While numerous Republican candidates apparently see an opportunity in stoking the unfortunate outrage over the Islamic community center and mosque set to be built two blocks from Ground Zero in New York, the Washington Post reports that "Republican strategists said there are dangers in pushing the issue too forcefully." The Post reports that Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist said attacking the mosque could hurt the GOP in the long run:
"The support for criticizing a mosque is half a mile wide and an inch deep," conservative activist Grover Norquist warned. "And at the end of the process, the only people who will remember it are the people who feel threatened by this -- not just Muslims, but Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Mormons."
Although there may be short-term political gain now from criticizing the mosque project, he said, the subsequent backlash and perception of religious intolerance may last a long time.