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To Build or Not to Build… We Missed the Question

I continue to be amazed at the fervor that is being generated by a mosque that is being planned two blocks from Ground Zero. I have a few questions for those that are outraged.

  1. How far away from Ground Zero is okay? Five blocks? 10 blocks? 15 blocks? 100 blocks?
  2. Since when have conservatives become so upset over a private company building on their own land?
  3. I thought we were at war with Al Qaeda and not Islam?

Slate has more:

3.  The project is a statement of Islamic conquest. This is Gingrich’s position. “The ground zero mosque is a political statement of radical Islamist triumph,” he tweeted Friday in response to Obama’s speech. Debra Burlingame, the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, issued a similar statement: “Building a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero is a deliberately provocative act.”

These are flatout lies. The project isn’t a “15-story mosque.” It’s a community center with a library, gym, auditorium, and restaurant. Yes, it will include a mosque. It will also host events to facilitate “multifaith dialogue.” It isn’t at Ground Zero—it’s two blocks away, in what used to be a Burlington Coat Factory.

Deliberately provocative? Radical triumph? Hogwash. Go watch Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the project, as he outlines the project to a local community board: “It will establish this community as the place where the moderate Muslim voice condemns terrorism and works for new, peaceful, and harmonious relationships with all New Yorkers.” Or listen to Daisy Khan, the imam’s wife and executive director, as she explainsto radio host Brian Lehrer why they’re planning to build the project near Ground Zero:

Imam Faisal has been leading a congregation for the last 27 years in Tribeca, really only 10 blocks from Ground Zero. … We, the members of the Muslim community, want to be part of the rebuilding process. And we feel a special obligation. And it’s also our way of giving back to this great city that has given us so much. So we’re coming at it from the point of view of wanting to contribute to our society and to take that tragedy of 9/11 and turn it into something very peaceful and hopeful for all of us.

4. Any mosque near Ground Zero is offensive. Responding yesterday to Obama’s speech, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, “[I]t’s unwise … to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of a terrorist attack.”

I’m sorry, Senator: Did you say it’s unwise to build a mosque near the site of a terroristattack?

Others have put the equation more subtly. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., says, “It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero.” Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida, says, “It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism.” All these objections rest on the premise that the 9/11 hijackers, by committing mass murder in the name of Islam, made Islam a religion of mass murder. To accept this equation is to give them the power to define the religion of 1 billion people. That—not the rise of pro-American Islamic pluralism—is the conquest the masterminds of 9/11 sought. Don’t let them have it.

5. Ground Zero is sacred. Palin, rebutting Obama, asks why the project’s sponsors are “so set on building a mosque steps from what you have described, in agreement with me, as ‘hallowed ground.’ ” Her question assumes that the presence of a mosque would defile the sanctity of the site. In other words, unlike Obama, she believes in the kind of sanctity that excludes Islam. That’s exactly the kind of sectarian thinking al-Qaida wants to attribute to the United States and cultivate among Muslims.

By |2010-08-16T18:20:55-04:00August 16th, 2010|Al Qaeda, Civil Liberty, Religion|Comments Off on To Build or Not to Build… We Missed the Question

Muslims and the US

I’m not sure why we continue to pick a group of people, a group of Americans, to single out. Whether it be Blacks, Hispanics, Irish Catholics or Muslims, we Americans have pointed to each of these groups at one time or another and said they aren’t American.

From TP:

Tonight [Ed note – last night], President Obama hosted an iftaar dinner at the White House — a feast marking the culmination of a day of fasting for practicing Muslims during the current Islamic calendar month of Ramadan. At remarks delivered at the dinner, Obama spoke out on the controversy surrounding the construction of a new Islamic center near the Ground Zero site, firmly siding in favor of the project:

OBAMA: Let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.

Just to show that tolerance has no place in America Representative Peter King added:

“President Obama is wrong,” King said. “It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero. While the Muslim community has the right to build the mosque they are abusing that right by needlessly offending so many people who have suffered so much.”

Even some on the Right acknowledge that the Muslim community has the right to build anywhere that they want:

Obama’s defense of the mosque has found some support on the right. Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said Obama’s comments were “ultimately the right thing to do,” adding, “Obama is correct that the way to marginalize radicalism is to respect the best traditions of Islam and protect the religious liberty of Muslim Americans.”

Even on Fox News this morning, the Fox & Friends weekend hosts all agreed that Obama is performing the job that’s required of him. “Obama has to stand up for religious freedom,” said co-host Alisyn Camerota. “He has to stand up for our Constitution,” co-host Dave Briggs offered, to which co-host Clayton Morris added, “That’s the job he gets…defend the Constitution.” Watch the Video:

By |2010-08-14T07:11:18-04:00August 14th, 2010|Civil Liberty, Obama administration, Religion|Comments Off on Muslims and the US

Serving up a big bowl of crazy

I can’t get a radio show and this clown has one? Maybe it is because I will not say crazy, over-the-top garbage.

From Think Progress:

The American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative recently presented plans to build a community center two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City that would include “a mosque, performance art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.” Even though a community advisory board voted in favor of the proposal, conservatives have continued to attack the plan, with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) calling it “offensive.”

On Wednesday, a man named “Tony” called into the KTRH-AM (Houston, TX) radio show of right-wing radio host Michael Berry in support of the Muslim center. First, Berry asked the caller whether “Tony” was his real name, because with his accent, he didn’t “sound like a ‘Tony.’” He repeatedly tried to link to the mosque to terrorists, eventually saying that if the mosque is built, he hopes someone blows it up:

BERRY: No, Tony, you can’t build a mosque at the site of 9/11.

TONY: Why not? Why not?

BERRY: No, you can’t. And I’ll tell you this: If you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up. … I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up. And I mean that. … It’s right-wing radicals like me that are going to keep this country safe for you and everyone else from the people who are flying the planes from the country you fled from. If you want to identify with those people, go live with them.

By |2010-05-28T14:30:51-04:00May 28th, 2010|Party Politics|Comments Off on Serving up a big bowl of crazy
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