he has no connection to the American people as he continues to defend, protect and enrich Muslims all over the world. He doesnt look at our country the way most proud Americans do and that is due to his Muslim upbringing and his hatred of our way of life and capitalism. He bamboozled the country in 2008 with great help from our Arab backed media but most folks can now see whata disaster he has been. While Bush and severla other Presidents have been less than stellar they were proud to be Americans – Obama seems to be more annoyed by it as he aspires to be “Citizen of the World. ” He has no allegiance tyo us and he has shopwn no sympath yfor the victims of 911 and their families. Terrorist trials in New York were bad enough but now this ??? Get him out of office before we become a third world country.

  13. Crystal
    August 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I am so disgusted with Obama. He shows not one ounce of compassion or empathy for others. Nothing for the people of the Gulf coast disaster and nothing for the 9/11 victims and their families. And I’m a democrat that is voting republican in the 2012 election. He didn’t work out in the job so let’s fire him.

  14. Reggie Cervantes
    August 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Well put. This is no more than shoving an agenda on hollowed ground. Instead of respecting the grieving families, lost and survivors, they want to turn the agenda into “oh look how much they hate us” instead of look at what we did, how can we be more respectful.

    It is sad and tragic.

    However, we will not let their hateful drama take over our society. This country was born of peaceful people and will remain this way. If christians of jews attempted to build in the most Muslim country, they would not be allowed, they would be deported. There are Muslim countries in which you may NOT enter with a bible or torah.

    Let’s not be blind about their intollerance and their motives for their agenda.

  15. Ramon melendez
    August 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    After what has happen to this country of ours.and how we are trying to survive after sept 11,2001.i just cannot beleive our president is going along with this mosque at a sacred place where all of these people lost their lives .what a slap in the face to all americans
    these other countries are looking at us and seems to me that our president cares
    more about helping other countries than helping our own people.what a shame. and what a disgrace and message it sends to our troops who are fighting to protect our country and dying everyday for it.

  16. james alexander
    August 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I think that if you google eo12919 and eo12425 you will understand why Obama has no fear of offending us.

  17. Fred
    August 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Well put.

    Building a 15 story mosque @ ground zero is absolutely Not a matter of religios freedom. Muslims have full religious freedom in our free, tolerant, great country. Building this mosque is a provocative, in your face, assault on the U.S., its people and our values. Muslims are laughing at our stupidity (and the President’s weakness).

    Every decent American knows that this is a provocation and an insult. We teach our children to stand up against bullies and worse in society. Violent Muslims (certainly not all of them) and our weak President, need to learn this lesson.

    God Bless all of the 9/11 victims and their families

  18. Paul
    August 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    You say Obama has abandoned America, obiviously you have no clue what America was built upon. Yes, it’s a tragedy what happend, an noone will forget 9/11, but this ignorance by you and the people you speak for is UNAMERICAN. America was founded by people who were oppressed by the very statements you speak, the inability to enjoy their religious choice an where they choose to pray. Have you already forgotten this while you refuse to forget one single day? Have you forgot the MILLIONS of people who died due to their refusal to adhere to a single religion an pay money to the church. It’s moments like yours that shows who the UNAMERICAN people are. This UNITED States of America is for ALL, including the 1.5 BILLION Muslims around the world. Call me unAmerican, it doesn’t bother me. I spent more time fighting for our FREEDOM for everyone that I’m guessing you could even fathom. Call for the Catholic churches to be closed if this is what you stand for, as they have ruined the lives of more people that you could understand, but I bet you wouldn’t do that huh?

    Editor — Check your answering machine, Paul; your pharmacy is calling to say your ‘Legend in your own mind’ refill is ready.

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