Norquist: Attack on Mosque Will Undermine Past Republican Political Gains

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norquist reagan.jpgSlate‘s Dave Weigel has posted on a very interesting interview that he did with Republican icon and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
In an argument that I had not seen anywhere, Norquist argues that Republicans fought hard to win enhanced legal rights for faith-based organizations when engaged in disputes with local and regional government authorities. And now, he argues, they are undermining one of their most notable accomplishments.
Weigel writes:

In an interview just now, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform made a point about the “ground zero mosque” controversy that I hadn’t heard before. One reason that opponents are going to have trouble legally preventing Park51 from building its Muslim cultural center is that, in 2000, a Republican Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
It’s not that this was a partisan effort. It passed by voice vote in the House and Senate, and was helped through the higher body by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). The goal of the legislation, supported by a coalition of religious groups, was to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Employment Division Department of Human Resources v. Smith and give churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship more power in disputes with local and municipal authorities.
“This was one of the great victories of the religious right,” said Norquist. “And now some people want to scrap it to make this point?”

In another good posting by Weigel at Slate, Norquist continues:

“Republicans will lose Jewish votes by focusing on a mosque in New York.”
“You’re not just going to lose Muslim votes,” said Norquist, who has long argued that Republicans should win those voters. “You’re going to lose Jewish votes, Indian votes, Buddhist votes. Every member of a minority group looks at a situation like this and says, oh, the people hitting this minority will eventually start hitting me.”

I wonder if anyone shared Weigel’s interview with Harry Reid before he began pointing the wrong direction.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

62 comments on “Norquist: Attack on Mosque Will Undermine Past Republican Political Gains

  1. davidt says:

    I find this mind-boggling.
    You’re suggesting that Harry Reid take a tip from Grover
    Norquist? Perhaps you’ll now tell us that African leaders
    should learn from Charles Taylor for showing appreciation
    to a fellow dinner guest?
    I don’t agree with Reid’s stance on this issue but don’t you
    occasionally pose as someone who wants more stimulus
    spending and don’t you care about our federal (not to
    mention state and local) government? Is there anyone,
    other than a particular president perhaps, who has done
    more to prevent the necessary funds raised to pay for
    popular (and some unpopular) programs? Yes freedom of
    religon is very important. But aren’t all those social welfare
    programs and education programs that are being slashed
    right and left also rather important — for our future — if not
    to mention for our least well off? How many prominent
    Republicans are comfortable refusing to sign Norquist’s
    pledge? The California budget situation is disastrous and
    Norquist can take pride in this as its one of his signature
    accomplishments (not his alone but without his efforts
    things would likely be much less dire).
    Besides which the Norquist quote alone calls into question
    his virtue as he says the vote was a big victory for the
    religious right yet the author (as well as a Time magazine
    author) point out that this is nonsense (unless perhaps Ted
    Kennedy used to carry water for the religious right). But
    then why quibble with a fact or two when you’re
    commending Norquist who’s never had trouble playing fast
    and loose with profiles of the spending of various
    administrations.
    I know, Steve, that you personally like this guy and
    appreciate his letting you go to his meetings but how can
    you consider yourself for progressive government (or
    anything approaching it) as it is drained of resources —
    particularly from Norquist’s most favored business interests
    and very wealthy? Might there not also be major foreign
    policy implications with Norquist’s efforts (even if we were
    to exit Afghanistan tomorrow, is it really likely that whatever
    money we might save would be diverted to the State
    Department?). But then, it is nice that he let’s you come to
    the meetings…so perhaps, never mind. I hear the mafia has
    some meetings you can attend for the small price of an
    occasional mention here :).
    Somewhat (the last part only) in jest.
    David T

    Reply

  2. Kathleen Graasso Andersen says:

    Cee, wasn’t aware of Rex 84…thanks…my internet connection is too slow for me to view video, but I’ll check out the link at a techi-friend’s…
    Jerry, “stepped into it’s own hypocricy”…loved that turn of phrase. Norquist’s position highlights the religious intolerance of the “religious right”…he is right about their recent “victory” on faith based initiatives…on the subject of “doing unto others”, I’d say they flunk.Quelle surprise!!!

    Reply

  3. Jerry says:

    The crusade to make Christianity the State religion has stepped into its own hypocrisy.
    Some of the Founding Fathers were more farsighted then Norquist, et al.

    Reply

  4. Cee says:

    Kathleen,
    Remember Reagan and Rex 84?
    http://videosift.com/video/Oliver-North-Questioned-Rex-84-Exposed-During-Iran-Contra
    Add Black folks too. OMG!!! Obama is a semite!!

    Reply

  5. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Cee…”preventive detention”…the top of my list of pet peeves.The concept originated with Richard Nixon when he was a Congressman from CA…it became law as the Internal Emergency Security Act, which called for the creation and maintenence of 6 “relocation centers” kept on 24 hour alert…in the event of an “internal emergency”, the president could declare a state of emergency and then, on the advice of the Attorney General, “supposed subversives’ could be rounded up and “preventively detained” for the duration of the emergency, with no formal charges, etc. The act was repealed, but all of it’s most offensive elements have been retained in FEMA and enlarged in the Patiot Act, the Military Commissions Act and various of Busholini’s Executive Orders.
    On the subject of our gov’t’s response to 9/11, I’ve always questioned Bush/Cheney’s refusal to appoint a 9/11 Commission and their subsequent refusal to testify after Senator Jim Jeffords gave Dems the majority, enabling Tom Daschle to appoint the commission. Given that they protected Bin Laden’s relatives, allowing them all to fly out of the US, no questions asked, and then rounding up thousdands of people with little or no connection to Bin Laden, just because they were Arabs…they were “preventively detained”, tortured and this was called the “War on Terror”.
    Pathetic! I may need reading glasses, but I sure can see through this. Repugnicans have no shame and no honor….they exploit the pain of the victims’ families for their own political gains. It’s beyond nauseating.
    Sociologically speaking, since Arabs are semites, does being anti-Arab make one anti-semitic? I think so.

    Reply

  6. Cee says:

    Right Kathleen! How sad that most people are too afraid to speak against them.
    August 3, 2010
    The Wisdom Fund
    Fear Paralyzes U.S. Muslim ‘Leaders’
    Citing the thoroughly debunked, official account of 9/11 as gospel, anti-Muslim bigots and opportunists rally around opposition to an Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York
    by Enver Masud
    Following the events of September 11, 2001, Muslims in the U.S. had reason to fear the U.S. government. Nine years on, the failure of Muslim leaders to make a concerted, united effort to expose the false account of 9/11 put forth by the U.S. government is inexcusable.
    Earlier this year, the Guardian (UK) reported:
    in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the US government undertook the “preventative detention” of about 5,000 men on the basis of their birthplace and later sought a further 19,000 “voluntary interviews”. Over the next year, more than 170,000 men from 24 predominantly Muslim countries and North Korea were fingerprinted and interviewed in a programme of “special registration”. None of these produced a single terrorism conviction.
    Muslims were hauled away by the government to places unknown. They were not informed of the charges against them, had no idea when they would be released, and were not given access to lawyers. Several Muslim charities were raided, their offices shut down.
    The Orwellian named Patriot Act had destroyed habeas corpus. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson had “ruled that it is constitutionally permissible to round up foreign nationals on immigration charges based solely on their race, religion or country of origin. What’s more, he said they can be detained indefinitely, even after they have agreed to be removed to their home countries” wrote David Cole, law professor at Georgetown University.
    While the George W. Bush administration was rounding up Muslims, and launching attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, Jews and Christians spoke out against associating Islam with 9/11.
    Since then, while evidence against the official account of 9/11 has grown, so have attacks on Muslims and Islam.
    Anti-Muslim bigots and political opportunists have rallied around opposition to the Islamic Center planned near Ground Zero — the site of the World Trade Center attacks.
    Former Republican candidate for vice president Sarah Palin, candidates for 2010 elections, right-wing news media, and the Anti-defamation League (ADL) have jumped on the bandwagon.
    Mosques are being vandalized, and the construction of new mosques opposed.
    So why aren’t Muslim “leaders” using their trump card — the false account of 9/11, to fight back?
    If Muslim “leaders” were to fight back by denouncing the official account of 9/11 as patently false, they would find many Americans supporting their effort.
    The number of Americans who do not believe the official account of 9/11 is increasing
    Nine years on, there’s overwhelming evidence that the official account of 9/11 is false, and a significant number of Americans do not believe “The 9/11 Commission Report”.
    These include 220 senior military, intelligence, law enforcement, and government personnel; 1200 architects and engineers; 250 pilots and aviation personnel; 400 professors; 300 survivors of 9/11; firefighters, and their numbers keep increasing.
    “A poll taken by World Public Opinion, a collaborative project of research centers in various countries managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, College Park, polled 16,063 people in 17 nations outside of the United States during the summer of 2008. They found that majorities in only 9 of the 17 countries believe Al Qaeda carried out the attacks.”
    In November 2007 Scripps Howard survey found that 32% believed it was “very likely”, and 30% believed that it was “somewhat likely” that “some people in the federal government had specific warnings of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, but chose to ignore those warnings.”
    On August 30, 2004, Zogby International, an independent U.S. polling company, reported half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act,” according to the poll conducted by Zogby International.
    On May 24, 2006, Zogby reported that 42% believe “believe the government and 9/11 Commission are covering up”, and 44% “believe President Bush exploited the 9/11 attacks (44%) or justified an attack on Iraq (44%). 43% were “not aware of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse”, and 45% believe the “government should reinvestigate the attacks”.
    There are dozens of books exposing the false account of 9/11 — books by Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, David Ray Griffin, are highly recommended to those who have the patience to digest the wealth of information he makes available.
    Easier to digest is the 80-page “9/11 Unveiled” which is a free download — for sources, photos, videos, referred to in “9/11 Unveiled” go to The Wisdom Fund website.
    Paralyzed by fear, Muslim ‘leaders’ silent on 9/11
    Despite the widespread skepticism voiced by non-Muslims, Muslim “leaders” remain silent about 9/11. They refuse even to examine the facts about 9/11, and silence discussion of those facts by members of their organization.
    Their silence implies agreement with the official account of 9/11 — now thoroughly debunked by engineers, architects, pilots, and others.
    These silent Muslim “leaders” include officials of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) — the organizations most often cited by establishment news media.
    As far as we know, no Muslim “leader” who came with the Obama administration, or who has been funded by the Obama administration, or whose articles appear in establishment newspapers such as the Washington Post, has criticized the official account of 9/11.
    Interfaith organizations in which Muslims participate have remained silent — the truth about 9/11 would drastically change the tone and substance of their dialogue.
    9/11 remains the elephant in the room.There are, however, exceptions.
    Kevin Barrett’s radio shows host outspoken critics of the official account of 9/11. Several African-American leaders have criticized the official account.
    Muslims in South Africa invited me on a 3-week, 9/11 lecture tour where they arranged radio interviews, a television interview broadcast to 20 plus countries, and for me to speak to audiences of hundreds daily in 11 cities in South Africa, and in two cities in Malawi.
    A similar effort by U.S. Muslim organizations, in support of the “9/11 truth” movement, may have diminished the anti-Islam hysteria prevalent today.
    Ground Zero Islamic Center controversy — a unique opportunity lost
    The controversy over the $100 million Islamic Center being developed by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement near “Ground Zero” in New York — now called Park51 — is a unique opportunity for Muslims to speak out on 9/11.
    However, despite the repeated use of 9/11 by opponents of the Islamic Center, proponents of the Islamic Center have failed to point that there’s hard evidence to refute the official account — 19 Arab hijackers led by Osama bin Laden did not carry out the attacks of 9/11.
    The evidence against Bin Laden and al-Qaeda promised by then Secretary of State Colin Powell on NBC’s Meet the Press, September 23, 2001, has yet to be made available to the public. The Osama bin Laden poster at the FBI website, does not claim that bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.
    The Cordoba Initiative (founded 2004) last filed an IRS Form 990 in 2008 showing revenues $0, expenses $2767, and net assets of $18,255. The American Society for Muslim Advancement (founded 1998) has apparently never filed an IRS Form 990.
    Officials of the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement will need millions in donations to build the center. Their position on 9/11 will most likely reflect the position of their donors.
    ADAMS Center officials say they ‘cannot legally provide a platform’ for discussion of 9/11
    The Washington DC area is home to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS); its influence extends well outside the area.
    A recent exchange of emails with officials at ADAMS is an example of the pervasive fear among Muslim “leaders” to speak out, or even be seen to provide a platform for others who speak out against the official account of 9/11.
    Excerpts from the first email exchange:
    EM: But isn’t it also our duty to stand for truth and justice even when it may involve some personal risk? Unfortunately, when it comes to the biggest issue of our time (9/11), it appears that Muslim “leaders” are unwilling to speak out. They are unwilling to even discuss the facts with fellow Muslims.
    ADAMS: . . . the time and place to discuss 9/11 is through political dialogues like these. While Virginia Delegates have little impact on U.S. national policy, they are responsible for legislation and regulation in Virginia that can and will affect our community . . . If you see our duty as being involved in these issues, why are you not signing up to attend this event?
    Excerpts from the second email exchange:
    EM: I’ve been trying to get ADAMS to discuss 9/11 for quite some time, and keep hitting a brick wall. I believe that the official account of 9/11 is false. I’ve been told that ADAMS does not permit political discussion, and I have stopped using the ADAMS list to try to express my views on the subject.
    ADAMS: Thank you for clarifying what you meant. . . . As a 501(c)(3) organization, ADAMS can organize or implement only those kind of political discussions that are non-partisan, . . . programs that are patently partisan would violate our legal status. Your message makes clear your strong partisan views about 9/11. It is your right to hold and promote such views. But all religious organizations are legally obliged to remain non-partisan, and to mount political outreach events only for the education of our community. . . . ADAMS therefore cannot legally provide a platform to promote personal and politicized views.
    Excerpts from the third email exchange:
    EM: I believe ADAMS misunderstands the role of 501(c)(3) corporations. Non-partisan means not supporting a particular candidate. A 501(c)(3) corporation may hold and expound views on any issue. The Wisdom Fund is a 501(c)(3) corporation, established in 1995, . . . as examples of public expression: (1) our quarter page advertisement in the Obama inaugural issue of the Washington Times — (bottom right), enlarged; (2) letter to the president, attorney general, etc. How can ADAMS claim to lead, and not take a position on the biggest issue of this decade — 9/11?
    ADAMS: I have tried to rationally explain our position; it is clear you are not open to any position but your own. I have greeted you as a brother but your responses make clear you do not reciprocate that approach. I pray that Allah (SWT) will bless and guide you to the right path, and grant you Wisdom. Please do not respond to this e-mail. I will delete any further messages from you unread.
    To summarize, ADAMS invited me to attend their dialogue with “Virginia Delegates” scheduled for July 28, then they claimed that they could not “legally provide a platform” for my views on 9/11. When I informed them that a 501(c)(3) corporation may legally voice its views — it may not support a candidate for office, ADAMS terminated the discussion.
    ADAMS is not alone in shying away from 9/11.
    Mosques across America have similar policies. Several invitations that I received to talk on 9/11 were cancelled after they were issued and accepted — including two attended by high-ranking officials and imams from majority Muslim countries.
    America’s foreign policy establishment created the Islamic threat to advance its interests
    On August 27, 1992, Leon T. Hadar, a former bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post, and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute, wrote in “The ‘Green Peril’: Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat”:
    Now that the Cold War is becoming a memory, America’s foreign policy establishment has begun searching for new enemies. . . . Topping the list of potential new global bogeymen, however, are the Yellow Peril, the alleged threat to American economic security emanating from East Asia, and the so-called Green Peril (green is the color of Islam). . . .
    George Will even suggested that the 1,000-year battle between Christendom and Islam might be breaking out . . .
    Indeed, “a new specter is haunting America, one that some Americans consider more sinister than Marxism-Leninism,” according to Douglas E. Streusand. . . .
    “Islamic fundamentalism is an aggressive revolutionary movement as militant and violent as the Bolshevik, Fascist, and Nazi movements of the past,” according to Amos Perlmutter. . . .
    There are dangerous signs that the process of creating a monolithic threat out of isolated events and trends in the Moslem world is already beginning. . . .
    It is not the Green Peril that the United States is facing in the gulf but the peril embodied in its own policies.
    In 1997, former National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wrote in “The Grand Chessboard”:
    A power that dominates Eurasia [the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching all the way through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean — including the Middle East and most of the Indian subcontinent] would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.
    The key to controlling Eurasia, said Brzezinski, is controlling the Central Asian Republics.
    This is just a continuation of the age old quest by all empires for control of resources and markets.
    In 1948, “the leading dove and peace prize winner” George Kennan wrote in the top secret Policy Planning Study 23 for the U.S. Department of State:
    we have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population . . . Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity . . . To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality . . . We should cease to talk about vague and . . . unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.
    In the September 2000 report, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, the neocon funded Project for the New American Century (PNAC) stated:
    America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy producing region, and East Asia . . .
    A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American allies.
    Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.
    9/11, many now believe, was the new Pearl Harbor, the pretext for the U.S. “war on terror”, a cover for advancing perceived American interests.
    In fact the “war on terror”, and the search for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, have brought the U.S. economy to the brink of collapse, and has caused a massive shift of wealth from poor and middle-class Americans to the wealthiest few.
    The silence of Muslim ‘leaders’ is inexcusable, risks driving some to violence
    The 9/11 Commission investigation (November 27, 2002 — August 21, 2004) was flawed from the outset. It was set up despite strong resistance from the White House.
    By March 2003, with the commission’s staff barely in place, two men (Philip Zelikow, Executive Director, The 9/11 Commission, and Ernest R. May, a Harvard historian) had prepared a detailed outline, complete with “chapter headings, subheadings, and sub-subheadings” of the final report according to New York Times reporter Philip Shenon.
    Zelikow served on the National Security Council under George H. W. Bush, on the George W. Bush transition team, and President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He coauthored a book with President Bush’s National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice.
    Zelikow controlled the 9/11 Commission’s access to witnesses. Testimony that did not support the official account was excluded from “The 9/11 Commission Report”.
    For American Muslims, whose faith commands them to strive for social justice — “the first pillar of Islam”, and to “seek knowledge even unto China”, blind acceptance of the official account of 9/11 is deplorable.
    For Muslim “leaders”, blind acceptance of the official account of 9/11, and their failure to denounce it, is inexcusable.
    The renowned Indian, poet-philosopher Allama Iqbal (1877-1938), in his famous Shikwa & Jawab-i-Shikwa (Man’s Complaint and God’s Answer), wrote (translated from Urdu by Indian journalist-author Khushwant Singh):
    With reason as your shield and
    the sword of love in your hand,
    Servant of God!
    the leadership of the world
    is at your command.
    Excluding opposing views risks driving some to express themselves in a more violent manner.
    For links to sources go to:
    http://www.twf.org/News/Y2010/0803-Fear.html

    Reply

  7. jjm says:

    What hath he wrought?
    One of the reasons our Constitution set things up the way they did
    was precisely to untangle the vicious webs that would ensue were
    church and state not separated.
    Norquist is married to a Muslim (several neo-conservatives have
    companions or wives of this persuasion along with our general
    population) so — is he being hypocritical and self-serving in his
    criticism of Republicans? His logic seems to be twisted around in
    order to shield his own family….

    Reply

  8. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Oy, Gevalt!!! A Mosque Mosh….talk about piling on….so let me get this straight… the same Reugnicans who opposed establishing a 9/11 Commission to investigate that event and who more recently opposed providing health care benefits for First Responders, are now claiming to be all worked up about the sensitivities of the victim’s families? Baaaarffff…political poseurs, everyone.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “My imaginary dog may still sort of CLAIM not to be involved in 9.11……..”
    Oh shit, another one of them damned conspiracy theories. Now we gotta wade through 34 ten thousand word posts from “questions”.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Boys and girls are dying right now because of the hole in the ground in lower Manhattan”
    Like you give a fuck unless they’re Jewish? Don’t seem to be too shaken up about the million or so dead Iraqi non-combatants.
    (Watch him chime in with, “Hey, its only about 500 thousand, so whats the big deal?”
    (Translation; They’re only sand-niggers, so who cares?)

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    EGADS!!! We’ve been overrun by a troop of bigoted jackasses!!!!
    Target must be running a sale on white sheets. Who knew the Star Of David would be so starkly visible in a field of white???

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “On the other hand “Pissed off American” aside from needing a serious dose of sedatives really does seem to miss those good old days in Europe 1939-45″
    Its truly ironic seeing some right wing Jew asshole decrying Nazism while acting like a Nazi.
    But hey, those filthy “Arabs” shoulds know better than to move into “white” nieghborhoods, eh, Pearlman???

    Reply

  13. Dan Kervick says:

    “Downtown is a cemetery. It’s a cemetery. They’re still excavating remains. If Professor Harold Hill the most righteous Imam de Manhattan wants to be respected, he should move his backhoe out of the cemetery that was uniquely and explicitly created by Muslims.”
    I’m sorry drew. I’m trying to understand your emotions, but this is just deeply illogical. Lower Manhattan is not a cemetery. The blocks around Ground Zero are part of a thriving and commercially bustling city. There are businesses everywhere, run by members of just about every ethnic group and religion known to the world. People are constantly working there, eating there, praying there and screwing there in their typically cosmopolitan New York way. More Muslims have probably already said their daily prayers in the nearby vicinity than all the people who will ever visit this community center.
    The guys who committed the 9/11 murders were adherents to a manifestly unpopular militant form of Islam, a degree of unpopularity testified to by the fact that in the nine years since 9/11, there have been but a tiny handful of aborted attacks by lone actors.
    Sure the guys who did this were Muslims, acting out their own particular interpretation of Islam. But they were also young men. And being a young man is probably a much stronger predictor of proclivity toward violence in our society than being a Muslim. Should we also prohibit young men from polluting the hallowed ground of Ground Zero with their unholy testosterone?
    I can see that part of what is going on here is a maudlin obsession with turning much of Manhattan into a permanent graveyard of the imagination, and war memorial. I get the feeling some people would just like to drape black cloth over the whole lower island and remove all the people save for a few monks in dark hoods, swinging incense thuribles up and down the streets.
    But lower Manhattan is not a graveyard. Life goes on. There are American Muslims in America. They live here. They are citizens like you and me, and they are allowed to do whatever they want to do within the boundaries of the law. That’s it.
    This effort to establish some special rules for American Muslims – a different social contract for Muslims than the one established for everyone else – until the non-Muslim majority decides their collective guilt and penance is over, is sad but revolting.

    Reply

  14. drew says:

    … and greet his neighbors. I think it goes condo in less than a
    year.

    Reply

  15. drew says:

    Paul,
    Downtown is a cemetery. It’s a cemetery. They’re still
    excavating remains. If Professor Harold Hill the most righteous
    Imam de Manhattan wants to be respected, he should move his
    backhoe out of the cemetery that was uniquely and explicitly
    created by Muslims.
    If he wants to say we’re too stupid to understand the difference
    between Hamas and this social construct (certainly an
    imprecation of the bigoted right) called “terrorism”, that’s fine.
    Complain to the subway crowd uptown.
    If he wants to say that he not that kind of Muslim, great, then he
    can condemn that kind of Muslim. (He refuses.)
    The guy has no interest in being an American Muslim or he
    would know these things. We don’t have to build a monument to
    academic post-racial relativistic tolerance in the middle of a
    cemetery for some guy who won’t reveal his funding sources, in
    the middle of a war with the same people.
    Boys and girls are dying right now because of the hole in the
    ground in lower Manhattan. So I have no interest in any post-
    modern Music Man Imam who wants to demonstrate east-west
    rapprochement on the basis of building a mosque on top of a
    Christian cemetery.
    However, here’s my new thought. I think we’re at the point
    where we should build this thing for him, provided he is required
    to stand out front each an

    Reply

  16. Drew says:

    DonS, thanks for the civility.
    It is the Imam-Prof-Harold-Hill’s job, not ours, to demonstrate
    love and respect. We have boys and girls dying to remove
    militant Islam from civil society. He does not.
    It is the Imam-Prof-Harold-Hill’s job to explain, when asked (as
    he was), why Hamas is not a terrorist organization and why he
    would not take money from the Wahabi’s who fund our enemy.
    He does not.
    I think it’s a joke that people think that Tribeca is just dying for
    a gazillion story mosque to serve the faithful. I lived at 72
    Franklin Street. I didn’t see any stumbling, world-weary muslim
    faithful wandering around in desperate need of evening prayers.
    If he wants to show respect for the west and for the muslim
    faithful living in the west, he shouldn’t build an eff-you
    monument in a western cemetary, and then use western civil
    justice (not available in Riyadh) to paint the people who respect
    cemeteries as brutish know-nothings. If he did that he would be
    a hero instead of a joke.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    Hey Drew, I had no idea that you’re such a humorist, and I
    appreciate and enjoyed your reply!
    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this issue. My
    take is that the Muslims who want to build the cultural
    center certainly want to make a statement: That most
    Muslims are ordinary folks who believe in God, and have
    nothing more in common with Osama bin Laden than you
    and me.
    Is that a provocative statement? Not if you, at the end of
    the day, approach it with the same relaxed and healthy
    sense of humor that you showed in your reply to me.
    And I happen to think that they do have a point.
    Best,
    Paul.

    Reply

  18. DonS says:

    Drew,
    Sorry you think I discarded you, and sorry if I seemed to use you as a convenient surrogate for my own point of view.
    Using a specific example, we can debate the nuances of the meaning of a Curtis Lemay (less so, I would say of a McChrystal). But in this downtown Muslim Center thing, the lines seem to be drawn rather clearly — and defined as such between enduring American principles and making short term political political statements.
    Who owns the sentiment “it’s time to stand up for America”? Thank God the New York authorities at least had the integrity not to subvert the process for some misguided short term political fad.
    Exactly when do we stop subverting hard won rights for short term emotional catharsis? Not asking you, and I hope you don’t take the generic point personally.

    Reply

  19. Paul Norheim says:

    “Why is a Muslim community center “provocative”? These
    folks had ZERO involvement in the 9-11 attacks. ”
    (Franklin)
    Nadine’s response: “So they claim.”
    So they claim?!
    Could you elaborate on that? Please amuse the readers
    with your inner thoughts, Nadine. You seem to think that
    they somehow may have been involved in the attack?
    What about my dog? Was my dog somehow also involved
    in the 9-11 attacks? I don’t actually have a dog, by the
    way, but that’s beside the point: My imaginary dog may
    still sort of CLAIM not to be involved in 9.11 – so who
    knows?
    Who said that the left has a monopoly on conspiracy
    theories?

    Reply

  20. Drew says:

    DonS,
    I think you complimented me before you discarded me — but I do
    not debate people who assert that they can read what is in my head
    and in my heart, instead of just reading my words.
    –drew

    Reply

  21. drew says:

    Paul,
    There’s no such thing as a uniform definition of Evangelical
    Lutheran churches, in America, which buttresses my point. We
    have this thing here in the USA about local control of important
    things, such as our relationship with God, or the neighborhood
    where 3000 people were murdered. So the question is
    unworthy. A good example of this democratic organization of
    religious institutions is the Evangelical Free Church, a Lutheran
    spinoff during the revival period of the late 19th century, who
    disdain doctrinal authority and bureaucratic control. They can
    do whatever they want in that church, in any town or grove, and
    that includes marrying sisters, and they do.
    So the question is: and I will modify to be factual: could there
    be a Evangelical Free Church that married homosexuals in
    Riyadh? Ya, you betcha, as we say in the Norwegian belt of the
    upper Midwest. You also ignore the church in which I was
    raised, the Unitarians, who probably would rather marry queers
    than straights, if you asked them, because it makes them feel
    superior to the Evangelical Free Church, not to mention the
    Presbyterians and anyone who voted for Reagan. You may not
    get this form of Iowa religious humor, so please apply,
    vigorously, dollops of irony to the prior sentences. If you wish,
    change ‘Unitarians’ to ‘Methodists’ and substitute ‘people who
    can read’ for ‘Queers’. We’ll save the Baptist jokes for later, after
    you’ve loosened up. (“Methodists: Baptists who can read.”)
    (Please do not get on a high horse and say I am damned for
    making ecumenical jokes.) (And don’t you dare tell me that only
    queers can use the term ‘queer’.)
    Anyway, this mosque is a joke. Who builds a mosque or church
    where no one, who is a likely celebrant, lives? Perhaps there’s
    another agenda at play. 200,000,000 Americans couldn’t agree
    more.
    More importantly, the college kid who sort of taught as an
    adjunct on a temporary basis a class or two to first year law
    students? He agrees too. He never said that he supported that
    mosque — just ask him. He said that Americans have the right
    to embrace either Evangelical Lutheranism or pantheistic
    Unitarianism — hmmmm, didn’t we already know that?

    Reply

  22. Paul Norheim says:

    Tell me, WigWag: Why are you so worried as to whether
    the future Islamic cultural center at Manhattan will be as
    tolerant as the YMCA in New York, while you seem entirely
    comfortable with the position on homosexuality (and
    sexuality in general) among the millions of Israel-
    supporting Evangelical Christians that you praise all the
    time here at TWN?
    Perhaps the Evangelical Christians in America embrace
    homosexuality nowadays? Drew’s latest remark certainly
    points in that direction:
    “When I can plant a Unitarian or Evangelical Lutheran
    Church in Riyadh or Tehran and install an ordained woman
    minister or pastor, who will proceed to marry two men or
    two women, I’ll gladly accept rebuke for praising American
    religious tolerance.” (Drew)
    That’s an interesting statement, Drew. My parents worked
    for 9 years as teachers at a college south-east of Addis
    Ababa called the Ethiopian Evangelical Collage (in the 60’s
    and 70’s), and out of curiosity I have to ask you: Would
    those hypothetical ministers or pastors you mention,
    working for an Evangelical Lutheran Church nowadays,
    even consider marrying two men or two women? Please
    enlighten me, because I’m not updated on the mentality in
    these churches.
    The organization my parents worked for (The Lutheran
    World Foundation) certainly wouldn’t, 30-40 years ago,
    and my parents condemned homosexuality as a sin ever
    after. And I can assure you: My parents actually regarded
    themselves as “fundamentalists”, and proudly so – like so
    many Evangelical Christians – but they were certainly not
    terrorists.
    So tell me: Do the majority of Evangelical Lutheran
    churches in America nowadays accept homosexuality?
    Here in Norway, they don’t – just like the majority of
    ordinary Muslims around the world. But yeah, the
    Evangelical Christians in Norway – or at least my parents –
    certainly never thought that homosexuals deserved
    stoning either. I guess they thought that ending up in hell
    for eternity after death made stoning or hanging
    somewhat trivial and harmless in comparison.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    Drew,
    Your familiarity with NYC apparently does not translate into understanding it’s heterogeneous makeup; a patchwork quilt downtown.
    This ruse of “hallowed/sacred” ground is just that. A ruse made up by the right to have another issue to demonize all other and stoke the culture wars. In this case, the battle may well be joined and those who believe in the primacy of American principles may not kiss up to the bigots in the manner Reid has.
    If you’re looking for a symbolic fight, you can find one anywhere. The Ground Zero meme could be used just as effectively to showcase the strength of American diversity and principles. But that wouldn’t resonate with the anti-Muslim hate wars that the neos and their ilk crave. Like your buddy Nadine, a biased, Israel First hater from go. Word.
    I had thought better of your reasoning, but you have painted yourself into a radical right corner with some pretty poor company. My America doesn’t cringe at being called tolerant. Tough when needed, but tolerant.

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    In London

    Reply

  25. nadine says:

    “How long before Bin Laden weighs in on this controversy which is handing him a major victory?” (Cee)
    Building the Ground Zero mosque would hand bin Laden an even bigger victory, esp. after the first few jihadi preachers used it to preach support for al Qaeda. Which they would all very much want to do, being well aware of the power of symbolism.
    “Why is a Muslim community center “provocative”? These folks had ZERO involvement in the 9-11 attacks. ” (Franklin)
    So they claim. They also claim more than that — they claim that Islam had nothing to do with 9/11. But most Americans don’t accept that Islam had nothing to with 9/11. And why, if this is not about 9/11, should they just happen to want to site a very large mosque as close as possible to Ground Zero, in a place where there is not a large congregation in need of it?
    The non-so-hidden message of triumphalism is the provocative part.
    “Still the only anger out there/here I experience is not for the
    Islamist arriviste Music Man, so intent on raising up us childlike
    clingers. It’s for the benighted leadership who lately have
    delivered lecture after lecture to the rest of the country that they
    may *not*, actually, cling to their guns and religion in such a
    crude and unpleasant fashion, or else people who want to kill us
    anyway, who live in the Middle East, will have new reasons to
    want to kill us. BFD. The rest of us know Mike Bloomberg and
    Barack Obama aren’t sending any family members to Parris Island
    any time soon, so we have stopped listening.” (drew)
    Drew: Word.

    Reply

  26. drew says:

    Correction: apologies:
    “I have this opinion, THEREFORE I am at George Soros’ 80th
    birthday party. This is a very long way from cogito ergo sum.”

    Reply

  27. drew says:

    DonS,
    I moved to the East Village/NYC when I was 17, returned after
    college, was married in the Municipal Building etc. Son #2 and
    daughter live there now. Very familiar with NYC.
    When I can plant a Unitarian or Evangelical Lutheran Church in
    Riyadh or Tehran and install an ordained woman minister or
    pastor, who will proceed to marry two men or two women, I’ll
    gladly accept rebuke for praising American religious tolerance.
    As matters stand they would be stoned to death or decapitated
    in those countries for their efforts.
    I really think people here, who tend to be well-educated, urban,
    and well removed from the demographic feeding the Marines or
    Army, ought to remember a few things:
    9/11/2001: 3000 people killed by radical Islamists; Pentagon
    bombed; Capital or White House bombing averted through
    citizen (not officialdom) heroism. Everyone with family in the
    military, with a business, or with family in the bombed
    neighborhoods, was affected forever. I experienced two of the
    three.
    10/2001: War: USA goes to war with Islamic militants, a war still
    underway, and now the longest war in American history.
    8/2010: While an exhausted military continues to fight a war
    against Islamist militants, some guy from the Islamist
    community who won’t say who is giving him the $200 million he
    needs and who won’t say that he is able to define or distinguish
    terrorism from political activity, wishes to erect a monument to
    Islamic culture in the neighborhood where the bodies, steel, and
    ash fell. Wait: don’t call me names: some guy who wants to
    build a monument in the debris path of the WTC, felled by the
    most successful terrorist attack in human history, says he
    cannot, actually, distinguish terrorism from political activity. It’s
    all very complicated.
    This strikes people as strange. Americans as a war-fighting
    nation tend to unite in opposition to people trying to kill fellow
    Americans. Perhaps there is inordinate guilt being expressed on
    the Left, as people remember the outright obliteration of civil
    liberties and Constitutional principles practiced by FDR; perhaps
    they regret and wish not to remember the trampling of
    Constitutional authority by Wilson; perhaps it is just something
    they like to do, post-Vietnam, to assert a higher nature and a
    claim on the moral leadership of the country. But people who
    find pride and preening self-display to be attributes of the
    dangerous and fallen, have no interest in being shoved around by
    graduated college kids with nothing at stake in the very
    arguments they express in scripted compound sentences.
    No one is asserting that it is legally acceptable to deny access to
    normal wear-and-tear property rights to Muslims. This is a red
    herring. Give it up. Most (i.e., 70%) are asserting that the
    Muslims are being insensitive, offer a shadowy provenance for
    their purchase of a corner of devastated, bitter ground, and
    therefore seem to be expressing a strange pride in their choice
    of neighborhoods. Whoever this asshole Imam is he could be a
    true hero to Americans by grieving for the dead Americans and
    building his mosque where his constituents might walk to
    services.
    Still the only anger out there/here I experience is not for the
    Islamist arriviste Music Man, so intent on raising up us childlike
    clingers. It’s for the benighted leadership who lately have
    delivered lecture after lecture to the rest of the country that they
    may *not*, actually, cling to their guns and religion in such a
    crude and unpleasant fashion, or else people who want to kill us
    anyway, who live in the Middle East, will have new reasons to
    want to kill us. BFD. The rest of us know Mike Bloomberg and
    Barack Obama aren’t sending any family members to Parris Island
    any time soon, so we have stopped listening.
    We live in an age where political opinion grants access to
    peculiar and rarified social strata events: e.g., I have this
    opinion, there I am at George Soros’ 80th birthday party. This is
    a very long way from cogito ergo sum.

    Reply

  28. Cee says:

    Posted by bob h, Aug 17 2010, 9:43AM – Link
    How long before Bin Laden weighs in on this controversy which is handing him a major victory?
    He’s been replaced by some knucklehead named Adam Gadahn.

    Reply

  29. Franklin says:

    drew,
    We may not be building on Gettysburg yet, but some people are talking about building a Wal-Mart on the Chancellorsville battlefield where 30K Americans were casualties (300K in today’s terms). They’ve already built condos on part of the battlefield.
    All this is pretty much moot though. The center isn’t at the WTC. It’s almost 3 blocks away near strip clubs and bars and other commercial properties.
    The only reason that people are objecting is because of the religious aspect of the construction (e.g. a prayer room in a community center). Even you mention the religious aspect as being relevant. That’s the only basis for the objection.
    Never mind that these folks had no involvement in the 9-11 attacks. As Sufi Muslims — in many cases — they are literal the subject of religious persecution by the Taliban in places like Pakistan. Yet they are allies of Al Qaeda?
    As far as people’s feelings go, there are people directly impacted by this issue on both sides. A slight majority of first-responder families oppose the construction; people in Manhattan are OK with it; New Yorkers object to it.

    Reply

  30. DonS says:

    ha, ha, above should read “the discrimination of the early decades of the 20th century,”

    Reply

  31. DonS says:

    “Everyone knows that this country and its predecents have exemplified religious toleration for 400 years or so ” (Drew)
    We’ll ignore the Salem witch trials, the rampant Jew baiting and discrimination of the early decades of the 10th century, the long history of Christian exclusive organizations, schools, cemeteries, etc. etc.
    “It has nothing to do reining in the latent prejudice”
    It has everything to do with this; and the fires of prejudice that are being stoked aren’t at all latent. Now Zionist zealots on this board may characterize all Islam as a death cult, but fortunately that doesn’t make it true. But xenophobia and prejudice are easy emotions to appeal to. Tolerance requires appeal to a finer quality, and requires an emotional understanding that goes beyond reactions to fear.
    Drew, perhaps you ignore the geography and real estate realities of Manhattan. Not a sin of course, and most Americans could not be expected to understand New York. That discrepancy has certainly made it easier to enable the ‘anti’ argument.

    Reply

  32. drew says:

    I’m still amazed that people want to argue about this.
    No one will allow a NASCAR track to be built at Gettysburg,
    either — or a theme park at Manassas. No one ever said that
    this was a test of the limits of church/state
    Everyone knows that this country and its predecents have
    exemplified religious toleration for 400 years or so — and that
    siting an Islamic [your label here] at Ground Zero, while fighting
    a war against militant Islam, is abhorrent to anyone who does
    not more largely abhor main street America. It has nothing to do
    reining in the latent prejudice of the unwashed masses who
    never had a temporary sort-of appointment as adjunct first year
    constitutional law instructor. It amuses me to see an
    administration that expects garlands for expressing
    constitutional bromides about “freedom” that everyone already
    understands and accepts. Although, I grant you, that is the
    impression of our great unwashed, from the vantage point of the
    Costa del Sol.

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    “How long before Bin Laden weighs in on this controversy which is handing him a major victory?”
    Only for folks who insist on characterizing it in a Rush Limbaugh kind of way.
    Too bad the 1/3 of the Fox survey people that Bill reports at 9:15 above (thanks Bill for that clarification) don’t have more faith in America and American principles. I guess if you’re filled with with an agenda that features myopic cultural stereotypes there is not much room for seeing the inconsistency and hypocrisy.

    Reply

  34. bob h says:

    How long before Bin Laden weighs in on this controversy which is handing him a major victory?

    Reply

  35. Franklin says:

    nadine,
    #1. It’s not a “Mosque” — it’s a community center with a prayer space in it. It’s effectively the equivalent of a YMCA.
    #2. Why is a Muslim community center “provocative”? These folks had ZERO involvement in the 9-11 attacks. The fact that some people associate the center and Islam generally with terrorism says a lot more about the prejudices and biases of the accusers than it does of the people involved in the construction.
    It’s worth noting too that since 9-11 American Muslims have been perhaps THE target of domestic terrorism (this is true even of people who simply look Middle Eastern).
    One of the fundamental flaws in the opposition to this center is that some people view Islam as some monolithic entity.
    Islam is not some unified religious system — there are various sects with different interpretations of the Koran.
    This particular center is operated by an Imam who I understand is a Sufi Muslim — a branch of Islam that is persecuted by other branches of Islam. Apparently now these folks don’t even have to go to Pakistan to face religious persecution — some Americans apparently are more than happy to dish it out here in the good ol’ USA where we ostensibly value things like religious liberty.
    There are undoubtedly some people who are genuinely upset over this and who blame ALL Muslims without distinction for the attacks on the WTC. For politicians though there is absolutely no risk in demonizing innocent people over this issue. Gingrich and Palin understand this.
    Basically we’re dealing with a religious minority that represents a very, very small fraction of the U.S. population. The population even in Michigan isn’t enough to move a statewide election even if the votes moved in one solid block. So basically it’s pretty much open season for politicians who want to demagogue this issue. Never mind, the Constitution, prohibitions against collective punishment, or just simple human decency.
    Your point though serves as some additional anecdotal evidence against Norquist’s thesis (e.g. that other religious minority groups will rally around a persecuted religious minority based on the realization that they themselves might become a target in the future). Clearly this is not the case.

    Reply

  36. samuelburke says:

    you’re sewing the seeds of your own demise.
    first they’ll come for the muslims then the mexicans followed by
    the homosexuals, will the jews be far behind.
    “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I
    was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out
    for me.”
    By Pastor Niemoller

    Reply

  37. Cee says:

    Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days.
    New York Governor David Patterson said last weekend that Muslim leaders had rejected outright his proposal tto swap the site in for another in Manhattan.
    But several people familiar with the debate among New York’s Islamic activists now claim that the leaders are convinced abandoning the site is preferable to unleashing a wave of bitterness towards Muslims.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/muslim-leaders-to-abandon-plans-for-ground-zero-community-center-1.308426

    Reply

  38. Dan Kervick says:

    The third rail is usually on the outside, at least on the subway systems I am familiar with.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, so here it goes:
    I, Achmed, son of Mahmud, hereby solemnly condemn Hamas,
    Hizbullah, the mullahs in Iran, Al Qaeda, Adolph Hitler,
    Heinrich Himmler, as well as all their terrorist sympathizers and
    every single Islamo-Fascists and crypto-salaphist from
    Casablanca to Jakarta.
    I, Achmed, son of Mahmud, also condemn the Quran, because
    it is an expression of a reactionary and lunatic faith and an
    enemy of the universal values, such as democracy, profit,
    women’s rights, gay rights, and tax cuts for the wealthy. I
    hereby also declare my staunch support of everything Israel
    and America does, because I know that these two nations and
    their democratically elected leaders in their supreme wisdom
    are the basic pillars and defenders of Western civilization.
    Please accept this humble expression of my sincere wish to be
    regarded as a moderate and reasonable Muslim by Nadine and
    her ilk.
    P.S:
    As a Muslim, I am painfully aware of the fact that my mere
    existence may (and with an abundance of good reasons!) be
    interpreted as an extreme and insensible provocation,
    bordering on lunacy. I sincerely apologize for having the
    temerity to show up and present myself and my case at such a
    critical moment, when you Americans and Israelis should have
    dedicated all your time to defend the Western civilization
    against its enemies.”
    PS 2:
    May Hamas and it’s criminal brethren in Lebanon and Iran be
    damned! May Heinrich Himmler, environmentalists, and the
    progressive leftists be damned! Long live the brave soldiers of
    the IDF and the adventurous employees at Mossad, who every
    minute risk their precious lives to protect the innocent lives of
    decent people everywhere against my evil Muslim brothers and
    sisters!

    Reply

  40. Dan Kervick says:

    Nothing was “instantly obvious” to anyone. The New York Times ran a story about this Sufi cultural center and overflow prayer space in December, and yet there was barely a word about it until a conservative blogger decided to take up the cause in May.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/nyregion/09mosque.html?sq=mosque%20ground%20zero&st=nyt&scp=1&pagewanted=all
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/16/ground_zero_mosque_origins

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    Paul, you have never really condemned Hamas. You have only uttered a pious and indignant “Of course I condemn Hamas, BUT…” as a preamble to condemn anything and everything Israel has ever done in its conflict with Hamas. With not the slightest situational awareness of Hamas’ ability to shape the conflict.
    At any rate, pious denonciations of “terror” when combined with a total inability to identify any terrorists simply does not cut the mustard. Apologia is not reform; indeed, it is the operational opposite of reform.

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    “Most Americans are suspicious of the obvious bad faith of the
    siting (and hiding of $$$ sources) and generally don’t trust
    Muslim “moderates” who say they condemn terrorists but won’t
    say a word against Hamas or Khomeneism, as Imam Rauf has
    done.” (Nadine)
    That’s an insincere statement – as if the last point you mentioned
    matters one iota to you!
    An illuminating example: Many of us here condemn terrorism
    and have said plenty of “words against Hamas or Khomeneism” –
    but as long as we also have a word or two against Israeli actions
    as well, you’ll still label us as Hamas-supporters, in bed with
    Achmedinejad and the Jew-haters and so forth ad nauseam.

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    Franklin, no, Gingrich and Palin are merely seeing and saying what was instantly obvious to drew and Wigwag and me: Obama (& other progressive elitists) don’t get that the siting of this mosque was a symbolic and provocative act. Most Americans are suspicious of the obvious bad faith of the siting (and hiding of $$$ sources) and generally don’t trust Muslim “moderates” who say they condemn terrorists but won’t say a word against Hamas or Khomeneism, as Imam Rauf has done.
    Bret Stephens had a useful distinction in yesterday’s WSJ:
    “A few years ago, my friend Irshad Manji made the point to me that “moderate Muslims denounce terror that’s committed in the name of Islam but they deny that religion has anything to do with it.” By contrast, she noted, “reform-minded Muslims denounce terror that’s committed in the name of Islam and acknowledge that our religion is used to inspire it.” ”
    Imam Rauf is one of the former kind of “moderates”.

    Reply

  44. Franklin says:

    I don’t disagree with where Norquist ends up, but I do question the way he gets there.
    In a climate of fear, even minority groups will join in a lynching, or pogrom as a means of self-preservation (the reasoning being not “I could be next” but instead “rather him or her, than me”).
    The stance of an organization like ADL pretty much undercuts Norquist’s thesis. In more extreme historical examples you have a minority group like the Kurds serving as the hands of a genocidal policy against the Armenians in Turkey back during the turn of last century. I’m sure this is not isolated example historically.
    On a purely political level someone like Gingrich or Palin or any number of politicians probably looks at this issue and see that the targeted minority group is only one percent of the electorate. Even voting as a bloc that’s not enough to move a state level election or the overwhelming majority of Congressional district races.
    So literally there is almost no political risk of a backlash. This is part of what makes the exploitation of this issue by the right and others so immoral and cowardly.
    The cost against this kind of action will come eventually when the public understands how its being manipulated on this issue. If someone like George W. stood up on this issue it could have a positive impact. I imagine he’ll stay out of the fray though unless Obama reaches out to him and asks him to take a stand at least on the Constitutionality of the construction.

    Reply

  45. kotzabasis says:

    Nadine
    Kervick, and his ilk, that includes Norheim, with his post above and his other ones on the same issue in another thread, shows himself to be preternaturally unfit to delve in “les grandes affaires” of Talleyrand, to quote the great Statesman.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    “Reid might be desperate to grab what looks like the center rail now. But in two or three weeks he might wake up to find find that he’s Terry Schiavoed himself in his sleep.”
    That’s a very odd metaphor, Dan. Isn’t the center rail the one that carries the current? If you grab the center rail, you tend to notice the results instantly.
    Dan, what the polls say about this mosque is that every class of Americans oppose it, but one. Republicans, Independents and even Democrats oppose it. Only one class of people don’t oppose it: those who call themselves liberal, about 20% of the total.
    Now, I realize this has no chance of puncturing your infallible ability to identify “the high ground” as you put it, but the 70% of Americans who oppose a Ground Zero Mosque don’t do because they hate religious freedom or mosques. They do it because they understand that a big mosque at Ground Zero represents either the claim that 9/11 was a good thing, or that 9/11 was not good, but Islam had nothing to do it, and they reject both these claims.
    Liberals are likely to accept both claims, since they are the only class of people who seem to believe that 19 isolated Al Qaeda nutjobs did 9/11 without ideological connection or support from anywhere in the Muslim world. Liberals also generally agree with Imam Rauf that America had it coming, as assertion that the other 80% of Americans reject.

    Reply

  47. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, Schumer has a choice. He can either take the Harry Reid and Peter King “split the difference” approach; or he can take the Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Nadler high road. Nadler is, by the way, the Congressman from Ground Zero.
    Personally, I think politicians are miscalculating if they think the Reid-King approach, which in the heat of the moment has the appearance of being the moderate take, is going to stand the test of time – even a few weeks time. The longer this debate goes on, the more likely it is that the opponents’ arguments will disintegrate into the oozing and unattractive dreck from which they are constructed. Reid might be desperate to grab what looks like the center rail now. But in two or three weeks he might wake up to find find that he’s Terry Schiavoed himself in his sleep.
    I predict that standing unequivocally for the free exercise of religion, and against the attempt to bully religious minorities into self-denial and submission, is the position that will emerge victorious, both morally and politically.
    When one side in a debate stops making real arguments on substance, and starts pointing to poll numbers to back themselves up, you know they have started to lose confidence in their own position, and are reaching out impulsively for security in numbers.
    One of the only guys who’s is going to come out of this dark tunnel with both his integrity intact and his political stock raised is Bloomberg. And that’s not surprising for such an instinctive businessman. After this little bacchanalian orgy of fear blows over, and people look back with a weary hangover at the sorry overindulgence of the evening, Bloomberg is going to look like one of the few stand-up guys who didn’t puke his principles out on his shoes and drive his car into a telephone pole.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I think Schumer is in hiding in an undisclosed location”
    Nope. I have it on good authority he’s spending the evening in Netanyahu’s ass, assimilating tomorrow’s narrative.

    Reply

  49. nadine says:

    One more point of evidence how toxic Obama’s position on the Ground Zero Mosque is for Obama and his supporters:
    Normally, the most dangerous spot to stand anywhere is between Senator Chuck Schumer and a microphone. Has anyone heard him say anything on the mosque issue? I think Schumer is in hiding in an undisclosed location.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And how come New York can move so fast for Imam Rauf but can’t put up a 9/11 memorial?”
    Because it isn’t “New York” building the mosque, you ignorant jackass.

    Reply

  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Intelectually an emotionally you seem to live a very truncated life where every question has ONLY one answer”
    Well, it could be worse. She could be in “question’s” predicament, where every question has NO answer.

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Kotz, as usual, you have exposed yourself as a gaseous bore. Keep up the good work.

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  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What a fuckin’ joke it is seeing a right wing Jew bitch and moan about this mosque being built on “hallowed ground”, The raqxcist sack of shit defends throwing Muslims out of homes they’ve owned for generations. She doesn’t object to the zionists destroying Muslim cemetaries and historical sites. She doesn’t object to little teeny bopper Jewish bigots trashing Muslim households and destroying family artifacts. Fry Muslims in White Phosphorous??? Perfectly alright with this fuckin’ ghoul Nadine. Steal their land??? Shoot a farmer or a fisherman?? Flood their villages with raw sewage??? Destroy their crops and sources of water??? Its all A-OK with the bigot Nadine.
    She can go to hell. What the hell is some despicable wretch like her doing opining about what someone should or can do with private property?

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  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, Steve, you finally admitted what a spineless little pissant twerp Harry Reid is. “Give ’em Hell”, my ass.
    I’m proud of ya, man. Wasn’t so hard, was it? My bet, you’ll be over the withdrawals in no time ‘tal.
    Now, about that Hillary Clinton ghoul…..
    (You can do it, I know you can!)

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  55. kotzabasis says:

    Clemons is desperately trying to find support for his stupidity Obama

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  56. nadine says:

    jd, on the absurdity of claiming that the Republicans will lose Jewish support by opposing a 13 story mosque at Ground Zero with an imam who refuses to call Hamas terrorists, and won’t reveal his funding sources, is obvious to anyone who can read a poll. The only point of argument among the pros is how much damage Obama is doing to himself. Read Nate Silver on the issue, hardly a Republican.
    78% of Jews voted for Obama in 2008. Let’s see how many vote Democratic this year.
    Maw, the common sense American reaction to hearing of a proposed 13 story mosque at Ground Zero is “why on earth would you allow that? particularly before the memorial is built or the towers have been rebuilt?” — but then, the majority of Americans understand that 9/11 was an act of war, and that symbolism counts in a war. American understand that proposing to build a mosque just there (where there isn’t even a congregation to fill it) is a provocation and an attempt at triumphalism. And how come New York can move so fast for Imam Rauf but can’t put up a 9/11 memorial?

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  57. Bill says:

    Nadine, A Fox poll showed a more nuanced view on the part of the American people, and a more principled one.
    1/3 of the people don’t like the mosque, and think it should be stopped.
    1/3 think they have a constitutional right to build it, but don’t like it.
    1/3 think they have a constitutional right, and do not object.
    Another way to look at the numbers is that 2/3 of the people support the Constitution, and the right of religious people to build Mosques, Churches and Synagogues.

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  58. Maw of America says:

    Reid is doing his best imitation of John McCain.
    “…siding with 70% of the American public,” is pretty thin gruel, even for you, Nadine. My dog could easily come up with examples of how the vaunted American Public was wrong before – hell, many (if not most) still think Saddam was behind 9/11 or possessed WMD!

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  59. DonS says:

    Come off it Nadine. Reid is playing to the mob, the lowest appeal based on his political predicament.
    It’s not Steve Clemons who is scraping the bottom by any means. It is you who continues to grovel in mass hypnosis of gutter thinking and politics.
    70%, or whatever, of the throbbing masses responding to Fox news porn, doesn’t signify an intelligent and principled stance.

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  60. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I find it interesting that anyone who has an opinion that is different from yours is wrong and most likely an idiot, It doesn’t matter how acomplished they might be in their field or how much actual experience they might have – you are right 100% of the time and they are wrong 100% of the time.
    Do you understand how arrogant it makes you appear when you, your causes, and Israel NEVER EVER make a mistake or are wrong about ANYTHING. In all the time I have followed your writings – not once did I read that maybe you should rethink and issue or maybe you should take a look at the issue from a different perspective. You never have any doubts or second thoughts.
    Judging by the volume of pundits your quote, you seem to do a lot of reading. Do you ever read anything by people with a different viewpoint than yours? Do you have any personal experiences with the subjects you pontificate about? Is your whole life lived vicariously and only with like minded people? Intelectually an emotionally you seem to live a very truncated life where every question has ONLY one answer.

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  61. nadine says:

    Yeah, sure, siding with 70% of the American public is such an obvious losing proposition that even Harry Reid has just signed onto it. Harry Reid must have been fit to be tied when he heard Obama sign onto the mosque. Talk about throwing a drowning man an anchor. Harry Reid is trying to get reelected in Nevada.
    Grover Norquist has a checkered past bringing a lot of CAIR (& other Muslim Brotherhood front group) types to the White House where they passed themselves off as “moderates”. It’s fitting that Journolister and fake conservative Wiegel should be covering him.
    Steve Clemons is just scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for good news in this self-inflicted disaster for the White House.
    Obama just does not get America. What he doesn’t get, he calls bigoted. And the rest of the DC elite are equally clueless.

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  62. questions says:

    Ummm, isn’t Reid, umm, a Mormon? Aren’t they the original “No, not here” people?
    Yikes.
    The Republicans are digging their own graves as a party. They have made rationality practically criminal in their party and they’ve left themselves no outs for backing off.
    Their economic policies are destructive of wealth, their individualism is destructive of society, their selfishness will get them in the end.
    But if you do party building by exaggerating threats, pretending there’s meaning when there isn’t, playing games with the notion of citizenship and patriotism, you’re going to end up on the wrong end of these basic society-building concepts.
    They are their own worst enemy.

    Reply

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