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Those Broad-Minded Opponents of “Ground Zero Mosque” Critics

I have so far not weighed in so much on the “Ground Zero Mosque” as I have on the debate surrounding its construction.

But, the one that strikes me more than anything is the haughty tone of its defenders, well, actually, I should say the critics of its opponent for they’re not so much defending the construction of the mosque as attacking the rubes who oppose it.  It seems that they’re tripping over themselves to label those critics “anti-Muslim” both for the self-satisfaction that comes in showing just how tolerant they are and the self-righteousness they feel when showing just how much more broad-minded they are than those narrow-minded bumpkins, many of whom are their perennial ideological adversaries.

Once again, the Apollo of punditry, so cool and clear-headed in his thinking so completely gets it:

Where the president flagged, however, the liberal intelligentsia stepped in with gusto, penning dozens of pro-mosque articles characterized by a frenzied unanimity, little resort to argument and a singular difficulty dealing with analogies.

The Atlantic’s Michael Kinsley was typical in arguing that the only possible grounds for opposing the Ground Zero mosque are bigotry or demagoguery. Well then, what about Pope John Paul II’s ordering the closing of the Carmelite convent just outside Auschwitz? (Surely there can be no one more innocent of that crime than those devout nuns.) How does Kinsley explain this remarkable demonstration of sensitivity, this order to pray — but not there? He doesn’t even feign analysis. He simply asserts that the decision is something “I confess that I never did understand.”

That’s his Q.E.D.? Is he stumped or is he inviting us to choose between his moral authority and that of one of the towering moral figures of the 20th century?

Can’t they wrap their heads around the notion that we might have qualms not just about the location of the mosque (in an area which one prominent Muslim notes “there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district“), but also about a project headed up by a man who says, “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims“?

Elizabeth Scalia gets at another point that the opponents of mosque critics lose sight of:

I wrote here that if we had not so utterly failed in rebuilding at Ground Zero, the Cordoba HouseIslamic Cultural Center/Mosquedon’t-call-it-a-mosque-Park51 currently occupying our thoughts would not have been an issue, at all . . . .

I believe that’s really what all the controversy comes down to: the unspoken pronouncement of America as a horse so weakened, she cannot find the spirit to rebuild where she should have, the overall message the gaping hole at Ground Zero sends of defeat, and disorder.

Read the whole thing.  Shrinkwrapped offers another related perspective:

The location of the Mosque and the persistence of its leaders despite the distress its location has evoked in its neighbors suggests that they may not be acting in good faith.  (David Harsanyi has an excellent perspective on the problem: How Is This Tolerance?)

(H/t to readers Leah and Spartann for providing links and quotes for this post.)

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28 Comments

  1. First of all, the progressives who have been proclaiming their support for the GZVM in the name of “religious freedom,” are the same folks who’ve been cheering the ACLU and its jihad to eliminate any expression of Christian Faith from the public square for the past 40 years… which makes me doubt their sincerity.

    Second, the “moderate Muslims” who want to build the GZVM claim they want to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims, but their response to objections to the placement of the mosque isn’t to compromise and try to understand the feelings of the people they claim to want to build bridges to… but to dig in their heels and demand that everybody accommodate them. I guess that’s a one-way bridge they want to build.

    Third, it turns out someone has gotten a hold of Imam Rauf’s sermons and speeches, and unless you think calls for the destruction of Israel, support for Wahabbism, and defending Osama bin Laden are the actions of a moderate… he’s not so moderate.

    Comment by V the K — August 20, 2010 @ 9:06 pm - August 20, 2010

  2. The support from the left for the GZ mosque solidfies, in my mind, the utter insanity of liberalism. I don’t see how any thinking person can rationalize modern-day liberalism – the contradictions are just too much for me to get my mind around.

    A benediction at a school graduation; a Christmas tree in a park… worthy of a lawsuit (and government force) to supress. Yet opposition to a symbol of an Islamist triumph (I’m not advocating government action – although the finances behind the flurry of mega-mosque building would certainly be interesting) is bigotry. Huh?

    The idea that we need to show the Muslim world how good we are is a crock. We’ve nothing to prove and they still don’t like us. What we need to do is make sure that people with evil intent are afraid of us.

    If a Muslim chooses to live here in a fashion compatible with our laws and traditions then, fine. Welcome. But a Muslim that wants to turn this country into an Islamic nation can leave. There are almost 60 nations in the OIC. Pick one and go.

    On a related note, former AG Alberto Gonzales in the WaPo on how we don’t need to tinker with the 14th Amendment:

    Diversity is one of the great strengths of the United States — diversity fueled by the migration of ethnicities, cultures and ideas.

    To which I say: prove it.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — August 20, 2010 @ 9:25 pm - August 20, 2010

  3. One of my facebook friends–someone I knew in college and graduate school who was recently ordained as an American Baptist minister (American Baptist is a very liberal denomination, not to be confused with Southern Baptist) penned a little piece today which quoted something by Roger Ebert which said that the complex planned for the actual site of Ground Zero was to include, among other things, a shopping mall. My facebook friend’s conclusion from this was that because no one had publicly objected to the shopping mall, their objection to Cordoba House could only be explained as anti-Muslim prejudice.

    I try not to get in arguments with facebook friends, but I was inclined to make a comment along the lines of, “you might want to double-check some of your premises before reaching that conclusion.” She assumes first of all that many people know about the shopping mall (and that if they did, they would object to it), she further assumes that the decision to do any business in that location constitutes a desecration of the site, and she also assumes that the history of the Imam behind Cordoba House is irrelevant to the matter. Further, she probably doesn’t even know about the Greek Orthodox Church that was unable to rebuild, even though this project was given green lights through an accelerated approval process.

    Regarding SoCalRobert’s observations about the insanity of modern liberalism, Evan Sayet has memorably formulated the central premise of modern liberalism as “indeterminacy is a moral imperative.” That certainly helps to explain the response of my American Baptist facebook friend who seems overly concerned with prejudice against what is quite obviously a competing religious tradition, though of course she’d never admit that, because even modern liberal Christians are uncomfortable claiming that their beliefs have anything to do with truth–except when they are calling other people racist bigots, of course.

    Comment by Kurt — August 21, 2010 @ 12:48 am - August 21, 2010

  4. Well I guess Pelosi will investigate me, that botoxed bimbo, but I absolutely oppose the GZ mosque. Maybe it’s because my brother, Captain Brian Hickey of the FDNY died there that day. Maybe it’s because we never found his body, and had to bury his helmet, the only thing we ever found of him. Maybe it’s because all his children had to grow up without a father.

    Maybe its because jackasses like Nancy Pelosi are so freaking stupid that they say I should be investigated. Come on Nancy, I’m calling you down, investigate me! 8028 South Lake Drive, Dublin, CA. Come and get me bitch.

    Nancy, you and Obama are asses of the world’s largest order. I hope you both just slide off into obscurity for the rest of your pathetic lives.

    Comment by John in Dublin CA — August 21, 2010 @ 1:40 am - August 21, 2010

  5. So, the argument that convinces you is that Auschwitz is just like some indeterminate radius around the WTC site? I don’t really have the time, but that’s ridiculous, and if you don’t recognize it on your own, it’s not worth wasting time explaining.

    Comment by Levi — August 21, 2010 @ 8:00 am - August 21, 2010

  6. If the Imam wants outreach and dialog, would he not rather be located near Times Square where he can get real traffic?

    I would like just one lib who has suddenly become hot for religion to explain why Ground Zero is such an ideal choice for locating a mosque, Muslim outreach and dialog center.

    Most of the “Mosques” in the NYC area are nothing more than grubby rooms where men only go to do their rug bobbing and listen to whatever the Imam is selling.

    Somehow, this particular Mosque has morphed into a tourist center where moderate Muslims will come to get the word on how to make the world safe for jihad.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 21, 2010 @ 8:46 am - August 21, 2010

  7. Name calling is all liberals can resort to when they don’t have a valid argument. None of my conservative friends have ever said they don’t think the Muslims don’t have a right to build a mosque. We’re just saying that 2 blocks from Ground Zero is not the right place to do it. That doesn’t make us racist or bigoted. Building this mosque at it’s present intended site is simply poking a finger in the eye of non-Muslims. The imam has declined to even discuss placing it elsewhere in New York. How is that for cooperation? There is no such thing as one sided cooperation…that’s called bending over.

    I’m sick and tired of being called racist when I’m not the one with the racist arguments, real or imaginary. Give me facts or points, not nasty names. Oh, I forgot…they don’t have any.

    Comment by Mary — August 21, 2010 @ 9:57 am - August 21, 2010

  8. It’s not a Mosque, it’s a freaking COMMUNITY CENTER!

    When will you dumb cons get your facts straight?!

    Oh that’s right, you all watch Fox News. never mind.

    Comment by steve — August 21, 2010 @ 10:29 am - August 21, 2010

  9. I support the mosque because I support the Constitution and the Americans, Muslim and otherwise, who died for it.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — August 21, 2010 @ 11:41 am - August 21, 2010

  10. This is a fascinating dilemma for us believers; how do we profess and maintain absolute conviction in our own faith while still respecting those who don’t believe as we do? This is a challenge most secularists are not intellectually capable of managing; and one these so called “moderate” Muslims have no interest in engaging.

    I think Jim Treacher had it right when he listed the three things he learned from liberals about the GZVM:

    1. It’s not a mosque if it has a basketball court.
    2. Ground Zero does not extend one inch beyond the edge of the crater.
    3. Shut Up.

    Comment by V the K — August 21, 2010 @ 12:03 pm - August 21, 2010

  11. Further, she probably doesn’t even know about the Greek Orthodox Church that was unable to rebuild, even though this project was given green lights through an accelerated approval process.

    Location, location, location. The St. Nicholas church was literally across the street (specifically, Liberty St.) from the South Tower — which made it inevitable that its rebuilding would be complexly intertwined with the construction plans for the new WTC buildings and memorial. Moreover, the St. Nicholas congregation has been seeking to put the new building about a block away from where the old one stood, which would allow the new structure to have a larger footprint. So trying to work out the land-swap deal with the city introduced an additional delay.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — August 21, 2010 @ 12:26 pm - August 21, 2010

  12. Hey, steve. The facilities include a mosque. I didn’t get that from Fox, but from the group’s own website. look it up. btw, you’re an asshole. love, dumb con

    Comment by EssEm — August 21, 2010 @ 12:43 pm - August 21, 2010

  13. It’s the sixties in Birmingham, Alabama and the 16th Street Baptist Church has been bombed, killing three little girls. A few years later, down the street, a congregation of the South African Dutch Reformed Church wants to open up. Constitutional freedom of religion or grossly insulting assholery: discuss.

    Comment by EssEm — August 21, 2010 @ 12:47 pm - August 21, 2010

  14. Personally, I suspect this wouldn’t be nearly so controversial if the adhan call booming from the loudspeakers five times a day didn’t sound QUITE so much like Florence Foster Jenkins buggering a tomcat.

    Just the thought that visitors to the WTC Memorial might have to hear that is enough to bother a lot of otherwise tolerant people, I think.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — August 21, 2010 @ 12:56 pm - August 21, 2010

  15. I suspect this wouldn’t be nearly so controversial if the adhan call booming from the loudspeakers five times a day didn’t sound QUITE so much like Florence Foster Jenkins buggering a tomcat.

    Hey! The president… who by the way is not a Muslim (pinky-swear)… says it’s the most beautiful sound in the world. Of course, he also says he created six million jobs, so who are we to argue?

    Comment by V the K — August 21, 2010 @ 1:35 pm - August 21, 2010

  16. If more emphasis is placed on the inability of St. Nicholas´Greek Orthodox to rebuild zi see two possible results. Opposition to the mosque/cultural center will increase, what´s good for the goose is good for the gander. The other result will be greater support for St. Nicholas to rebuild.

    Comment by Roberto — August 21, 2010 @ 7:35 pm - August 21, 2010

  17. [...] More on the Psyops of the Mosque from Shrinkwrapped and Gay Patriot [...]

    Pingback by The Anchoress | A First Things Blog — August 22, 2010 @ 9:15 am - August 22, 2010

  18. Do Muslims have a legal right to build a mosque at ground-zero?

    Of course they do.

    Do i have a legal right to burn or otherwise desecrate a Quran? Do i have a legal right to show an image of Muhammad? Do i have a legal right to publish a book about book about ‘Islamo-Fascism’? (see: Satanic Verses) Surely, if i attempted to do any of these totally legal things, Fatwas would be issued. The lives of my family members would be in danger for years afterward, and perhaps for decades.

    While i agree that Islamo-Fascism is a minority in Islam, and even more so when you consider ‘Muslim Americans, i do not agree that my opposition to fascists is in any way “intolerant”. And if their point is that “location shouldn’t matter”, then may we build a Buddhist Temple in Mecca? A Christian church? A Synagogue?

    Opponents of the ground zero mosque are not protesting every mosque in America, just the ones built by terrorist front-groups.
    .

    Comment by gastorgrab — August 22, 2010 @ 5:21 pm - August 22, 2010

  19. To drive a wedge between the American Muslim community, and the decadent system of their new homeland? That’s the goal of this whole thing, isn’t it?

    They want to alienate American Muslims from the rest of the population. They want to make it so that people who are currently indifferent, actually hate one-another.

    It’s a self-justifying prophecy!
    .

    Comment by gastorgrab — August 22, 2010 @ 7:34 pm - August 22, 2010

  20. I find the idea of a mosque (or Muslim community center, or whatever it’s supposed to be) built near the WTC site as distasteful as most people. But I don’t see what can be done about it. If a mosque is going to be disallowed near the site, how can you allow other religious places of worship to be built there?

    As for the issue that the mosque is being funded by terrorists and/or the ones running the mosque support the destruction of Israel, Sharia law, etc., frankly the location of the mosque is completely irrelevant. Such mosques have no place anywhere in this country.

    Comment by Pat — August 23, 2010 @ 7:00 am - August 23, 2010

  21. I find the idea of a mosque (or Muslim community center, or whatever it’s supposed to be) built near the WTC site as distasteful as most people. But I don’t see what can be done about it. If a mosque is going to be disallowed near the site, how can you allow other religious places of worship to be built there?

    As for the issue that the mosque is being funded by terrorists and/or the ones running the mosque support the destruction of Israel, Sharia law, etc., frankly the location of the mosque is completely irrelevant. Such mosques have no place anywhere in this country.

    Comment by Pat — August 23, 2010 @ 7:01 am - August 23, 2010

  22. Pat,

    I agree on both points, but want to challenge you on the first.

    Yes, they have the right to build it there. We also have the right to protest, organize around it, build a gay bar next door to the “All you can eat bacon buffet and beer joint” next to the Mosque and otherwise make it as uncomfortable as possible.

    The only Government interference that worries me is that it seems that the process was expedited to ‘preserve tolerance’ I don’t see that the government needs to waive noise ordenances for the call to prayer for example.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2010 @ 7:13 am - August 23, 2010

  23. Livewire, good points. Yes, I certainly agree with the right to people to protest the decision. And while I firmly believe in religious freedom, no one should be exempt from laws, including noise ordinances. As for the government interference you presented, I’m afraid I’m not surprised. And I will be ticked if a gay bar or a pork buffet joint is denied solely because of the mosque. In fact, I would love to see people to try to establish those type of businesses there. I would definitely check them out.

    Comment by Pat — August 23, 2010 @ 7:57 am - August 23, 2010

  24. Mayor Bloomberg´s support for the mosque/cultural center is hypocritical. He said that it will contribute to diversity. Doesn´t the reconstruction of St. Nicholas´Greek Orthodox Church contribute to the diversity of area or city? It was decimated by the collapse of the South Tower. Why should they be denied permission to rebuild?

    Comment by Roberto — August 23, 2010 @ 12:44 pm - August 23, 2010

  25. “Doesn’t the reconstruction of St. Nicholas´Greek Orthodox Church contribute to the diversity of area or city? It was decimated by the collapse of the South Tower. Why should they be denied permission to rebuild?”

    Exactly!

    Not to mention the St. Nicholas has been in that land for almost a hundred years – much longer than the Twin Towers. St. Nicholas has property rights there – which the Port Authority and the City are denying to them.

    Comment by newton — August 23, 2010 @ 2:50 pm - August 23, 2010

  26. Just the newest “hate du jour” to garner votes out of white trash red states…you can’t openly hate Negroes anymore…womern folk cannot go back to the kitchen, we need the second income…latinos? well watch it GOP…they are soon the majority and you’d better be careful if you wanna hold power…cripples do get those nice parking spaces, so we can’t be too nasty to them…gays and lesbians…well that issue seems to be a lead balloon…unless the SCOTUS overturns Prop 8 and the you can use that again…so what is left for you to hate?

    A non-mosque two blocks away from WTC site.

    You have no plan so you must garner hate voters.

    Comment by steve — August 23, 2010 @ 4:59 pm - August 23, 2010

  27. Steve, see #12. Repeat.

    Comment by EssEm — August 23, 2010 @ 6:16 pm - August 23, 2010

  28. Essem, don´t try to convince steve, his head is alredy made up. That´s why he´s disabled and has preferred parking.

    Comment by Roberto — August 23, 2010 @ 6:35 pm - August 23, 2010

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