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 House, Islamic Cultural Center/Mosque, don’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.)