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Florida reacts to mosque plans in NYC

Bill McCollum joins critics of President Obama, who said yesterday that, for religious freedom reasons, he supports the right of those wanting to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

"The president of the United States giving credibility to this or even offering some semblance of support to building a mosque that this imam (Feisal Abdul Rauf) is behind is an insult to the people – the families of the people – who died there on Sept. 11. We are still at war." 

McCollum stressed a distinction between "radical" Muslims and conventional Muslims, and said that he would not have a problem with a mosque farther away. But couldn't that still turn off regular Muslims? "You cannot defeat the enemy with just turning the cheek," McCollum said. "I think Ronald Reagan showed that: peace through strength."

Meanwhile, other Florida politicians weighed in. Democrats Alex Sink and Jeff Greene said they opposed Obama. "It is my personal opinion that the wishes of the 9/11 victims’ families and friends must be respected," Sink said. "They are opposed to this project and I share their view.”

But Gov. Charlie Crist, running for Senate as an independent, said he shared Obama's view. “I know there are sensitivities and I understand them,” he told reporters after meeting with Obama in Panama City about the oil disaster. “This is a place where you’re supposed to be able to practice your religion without the government telling you you can’t.”