My Last Word on the Ground Zero Mosque
The whole Ground Zero Mosque kerfuffle will continue for quite some time. Until it’s built, and long after, I suspect. However, I find there is only so much one can say about it. I will continue to lend my support to those opposed to the mosque on philosophical and moral grounds. If it’s pertinent, I will continue to write about the controversy when I cover Red Eye for NewsReal Blog. I will probably tweet about it. But I won’t waste any more time writing about the subject here. After this post, that is.
See, there’s no point in going over and over the same arguments. The tired, stale, politically correct arguments of the intolerable Left will remain so. They won’t listen to reason, nor are they willing to learn anything about the man behind the mosque: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Therefore, they simply play the bigot card, like parrots squawking for a new cracker. And, yes, I meant cracker. Why bother? Are we all to be reduced to monkeys throwing poop at each other in the form of our own stubborn opinions constantly rephrased and restated? We have other fish to fry. Other islamofascist fish.
I’m going to take a last stab at deconstructing the most popular arguments I see from leftists and big-L Libertarians, then let it be.
1 – The property is privately owned and the owners have a right to develop it as they will
Yes. So I’m going to buy a spare lot next to a Planned Parenthood office, develop it into a “business” and call it: My Next Door Neighbors Are Baby Killers. Get the point? I have a right to do that, yes? It’s Constitutionally guaranteed free speech. Guess how many “feminists” would be out there, protesting on a daily basis. Guess how long it would take the city to shut me down for some reason or another. The answer to the first question is: lots. To the second: not long.
We all know how rights have been applied in this country. Unevenly, is how. Imagine the Roman Catholic Church wanted to open a community center and put a Catholic worship space right inside it. Sure, the worship space would be open “to all.” As long as you followed all the Catholic rules.
My examples are admittedly silly, but the larger point is valid. We have zoning laws. In New York City, you can’t build a bar or a liquor store within a certain distance from a place of worship. Why should a religious institution get to interfere with free trade? Because that’s the law, no matter how unconstitutional it might be. So, why shouldn’t we be able to prevent a Muslim worship space within a certain distance from some other site? Because of freedom of worship, that’s why. But, according to many, all rights descend directly from God. Ergo, they are all sacred. My free speech is equally divine as the right to worship.
You either agree with zoning laws or are totally against them. You don’t get to pick one example and suddenly become a proponent of private property rights.
2 – It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center.
Yes, it’s a community center. Open to all. However, when I asked if I could hold a gay civil union ceremony in that community center, I was told to ask the Cordoba Initiative. By the official Park51 Twitter account, no less. Problem: The Cordoba Initiative will not be running the community center, so why should I ask them? From the official Park51 website:
Park51 is an independent project led by Muslim Americans. This project is separate from The Cordoba Initiative and ASMA. The next step in developing Park51 is forming a non-profit and applying for tax-exempt status. Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf and Sharif El-Gamal are serving as the project managers until that time.
Short answer: They don’t want to answer, because they do not want to tolerate all Americans. Duh.
The community center will contain a … wait for it … mosque! This mosque will be run separately, though it is completely contained within the Park51 center. It will have a separate board, a separate non-profit and, therefore, separate rules. There is a mosque going in at ground zero and those who say there isn’t are lying.
3 – The Ground Zero Mosque isn’t at Ground Zero, and the location is just a happy coincidence
Really? Where does Ground Zero end? Park51 is going into the old Burlington Coat Factory building. It’s true. That building is a full 2.5 blocks from the crater left after the twin towers fell. Clearly, Ground Zero ends at that crater and the fact that the Park51 building was actually damaged during the attacks of 9/11 has nothing to do with anything, right? RIGHT?
The community center has nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11! Which is why there is going to be a museum dedicated to the horrors of the attacks built right in. So, Park51 is in no way trying to avoid being associated with September 11, 2001 while simultaneously making a buck off the tragedy. Nuh uh. Not happening. Pay no attention to the Imam behind the curtain.
Speaking of that Imam. Feisal Abdul Rauf has said America is at least partially to blame for the terrorist attacks and that Osama bin Laden was made in America. Think these are the conspiratorial rantings of right wing nut jobs? They are. If Wikipedia and Rauf’s own written/spoken words can be considered part of the right wing conspiracy.
You have to ask yourself: How can a group simultaneously distance themselves from 9/11 and latch onto it? Also, what type of “memorial” museum will a man who blamed the US for the attacks build? Let me just jump the shark and make the inevitable Nazi comparison. Would we want the Italians running the Holocaust museum at Auschwitz? Why not? After all, Mussolini changed sides!
Park51 wants to be a part of the war against terror any 9/11 monument must become. They would like us to remember Muslims died in those attacks, too. Fair enough. Muslims have always killed Muslims. No surprise there. But they’d also like to join the Obama dialectic: that Islam is somehow not responsible for Islamic terrorism. History: revised!
I don’t think so.
4 – Only bigoted Christian extremists oppose the mosque
Certainly, some of the opponents are bigoted Christian extremists. I know I constantly write polemics favoring the Judeo-Christian traditions upon which America was founded. One teensy little snag: I’m an atheist. And yes, some Jewish leaders have compared discrimination against the mosque to the religious intolerance suffered by Jews in this country and others. That’s a convenient boon to the leftists who support the project. The not so convenient other side of the story are the Muslims who have come out against it.
I suppose these Muslims will be, in the ever tolerant language of the left, considered “Uncle Achmeds” and similarly condemned, just like any non-white TEA Party members are. If you’re fishing for bigotry and can’t find it, simply cast a wider net.
5 – Rauf is a moderate and the intention of the community center is to build bridges between Muslims and the rest of the world.
The moderate stances of Feisal Rauf have already been discredited by myself, other bloggers and his own words.
The fact that 70% of the American population is against the building of this community center, but Park51 is going to go ahead and do it anyway, proves that Rauf and friends aren’t interested in building bridges; they’re interested in achieving their own ends for their own sakes.
6 – All Americans have the freedom to worship as they choose
Not true. Rastafarians have been prevented from ritual use of marijuana. Various sects that believe in polygamy have been prevented from those practices. Not everything people hold as sacred is lawful, nor should it be. Should we allow honor killings? Sharia courts (Rauf is for them, natch)? The stoning of adulterers?
Also, how can the Left argue religious freedom while simultaneously holding onto the belief the Ground Zero Mosque is an ecumenical community center and not a place of worship? Because they don’t care about any objective truth. That’s how. They only care about jumping on the “Christianity is bad, ergo anything that opposes it is good” bandwagon.
7 – Well, if you’re against the mosque, then you must be against a Christian church near the Murrah federal building site in Oklahoma City
Why, no I’m not, as a matter of fact. First off, to make an analogy here, the pastor of said hypothetical church would have to believe that the residents of Oklahoma City were at least partially responsible for Timothy McVeigh. Of course, no Christian would. And, if he did, he would be shouted out of town. The exact same leftist nutbags making this argument would be first in line to condemn him and all Christians.
Secondly, McVeigh distanced himself from his Catholic upbringing and claimed to be an agnostic. According to McVeigh: “Science is my religion.” I guess it would be a much closer analogy is the Left were to insist it would be offensive to put an embryonic stem cell research facility next to the Murrah building. Think they will? Then you think wrong.
If you want to support the legal right to build a mosque, then please do so. You won’t get any argument from me. I also believe in the legal right to unrestricted pornography, membership in the KKK and for Target to support whatever candidates it feels it should. I bet you’re all for those rights and have no moral or ethical objections to any of them, yes?
You confuse me. Kindly start making sense.