Richard Brodsky stood by his position on the Ground Zero Mosque today, saying that if elected attorney general he would defend the legal right of the mosque’s supporters to build, but also arguing that another site for the religious complex should be found.
“Equal treatment before the law is the prime and most important virtue that an attorney general can live by,” he said. “But as a political and social leader it seems to me we have to talk about the human consequences of the exercise of that legal right.”
Brodsky is the only candidate running in the Democratic primary for attorney general-and one of the few Democrats in the state, for that matter-who has opposed the mosque.
He first made his opposition known at an ABC debate during an off-the-cuff question, and he said he has not wavered from that first answer.
“This is the scene of a horrific mass murder. It’s not just another site,” he said. “The murder wasn’t an Islamic crime, but it was a crime committed in the name of Islam by people most Muslims reject. I get that. But if you are the family of a victim, there are sensitivities involved that we should all respect.”
Brodsky compared the proposed religious center to building a pork store next to a mosque, and to Ronald Reagan visiting a Nazi cemetery.
“Even if you have a legal right to do it, it’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “Can’t we just work this out and find a site that is less inflammatory?”
Finally, Brodsky said that temperature should be dialed down on the debate.
“The political conversation has reduced this to stereotypes, that if you are against the mosque you are a bigot, and if you are in favor of the mosque you are terrorist. I reject that,” he said. “It’s still possible to be a public official and be thoughtful.”
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