President Obama gets it Right on Mosque

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President Obama gets it right on the Mosque at Ground Zero during his remarks at last evening’s White House Iftar Dinner. Was very pleased to see that our good friends Representatives Keith Ellison and Rush Holt were at the dinner.
Yours truly was quoted by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in this morning’s New York Times on the issue and Obama’s remarks. Despite the controversy, I thought that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s remarks on this Ground Zero Mosque were definitive, compelling and gave the President an important fellow traveler in doing the right thing standing for religious freedom in this country.
From the President’s speech:

Indeed, over the course of our history, religion has flourished within our borders precisely because Americans have had the right to worship as they choose – including the right to believe in no religion at all. And it is a testament to the wisdom of our Founders that America remains deeply religious – a nation where the ability of peoples of different faiths to coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for one another stands in contrast to the religious conflict that persists around the globe.
That is not to say that religion is without controversy. Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities – particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.
We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who have led our response to that attack – from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us always remember who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for. Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders – these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion – and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.
That is who we are fighting against. And the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms – it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race or religion; wealth or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us – a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today.

– Steve Clemons

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Comments

130 comments on “President Obama gets it Right on Mosque

  1. adrian says:

    Holy fuck.
    There are some powerfully stupid posters here.
    You love the constitution but you don’t understand
    what it is. It is not about the “Government” or
    democracy – it is in fact the safeguard against
    the excesses of democracy.
    The constitution protects the rights of the
    individual or minority against the tyranny of the
    majority.
    So stop whining about what ‘you’ or ‘many’ or
    ‘most’ Americans want. When the prejudices of the
    masses are in conflict with the constitution, then
    the prejudices of the masses are by definition
    wrong.
    If you don’t like that then F off and live in a
    country where the close minded bigotry of the
    majority dictate the laws under which all must
    live. Ironically, you are looking for a country
    like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    Reply

  2. nadine says:

    Dan, if Ross Douhat didn’t have a reputation as a “conservative” who can be relied on to beat up on other conservatives — a very useful office to the liberal MSM — he would get no attention at all. He’s that boring. So he fills his office.

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  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Watsamatter, Kotz, bored???? Can’t find a willing ‘roo tonight?

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  4. kotzabasis says:

    The issue is not about

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  5. Carroll says:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/israeli-soldier-mocks-palestinian-prisoners-in-facebook-photos.html
    Quite a photo.
    Reminds me of the jewish supremacist and white supremacist on this thread.
    And if their shallow and nonsensical arguments for why the Muslims shouldn’t build near the WTC hasn’t shown them as the racist and bigots they are and the futility of even discussing it with them…well then, look at the picture in the link again….that’s who they are.
    No one cares where the Muslims build.
    For the psycho zionist nazis and the knuckle dragging right wingers it’s just a way to demonize them.

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  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Perhaps, Questions, you would like to expand on your assertion that Islam is treated “deplorably” by Western actors. What specifically are you referring to? Freeing the Shia in Iraq from the depravations committed by Saddam Hussein?”
    You gotta be fuckin’ kidding me. How are Christians, Jews, and women faring now in Iraq, compared to say, 1989, Wiggie???
    And if you wanna start talking about how we “freed” certain Muslim sects, you are speaking waaaay too early. Oh, I almost forgot, you’re one of these blithering idiots buying into, (or selling), this bullshit about the “success of the surge”.
    Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi non-combatants, a irrepairably damaged, poisoned, and polluted environment, and ghouls like yourself are still claiming we did them a favor.
    (BTW, anyone know what happened to “Pearlman” or “Franklin”???? Oh, well, they’re probably tied up filling out their Aryan Nation membership forms.)

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  7. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, I’m surprised at your response. Are you saying I have misrepresented the arguments of the opponents of the cultural center? Here’s the way I read what is left of that argument:
    Just as we all recognize that there are times when we *shouldn

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  8. nadine says:

    No, it’s not too late, esp. as the developer lied about actually owning all the land for the project.
    Of course you can’t single out mosques — but you can single out competing messaging that will conflict or compete with the 9/11 memorial. And you can ask for transparency wrt to the funding sources.

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  9. questions says:

    And let’s face it, restricting anything near churches is pretty unconstitutional if you ask me, if it’s done to make the church happy, that is. But I’m not trying to be elected to anything. So I won’t pander on the religion issue.

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  10. questions says:

    nadine,
    yikes.
    The point is that the zoning is set already. It can’t be changed post facto because someone doesn’t like the content.
    Now, if the city council wants to try to get a zoning ordinance through that says “now houses of worship within x feet of y” they could do that.
    But to stop this particular “mosque” can’t be done.
    It’s the ex post facto point that is the issue here.
    If they want to start banning ONLY “mosques” they’re probably in legal hot water. So it has to be no houses of worship, or no tax free buildings or some other content neutral language.
    But for this “mosque” it’s too late. And the issue shouldn’t be demagogued. Period.

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  11. nadine says:

    “And I don’t think the law can get involved on this issue. Since it’s a legal issue and not a policy issue, sensitivity has no place. But in policy issues and in re-election issues, sensitivity has to be dealt with.”
    That’s a false distinction, questions. Land use issues contend with local sensitivities all the time. There is a New York ordinance that forbids a saloon within a certain distance (200 yards, I think) of a church; that’s totally a sensitivity issue.
    Other sites which are widely regarded as ‘sacred’, such as the Civil War battlefields of Bull Run or Gettysburg, have Land Use Ordinances which describe — legally — what can and cannot be built near them, and how near.
    New York City needs to draw up a similar ordinance for Ground Zero. So far, the Port Authority has been ruling what can and cannot be rebuilt on the site — they refused the plans of a Greek Orthodox church which was smashed on 9/11 and has not yet been rebuilt.

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  12. questions says:

    Paul, the sensitivity issue has a couple of sides to it.
    One side is whether or not a nation’s policy should be extra extra careful sometimes. It’s probably an individual judgment call.
    Another side is what happens if you violate “sensitivities” and hope for re-election.
    The concern with the sensitivities I have for the traumatized people in the ME is a very practical one. You hit the wrong buttons and they turn further to the right. The more they turn to the right, the harder a time the world has getting the disputes solved. Hence, watch for sensitivity or lose an opportunity for settling things for another generation.
    That’s a practical concern.
    It’s quite possible that Bloomberg, Obama and others will so irritate the populace that they will lose political power. And that’s fine. Sticking by the Constitution is sometime politically risky in our very bizarre political climate.
    I personally think being freaked about the “mosque” is silly, even for the most traumatized among us.
    I personally prefer politicians who don’t demagogue issues because when they demagogue, they create things they can’t control.
    But it’s fine to pick the side you think the people are on and run with it.
    I just think people are wrong on this one, I think the sensitivities are the wrong ones, I think the concerns are wildly misplaced. And I don’t think the law can get involved on this issue. Since it’s a legal issue and not a policy issue, sensitivity has no place. But in policy issues and in re-election issues, sensitivity has to be dealt with.

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  13. questions says:

    I don’t think the “moderate” issue works either.
    There are atrocities committed by adherents to every religion, and the co-religionists don’t necessarily accept the burden of barbarity even if they stay within the religious hierarchy.
    I don’t expect every Catholic to take on the blame for the barbarity of many priests and the Catholic hierarchy because Catholicism is about far more than the psyches of a large gang of priests.
    I don’t expect every Muslim to be an adherent to stoning for adultery or even the brutalization of women. I know a lot of educated well-functioning Muslims who don’t seem to be into stoning. So “moderate” compared to stoning is just not the right comparison.
    The real question isn’t whether or not this imam will advocate stoning, separation of the sexes, beheading or whatever.
    The real question is whether or not a governmental body in the US has the right to stop the center from being developed, whether or not people in the US have property claims over owners, whether or not we are making something of nothing, how much we’re going to let panic, anxiety and fear of the brown people among us drive us to the point of destroying what we’ve gotten right despite our grand stupidity over the years.
    The “mosque” is not likely to be the stoning capital of NYC. It’s not likely going to cause death and destruction. It’s not likely to be much of anything other than another place for people to gather, pray, talk, eat, enjoy life, feel connection to something bigger and smaller. In short, it’s just a normal space with normal people doing normal things.
    Let ‘em build it. Give ‘em peace and quiet. And find something else to be bugged about.
    Watch for personal hypocrisy by accident, by the way.
    If you hate the PC thing and you’re worried about sensibilities, hmmm.
    If you think that you should judge all practitioners of a belief system by the behavior of the nutwings, beware.
    If you think that Islamic practices are especially weird, try to avoid looking at your own! You might be surprised to find what’s been done in your name.

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  14. Paul Norheim says:

    The sensitivities of New Yorkers? Sure. But we should pay
    attention when people with a spesific agenda make a lot of
    noise on behalf of the sensitivities of others.
    The sensitivity argument reminds me of the rhetorics from
    Jerusalem these days:
    “To honor the memory of those who died in Holocaust and to
    make sure that this event doesn’t repeat itself, I’m afraid we’ll
    have to bomb Iran. You have to be very insensitive and
    tactless and hostile to us to oppose this decision.”
    So screw the whole “sensitivity” argument: it’s just too easy to
    abuse it.

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  15. TonyForesta says:

    Outstanding work WigWag, through-out this thread.
    Perhaps we all can glean something positive from
    your willingness to engage in a thorned debate,
    and remain reasonable, clear, and sensitive.
    This twice mentioned point is the key element of
    the issue for me, and I think many opponents of
    the mosque.
    (“Opponents of the mosque/cultural center are
    merely pointing out that constructing a 13 story
    edifice at this location is insensitive and
    rude.”)
    American’s can’t visit Mecca.
    Why? Why would a leaders or any members of a
    socalled peaceful religion choose this of all
    sites in America to erect the 13 story Cordoba
    Mosque. It is a deliberate act of provocation,
    from a socalled peaceful religion that promotes
    the killing of Cartoonists who paint a joke about
    mohammed.
    I loathe and spurn all institutional religions -
    ALL of them POA. They all represent the face of
    evil on earth. Socalled Christianity, and all
    its’ evil bastardizations, Judaism and it’s
    perversions, – All religious institutions are
    evil political/economic entities exploiting
    socalled religion and selling this or that theory
    or book or prophet, for profit and political gain.
    All the worlds institutional religions are
    drenched in oceans of innocent blood. ALL of them
    POA. Look around you – there ain’t no religion in
    this world.
    From my personal perspective and from my personal
    study of all religions over many years, – there is
    NO more militant, more vengeful, wrathful,
    hateful, misogynistic, barbaric, rigid, backward,
    and bloodthirsty purveyor of socalled religion -
    than islam. Attempt to discuss freedom of
    religion with an imam or cleric, or most muslims,
    and get back to me POA.
    That said, failing WigWag here lofty standards
    here – FUCK islam.

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  16. nadine says:

    “The NYT pushed Bush’s war, by the way. Aluminum tubes, anyone?”
    Ah, yes, another favorite talking point of today’s left, who all obediently got amnesia when the Dem establishment invented the “Bush lied” meme in June 2004.
    The New York Times only reported the exact same thing that the George Tenet and CIA was telling President Clinton, The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and President Bush. Democrats as well as Republicans repeated the warnings (if you like, Youtube has somewhere a montage of 50 top Democrats warning of Saddam’s WMDs). The intelligence agencies of the Brits, French and Germans were saying the same.
    After 2003, when the CIA went to war against the Bush administration to absolve itself of guilt for its own massive intelligence failure, the Dems gleefully piled on and the “reality-based” community, who are none too picky in what they call “reality”, joined in.
    Sorry, questions. I remember the arguments of 2002 clearly, even if you don’t.

    Reply

  17. Cee says:

    Money wins.
    News Corp., the Saudi Prince and the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’
    By SAM GUSTIN Posted 1:40 PM 08/16/10
    Rupert Murdoch (L) and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (R)
    Amid the howls of outrage over the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, some political pundits on Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corp. (NWS), have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the project.
    Last Thursday, popular Fox News host Sean Hannity said the proposed center’s leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a U.S. citizen who has spent 25 years working to improve relations between the Muslim world and the U.S., wants to “shred our Constitution” and install “Sharia law as the law of the land in America.” Sharia is a body of law derived from the Koran and Islamic teachings.
    In fact, in his book What’s Right With Islam, Rauf writes that “many Muslims regard the form of government that the American founders established a little over two centuries ago as the form of governance that best expresses Islam’s original values and principles.” (Page 81.) He has never publicly advocated “shredding” the U.S. Constitution or replacing it with Sharia law.
    A Major Backer From the Muslim World
    The stridency with which Fox News personalities attack the downtown Islamic center — red meat for the millions who tune in each night — is an example of the often uneasy relationship and occasionally diverging interests between many of News Corp.’s properties, in this case Fox News and its parent corporation.
    Prince Alwaleed bin TalalFor example, News Corp.’s second-largest shareholder, after the Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (pictured at left, and above right), the nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, and one of the world’s richest men.
    Through his Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed owns about 7% of News Corp., or about $3 billion of the media giant. He also owns 6% of Citigroup — to which he was introduced by the Carlyle Group — or about $10 billion of the giant bank. He’s a part-owner of the famed Plaza Hotel in New York and has invested in many other prominent companies. (At one point he invested in AOL (AOL), the parent company of DailyFinance.)
    Earlier this year, News Corp. invested $70 million for a 9% stake in Alwaleed’s Middle Eastern media and entertainment company, Rotana, which “owns the Arab world’s largest record label and about 40% of the region’s movies — most of which are Egyptian — and operates 11 free-to-air television channels, two of which are through a partnership with News Corp.,” according to Reuters. (Rotana broadcasts Fox movies and TV shows throughout the Middle East.) News Corp. has an option to double its stake in Rotana for another $70 million within 18 months.
    “We Look Forward to Working Together”
    Alwaleed has announced his intention to take Rotana public within the next two years, a move that could earn News Corp. a handsome return. In News Corp.’s 2010 annual report recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alwaleed is referred to only as, “A significant stockholder of the Company, who owns approximately 7% of the Company’s Class B Common Stock.” (Page 44.)
    A News Corp. spokesman in New York declined to discuss the company’s investment into Rotana and referred inquires to a colleague in London, who declined to comment. Attempts to reach Prince Alwaleed or a representative of his conglomerate, Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Co., for comment, were not immediately returned.
    But presumed News Corp. heir James Murdoch has publicly touted the company’s investment in Rotana. James Murdoch, who’s the chairman and CEO of News Corp.’s European and Asian operation, has said: “A stake in Rotana expands our presence in a region with a young and growing population, where [economic] growth is set to outstrip that of more developed economies in the years ahead. Rotana is a leading player in the Middle East, and we look forward to working together.”
    As usual with Murdoch, money trumps ideology. “News Corp. is a big company, and Murdoch makes decisions based on money and business,” says Robert Thompson, a professor of TV and popular culture at Syracuse University. “This isn’t a conspiracy of the right or the left. It’s a conspiracy of money.”
    The Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia
    Routinely listed as one of the top 10 or 20 richest men in the world, Alwaleed has long cultivated deep personal and financial ties with the U.S., especially among powerful business and government officials. Just consider that in 2002, he donated $500,000 to help fund the George Herbert Walker Bush Scholarship at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Above all, Alwaleed is a businessman and a philanthropist, not an ideologue. He has been very generous to Islamic charities and other humanitarian efforts. Alwaleed is such an influential figure that he’s been referred to as the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.
    Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by Alwaleed’s uncle King Abdullah, is, of course, an authoritarian petro-monarchy that actually is governed by Sharia law and is known as one of the top global sponsors of terrorism. A spokesperson for the Saudi embassy in Washington says that while Alwaleed is part of the royal family, he isn’t a member of the government, but rather a private citizen.
    Imam Feisal Abdul RaufAlwaleed, like Iman Rauf (pictured at right), professes a desire to build bridges of peace and understanding between the Islamic world and the West. One man is a multibillionaire, with far-flung investments around the world, and the other is a religious cleric, whose congregation happens to be in downtown Manhattan.
    Many Fox News pundits seem to have a big problem with the idea that a foreign government or entity with ties to terrorism could help sponsor a mosque in lower Manhattan — a legitimate concern. But as viewers listen to Fox News pundits rail against Rauf — and question his center’s funding — they should keep in mind that Fox News is part of a company, News Corp., that has extensive business ties with the Muslim world.
    It’s just part of running a multinational media giant in today’s global, interconnected economy, where alliances and business relationships are more nuanced than the black and white — good and evil — viewpoint that many Fox News pundits espouse.
    See full article from DailyFinance: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/investing/news-corp-the-saudi-prince-and-the-ground-zero-mosque/19593554/?icid=sphere_copyright

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  18. questions says:

    And the building site is already zoned for what it’s to be used for.
    Hence, no more government interference.
    Nate Silver deserves the steady income and general fame, but he fucking won’t be allowed to fucking curse any fucking more according to a front page post. Fuck.
    Hope he stays himself, only with more resources. But you can’t begrudge the guy income and benefits and a decent pension, and an employer to cover half his SoSec payments.
    The NYT pushed Bush’s war, by the way. Aluminum tubes, anyone?

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  19. WigWag says:

    “There are some serious line-drawing issues when you get into the sensitivity game, and there are issues about what are the legitimate demands for sensitivity in a participatory society.” (Questions)
    You make a good point, Questions, many of the issues involved with the mosque/cultural center dispute are relative; what gives offense to some, seems trivial to others. What one person finds infuriating inspires nary a yawn in someone else.
    But the word “moderate,” which is how the Imam has been described, is also a relative term; the question is, “moderate” compared to what? We’ve been told that the Imam doesn’t take a harsh view about women’s rights and surely he doesn’t condone stoning adulterers or homosexuals to death but death by stoning has now become a common sentence handed down by ecclesiastical authorities in the Muslim world. Just recently an Iranian judge sentenced a gay person to death for the crime of homosexuality and after an international storm of criticism, the sentence was commuted to death by hanging. Just today, a young couple in Afghanistan was stoned to death for the crime of adultery. At the orders of the Taliban, an entire Afghan community including the couple’s family members heaved rocks at the couple until their skulls were crushed and they bled to death.
    Here’s a link to that story,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/world/asia/17stoning.html?_r=1&ref=world
    Two things strike me as remarkable: (1) the idea that the Imam’s “moderation” impresses anyone. What wouldn’t look “moderate” compared to this type of barbarity? Before we anoint the Imam who wants to build the mosque/cultural center as a

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  20. nadine says:

    btw, I was sorry to see that Nate Silver is moving to the New York Times site. He will lose his independence and be forced to tone down any comments critical of the Democrats. The NYT has been functioning as the unofficial press office of the DNC for many years.

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  21. nadine says:

    ‘”sensibility” isn’t in the Constitution!” (questions)
    Neither are zoning laws, but they deal with local sensibilities all the time.

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  22. questions says:

    “sensibility” isn’t in the Constitution!
    Religion and expression and assembly and speech are.
    Funny that. From an originalist, too!

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  23. questions says:

    Is there an edifice of acceptable size?
    When you use “13 story” it works kind of like “only two blocks away” and suggests that maybe there’s an ok size and an ok distance….
    There are some serious line-drawing issues when you get into the sensitivity game, and there are issues about what are the legitimate demands for sensitivity in a participatory society.
    Whose ground is what, whose feelings are more traumatized, what counts, what doesn’t.
    As for omitting “Fox” I forgot that part, sorry. I didn’t look right before I wrote it up, and I am not so anti-Fox that if they do something right I still reject it. I’ve actually been known to applaud O’Reilly once in a while for backing off the crap. It’s just that those moments are few and far between!
    The more serious issue though is that we don’t have a good way of knowing how to measure offense in a pluralistic society. So the best place to draw the line in closer to freedom and farther from fear of offense.
    People have different preferences, weigh them differently, and we’re stuck with it.
    Take me for example. I am beyond enraged at education policy in this country for the last n years. We have destroyed countless beautiful creative brilliant human beings with crappy school environments, crappy curricula, crappy teachers, crappy tests, crappy neighborhoods, maldistribution of wealth and so on.
    If Arne Duncan were to announce the building of a 13-story edifice in which there would be education research, and he were to locate it within a hundred miles of an existing school, I would take a certain kind of offense to it. But I wouldn’t demand that he not build his monument to monumentally pathetic education policy. I’m as stuck with the ruination of generations of kids as I am with many other things I’d do differently.
    That’s just what life is when there are other people around.
    The alternative really sucks.
    ********
    It’s worth remembering that it’s not just the non-ground zero non-mosque, but many many mosques far and wide that are getting this kind of negative response. I suppose the whole nation is hallowed Christian ground or something.
    We may actually be working on creating that very nonsensical clash of civilizations by defining ourselves on issues like this. If this is the case, we are actually doing the work, it isn’t something that happens on its own. It’s instigated by, umm, instigators.
    No one would know, no one would care if the politicians didn’t push the issue.
    Watch Gingrich wind up and go like the battery bunny…. (See TPM and the Esquire profile for why this guy does what he does. Ugh.)

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  24. nadine says:

    I’ll just add in Jennifer Rubin’s comment, which sums up much in brief:
    “It would be hard to think how Obama could have done a worse job on the Ground Zero mosque controversy. He took a position objectionable to the vast majority of Americans, within 24 hours chickened out, and then sent his press minions forward to assure his base and the Muslim World and its American community (over which he fawns incessantly) that he really does think we must accept a mosque that will produce nothing but pain for his countrymen and a sense of vindication to those who incinerated 3,000 Americans. It

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  25. WigWag says:

    “If a person of ethnicity/race X attacks you in a particular place, do ALL people of that same ethnicity/race bear the burden of respecting the hallowed nature of the place where you were attacked such that it’s simply off limits?” (Questions)
    It depends on whether or not people believe in common courtesy. Certainly no one should be obligated “to bear the burden of respecting the hallowed nature” of the place where the attack took place. But people who are not willing to exercise the common courtesy of restraining themselves in the vicinity of a site that murdered people’s families consider hallowed ground, should not be surprised when their supposed attempts to “build bridges” are viewed as hollow and hypocritical. Nor should they be surprised when their lack of concern for the sensibilities of the families of the murder victims makes a mockery of their claim to “moderation.”
    “I think we probably don’t want to go around sanctifying ground and declaring, say, “No Muslim Zone” or the like. Pretty soon we would need Google maps and iPhone apps to help us know where we can walk, talk, build, and look.” (Questions)
    This is pure hyperbole, Questions. No one is suggesting that Muslims can

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  26. questions says:

    A few random things….
    First, there’s a divide between individual acts and group identity.
    If a person of ethnicity/race X attacks you in a particular place, do ALL people of that same ethnicity/race bear the burden of respecting the hallowed nature of the place where you were attacked such that it’s simply off limits?
    I think we probably don’t want to go around sanctifying ground and declaring, say, “No Muslim Zone” or the like. Pretty soon we would need Google maps and iPhone apps to help us know where we can walk, talk, build, and look.
    So this kind of out-of-bounds thing is a bad idea.
    Second, WE may well think we are saving the world from some kind of horrific human rights disaster or another, but by and large, it is my sense that we have intervened in Islamic societies of all sorts by propping up dictators, getting rid of other dictators, colonizing, westernizing, extracting resources, and encouraging wicked governments of all sorts. So every time you toss out “Kurds” I’m sure that I could toss out “Saddam was ours” or we prop up the Saudis, or we paid bin Laden or whatever….
    The fact is that there is a long and sad history of outside forces coming in to exploit, and not with particularly good intentions.
    And so, yes, I can imagine that there are people for whom anti-Westernism is a strong feeling, and I can kind of understand a variety of backlashes against that.
    At the same time, I profoundly dislike a wide range of abuses against women, from compulsory cosmetic surgery and hair-dyeing and youth-orientation and body-image crap and “forced sexual display” in the US all the way through the reverses under Islam. Every group has deplorable practices that victimize large segments of its own people.
    No, in the US you don’t get stoned for not displaying, but you can easily be ostracized.
    Yes, there are asymmetries, but no, social practices in the US aren’t wonders of liberty. They are practices. They are the practices we’re used to. So they have a kind of logic, familiarity and history we accept.
    We do have plenty of prison rape we do nothing about, plenty of murders, plenty of domestic violence that we condone, accept and even consider part of the landscape.
    We are not the world’s best people.
    Despite that, I try to map out my multi-dimensional preference scheme and I find the First Amendment outweighs other concerns in most domains. So that means we need to learn to live with other people’s speech, religion, and assembly whether or not it happened a couple of blocks away from where some other people attacked yet other people…..
    I don’t personally find it insensitive. Unlike jdledell, I didn’t have a close relative working at WTC, but I had family in lower Manhattan and working at the Pentagon. I had a bad day, too. And a bad week, month and so on. It’s definitely creepy to be connected to the bombings even distantly. I couldn’t get calls through, for the day, and I spent enough time convinced everyone was dead that I think I’m in on the trauma, though at a more distant level than, say jdledell or someone who lost a spouse, parent or friend. And note that it was both locations for me, so lots more people were involved in my terrible horrible no good very bad day.
    I also know lots of victims of various crimes. But I don’t consider the crime scenes hallowed ground, and I don’t judge an entire class of people based on the actions of some few members of that class of people.
    Note by the way, the class of people here is “Islamic”, so that’s like, more than a billion people on the planet who now need to know that there’s just something about them that some half of the US population really can’t stand, at least at some level.
    Doesn’t this language sound familiar?
    So back to the trade off issues. I don’t like conservative religious thinking — the rules, the absolutes, the insistence on a particular interpretation of really inscrutable texts, the behavior programs, the treatment of women and outsiders, the warring in the name of the great deity, the stonings, lockings up, denials of basic decent respect and equitable treatment, the closing off of options and thoughts. I don’t like the simplicity, the reduction of the world’s puzzles to the formulaic.
    So that’s one preference scheme.
    I also don’t like telling other people how to live their lives, especially given that I’m no paragon of total wisdom.
    I also don’t like judging whole classes of people based on the actions of an accidental few (19 guys vs. the other billion plus).
    I also don’t like the history of exploitation.
    I also don’t like the sanctification of ground. History is a palimpsest and we should be used to that by now.
    I also think the Republicans are demagoguing this one and they will regret the hate they are stirring.
    I also read Nate Silver’s thing on how the questions were asked (or was it Tom Schaller) in the poll and the suggestion is that Obama may actually be in the right place.
    It’s one thing to be miffed by the mosque and another to want the government to stop it. It looks like only a third of us wants the gov’t to intervene, and 2/3 are either miffed but coping (you, WigWag?), or accepting and not miffed at all (me, for example.)
    In the ranks of insensitive, I’d say this one is lower down. In fact, I really don’t know what number of blocks away is acceptable, and I don’t know why 2 blocks wouldn’t be, and I don’t really think it’s a bad idea to have it right there as a symbol of the basic freedoms we have that cannot be wiped out by radical demands to gut the Constitution.
    The tolerance of the intolerant (assuming this imam is even intolerant at all — the record seems to be unclear on the repub side of things, but I’m not following it that closely. I read that he was a Bush admin guy at some level.) — the tolerance of the intolerant is a central idea for Rawls and I think he’s spot on on this.
    The intolerant learn the value of tolerance by being tolerated. So if they rail at us, at least we are tolerating.
    As long as the imam isn’t blowing up buildings, I think it’s fine to have the mosque front and center, 1 or 2 or 3 blocks away.
    I don’t think we should have to live our lives worrying about whether or not we belong to a group that has bothered someone or killed someone or whatever and I don’t think we should be scurrying around looking for those characteristics that might bring offense.
    OH NO! A SHORT PERSON KILLED MY RELATIVE. THERE IS NO WAY I’M ALLOWING A PETITE-SIZE CLOTHING STORE WITHIN TEN BLOCKS OF THE SITE.
    See? It’s dumbfuck.

    Reply

  27. Cee says:

    THERE WAS A TIME WHEN HATRED WAS THE NORM IN NEW YORK
    August 16, 2010 at 13:30 (Current Affairs, Democracy, History, Intolerance)
    When Jewish refugees arrived in his city, in 1654, Stuyvesant was determined to bar them completely. Jews, he complained, were

    Reply

  28. WigWag says:

    “Add in the y-axis and suddenly you have positioning with relation to deplorable treatment of women, AND positioning with relation to the deplorable treatment of Islam itself by “western” actors. Graphing preferences in two dimensions gets a little more complicated for finding stable positions.” (Questions)
    Perhaps, Questions, you would like to expand on your assertion that Islam is treated “deplorably” by Western actors. What specifically are you referring to? Freeing the Shia in Iraq from the depravations committed by Saddam Hussein? Freeing the mostly Sunni but largely secular Kurds from the fear of gassing and mass murder?
    Or perhaps you

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    WigWag, not sure you have the “progressive” line quite right regarding the treatment of women in conservative Islam and in conservative Christianity and Judaism.
    It’s one of those lines that really requires an actual text, a citation, a quotation, a place in the history of thought.
    I think more likely what you’re responding to (without a text in front of me, I lack a specific position to think through) is what happens when one is familiar with a practice vs. what happens when one is unfamiliar.
    That is, I can nail my parents for their retrograde beliefs, but I won’t nail your parents because I don’t know them and I don’t want to be disrespectful to THEM even if I think their beliefs are retrograde.
    In the same way, I deplore conservative Christian and Jewish covering of women, the quiverful family structure and so on, because I’m far more familiar with it than I am with the tenets of Islam. I could easily deplore the more retrograde tenets of Islam (or any religion) the moment I had some familiarity with it.
    The other thing is that you are laying this all out on a unidimensional space. EITHER one deplores or fails to deplore the deplorable treatment of women. It’s a decision on the x-axis only.
    Add in the y-axis and suddenly you have positioning with relation to deplorable treatment of women, AND positioning with relation to the deplorable treatment of Islam itself by “western” actors. Graphing preferences in two dimensions gets a little more complicated for finding stable positions.
    (The work on the median voter issue shows this quite nicely. It’s easy to figure out the median when one is merely trying to figure out a dollar amount to spend on a policy, but as soon as you have two policies competing for attention, the patterning, graphing, and positioning get far more complicated. Add in trade offs among several variables and it all becomes guess work what a reasonable position is.
    (Of course, as soon as you say “complex” the complaints around here start up again….. But in fact, it’s a multidimensional preference system and so you won’t really find stable ideological commitments that are fully consistent.) (Inspired by Charles Stewart III’s book on Congress.)
    Thus, one deplores the treatment of women, one deplores “western” behavior, one deplores terrorism as a response, one deplores the treatment of the Palestinians, one deplores the rocketing of Sderot…. And there isn’t a stable median position among all these variables.
    The lack of stability makes it really really ripe for demagoguery, for findings of “inconsistent” “stupid” pwogs, and so on.
    We’re all inconsistent on this set of issues, and we will all defend our own inconsistency as a principled stand.
    So there!!!
    (gosh I hope this all makes sense and isn’t too complicated, metaphorical, or just plain difficult!)

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Just as the Cold War wasn’t a war on the hundreds of millions of citizens living in Communist nations (or even a war on the tens of millions of actual communist party members), the War against militant Islam isn’t a war against every Muslim; only the dimwitted would think otherwise”
    Tell that to the families of the hundreds of thousands we have murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan, using 9/11 as the excuse.

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The common public sentiment, that Wig-wag uses to present her case, is akin to the mewling bawl of a herd of sheep. The alphas in the herd start the lament, and soon you have a group bawl of ear shattering dimension.
    Never mind that the common sentiment is based in ignorance and false information. Never mind that we have had close to an entire decade of media indoctrination and propaganda using a criminal event to indict an entire people.
    This is a wet dream for the likes of Wig-wag and Nadine. These fucking ghouls, and their ilk, revel in the spectre of turning American society into the same kind of racist murderous horde that Israeli society has become. There is no good destination at the end of the path they want us to follow.
    So lets block this mosque, if only to find out which brick will be the next to be pulled from our foundation? We can pull only so many before it ALL comes tumbling down.

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    Unfortunately, Paul, you’ve mischaracterized my remarks to fit in with your dubious thesis. I’ve never claimed that 1.2 billion Muslims are linked or are in any way responsible for the 9/11 attacks; in fact that’s the opposite of what I think.
    What I’ve said is that if the developer of the mosque/cultural center project were really as “moderate” or interested in reconciliation has he claims he is, then he would have located his new project in a place less likely to inspire anger. And I’ve said that the anger about a mosque/cultural center located so close to Ground Zero is both understandable and justifiable just like the anger that was expressed towards the Carmelite nuns when they placed their large wooden crucifix so close to the death camp in Auschwitz.
    I’ve also said that the government should do nothing to prevent the mosque/cultural center from being built because it is a legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights by the group planning to build it. The fact that it is legal (and should be legal) doesn’t mean it is right or decent.
    Just as the Cold War wasn’t a war on the hundreds of millions of citizens living in Communist nations (or even a war on the tens of millions of actual communist party members), the War against militant Islam isn’t a war against every Muslim; only the dimwitted would think otherwise.
    I actually think that reconciliation between Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and secular Americans (and Americans who practice other faiths) is to be fervently desired. I don’t want the United States to deteriorate into the cauldron of ethnic and religious hatred that Europe is on its way to becoming (yet again.)
    The problem is that the decision to locate the Mosque in this location appears to be a deliberate attempt to thwart reconciliation not foster it.
    I confess that I find it mystifying why you find this so difficult to understand.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s beyond me how apparently well
    informed and intelligent people like Drew, WigWag, Nadine, and Bill Pearlman….”
    Intelligent??? Bigotry is a trait rooted in ignorance, Paul.
    “…which seems more related to gestures, style, and personality and “culture” etc, then to the substance of his foreign policy, which as a matter of fact doesn’t differ much from that of his predecessor, George W. Bush”
    You left “party” and political affiliation out, Paul. That is the gaping hole in the asinine spew that rolls off the keyboard of these assholes like Nadine. She will criticize and demonize Obama, DESPITE the fact that he is acting out from the very script that she reads from. It is also why you see NEITHER side taking on Hillary Clinton, who is the prime example of how miniscule a gap there is between the foreign policy advocations of both sides of the aisle. While the sham of political division in regards to foreign policy plays out, behind the scenes you have these sacks of shit like Clinton instituting the same kind of inflammatory diplomatic tactics that George Bush’s operatives employed. When you cut through all the party rhetoric and posturing, we might as well have Dick Cheney fucking us into perpetual war and global alienation, because Obama is pursuing the same foriegn policy paths the right pursues when in power.
    And why the fuck is “Ground Zero” hallowed ground? Three thousand, of many nationalities people died there. And we still don’t know why, or how, despite the fact that some p[eople are so fuckin’ ignorant that they buy into the fantastic and impossible fairy tale concocted by Washington and the clown show known as the “9/11 Commission”. Really, three thousand people is a drp in the bucket when you consider these three thousand died in order to open the door for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. Rather than “hallowed ground”, the site of this crime should be a national embarrasment. At the very least, it was an example of criminal incompetence at the highest levels of our government, and all evidence points to it being even far more sinister in foundation and intent. And the criminal treatment of this incident has onlty continued since the event. The EPA’s shameful actions that has resulted in death and misery for thousdands of first responders. The open and unabashed concocted horseshit that rushed us to war in Iraq. The torture and rendition of Muslims. The complete and utter lack of accountability for the so called “failures” that allowed 9/11 to happen, as well as the lack of accountability for the fuckin’ criminals that lied us into a war, shit all over the Constitution, and irrepairably destroyed our trust in the Justice Department.
    “Hallowed Ground”, my ass. Its a crime scene of unprecedented and epic proportions. And the crime continues to this day, with the criminals at the helm of our nation, never held to account and subsequently emboldened to commit increasingly egregious acts that are self serving and polar to the interests of the people.

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    “And it has nothing to do with language or other aspects of cultural assimilation. These opponents are people who believe the United States is in a holy war against Islam. They don’t believe Muslims of any kind, no matter how assimilated they are, no matter how proficient in their mastery of English, no matter whether they are newcomers or third generation Muslim-Americans, should be permitted to “plant their flag” anywhere close to Ground Zero. They view this as a loss of symbolically vital territory in the holy war.” (Dan Kervick)
    Your tendency to paint with a rather broad brush, Dan, is perfectly illustrative of why the mosque/cultural center controversy is likely to add another nail in the coffins of progressive candidates this November. The 70 percent of Americans who oppose locating the mosque/cultural center at this location won’t take kindly to being called bigots by Dan Kervick; more importantly they won’t take kindly to being called bigots by Barack Obama, and other people whose livelihood actually depends on getting votes.
    This is not just an American phenomenon; in Europe we see the same thing happening; arrogant elites shake with anger as those skeptical about Muslim immigration rack up the votes in places like France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and other nations. Dan, unless I’m mistaken you’re old enough to remember the chants of 1960s leftists during the anti-war demonstrations; perhaps you remember this one, “The people united will never be defeated.” Truth be told, that old chant and its companion, the one advocating “power to the people,” have now morphed into the new progressive slogan, “the people united are a bunch of ass-holes.” Good luck winning friends and influencing people with that attitude.
    Uncharacteristically, Dan, your argument is devoid of rigor; instead you fall back on the lazy accusation that anyone who has a different view on this than you is anti-Muslim. Actually, to be more precise, your last comment suggests that you believe everyone who has a different point of view than you on this controversy is a bigot. I understand your motivation; it is far easier to toss accusations out into cyberspace than to make real arguments.
    You claim “it has nothing to do with language or other aspects of cultural assimilation. These opponents are people who believe the United States is in a holy war against Islam.” But is it a war against Islam or a war against radical Islam? Is the leader of this mosque really a “moderate?” If he is, why is he locating his mosque/cultural center in a location that he clearly knew would inspire anger? He claims his goal is to build bridges between the Muslim Community and other Americans; if that’s his real goal why did he decide to build in the most provocative place he could find? The proof is in the pudding; how has that bridge building thing worked out so far?
    If the Imam is so “moderate” why doesn’t he tell us how he feels about men and women swimming in his new swimming pool together or whether women will be permitted to wear two piece bathing suits? Why doesn’t he tell us whether his new gym will be co-ed? Shouldn’t he enlighten us about whether the locker rooms that he plans to build will be more like the locker rooms at the YMCA or the locker rooms outside of the health club at the Four Seasons in Saudi Arabia? Will the Village People ever be able to croon about his cultural center? Will they ever be able to sing, “We

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    Dan,
    There have been mosque “controversies” around the country. Probably TPM carried this one, but I can’t say as I remember. I’ve read about several other mosques that have drawn protests.
    The Republicans, in typical fashion, have created a monster they can’t handle. So now they have to go after the basic foundations of the country in order to drum up fear and get votes.
    It’s just not a good idea to play politics this way, even if you end up winning a few elections. You lose in the long run.

    Reply

  36. chumanist says:

    The international community fervently hopes and gravely expects that President Obama would have no compromise on his daring moral stand regarding the building of a Muslim Mosque in the adjacent vicinity of the twin towers despite the fact that Republicans do have reservations over President Obama’s initiative of protecting the religious rights of the Muslims in America.

    Reply

  37. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions,
    sometimes stupid and obviously manipulative op-eds are
    more interesting than coherent and intelligent essays from
    someone you agree with.
    As for the actual debate here, the Mosque debate, I can’t
    relate to it. Not so much because I’m a foreigner; more
    due to the weird generalizations inherent in the premises.
    To participate in this discussion, one has to ask oneself
    some pretty basic questions:
    Are men (as opposed to women) just brutal rapists and
    violent misogynists, or are they much more and much else
    than that?
    Are Christians just crusaders and promoters of cruel
    dogmas and the Inquisition, or are they much more and
    else than that?
    Are Muslims just fanatic terrorists and lunatics, or are they
    much more and much else than that?
    Are white people just a bunch of racists with colonialism
    and control embedded in their DNA, or are they much
    more and else than that?
    Are Jews just members of a greedy, powerful, rootless
    tribe, whose favorite hobby is to humiliate and kill Arabs,
    or are they much more and much else than that?
    In other words: It’s beyond me how apparently well
    informed and intelligent people like Drew, WigWag,
    Nadine, and Bill Pearlman are capable of seeing 1.2 billion
    Muslims as linked to, and somehow even remotely
    responsible for the actions of some extremist fanatics hi-
    jackers, and terrorists.
    Fanatics who interpret the Quran in ways that are as far
    apart from mainstream Islam as Nadine`s and Don Bacon’s
    interpretation of the American constitution is apart from
    Dan Kervick’s or your interpretation of the same
    constitution – a constitution which BTW is much more
    coherent than the extremely heterogenous, metaphor-
    rich, stylistically and formally varied, and contradictory
    holy texts of Judaism, Islam, or Christendom.
    ———————————————–
    But of course, at it’s core, this is not a philosophical
    argument about general concepts versus singular
    phenomena; about extreme versus moderate Muslims; or
    about holy and unholy texts and interpretations. Nor is it a
    debate about cultural assimilation versus principles – as
    Dan Kervick points out above: “These opponents are
    people who believe the United States is in a holy war
    against Islam.”
    The recent demonization of Muslims reminds me of the
    words of Benzion Netanyahu, Bibi’s father: “[The Arab] is
    the enemy in essence.” This was meant as a
    characterization of a tribe unwilling to compromise. But it
    is also a characterization of the unwillingness to
    compromise, the confrontational, belligerent attitude
    among neocons, right wing hardliners and others from the
    West (in the US, Israel, and Europe), who want to portrait
    Islam as The Absolute Enemy, and who encourage a
    dichotomy and a conflict more like the Cold War in the
    past – just deeper and more hostile, possibly a Warm War
    - this time between a reactionary, Islamo-fascist, terrorist
    Islamism, and a liberal, democratic, forward looking, and
    superior Western Capitalism.
    As far as I remember, Osama bin Laden once said that
    being anti-American is “an essential part of being a
    Muslim”. The other side, the belligerent Westerners, seem
    to mirror his views perfectly.
    ——————————————–
    And then there is the intense and idiosyncratic, frequently
    paranoid hostility towards Obama among commenters like
    WigWag, Nadine, and Drew, which seems more related to
    gestures, style, and personality and “culture” etc, then to
    the substance of his foreign policy, which as a matter of
    fact doesn’t differ much from that of his predecessor,
    George W. Bush. While posters here typed angry attacks on
    Obama regarding his position on the Mosque/Cultural
    Center, the NYT published an article yesterday about the
    real war against extremist groups:
    “In roughly a dozen countries

    Reply

  38. Dan Kervick says:

    Paul,
    Whatever the merits of Douthat’s sociological observations about the two Americas, they have little if anything to do with the cultural center controversy. The opponents of the cultural center aren’t just engaging in the usual anti-immigrant suspicion. This isn’t a controversy that would be replayed if the cultural center in question were a Mexican cultural center; or Hindu cultural center; or Ethiopian Christian cultural center.
    And it has nothing to do with language or other aspects of cultural assimilation. These opponents are people who believe the United States is in a holy war against Islam. They don’t believe Muslims of any kind, no matter how assimilated they are, no matter how proficient in their mastery of English, no matter whether they are newcomers or third generation Muslim-Americans, should be permitted to “plant their flag” anywhere close to Ground Zero. They view this as a loss of symbolically vital territory in the holy war.
    This controversy is taking place centrally in New York; not Kansas, Tennessee or Idaho. Many of the mosque opponents are not in any way part of the “Anglo-Saxon” diaspora. And many of them aren’t Protestant, but are Catholic or Jewish. If the people visiting the cultural center couldn’t speak a word of English, cooked strange and malodorous non-American foods, and wanted to use the center to perform the non-Christian rites of some form of third world shamanistic religion, the New Yorkers who are now opposing the cultural center wouldn’t bat an eye at this additional ingredient to the New York cultural stew. It’s all about Islam; not some generic xenophobic WASPy Americanism.
    Douthat is really blowing smoke here by trying to turn this into some classic and familiar Two Cultures debate. But it’s not surprising. The conservatives have changed their story on this controversy several times already, as they struggle to find some some line to take that they aren’t embarrassed to defend. So now it’s just supposed to be the typical red-blue standoff between deracinated cosmopolitan urbanites and heartland WASPs who better understand the importance and value of assimilation?
    Douthat has taken it upon himself, as an urbanized conservative intellectual embarrassed over the ugly diatribes of his conservative fellows from the hinterlands, to articulate the “real wisdom” behind their “cruder, more xenophobic notes” – which play so poorly off the “finer-sounding speeches” of the liberal tradition. But the crude notes being played in this debate aren’t just the usual, “Why don’t these newcomers learn to speak English and act Americans?” Instead they are something like, “Why can’t these insensitive Muslims figure out that the area around Ground Zero is now a permanent Muslim exclusion zone and is off limits? They are lucky we don’t intern or deport all the Muslims altogether, given that they are on the other side in the holy war.”

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    Paul,
    Just don’t read Douthat! He’s not very trenchant.
    Indeed, the line in that post is really a standard Republican turnaround. The guys who push this crap are Ivy-educated elitists who have decided it pays to support the “mass” of “literal-minded” “real” “Americans” from the “heartland” — because it’s a great re-election strategy and a nice way to demagogue, build up fear and divide and conquer.
    The Bush family has been very wealthy for a couple of generations. They do Yale. Bush Sr. is from the northeast, not from Texas…. So what image do they push — rugged, masculine, oil, beer, heartland, REAL. And then Clinton and Obama, who both had troubled childhoods of one sort or another, neither of whom was particularly privileged, both of whom got into the Ivy system through merit –now THEY are the elitists….
    Typical rhetorical reversals. People eat this stuff up!
    By the way, TPM has a thing up about the “families of 9/11 victims who speak out against the mosque.” It’s apparently not quite so clear cut….

    Reply

  40. Paul Norheim says:

    The New York Times published an op-ed column today: “Islam
    in two Americas”, written by Ross Douthat, that is directly
    related to the topic of this post.
    His basic point is that there are two Americas; one which sticks
    to the (tolerant, but abstract) principles of the constitution, and
    one which demands that new arrivals in America assimilate
    themselves to a specific set of cultural norms, quickly. The
    former America protects the “e pluribus”, while the latter helps
    creating the “unum”. And the US need both, according to the
    author – but especially the “cultural America”.
    In Douthat’s own words:
    “There

    Reply

  41. Cee says:

    JohnH,
    A few so called leaders make it bad for all of the rest of us.
    GORDON DUFF: THE GROUND ZERO MOSQUE LIES
    August 14, 2010 posted by Gordon Duff

    Reply

  42. JohnH says:

    Great piece, Cee! Great idea to have imams visit holocaust sites.
    Also interesting is that “Berger related that he had appealed to numerous Jewish organizations for financial assistance without luck, as he sought to make the trip a reality.” I’m surprised that liberal Jewish organizations didn’t seize the opportunity. As for the supremacists, the “tolerance” business is their private domain, not to poached upon by goyim.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And the following is for the history bending jackasses that repeatedly claim that Bin Laden admitted to the attacks.
    “I have already said that I am not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. There exists a government within the government of the United States. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks…. The United States should trace the perpetrators of these attacks to those persons who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own nation could survive.”
    - Osama Bin Laden-
    I have no idea what actually occurred on 9/11. But I DO know what occured afterwards; a cover-up of epic proportions, that only a fuckin’ idiot would buy into.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A list of “conspiracy theorists”….
    Eight U.S. State Department Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11…..
    Daniel Ellsberg, PhD
    Col. Ann Wright
    Fred Burks
    Melvin Goodman, PhD
    Michael Springmann
    George Kenney
    Michael Mennard, PhD
    Edward Peck
    Dec. 13, 2007 – Seven Senior Federal Engineers and Scientists Call for New 9/11 Investigation – Official Account of 9/11:

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As far as Obama and this issue goes, the teleprompter might be on the correct side of this issue, but who the hell knows where Obama stands? You’d have to be standing at the podium with him, wet finger stuck in the air, to make that determination”
    Obama Backs Off Support for NYC Mosque Project
    Insists Belief in Legality of Mosque Is Not Support for It
    by Jason Ditz, August 14, 2010
    Yesterday President Barack Obama insisted that he believes Muslims have the same rights as everyone else in the US and that, as such, they have a right to build religious buildings on private property.
    Following the predictable

    Reply

  46. Cee says:

    Pearlman,
    Elders of Zion? Pleeeze.
    I’m still waiting for you to address the Israeli role in Operation Entebbe that YOU brought up.

    Reply

  47. sdemetri says:

    And in case you think, questions, that eyewitness testimony is unreliable, the court system doesn’t throw out wholesale eyewitness accounts, but tests the credibility of the accounts. Correlative and corroborative evidence can help determine just how credible an individual’s story is. When time after time the accounts look the same, one may not be able to easily derive a causal relationship, but certain patterns certainly point in directions worth investigating.
    Many 9/11 family members have repeatedly said they are dissatisfied with the conclusions given them and have many questions that remain unanswered.

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I honestly didn’t realize that this was a “truther” site. And of course all roads lead to the “elders of zion”. In fact I’m going to call them up. ( we all get the phone number on our bar mitzvah) and see what we can do about “pissed off american”.”
    I’m shaking in my boots, Pearlman. Haven’t you made a big enough ass of yourself yet? This isn’t a “truther site”. But its also not a site that caters to bigoted assholes like yourself.
    Why don’t you backtrack and tell us what your comment about the stabber being “arab” was all about? Do you point out the religion or ethnicity of everyone you read about in the newspaper that has committed some sort of insane mayhem against humanity?? How is the fact he was “arab” relevent to anything?
    And why don’t YOU tell us who “neo-nazis” are likely to side with in this debate about the so-called mosque, Pearlman? Seems to me some ignorant bigot like yourself is EXACTLY the kind of sicko they recruit for membership.
    I just don’t get it. Why are the biggest assholes that visit here also the staunchest defenders of Israel? Again, I gotta wonder why more Jews like Jdledell don’t chime in to dilute spew such as his.
    Pearlman, it really doesn’t make much sense to decry prejudice against Jews in a manner that nurtures that prejudice. Trust me, you sputtering asshole, if YOU are the voice of the Jews, your people better buckle up, because disliking you is not only understandable, but it is also an act of moral conscience.

    Reply

  49. sdemetri says:

    Or this from an Assitant Fire Commissioner:
    Assistant Fire Commissioner Stephen Gregory

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  50. sdemetri says:

    I never thought that WTC7 video, questions, proved much of anything.
    I always thought the comments volunteered by the 118 FDNY employees much more compelling, or those of the PATH employees, such as the one who had spent over a decade in the military and knew from explosives training that the explosion she was in in the lobby of one of the towers was in fact massive. The initial pressure wave blew by with the sound of a freight train. She was picked up and tumbled with it. The partial vacuum behind the pressure wave sucked the air out of her lungs. The reverse wave that rushed back to fill the partial vacuum; the glass and debris that punctured her, and heat that left her skin red and bleeding. All this more than a thousand feet below the fires above and without explanation.
    Or, the TV reporters discussing in real time the massive explosions they had experienced as they tried to approach the WTC towers.
    I especially like this account from a firefighter with the presence of mind to stand, watch, and try to make sense of what he was seeing instead of running:
    Kenneth Rogers: …we were standing there with about five companies and we were just waiting for our assignment and then there was an explosion in the south tower, which according to this map, this exposure just blew out in flames. A lot of guys left at that point. I kept watching. Floor after floor after floor. One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing.
    Captain Karen DeShore said much the same thing.
    Or Firefighter Richard Banciski: “We were there, I don’t know, 10, 15 minutes and then I just remember there was just an explosion. It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions. Everybody just said run and we all turned around and we ran into the parking garage because that’s basically where we were. Running forward would be running towards it. Not thinking that this building [South Tower] is coming down. We just thought there was going to be a big explosion, stuff was going to come down.”
    The official explanation of the disintegration of these towers is based on a computer simulation, the inputs for which have been kept secret. Not just bad science, but deceptive science.
    Your “debunking” is very weak.

    Reply

  51. questions says:

    A really nice FAQ that hits all the right points:
    http://www.debunking911.com/faq.htm

    Reply

  52. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “(which it is NOT, and I would advise everyone in leadership to actually read the koran, which is
    THE most militant and vengeful wrath socalled
    religious texts ever scribbled by the nefarious
    hand of man)”
    There is nary a religious text written that does not provide the grist of hatred for those such as yourself, Tony. And you KNOW that. The Bible is also full of less than “Christian” blather, and the Torah can easily be portrayed as an indictment of the Gentiles, whom some rabbis claim its alright to murder, or even slay the children of.
    I note that the guy that just shot a few people outside a diner was a resident of Buffalo. Egads. You and Pearlman better get together and start a grassroots movement to rid the world of all citizens of Buffalo. Crazed murderers, one and all. Oh shit!! I just realized he’s a MAN too! Man, those male residents of Buffalo are deadly, aren’t they?
    And ya gotta love your rant. Your argument seems to be “Well, what the hell, they’re dismantling the Constitution anyway, so why not do away with that parts that don’t support my prejudices?”.
    “Watch out, thar be some serious math in there….”
    “Some numbers and factoids…..”
    That you have had no time to examine or collaborate. But what the hell, as long as it fits your narrative, right? Thou dost protest too much.

    Reply

  53. questions says:

    Some numbers and factoids…..
    http://politicalmythsdebunked.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  54. questions says:

    On the freefall stuff….
    http://www.debunking911.com/freefall.htm
    Watch out, thar be some serious math in there….

    Reply

  55. questions says:

    More on WTC 7….
    http://www.debunking911.com/WTC7.htm
    Read the copy, it’s informative.
    Note the deceptive use of available video, the fact that the damage to the building was significant, and so on…..

    Reply

  56. sdemetri says:

    Frame by frame analysis of Building 7 video by a high school physics teacher compelled NIST to acknowledge, though not explain, that 7 fell, nearly intact, at free fall acceleration. Some physical phenomena are simply not up for interpretation. In order for the entire roofline to fall, as one, in free fall, requires all supporting columns to offer no resistance. The sudden onset of collapse indicates a near simultaneous failure of support. Fire has never, before or since, caused a steel framed building to collapse in such a fashion. It happens all the time with controlled demo of steel framed buildings. Fire results in slow deformation and asymmetric failure as the enormous heat sink the steel columns provide distributes the energy of the fires.
    With the data, analysis parameters, inputs used to come up with such a result as NIST claims is likely unavailable to independent investigators, the black box computer simulation for 7, and the other towers for that matter, that stand as “proof” of the govt’s explanation, is as hollow a scientific explanation as there can be. Them’s the facts, mam.
    Thanks, Cee. An invaluable site calling for an independent investigation.

    Reply

  57. TonyForesta says:

    Why? Why build a mosque anywhere near ground
    zero. If islam is a socalled peaceful religion,
    (which it is NOT, and I would advise everyone in
    leadership to actually read the koran, which is
    THE most militant and vengeful wrath socalled
    religious texts ever scribbled by the nefarious
    hand of man) – then why choose that site?
    Freedom of religion? Surely you jest. I will
    remind all the erudite commentarians and our
    humble host, – that in practical application -
    that thing we call the Constitution is “…just a
    goddamn piece of paper.” The 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th,
    6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments are already dead and
    rotting quaint notions of our once more perfect
    union, as all the other freedoms have all been
    ruthless tossed to the trash heap of history to
    benefit the predatorclass subversion and total
    spectrum dominance of Amerika’s wealth and
    resources. Why choose this socalled freedom for
    political reasons, when every other freedom,
    right, protection, and privilege formally granted
    to the America people is no longer relevant?
    How is it that Obama, and Bloomberg and all the
    forked tongued politicians bruting this nonesense
    about freedom of religion and tolerance choose
    this of all issues to take a political stand, -
    but refuse to question the relevant issues of
    Amerika’s ongoing mercenary criminal enterprises
    in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world?
    How can these spaniels of the predatorclass hold
    to any moral or ethical standard on this insult on
    one hand, and refuse to reign in the rank abuses,
    PONZI scheme’s, and criminal activities of the
    predatorclass and socalled TBTF finance oligarchs
    on the other?
    The hypocrisy is shattering.
    The entire argument is base on this FALSE premise.
    “Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross
    distortion of Islam.” Al Quaeda’s cause IS
    islams cause and applies and in concert with the
    basic teaching of islam. Muslims killing muslim
    statistics are deceptive, because islam promotes,
    promulgates, and brutes the killing of all
    infidels. It’s simply a question of which warlord
    or perverted goathumper with the most weapons and
    tribesmen determines what exactly is mohammed’s
    twisted message. Anyone muslim or not, not
    conforming to that twisted message is
    automatically a socalled infidel and it is then
    godzwill to kill them and their seed.
    All religions are pernicious political economic
    entities seeking purely economic and political
    ends, and drenched in oceans of innocent blood.
    That said, – FUCK islam!!!!

    Reply

  58. Cee says:

    Sdemetri,
    You’ll find more information here
    http://www.patriotsquestion911.com/

    Reply

  59. questions says:

    This site, if I’m reading it correctly and to be honest, I can’t tell, seems to be a truther site that is debunking several weaker truther claims in order to preserve stronger truther claims. So the truthers are setting on each other at some level??!! But to be honest, I don’t really know.
    http://www.oilempire.us/bogus.html
    By the way, the main debunking site is loaded with gov’t documents, transcripts and the like, all paid for by the author of the site and painstakingly uploaded over time.
    There’s really a lot of archival work to be done to put it all together. I’m not much for archival work, but I’m not making crazy claims, either…..

    Reply

  60. samuelburke says:

    nice try ziozombies…we are not persuaded.
    its the rest of the american people that you better hope never wake
    up…but i fear that the economic downturn will ultimately do the
    job and get everyone to ask the hard questions.

    Reply

  61. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As usual, ridiculous assertions are dredged up, (such as the asinine premise that something other than an airliner hit the Pentagon), so the “conspiracy theory” argument can be used to dispute the less sensational unanswered questions about what happened on 9/11. We have gone from the KNOWN detention of Mossad operatives who were quietly deported on the heels of 9/11, to questions nattering about horseshit that has been injected into the debate purposely as straw diversions.
    He does it everytime. Its his MO. He thinks that YOU are akin to the nodding little coeds in his institutionalized world that need to swallow his bullshit in order to recieve a passing grade.

    Reply

  62. questions says:

    WTC7…..
    http://www.911myths.com/index.php/A_WTC7_explosion_video
    Now there’s some seriously smart thinking on this one — shadow analysis using Naval Observatory info and Google streetview.
    There’s a lot of really interesting stuff that’s been generated since my last foray into trutherism!
    Thanks for the memories, people!

    Reply

  63. Cee says:

    Sorry, Cee, you’re not getting an explanation of why “Jews were celebrating the attack” or how 4,000 Jews were warned not to come to work that day,
    Nadine,
    LOL! Nobody said a thing about 4,000 not showing up for work. Explain the following or shut up.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRfhUezbKLw

    Reply

  64. mark says:

    Steve, I really enjoy your blog, but if you don’t mind, I’ll just skip reading the comments from now on.

    Reply

  65. PissedOffAmerican says:

    When you examine the “debunking” site of the so called “dancing Israelis”, you find that it debunks NOTHING about the KNOWN FACTS.
    The Israelis were detained for some time, deported, and Israeli officials acknowledged they were in fact Mossad. The “debunking”, on the site Questions links to, is as longwinded and obsfucating as questions usual bagful of shit tends to be.
    “Again, I know that you people hate Jews, hate Israel, and devoutly wish that we were all dead. It’s fairly obvious from these post. And its also obvious that Steve Clemons fan base is heavy on the Jihad/neo-nazi crowd”
    Oh, go fuck yourself. Ignorance such as yours can’t be countered through debate.

    Reply

  66. questions says:

    http://www.911myths.com/index.php/What%27s_New
    For a compilation of responses to probably every truther theory out there.
    Context, transcripts, videos, information, careful readings of what people actually say. Facts, rationality.
    All the stuff that an ideologically committed person will never allow in because it would alter the ideological commitment and would require an admission of having been wrong.
    Can’t have that, now, can we.
    Whoever puts this site together is a hobbyist with other things to do as well, but what a trove of information.
    The internet must be free!

    Reply

  67. questions says:

    ” Dick Cheney
    An interview with Tony Snow famously included the following line:
    …we’ve never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11…
    Carry out a Google search on the text and you find the quote used on many sites, often with no context. Here’s the first page returned on the Google list, for instance:
    On March 29, 2006, on The Tony Snow Show, Vice President Dick Cheney stated:

    Reply

  68. questions says:

    “In The New Pearl Harbor (updated second edition), for instance, David Ray Griffin uses this quote (amongst others) as part of the justification for questioning the identity of the plane:
    “Danielle O’Brien, one of the air traffic controllers who reported seeing the aircraft at 9:25, said: ‘The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane.”
    The same quote appears in many other places, often in an attempt to cast doubt on what exactly hit the Pentagon. The site asile.org, for instance, came top of the Google list for one search, in a page entitled “EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS: Boeing 757 or military craft?”
    Whatever you think of the theory, the asile.org does at least include a quote from O’Brien that Griffin and many others ignore:

    Reply

  69. Carroll says:

    Does anyone know anyone who actually believes the senate investigation version of 911.
    One of our close friends who captained overseas flights for 25 years and was then working for Boeing “training’ other pilots how fly their aircraft called shortly after 911 and said ‘no way’ a neophyte was able to hit either WTC or especially the pentagon the way they did. And expressed total disbelief that ALL air traffic safety controls failed at the same time on the same day.
    He doesn’t believe the official story, I don’t believe it and not a single person he knows or we know believes it.
    The ‘overkills in the story itself, like the terrorist passport ‘found’ on the street after the crash and other ‘convenient finds’ like Atta’s stuff in the trunk of his car just reeks of a set up by some people who think all Americans are stupid and easily panicked children.

    Reply

  70. questions says:

    “Farmer is certainly not saying “the authorities

    Reply

  71. questions says:

    Here we go again….
    Didn’t I deal with some of this truther crap a couple of years ago….
    Here’s a debunking site on the dancing Israeli meme.
    There’s good follow up info on the lawsuit the movers filed a few years later, and there are transcripts from witnesses and some other info.
    Along with some quotations from some of the usual conspiracy nuts….
    Go fer it!
    http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Dancing_Israelis

    Reply

  72. sanitychecker says:

    JohnH: It’s worse than you think. It now appears there’s a mosque right next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Right next to the holiest site in Judaism, there’s a freakin’ mosque! How did the bastards sneak that one in while no one was paying attention?

    Reply

  73. sdemetri says:

    “Of course, a near majority of the population doesn’t believe in evolution either. ” (Franklin)
    Chalk that up to a pervasive lack in the ability to think critically and objectively about scientific concepts. The acceleration due to gravity is a fairly immutable constant. Applying that concept to the available potential energy in a given mass at a given height escapes many however.
    The long, collective experience of the fire chiefs in NYC, that lead them to send hundreds of their men and women into the buildings told them that fires, after 56 minutes and about 100 minutes, would not cause massive steel framed buildings to disintegrate into dust and to catapult steel parts weighing tons hundreds of feet in all directions. They were sending in their men to fight large office building fires. What took place, not once, but twice, completely surprised them. In fact, a major fire in one of those buildings several years earlier, that engulfed and gutted a few floors, gave them considerable experience to draw on, as did an aircraft striking and burning another major building in the city in the 40′s.
    From the Oral History, a certain “engineer type” with Guiliani’s building engineering department, less than a hour before the first building disintegrated was telling fire officials to get their men out because the buildings were unstable. This was within the 56 minutes from the second plane strike to the building disintegrating. When given this news, one of the chiefs told the messenger relaying the message, “who the f**k told you that?” That lone “engineer type” was not identified by name, nor his information explained. What exactly was his information that the fire chiefs were incredulous to? Another glaring contradiction.

    Reply

  74. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Aug 15 2010, 3:02PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Of course…but it fools no one does it?
    nadine and wig will either avoid addressing the JDL terrorism and killings of innocent people or
    try to justify it with the holocaust and etc..
    What strikes me most about these kind of people is that they go into long winded and numerous contorted details in their defenses and arguments and actually think it’s intelligent refuting or obscuring of the facts when in reality it’s totally transparent and amateurish to even a moderately informed or educated person.

    Reply

  75. JohnH says:

    OMG–I just discovered that there is a GERMAN cultural center in Tel Aviv. Must be a Nazi beachhead!!!!!!! Definitely and existential threat!!!!
    How did Jewish Supremacists ever allow such a thing to happen?
    http://www.goethe.de/INS/il/tel/acv/mus/2009/de4629386v.htm
    [The way Jewish Supremacists talk about the Cordoba House, a cultural center promoting tolerance, you'd think it was Masada.]

    Reply

  76. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its truly amazing seeing these assholes like Nadine or Franklin counter known facts and evidence by merely spitting out the term “conspiracy theory”.
    Note when I asked the idiot Franklin to actually address the issue of the “dancing Israelis” with a credible rebuttal, he offers NOTHING. These sacks of shit think they can simply erase history by muttering nonsense denials about KNOWN FACTS.

    Reply

  77. nadine says:

    JohnH, so the German government donated to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. That’s nice. Did they try to turn it into a German cultural center? No?
    Then it’s not bloody the same, now is it?
    Every time you think you’ve scored a point, you only manage to display your lack of understanding.
    BTW, Gov. Paterson of New York offered to help the Ground Zero mosque developers find a new site. He even offered financial help. This could provide a harmonious solution, esp. as the developers don’t even own the entire current site and the Imam is overseas trying to raise money to build. The mosque’s developer turned Patterson down.
    So much for “building bridges.” This is “in your face.”

    Reply

  78. Franklin says:

    nadine,
    Apparently about 36 percent of the population thinks that some 9-11 conspiracy other than the official version is possible. The hard core believers are about 16-20 percent of the population.
    Of course, a near majority of the population doesn’t believe in evolution either.
    Even educated and ordinarily rational people can hold crazy beliefs on certain issues. Reality is sometimes just too banal I guess.

    Reply

  79. Carroll says:

    There’s a longer history of Jewish terrorist crapping in the American yard than there is of Muslim terrorist.
    In fact they have a long history of terrorism, going back to zionist activist bombing police stations London, kidnapping and then hanging British officers in Palestine and even booby trapping their dead bodies to blow up whoever cut them down, not to mention the bombing the King David hotel disguised as Arabs, assassinations of numerous, even neutral, individuals like Count Bernadette of the UN and the bombing of the USS Liberty.
    Shall we ban synagogues because of the acts of these Jews?
    Jewish Defense League Unleashes Campaign of Violence in America
    Donald Neff has been a journalist for forty years. He spent 16 years in service for Time Magazine and is a regular contributor to Middle East International and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He has written five excellent books on the Middle East.
    By Donald Neff
    Washington
    July/August 1999
    JDL Unleashes Campaign of Violence in America
    Kahane became an outspoken advocate for the

    Reply

  80. JohnH says:

    The German government recently coughed up a bunch of money to keep the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum solvent. OMG the German government!!!
    Strangely enough, I didn’t hear any complaints from the Jewish Supremacists community. I mean, aren’t all Germans responsible for the Holocaust? And the German government most of all?
    Like I said earlier, this virulent campaign against an Islamic tolerance center is simply an effort to conflate the 9/11 attack will all Muslims. That way Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine can be framed as simply the Middle Eastern fronts of GWOT. An Islamic center espousing tolerance undermines their hasbara.

    Reply

  81. nadine says:

    “As far as Israeli 9-11 Truther Conspiracies go, that’s just nuts. You don’t need to be someone who views the world along the lines of Nadine to view things as such.” (Franklin)
    Franklin, you and I don’t agree on much, but thanks for that small vote for sanity (which may be a minority vote on the thread).
    “I find it entirely plausible that a person who viewed himself as a devout Muslim would do things such as drink or go to a strip club prior to a suicide mission”
    Agreed. It’s really not hard to figure that someone for whom dissimulation (taqiyya) is both necessary and sanctioned, and whose entry ticket to Paradise is guaranteed by the upcoming “sacred martyrdom operation” would feel that he has a pass to indulge in the meantime.
    This Truther nonsense just shows how much of the country is ready to believe totally illogical conspiracy nonsense. I love sites like whatreallyhappened which “explain” how 9/11 was actually a brilliant covert Mossad operation (how they got 19 Al Qaeda Saudis and Egyptians to execute it is not explained), executed so perfectly that they didn’t leave a shred of evidence to tie themselves to it. Then they cap off this exercise in brilliant professional tradecraft by publicly laughing and yelling at the actual attacks, pissing the hell out of all their shocked coworkers in New Jersey. Oh yeah, that story makes sense.
    Now, could an individual handful of Israelis have been big enough jerks to react by going “Ha, ha, now you know what we go through”? Sure, it’s possible. But anything beyond that should be classed with the “4,000 Jews didn’t show up for work” charge, which the whole Arab world believes, and which Sheikh Nasrallah repeated again last Monday.

    Reply

  82. DonS says:

    “Co-opting the Center will do more for healing than fighting which will do nothing more than continuing and exacerbating the battle lines.” (JDLedell)
    This is a compassionate sentiment to be aspired. But you surely know as well as I do that the impetus of hatred does not respond to the ideals of brotherhood. And “exacerbating the battle lines” is both a consequence and objective of subset of Americans who are obsessed with the cult of culture wars and are as fully engaged in promoting these wars from a primitive ‘Christianist’ position as any radical Islamist. Call it chicken and egg if you must, but to emphasize your point, radical religionists are equivalent on all ‘sides’.
    Far from being myopic and refusing to recognize that such wars are already engaged, as the right wingers assert often in comments, it matters not so much what the origins are, whether there are or are not such wars domestically and even internationally. What matters is to get beyond the low moral threshold that such characterization represents.
    E.g., Wigwag proposes an in-your-face confrontation of Muslims in conjunction with the proposed cultural center, drawing the comparison with the 92nd street Y and the issue of gay rights. That’s helpful isn’t it? But we all know Wigwag’s bottom line, and it has nothing to do with moderation and respect.

    Reply

  83. sdemetri says:

    Franklin, the common narrative about the attacks is so full of glaring contradictions and gaping holes as to be unsupportable. Only one such contradiction is, as POA points out, the actions prior to this “mission” which has been documented as a pattern, not “one last fling.”
    Building 7 is clearly seen collapsing nearly intact at free fall acceleration. NIST admits free fall acceleration. The implications of free fall acceleration are that all supporting columns had to have failed simultaneously, as free fall requires acceleration due to gravity only, with no resistance from below. Large office building fires have never caused symmetrical, free fall collapse, but slow asymmetric deformation. Controlled demolition regularly causes symmetrical collapse, at free fall acceleration. The proven free fall acceleration of the collapse of Building 7 is a glaring contradiction to the official narrative.
    The disintegration of the two towers at just short of free fall acceleration are two more glaring contradictions. Massive buildings don’t pulverize to a fine, microscopic dust, or throw massive steel columns hundreds of feet in all directions in roughly 15 secs due to the force of gravity acting alone on a damaged, burning building. A massive input of energy is necessary to achieve that thermodynamic result.
    118 NYFD employees volunteered 178 accounts of explosions, secondary devices, synchronized flashes, blasts in the oral history collected by the NYFD. More glaring contradictions to the official narrative which ignored, belittled, discounted any such evidence of an alternative narrative.
    And Obama’s concern for the pain of 9/11 family members notwithstanding, many of them were included in the 80,000 signatures collected in New York City calling for an independent investigation into the attacks. The family members are still without answers to obvious questions the many glaring contradictions manifest.

    Reply

  84. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As far as Israeli 9-11 Truther Conspiracies go, that’s just nuts. You don’t need to be someone who views the world along the lines of Nadine to view things as such.
    Are you claiming this story of the “dancing Israelis” is untrue? Dispute it. Show me where I have my facts wrong.
    Short that, just shut the fuck up on the issue, its obvious you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Reply

  85. Franklin says:

    POA,
    Ted Haggard’s actions with a prostitute aren’t exactly what you’d expect from a preacher either — especially one who espouses a certain kind of hard-line and hateful Christian doctrine that labels homosexuality and presumably drug use as high order sins. You could add Jimmy Swaggart to the list or any other number of high profile religious hypocrites.
    I find it entirely plausible that a person who viewed himself as a devout Muslim would do things such as drink or go to a strip club prior to a suicide mission. On the outside the actions would rightfully be seen as hypocritical. However, the capacity of the human mind to rationalize and bury contradictions is nearly limitless.
    Islam isn’t a special case in this regard.
    As far as Israeli 9-11 Truther Conspiracies go, that’s just nuts. You don’t need to be someone who views the world along the lines of Nadine to view things as such.

    Reply

  86. Carroll says:

    Posted by drew, Aug 15 2010, 9:15AM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    O.K…it’s now clear what drives all your post here, no matter what the subject.
    You hate Obama because he is black. You’re a white supremist like nadine is a jewish supremist.

    Reply

  87. jdledell says:

    As a Jew, I am VERY leery of any hatred of minority religions. I am old enough to remember the the problems I had growing up. In the early 50′s I was not allowed to join either the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts like all my friends did.
    I remember our first time we tried to form a Congregation. The pastor of a dying Christian Church decided to allow us to rent the church for Shabbat services so the Church would have enough money to pay his salary. That lasted about 6 weeks before the church members rose up in opposition and demanded we break the rental agreement because we were Christ Killers.
    I could cite many examples of such opposition to Jews. While it is obviously better now, it can easily return. Imagine a war on Iran started by Israel that results in $15/gallon gasoline and 20% depression era unemployment. How long do you think it would be before Jews in America started to pay the price.
    Hatred of muslims is at the base of many(but not all) opponents of the Islamic Cultural Center in NYC. Hatred is a weapon and it can easily boomerang. I can see in the comments on this Blog examples of hatred and anger. Ask yourself if your anger and hatred is so different than what we see in many muslims? Is our anger justified because of 3,000 civilian deaths but their anger over hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afganistan.
    Hatred is ugly and it does not solve anything or heal any wounds. Work with the muslims who frequent the new Cultural center. Make it work for all Americans of any religion. Co-opting the Center will do more for healing than fighting which will do nothing more than continuing and exacerbating the battle lines.

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The foundation of this controversy, the supposed religious fanaticism of the criminals that took down the towers, has serious holes in it. These so called “Muslim fanatics” were known to have visited strip clubs, drank, and use prostitutes. Their actual actions prior to hijacking these aircraft hardly seem to be the actions of devout Muslims.
    And no matter how many times these assholes like questions or Nadine try to consign the “dancing Israelis” to the “conspiracy theory” bin, they cannot change history. These Israelis DID in fact film the event. They DID in fact act as if they were celebrating. They WERE in fact detained and quietly deported. A spokesman for the Israelis DID in fact admit they were Mossad.
    So whatever their involvement, their actions imply, AT THE VERY LEAST, a pre-knowledge of the crimes committed on 9/11. This is a common sense deduction, BASED ON ACTUAL HISTORY. The efforts to mimimize the import of this, by spitting “conspiracy theory” everytime it is brought up, tells us there is something very embarrassing to Israel about this part of the event. And perhaps, its far more sinister than mere “embarrassing” to them.

    Reply

  89. WigWag says:

    The mosque/cultural center near Ground Zero is not only supposed to be a house of worship, it’s also supposed to be a community center where secular activities take place. The 13 story edifice is to include a swimming pool and a health club/gym. The Cordoba Center website compares the new mosque/cultural center to the 92nd Street YMHA located on Lexington Avenue at 92nd street on New York’s Upper East Side.
    As anyone who has been there can tell you, the 92nd Street Y is a pretty liberal place both politically and culturally. Women, wearing blue jeans and short skirts, can frequently be found participating in the Y’s cultural and arts programs and all of the Y’s programs are coeducational.
    In light of the “moderate” status of the mosque/cultural center that the Cordoba Institute is planning to build, and in light of what a progressive Muslim its founder is supposed to be, I’m sure he won’t have any objections to all of its programs being coeducational. They better be; it

    Reply

  90. sdemetri says:

    Another good clip, from Hendrick Hertzberg in the New Yorker:
    “Ah, the

    Reply

  91. DonS says:

    “The USA doesn’t have to be lectured on religious freedom in mid-war by the very people who started the war. ” (Drew)
    Rep. Nadler: “It is only insensitive if you regard Islam as the culprit, as opposed to Al Qaida as the culprit. We were not attacked by all Muslims. And there were Muslims who were killed there, there were Muslims who were killed there. There were Muslims who ran in as first responders to help.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/15/king-nadler-gz-mosque/
    Vapid logical fallacies, equating Al Quaeda/radicals with all Muslims/”the very people” get us in trouble every time.
    As to who “started the war” (which war?), opening up the can of worms blame game, is no slam dunk. Shall we revisit the whole Bush/Blair run up to Iraq. If that is taken as the moral consequence the loss of life suffer on 9/11, it is a sad, cruel, deadly jokke.

    Reply

  92. sdemetri says:

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf a terrorist sympathizer? What was Dudya’s admin doing consorting with such a fellow?
    “If one were to hearken back to the halcyon days of the Bush Administration, one would remember that, when Bush adviser Karen Hughes was appointed Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, the Bush Administration saw improving America’s standing among Muslims abroad as a part of its national security strategy. And, as such, Hughes set up listening tours, attended meetings and worked with interfaith groups that — shocking, by today’s Republican standards — included actual Muslims.
    One of those people was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
    Contemporary press accounts indicate that Rauf and Hughes were part of the February 2006 U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. He was part of a delegation that met with her in March 2006 and held a joint press conference. A letter to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in November 2007 indicates that contacts with Hughes and Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns had continued apace.”
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/ground_zero_mosque_imam_bush_partner_for_peace.php#more

    Reply

  93. JohnH says:

    Wow! This one really brought the Jewish Supremacists out of the woodwork.
    Nothing angers Jewish Supremacists more than the thought that other religions should be allowed to practice openly and freely.
    And the thought of a group of Muslims opening an Islamic cultural center designed to foster tolerance? OMG–the thought just makes them go bat sh*t crazy! Even those like Wiesenthal, who purportedly teaches tolerance, go nuts, too!

    Reply

  94. drew says:

    I was mistaken. It won’t be another day or two. Obama’s already
    saying it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.
    “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of
    making the decision to put a mosque there,” Obama told reporters
    in Florida. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people
    have that dates back to our founding.”
    This is leadership by discovery request. I guess everyone, including
    this blog, misunderstood him Friday night and those who say he
    “got it right” just heard things he didn’t say. They’re all so foolish!

    Reply

  95. drew says:

    This boneheaded, self-congratulatory example of effete moral
    preening by the president is causing havoc already with his
    beleaguered Congress, and I think it is only a matter or a day or
    two before he says, “Let me be clear …” and we learn that he was
    for it until he was against it.
    Nadine, since the only argument for the mosque is that its
    opponents are, ipso facto, bigots in need of adult supervision
    lest they destroy religious freedoms (like the intelligentsia in this
    country is devout, right?), it would be interesting to quantify how
    the 70% grows each time someone attempts to get another cash
    advance on his ‘bigot’ card.
    The USA doesn’t have to be lectured on religious freedom in
    mid-war by the very people who started the war. This is a
    country that elected a guy who sat in Jeremiah “God damn
    America” Wright’s church for 20 years. If that wasn’t an
    expression of religious tolerance and respect for the imperatives
    of conscience, I’d like to know what is.

    Reply

  96. samuelburke says:

    note who was dancing on the streets of new jersey when the
    plane hit.
    dancing israelis blaming the palestinians for their dancing
    celebration while the building were being hit by planes on 9/11
    why were they so happy?
    ” Three
    individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and
    subsequent explosion”

    Reply

  97. samuelburke says:

    to even the playing field of hatred and disgust.
    “On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin known
    as a BOLO

    Reply

  98. jonst says:

    So Ben Rosengart, one has to be a bigot to regret/oppose the placement of the building, I am now coming to understand it is not necessarily a Mosque, although I am sure that is in dispute too.
    In any event you tell us to leave it to New Yorkers to decide: “we know what we’re doing”. Yeah, you have been “mixing cultures” for centuries in NYC. But this New Yorker would caution you to study the history of it. It is a complex history. With some victories for the mixing, and many defeats.
    But in any event, you say leave it to New Yorkers. Ok, to the limited extent polls have any validity:
    Here is one:
    http://www.noozhawk.com/local_news/article/081410_harris_sherline_the_mosque_at_ground_zero/
    There are many more. With the same basic results. Ben, you didn’t REALLY expect, regardless of the merits of this issues, you did not really expect the majority in the city would be for this, did you? You could wake me up from a 10 year coma, give me a two minute recap of the fact pattern, and I could have told you a slight majority, to a larger majority, of the residents of the city will oppose this. And YOU say you KNOW NYC? I wonder what you know about it. And about human nature for that matter. Yeah, we’re all bigots. All Israeli firsters. whatever. I would dare to venture a guess that the people who have read my posts on this list will be surprised to learn I am in the ‘Israeli camp’.
    Ben, honest people can disagree about this issue, without being naive dupes for some evil Iman, or vicious bigots.

    Reply

  99. Ben Rosengart says:

    Well … what an unpleasant breakfast of bile TWN’s comments
    section has served me today.
    I comfort myself by thinking that like other fashionable hatreds in
    the U.S., this Muslim-bashing, too, shall pass.
    I’m currently about a mile from the WTC site, in the apartment
    where I grew up. I used to visit my father’s office in WTC2 as a
    kid. And I’m offended that so many Americans presume to tell
    New Yorkers what we should and shouldn’t accept in our
    community. We’ve been mixing cultures in this city for a *long*
    time … we know what we’re doing.

    Reply

  100. nadine says:

    drew, kotz, questions, I wonder if the roughly 30%-70% divide pro and con the Ground Zero Mosque lines up neatly with the roughly 30%-70% progressive/statist vs independent/conservative/capitalist political split in the country? Or does the culture war divide us differently from the economic-political war?
    I suppose it’s roughly the same alliance; those who favor the mosque don’t believe that we are fighting a war against radical Islam, so they could care less who is aided by the symbolism.

    Reply

  101. nadine says:

    “How long will the entire muslim religion have to pay for 9/11? Is it 20 years, 100 years, 1,000 years? Many of you think Shinto should still be paying almost 70 years after Pearl Harbor. Should Christians still be paying for the Crusades? ” (jdledell)
    Until the Muslims themselves stand up to condemn the holy killers of the innocent, of whatever religion. Until the idea that you obtain paradise by blowing up buildings, marketplaces, restaurants, etc. full of civilians has been thoroughly discredited.
    If Shinto or Zen Buddhists were still running a full blown bushido militaristic sect in Japan that had recently attempted to reconquer Korea, the comparison would be apt. As it is, it is ridiculous.

    Reply

  102. nadine says:

    Sorry, Cee, you’re not getting an explanation of why “Jews were celebrating the attack” or how 4,000 Jews were warned not to come to work that day, or how the buildings were actually taken down in a suburb Mossad operation, or imploded in an inside job ordered by GW Bush; or any other of the “Truther” nonsense you’re dealing in.
    Oh, and I’m not shutting up either.

    Reply

  103. kotzabasis says:

    Indeed, Obama is a

    Reply

  104. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And you all hate Jews and Israel”
    Gee Pearlman, the draft of my original response to you used “ignorant bigoted asshole” where I finally decided to use the term “jackass” instead.
    Oh well, we all make mistakes, eh?

    Reply

  105. Maw of America says:

    Steve – Well said.
    Obama – Pitch-perfect.

    Reply

  106. Cee says:

    Jdledell,
    Thank you for your comments.
    Nadine,
    Shaaaadduuuup up until you explain to me why some Jews in New York and in Israel were celebrating the 9-11 attack.

    Reply

  107. drew says:

    MartinJB,
    The ‘bigotry’ card, like the race card, is overdrawn. Please call
    your social conscience bank and clear your negative balance
    before attempting to win another argument by ad hominem
    name-calling. Nobody cares anymore, and calling people bad
    names just means that someone has lost an argument.
    ***
    This latest exercise in metrosexual secular holier-than-thou
    posturing, I predict, is the the true tipping point. In 30 days we
    get the Costa del Sol, Martha’s Vineyard, Hamas in Ground Zero,
    suing the American people for their attempting to enforce
    federal law, the royal dog getting a Learjet ride to Mt. Desert
    Island, a Supreme Court Justice who’s never written anything nor
    done anything except get good grades and suck up, an Ag Dept
    bureaucrat fired without anyone talking to her or reading her
    file, $150 billion of national debt in *one month* … these
    people are treating the country like a playpen.
    This is truly the tipping point. It doesn’t even matter that there
    isn’t an effective opposition. This guy is committing troops to
    mortal combat against militant Islam, and throwing garlands at
    their version of Sinn Fein. Americans are way smarter than this.
    We’ve now moved from a ‘Daily Show’ government to Monty
    Python government.

    Reply

  108. MartinJB says:

    Wow! The defenders of America’s honor have convinced me. What a slap in the face of the forefathers to have a terrorist training camp at ground zero! We might as well just wave a white flag and call it a day. The only way for us to proceed as proud red-blooded Americans is to stop it from being built. But really, should we allow ANY Muslims near ground zero? I don’t think so. The best way to stop this from happening is to make them put on arm bands with a red crescent moon. That way the soldiers guarding the checkpoints around ground zero can identify them and stop them. Yeah, that’ll show them. Now let me go work out my frustrations at the strip club two blocks from the hallowed ground.
    Sheesh, ya’ gotta love bigots.

    Reply

  109. dirk says:

    @ Bill Pearlman, Aug 14 2010, 5:43PM
    “And you all hate Jews and Israel. I get that.”
    I don’t know where you are getting your impressions from, but these gross generalizations do no good.
    There are plenty of people who post on this board who are critical of Israel, and, yes, the actions of specific Jews. Should they be exempt from criticism? — However, I haven’t seen much hatred of Jews (in general) manifested on this board.
    I sure would like to know where this shit about the US adopting “shariah law” comes from. It’s perplexing to me.
    Re: your comment: “look at Europe. They got rid of their Jews”
    Huh? There are more than 1 million Jews living in Europe (if you include the UK), including Germany, Poland, etc?
    Finally, I’ve been to Europe 25+ times in the past 10 years — no “moslem hordes” that I could see. Sure, countries like France and the Netherlands have had bumps in the road, but they don’t strike me as any different from other countries in the northern hemisphere that are dealing with big migrations from the south.
    But, why let facts get in way of “the truth as you see it?”

    Reply

  110. Bill says:

    Perhaps it could become a teachable moment.
    It would be pretty terrific if the prior three presidents Supported our ideals and constitution, and stood with the President.

    Reply

  111. nadine says:

    President Obama is now trying to walk back his statement on the Ground Zero Mosque, saying he did not mean to comment on the wisdom of this particular plan for a mosque, only that Muslims should have the same freedom of religion as anybody else.
    Guess he read the polls on the issue. But I don’t think he can have it both ways on this issue.

    Reply

  112. nadine says:

    “Having laid down all that snark, I’m not happy that Obama weighed in on this issue. He can’t win on either side of it.” (dirk)
    Certainly no one can accuse him of taking the popular side in this issue. But it was becoming embarrassing for Mr. Muslim Outreach to remain silent on the subject, esp. at a White House Iftar celebration.

    Reply

  113. nadine says:

    “This hatred of muslims is getting ridiculous. References to muslims dancing in the streets on 9/11 as if that is an indictment of an entire religion. How many of the 1.3 billion muslims danced?”
    Judging from dozens of reports I read from Americans stationed in various places in the Arab world, the majority of Arabs stood up and cheered when the Towers fell, as if their team had just scored a goal in a World Cup match. That was the first reaction. The more sober ones said, “uh oh, what happens now?” as a second reaction.
    Hatred of the West runs deep in that part of the world.
    As for what a sacred scripture means, that has to be argued out by the followers of the religion. I do notice that Al Qaeda seems to have an easier job of it, as the commands to fight the unbelievers until they submit are plentiful in the Koran. You won’t find any equivalent commands in the Torah that tell the Jews to conquer the whole world for the Lord; rather, the Jews are told to be a nation apart, a “nation of priests and holy people.”

    Reply

  114. dirk says:

    Wow, this thread is ridiculous. Can I add to it?!
    OK. Let’s just go back, early in written history to the G/god of the Torah, ie, Genesis through Dueteronomy. — Now there is the first terrorist! And, don’t try to argue that the people who didn’t make it onto Noah’s ark weren’t terrified. Oh yes, he was the first sower of terror — no doubt.
    Based on that, we could simply bar ALL religious structures near Ground Zero, and work from there, eliminating, first, their tax exempt status, and even better, nationalize the properties of these various terrorist organizations.
    Oh, wait — even better. The 19 hijackers of 911 also had another trait in common. They all had fathers (apparently very bad ones). Let’s banish all fathers from walking within 1 mile of Ground Zero. Better yet — since FAA workers allowed the hijackers to walk on the planes with box cutters, let’s prohibit all Federal buildings near Ground Zero.
    Having laid down all that snark, I’m not happy that Obama weighed in on this issue. He can’t win on either side of it.

    Reply

  115. jdledell says:

    Nadine – You know damn well you can find vs in the Koran, Torah or Bible to support just about anything you want to do. Get off your high horse that the Koran is so much different than other Holy Books. I’ve heard rabbis talk about the permissability of killing Palestinian children since they might grow up to hurt Jews and use the Torah to justify it.
    You worry about incitement from the Muslim Cultural Center but I notice you don’t worry about the incitement one can hear at shul in Bat Ayin or Kiryat Arba or the various yeshivas in the West Bank. Do you worry about their sources of funding or what they preach. Freedom of religion is not for you or I or any group of people to decide much less a government. You want freedom for your people then others should have the same right!!!!!!!

    Reply

  116. JohnH says:

    Israel Firsters are threatened by the prospect of an Islamic institution so close to ground zero because it undermines the very foundations of their relationship with the US. Israel Firsters have worked hard to make the US a partner in their war against Islam. They claim to fight the ME front in the “global Islamic threat” while the United States is expected to fight the more distant ones, like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    The more that tolerant Muslim groups proliferate, educating Americans about Islam, the worse it gets for Israel. The “global Islamic threat” disappears, to be replaced with an understanding that localized threats each have their own separate and distinct grievances driving them.
    At that point, Israel loses its primary (phony) claim to having strategic significance for the US. And, it takes a small step to realize that the driving factor in the I/P conflict is not Islam but Zionist theft of Palestinian land and subsequent herding of Palestinians onto reservations.
    No wonder Israel Firsters get spooked. The Zionist project cannot stand exposure to the light of day.

    Reply

  117. jdledell says:

    This hatred of muslims is getting ridiculous. References to muslims dancing in the streets on 9/11 as if that is an indictment of an entire religion. How many of the 1.3 billion muslims danced? Have we forgotten all the supportive comments made by Iranian muslims after 9/11?
    I happened to be in a bar the day the bombs started falling in Baghdad. You should have heard the clapping and laughter of Americans for the shock and awe of killing Iraqis. Lets get real – I’ll bet in millions of American homes there was cheering for this bombing and killing of innocent civilians.
    How many people in America cheered at the news of a new weapon that utterly destroyed two Japanese cities and the innocent civilians living there. Yet Christians have been able to build churches in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
    How long will the entire muslim religion have to pay for 9/11? Is it 20 years, 100 years, 1,000 years? Many of you think Shinto should still be paying almost 70 years after Pearl Harbor. Should Christians still be paying for the Crusades?
    Germany and Italy were very much Christian countries. How long did Christians have to pay for those countries excesses? Was the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor really so much different than our bombing of Iraq?
    Both the US and Israel are so sanctimonious that we feel our shit doesn’t stink. We have the right to go anywhere and do anything but others do not.
    My own son worked for an Investment firm in WTC 7 and a number of his coworkers in the north and south towers were killed. We were worried sick that day and cell reception was almost non-existent. He walked all the way to the GW bridge and across and hitched rides and walking home. He arrived at 8:30 that evening covered with white dust -looking like a ghost.
    This is one American who believes the consitutional freedom of religion outweighs individual feelings. Once we start down this road of muslim bashing we get things like what has happened in California, Tennessee and Wisconsin. As a Jew, I am VERY sensitive to outrage against minority religions.
    To illustrate, if Israel attacks Iran and all Hell breaks lose with gasoline at $15-20/gallon and America in a depression what are the chances enough American bigots turn their attention to Jews who started this fight? Be careful with hatred – it can turn around on you very easily.

    Reply

  118. Dan Kervick says:

    Some want Muslims to acquiesce in the notion that the very existence of their religion gives offense to some other people, and that therefore, for the sake of the “sensitivities” of those others, Muslims should refrain from practicing their religion where others might take offense.
    Others seem to have adopted the theory that some public spaces in America have now become hallowed grounds whose particular non-Muslim species of sacredness or hallowing is spiritually antithetical to the presence of Islam within its precincts.
    No practitioners of any religion in the United States should acquiesce in such efforts, which in effect ask Muslims to subordinate their free practice rights to the vicissitudes of others’ personal and religious sensibilities, to submit to an informal system of proscription of Islam from public spaces deemed special, and to wear a scarlet “M”.
    Those of you who find the presence of Islamic speech and Islamic practice offensive have available to you the traditional American remedy for avoiding the further bombardment of your sensibilities by the offending sights and sounds: averting your eyes and ears.
    There has been a lot of fuss about this cultural center for a few days, and controversy might go on for a while in a meandering way, but I suspect most of the opponents will now either let it go, or just skulk away to nurse their bigotry in private.

    Reply

  119. drew says:

    b,
    As Nadine said, you do not understand the geography of
    Manhattan, so your comment should embarrass you in its
    puerile, angry, fact-free assertion. If this moron Imam wanted to
    put a mosque where he actually had followers, no one would give
    a shit. He wants to put a mosque where his financial backers
    will chuckle and claim victory, and he wants to put a mosque
    where he will achieve maximum personal media exposure.
    I think, b, you should go demonstrate personally in Hawaii. You
    can stand next to the Arizona memorial and loudly shriek that
    there should be a monument to the Shinto warriors who lost
    their lives in whatever noble cause they were fighting, while they
    killed 2500 Americans. Just walk out there in public with the 85
    year-old vets who are limping through the memorial, and tell
    them why they are idiots for thinking that an aggressor nation
    deserves no memorial above the corpses of our dead. If you are
    willing to do that, I will happily tape your reception, and post it
    on the *internet!* and you will almost be famous or something.
    Won’t that be great? You’ll be as famous as the president, for 15
    minutes.

    Reply

  120. drew says:

    Dear President Obama,
    Build the mosque. Dedicate it yourself. This is the inflection
    point in your administration, and indeed in the collapse of the
    Democratic Party. Anyone who lost anything in that attack will
    grow bugeyed at your naivete. Then, please, given that you will
    have destroyed the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects for a
    generation in less than two years, retire to your faculty lounge
    and declaim on how Americans are not worthy of you or their
    other, equally self-loving, betters. Perhaps you would like to
    issue an update on how the climate will heal and the waters
    recede, something like that.
    Sincerely,
    Approximately 250,000,000 Americans.
    IOW, he’s really done it now. I cannot wait for these hit-job
    political ads. What a child. What a complete, pre-adolescent,
    self-absorbed, child. Walk down one street in this country and
    announce that the very people who blew up NYC and blew up
    our economy for a couple of years should build a monument to
    *their* tolerance in the blast zone. Just walk down one street.
    What a joke.

    Reply

  121. nadine says:

    “Hey, that’s an oldie: Hawaii

    Reply

  122. nadine says:

    “But to place this ‘in your god damn face act’ on some great pedestal, as some noble defense of freedom of religion is bullshit. And what authority is cited as evidence that “Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam.”. That MAY be true….that may NOT be true. It is a tricky question. And in any event, the stupid polling Americans have so fallen in love with would indicate, my guess is, that whatever the answer it is damn close run thing.” (jonst)
    Agreed. As for whether Al Qaeda’s Islam is real Islam or a distortion of Islam, that is something Muslims will have to decide for themselves. Al Qaeda cites its verses from the Koran, those opposed cite theirs, both seem to have a good case for being real Islam as far as this non-Muslim can judge.
    But allowing such a big mosque right at Ground Zero, not even six blocks off, is incredibly stupid. Even if this imam is moderate, which he has given us all good reason to doubt, a mosque at that location will be a natural target for a radical takeover.
    Remember the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Virigina, touted by the State Department as a wonderful example of moderation? That’s where Anwar al-Awlaki wound up ministering to two of the 9/11 hijackers and Major Nidal Hassan.
    The Ground Zero Mosque would be an even better location to preach jihad from, and with a Mayor who has piously announced that he’s not going to look into sources of funding, they can expect little interference wrt the content of the sermons either. Freedom of religion, doncha know.

    Reply

  123. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “BTW The serial stabber that was just caught was an ARAB”
    Comments like that really demonstrate how some jackasses have an amazing ability to think inside some sick little tunnel of ignorance.
    Tell me, Jackass Pearlman, how many murders, assaults, and stabbings this year, in the United States, were committed by “Arabs”, as opposed to “non-Arabs”??
    So what of the other ethnic and religious groups that are represented by assaulters, murderers, rapists, stabbers, and general sociopathic wackjobs? Shall we put a hold on all construction of Catholic churches??? I mean hey, just look at the molestation angle here, right?? And egads, we all know those mormons are just a bunch of polygamists asnd child marriers, don’t we? And what about the Jews, money grubbing and spies for Israel, all. Lets put a stop to Synagogues as well, eh?
    Pearlman, shut your ignorant maw. Burning crosses is just so yesterday.
    Heres a thought for you, Pearlman…
    Can we all agree that murderers and stabbers are sick fucks??? So, that kinda puts YOU in the catbird’s seat as far as belonging to a group prone to violent crime, doesn’t it?
    As far as Obama and this issue goes, the teleprompter might be on the correct side of this issue, but who the hell knows where Obama stands? You’d have to be standing at the podium with him, wet finger stuck in the air, to make that determination. How many times have we seen this posturing and articulate gasbag “say the right thing”?

    Reply

  124. b says:

    Coorecting my comment above (html did not come through)
    drew writes: “Next up: A Shinto temple standing next to the Arizona Memorial,
    Pearl Harbor. ”
    Hey, that’s an oldie:
    “Hawaii

    Reply

  125. b says:

    drew writes: “Next up: A Shinto temple standing next to the Arizona Memorial,
    Pearl Harbor. ”
    Hey, that’s an oldie: Hawaii

    Reply

  126. jonst says:

    Yes, I think it is their right to build it, assuming zoning laws and permits, and what have you, are met. And if that right is threatened, Americans should defend it.
    But to place this ‘in your god damn face act’ on some great pedestal, as some noble defense of freedom of religion is bullshit. And what authority is cited as evidence that “Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam – it is a gross distortion of Islam.”. That MAY be true….that may NOT be true. It is a tricky question. And in any event, the stupid polling Americans have so fallen in love with would indicate, my guess is, that whatever the answer it is damn close run thing.
    Personally, I would shit can all three religions, and go back to ‘the Gods’ if “Gods’ you feel you have to have to face life. To make life meaningful for you. But I suspect I am in the minority on this.
    Build the damn thing and be damn, I say.

    Reply

  127. JohnH says:

    I’m not sure why Steve is being provocative by calling it a mosque. Yes, there is a prayer space, but it is not under control of religious authorities and cannot be used by any Muslim with any ideology.
    In any event, the Cordoba Initiative mission sounds kind of like NAF’s!
    “Solving some of the most intractable conflicts in the world today requires innovative strategies for cross-cultural engagement. Cordoba Initiative tackles this mandate with forethought, expertise and the ability to leverage contacts in influential positions within the Muslim World and the West. Thinking outside the box about international and intercultural conflict resolution also means thinking introspectively about each side’s place within its own historical narrative with a view to devising internally oriented solutions.”

    Reply

  128. Larry Helms says:

    Do it. And when our Islamic hero, Obama, steps in to worship, let’s give him a good Shinto shelling. ….another one bites the dust…..singing and dancing in the streets; like the muslims did on 9/11.

    Reply

  129. drew says:

    In the interest of healing and religious freedom:
    Next up: A Shinto temple standing next to the Arizona Memorial,
    Pearl Harbor.
    The president is practicing a kind of preening, self-indulgent,
    secular holier-than-thou politics that is so stupid it doesn’t warrant
    description. Have at it. Build the mosque and fund it with the
    secret Wahabi money. Do it! If we don’t do it we are obviously a
    country incapable of religious intolerance.
    The people who think this stuff up should walk down an American
    street advertising themselves and their great ideas. I think
    everyone would be better off.

    Reply

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