Republican president George W. Bush was a huge proponent of the Islamic faith. Here are some of the copious words of praise he heaped upon the Muslim religion in the days, months and years after 9/11:
"Islam is a noble faith."
"Islam brings hope and comfort."
"Islam is peace."
"The faith of Islam...inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality."
"Islam affirms God's justice and insists on man's moral responsibility."
"Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind."
"Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance and we welcome people of all faiths in America."
"We see in Islam a religion that traces its origins back to God's call on Abraham. We share your belief in God's justice, and your insistence on man's moral responsibility. We thank the many Muslim nations who stand with us against terror. Nations that are often victims of terror, themselves."
"Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith. We honor its traditions."
"According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in the Holy Qur'an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements."
"The Islam that we know is a faith devoted to the worship of one God, as revealed through The Holy Qur'an. It teaches the value and the importance of charity, mercy, and peace."
"There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know -- that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion."
In addition, soon after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush placed a Koran on the shelves of the library in the White House. It was the first time a Koran had ever been added to the White House collection. He also began a new tradition of hosting White House Iftaar dinners (a Muslim holiday feast). Some of his closest business partners and friends were Muslims -- the Bin Laden family and the Saudi Royals, with Bush often hosting overnight stays in the White House, complete with taxpayer funded security detail for Prince Bandar bin Sultan. I don't think we've ever had a president or politician so enamored of the Muslim religion before or since his administration, and yes, that includes President Obama. While Bush may be keeping silent on the New York City ground zero mosque debate and refusing to give his opinion in public, it is very likely, due to his self-professed respect and love for Islam, that in private, Bush is in support of the building of the mosque. After all, he was the man who once said:
"America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American because we're one country. Race and color should not divide us, because America is one country."