Family members of 9/11 terror attack victims have criticised US President Barack Obama for backing a proposal to build a Muslim community centre and a mosque near Ground Zero, citing the Constitution and principles of religious freedom, ahead of the trial, and added that he absolutely has his "priorities confused".
"I think the President absolutely has his priorities confused," Fox News quoted Debra Burlingame of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, as saying.
"He should be focusing on putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts on trial and allowing them to plead guilty as they said they wanted to do, rather than lecturing the families of those firefighters and their children about religious tolerance at ground zero," she added.
A White House spokesman, however, said politics wasn't a factor in Obama's comments about the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
"The President felt obligated to make sure all Americans are treated fairly, regardless of their religious views," Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton said.