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The Mechanics
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IL-SEN Mon Aug 30 2010

Durbin: I Still Support Muslim Community Center

Senator Durbin reiterated his stance on the New York Muslim community center mosque today:

Sen. Dick Durbin, the man who could lead the U.S. Senate depending on how November's elections go, had a strong message for Illinois' 400,000 Muslims and other residents about the Ground Zero Mosque Monday.

"They are patriotic peace-loving Americans," Durbin said of Illinois' Muslims. "They are the doctors who administer your anesthesia; the nurses who care for you in the hospital; the engineers who build the buildings; the people who run the hotels and motels and businesses. If there was ever a time we needed to step up and embrace them and remind them that they are as much a part of America as anyone, it is now."

[...]

"There is only one thing left from my mother's, my grandmother's journey to this country that I still have that I know was in her baggage and it's a prayer book," Durbin said. "It's a Catholic prayer book. It was printed in 1860 in Lithuanian. My grandmother brought it to this country because when she left Lithuania in 1911 it was contraband. The Russian czar had taken control of Lithuania and had dictated that no prayer books could be written in any language other than Russian. She knew that when she came here, that her right to practice her religion as she saw it would always be protected by this constitution and this country."

Of course, for Durbin there's no political risk in coming out for the mosque. He's not up for reelection nor is he unpopular within the party. Giannoulias on the other hand has plenty to risk and yet he also supports construction of the community center. Governor Quinn is against it.

Notice that in Durbin's statement he's not arguing that it's a constitutional issue, he's supporting the center because Muslims are Americans too. Even some proponents of of the project are too scared to say that.

 
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