The First Amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we’ve been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City.
Now, an investigation of a political protest movement may pass constitutional muster, but it certainly smacks of authoritarianism. An investigation does not mean she favors abridging freedom or speech or curtailing “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” which is what opponents of the “Ground Zero Mosque” have been doing. But, she sure doesn’t seem comfortable with it.
Why, may I ask, does she need to know how this is being “ginned up”? Why can’t she just take issue with their arguments without casting aspersions at their motives?
Wonder if she also wants to investigate her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid who thinks the mosque should be built elsewhere? Guess she’ll also be calling for an investigation of Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, director of Al-Arabiya TV who wrote that the “last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery.“
My sense is that an investigation will find that opposition to the mosque hasn’t been ginned up (as Mrs. Pelosi might put it) by some dark and sinister (in Pelosi speak, read conservative) forces, but is merely the grassroots opposition of a good number of Americans who don’t think it appropriate to build such a center so close to Ground Zero site, as Charles Krauthammer so eloquently put it, “of the greatest mass murder in American history — perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.”
It’s not just that, a number of opponents (of the mosque) have raised questions about its funding, the leader of the project, even the rationale behind its name. Their opposition is not based on animosity against Islam per se, but based on serious questions about the project’s purpose.
UPDATE: Mark Hemingway asks:
We still don’t know how the astoundingly expensive mosque itself is being financed, but we need to investigate the funding of an obviously grassroots campaign against it?
That does seem the more important investigation, no?
It is telling which side in this dispute Mrs. Pelosi seeks to investigate.