In what appears to be shaping up as an unexpected litmus-test question of this election cycle, Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, said the mosque planned near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan should be sited elsewhere.
From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
WASHINGTON — Here's something on which Sen. Harry Reid and his challenger Sharron Angle agree: A mosque should not be built near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on New York City.
While respecting that Muslims have a First Amendment right to religious freedom, Reid "thinks this mosque should be built some place else," his spokesman Jim Manley said Monday.
The Nevada Democrat, in a tight re-election battle with Republican Angle, became the highest-ranking Democrat to part with President Barack Obama over the mosque and Islamic community center proposed blocks from Ground Zero, the site of the fallen World Trade Center towers.
Reid doesn't have to worry much about angering a large number of Muslim voters in Nevada since, judging by the small number of mosques there, there are relatively few Muslims there. The are just six mosques in the entire state, according to Islamicity.com.
And it's not the first time Muslims wanting to practice their religion have run into trouble in Nevada.
As the Los Angeles Times reported in March:
A Los Angeles Muslim civil rights organization has filed a misconduct complaint and requested an internal investigation of police in Henderson, Nev., after seven Southern California Muslim men were detained and questioned for praying in a parking lot.
The men were driving through Henderson on Dec. 20 when they stopped for food and gas at a shopping center, according to the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
While stopped, the men prayed next to their vehicle. Two patrol officers soon arrived - followed by a police sergeant, according to a Henderson police spokesman.