President Obama TMs seemingly contradictory statements concerning the construction of an Islamic mosque next door to where extremists of that same religion brought down the World Trade Center have sparked a national debate.
On Friday, the President voiced support of the Muslim people to practice their religion.
Then, on Saturday, he appeared to pull back, stating that his comments did not indicate support for the mosque.
With the controversy still brewing, we decided to hit the streets and find out how Southwest Georgians feel about the issue.
Most voiced support for the right of religious freedom but felt that respect for the victims of the 9-11 attacks takes precedence.
"They have a right to worship whatever they want," said Davony Harris. "But then again, I don TMt think it TMs okay because it would be like a mockery of what happened."
"I believe that the location chosen for the mosque reveals insensitivity," said Marilyn Ray.
Others see the issue as a matter of patriotism.
"Anything that has nothing to do with the United States shouldn TMt be built there," said Mark Brown.
But not everyone agreed.
"Just because one batch of bad apples messed it up one time," said Jonathan Jordan. "We shouldn TMt be prejudiced against them."
Most of those that spoke with us were against the idea of building a mosque at Ground Zero. Their opinions about President Obama TMs comments, however, were much more varied.
"We TMve got enough problems going on in the world with the economy and people losing jobs," said Brown.
Some felt the President had a duty to speak out.
"Not only is he guiding our nation," said Robert Bice. "He TMs also responsible for the Presidency after those attacks."
"He TMs the voice for America so, I mean, in the end, it TMs up to him," said Jordan.
For more information on the Ground Zero mosque, visit: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128544392