After issuing a strong statement in favor of the right of Muslims to build a mosque/community center several blocks from the WTC site, the President trimmed his sails slightly, saying that he meant to support only the "legal" right of Muslims to build there (or anywhere). He was not, he said, making any statement about whether he supported the particular decision of the local Muslim community to situate their mosque at that location.
How unfortunate. Nobody is going to give credit to the President for trying to slide on through the middle here. The folks who oppose the mosque still will view him as an enemy, and the folks who support the mosque now can effectively lump in the President with the ADL. And all of this comes after the President looked to actually be showing leadership on the matter.
The issues here are very clear. People have the right to build religious buildings to serve their local community. There should not be a mosque-exclusion-zone of indeterminate radius in south Manhattan. Asking the community to relocate is not just patronizing, it's idiotic -- the community center is designed to serve the Muslim community that already exists in southern Manhattan -- it doesn't do them any good to build out in Queens.