George W. Bush's silence on the proposed Ground Zero mosque has prompted sharp critiques from the liberal blogosphere. And while a Bush spokesman officially told Politics Daily's Andrea Stone the former president has no plans to weigh in on the issue, Stone makes the case that, in a way, he already has. Writes Stone:
Days after the 9/11 attacks, Bush had much to say about the need for religious tolerance even after Islamic extremists carried out the worst foreign attack in history on U.S. soil.
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam," Bush said at the Islamic Center of Washington in a speech that set the tenor for when he later sent U.S. troops to fight on Muslim soil in Afghanistan and later Iraq. "That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."
He went on to say, in words that Democrats who disagreed with Bush on nearly every issue now recall fondly that despite raw emotions, millions of American Muslims "need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect."
Liberal writer Peter Beinart echoes a sentiment common on the left of late, saying he "pine[s] for George W. Bush. Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion." Would Bush still take that stance in the mosque controversy today?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.