In response to controversy about whether to allow a Muslim community center to be built near Ground Zero in Manhattan, People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
“Of course a Muslim community center should be allowed in lower Manhattan. This is not a close question.
“Our country is built upon the bedrock principle that people of all faiths and of no faith at all are equally welcome in our nation’s civic life. No community should be told to move away because of its religion. Arguing that Muslims are unwelcome anywhere is a threat to religious liberty everywhere. Religious intolerance is not the American way.
“Those political leaders who have spoken out against religious intolerance should be applauded—they have taken a stand for our most essential values. It’s deeply disappointing that so many of their colleagues chose instead to use this incident to inflame religious strife.”