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Mosque Opponents: Bigots, Opportunists, and Krauthammer

Atlantic editor at large Michael Kinsley and WaPo columnist Charles Krauthammer have been having a delightful back-and-forth over the Ground Zero Mosque/Cordoba House/Park51  brouhaha.  Kinsley’s latest, though, illustrates one of the problems with this debate:

I start with a clarification. When I wrote that the two most obvious explanations for opposition to the mosque were bigotry and political opportunism. I should have made clear that I don’t think Charles is a bigot.

And, presumably, he doesn’t.  The two are among the most brilliant analytical minds of their generation and one suspects their mentions of mutual respect and friendship aren’t mere throat clearing.

What, then, is Krauthammer’s argument?   This excerpt gives a good thumbnail sketch:

Radical Islam is not, by any means, a majority of Islam. But with its financiers, clerics, propagandists, trainers, leaders, operatives and sympathizers — according to a conservative estimate, it commands the allegiance of 7 percent of Muslims, i.e., more than 80 million souls — it is a very powerful strain within Islam. It has changed the course of nations and affected the lives of millions. It is the reason every airport in the West is an armed camp and every land is on constant alert.

Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world. These are regrettable facts, but facts they are. And that is why putting up a monument to Islam in this place is not just insensitive but provocative.

Just as the people of Japan today would not think of planting their flag at Pearl Harbor, despite the fact that no Japanese under the age of 85 has any possible responsibility for that infamy, representatives of contemporary Islam — the overwhelming majority of whose adherents are equally innocent of the infamy committed on 9/11 in their name — should exercise comparable respect for what even Obama calls hallowed ground and take up the governor’s offer.

Note that Krauthammer isn’t arguing that Imam Rauf and company don’t have a right to build the mosque — he thinks that beyond debate — but that doing so violates his sense of propriety.

Now, I happen to agree with Kinsley on the merits here.  I don’t think a site two and a half blocks from where the Twin Towers stood is somehow hallowed ground — even if it was struck with debris from the attack.  If anything, a Muslim cultural and worship center so close to the site of the greatest atrocity committed in the name of that religion would stand as a giant rejection of the idea that murder is sanctified.

Krauthammer’s case for the opposing viewpoint isn’t based on bigotry but rather with full recognition that human beings are emotional as well as rational.

Steven Taylor rightly points out that blaming all Muslims for the 9/11 attacks, which were perpetrated by a handful of Muslims, is scapegoating.  But Krauthammer isn’t blaming the 93 percent of Muslims who reject murdering innocents in the name of their faith for the attacks, any more than he’s blaming Japanese born after the war for the Pearl Harbor attacks or Catholic nuns for the Holocaust.  (Well, maybe a little bit more.)  He’s merely saying that the presence of a giant monument to Islam near the site of the atrocity would intrude.

Now, again, I happen to think this is irrational.   There’s already a mosque near Ground Zero, which predates the attack by decades, and nobody seems offended.   But if a man with Charles Krauthammer’s credentials (Harvard MD and board certified psychiatrist with groundbreaking publications on mania, Carter administration official and Mondale speechwriter who’s now a leading conservative commentator , winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Magazine Award, Bradley Prize, and People For the American Way’s First Amendment Award) can nonetheless reach these conclusions, they deserve respectful treatment.

Human beings aren’t Vulcans and calling decent people “bigots” because they bring emotional baggage to their judgments is not only unfair but decidedly unhelpful in persuading them.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. James says:

    This may in fact be subjective journalism, How about that Krauthammer. :) * * * * *

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  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    “But if a man with Charles Krauthammer’s credentials”

    He may have lots of credentials but he could hardly have been said to have demonstrated wisdom or for that matter propriety over the past ten years. Krauthammer is probably not a bigot but he’s just practising a brand of journalism that feeds his typical readers who probably do include a fair number of bigots. He would perhaps do well to remember a letter of George Washington which said : the US “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

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  3. sam says:

    “He’s merely saying that the presence of a giant monument to Islam near the site of the atrocity would intrude.”

    Interesting question: How far away from the site would satisfy folks? Four blocks, six, , eight?

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  4. James Joyner says:

    Interesting question: How far away from the site would satisfy folks? Four blocks, six, , eight?

    There’s no way to draw a line using logic. But the same is true of other sensitive sites mentioned – Pearl Harbor, the various concentration camps, battlefields. That it can’t be reduced to rationality doesn’t invalidate the sentiments, although it does make it damned hard to change minds.

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  5. That it can’t be reduced to rationality doesn’t invalidate the sentiments, although it does make it damned hard to change minds.

    Which, in the end, is why deciding an issue like this based on emotion is a recipe for confusion in the end. Since emotion is by definition irrational, there is no rational answer to the question “How far away is far enough”

    Partly, that’s because it concedes the premise that having an Islamic Community Center two blocks away from Ground Zero would somehow be an insult. That seems to me to require accepting the assumption that all of Islam must be held morally responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and while I didn’t always agree with President Bush 43, he was absolutely right in the wake of the attacks to make clear we were not at war with a religion.

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  6. Human beings aren’t Vulcans and calling decent people “bigots” because they bring emotional baggage to their judgments is not only unfair but decidedly unhelpful in persuading them.

    Meriam Webster defines bigot as “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”. The fact people have emotional baggage does not make them bigots. When they insist on that baggage in the face of all rational evidence ot the contrary, that does make the bigots. Krauthammer, by his own arguments, thinks 90+% of muslims do not support radical Islam, yet demands they be socially segregated from normal society. In essense he wants them punished for crimes he admits they had nothing to do with purely to assuage his emotional baggage.

    That is bigotry. And it remains bigotry whether the view is popular or held by people with sophisticated educations. It also remains bigotry whether the bigots happen to agree with the assessment or not.

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  7. sam says:

    I found myself wondering the other day what Mary Douglas’s take on all this would be.

    http://www.amazon.com/Purity-Danger-Analysis-Pollution-Routledge/dp/0415289955

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @Stormy Dragon

    Actually, they define it as ” a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

    The first part describes virtually anyone with strongly held views and using “bigot” that generally strips it of its usual connotation.

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  9. Herb says:

    “Human beings aren’t Vulcans and calling decent people “bigots” because they bring emotional baggage to their judgments is not only unfair but decidedly unhelpful in persuading them.”

    Hmmm, on the other hand, bringing emotional baggage to the argument is not only unfair but definitely unhelpful. Indeed, they have a name for it on the list of logical fallacies….

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  10. Stan says:

    Krauthammer’s position on this issue may not stem from bigotry, but it’s self-defeating nevertheless. Like it or not, the United States is engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of the world’s Moslems. Every thing we do that casts our government and people as hostile to Islam as a religion is a defeat for us in this battle. Krauthammer doesn’t understand this, or he does understand it but he can’t overcome his bitterness and rage at the Moslem world because of its hostility to Israel and its anti-semitism. I understand his feelings, but I expect more from a political analyst.

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  11. mantis says:

    I don’t care if someone is motivated by bigotry or not. When they advocate for the infringement of religious liberty, and constantly add fuel to the fire of paranoid nativist sentiment that has gripped a disturbingly large portion of the country (who think Muslims have no right to build houses of worship in the US), I will fight them regardless of their motivation. Bigotry, political opportunism, ignorance, fear, whatever. I don’t care if they’re bigots. They’re opposed to the most fundamental freedoms of our nation. That’s all I need to know.

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  12. Franklin says:

    Again, I insist this whole thing is about how closely one thinks the Cordoba people are associated with the 9/11 terrorists. But I simply don’t consider all Muslims to be the same. This partly comes from common sense, but partly also from my experience of actually knowing Muslims. If it was Zacarius Moussaui’s brother putting up a mosque, yeah, I would be a bit more uncomfortable with it. And doubly so if it was actually at Ground Zero and called the ‘Victory Mosque’.

    So there is some room for discussing the degree here, and that’s where arguments like PD Shaw’s from the other day make some sense; if it was built, would we all forever more be hearing about proclamations from the “Ground Zero Imam”, even though it’s not at Ground Zero and that any imam’s proclamations are irrelevant to most of us?

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  13. ratufa says:

    I’m somewhat sympathetic to arguments that building the community center at that location may be counterproductive to its stated purpose. But, at this point, the issues with building it have been politicized, re-framed, and given symbolic importance in ways that greatly overshadow those arguments.

    The idea that, “if someone with Krauthammer’s credentials believes something, we should treat the idea with respect”, is risible. A person’s actual work is a better indicator of credibility than their credentials, and anyone who has read Krauthammer’s columns over the past decade knows that they are, to use a technical phrase, “full of crazy”.

    That “radical Islam” commands the allegiance of 7% of all Muslims is an interesting claim. That number is based on a single poll which classes as “political radicals” those Muslims that felt that the 9/11 attacks were “completely justified” and that also had an “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” view of the United States. Krauthammer is using that 7% number as evidence that we aren’t in a shooting war with just a small number of people, but that poll is very weak support for his claim.

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  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***and while I didn’t always agree with President Bush 43, he was absolutely right in the wake of the attacks to make clear we were not at war with a religion.***

    Right we are not at war with the religion of Islam, the truth of Islam is at war with us, but of course it is very to hard for those who do not understand it’s truth not to make excuses, even for the dreams of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    I believe it to be a mix of poor education the spectre of politically correct indoctrination and just plain political partisanship.

    ***I don’t care if someone is motivated by bigotry or not. When they advocate for the infringement of religious liberty, and constantly add fuel to the fire of paranoid nativist sentiment that has gripped a disturbingly large portion of the country***

    So then Mantis I can count you in on my stand against the burning of Christmas cards, putting “in Darwin we trust” on our currency and forcing doctors to murder non wanted children?

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  15. Michael says:

    Just as the people of Japan today would not think of planting their flag at Pearl Harbor, despite the fact that no Japanese under the age of 85 has any possible responsibility for that infamy

    There’s a rather important difference though. The flag of Japan represents the nation of Japan, and it was the nation of Japan that attacked Pearl Harbor. Now, let’s see how that translates to the 9/11 hijackers: Islam is not a representation of the 9/11 hijackers, nor were the 9/11 hijackers representatives of Islam. It would be more akin to opposing a Japanese steak house at Pearl Harbor, because the Japanese bomber pilots were as representative of Japanese cuisine as the 9/11 hijackers were representative of Islam.

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  16. James Joyner says:

    The flag of Japan represents the nation of Japan, and it was the nation of Japan that attacked Pearl Harbor.

    Although, one should point out, a quite different nation of Japan. Under a different flag, even.

    It’s true that al Qaeda isn’t a country. But that makes it harder to deal with in many ways.

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  17. Michael says:

    James, according to Wikipedia the national flag of Japan hasn’t changed since 1870. Perhaps you are thinking of the “Rising Sun” flag of the Japanese armed forces. And while Japan has underdone many changes since 1941, there was a continuation of government and they still have an Emperor.

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  18. JKB says:

    Glad to hear your commitment mantis. Not like most of the liberals who’ve all of a sudden gotten religion over religion but when the issue involves Christianity their views become, shall we say, nuanced. No worries, I’m sure this Holiday season they’ll find rediscover the finer points of public displays of religious symbols and any telling of the Christmas Story outside of blacked out basements.

    I’m sure you’ll welcome this opportunity to denounce Vermont. They don’t seem to share your commitment to free expression of religion. Or is it the fact that the issue is a cross erected by a Catholic family make it more about aesthetics and propriety?

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  19. James Joyner says:

    Perhaps you are thinking of the “Rising Sun” flag of the Japanese armed forces.

    I am! I didn’t realize the current flag dates to the Meiji Restoration.

    And while Japan has underdone many changes since 1941, there was a continuation of government and they still have an Emperor.

    Only technically. We imposed a radically different new constitution on them after the war.

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  20. ponce says:

    Kinsley is calling Krauthammer a political opportunist, which I don’t tink anyone would deny.

    The idea that the right to be a bigot can be earned through victim hood is gaining traction among right-wingers.

    I suppose anyone who lost money to Bernie Madoff’s scam is free to be an anti-Semite now?

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  21. Bunker Hill says:

    Krauthammer calls the park51 community center “a monument to Islam.”

    That is tenditious at best and an intentional distortion at worst.

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  22. James Joyner says:

    Kinsley is calling Krauthammer a political opportunist, which I don’t tink anyone would deny.

    If so, he doesn’t make a very compelling case. Or, indeed, any case at all.

    I suppose anyone who lost money to Bernie Madoff’s scam is free to be an anti-Semite now?

    Yes, yes they are! Are they justified in that sentiment? But they’re free to have it.

    Is it at all analogous to Islam and 9/11? Only if you think Judaism teaches that it’s okay to defraud people of their money, that Madoff was motivated by his religious ideology rather than self-aggrandizement, and find large segments of the Jewish community who think Madoff’s actions were justified.

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  23. TG Chicago says:

    “It’s true that al Qaeda isn’t a country. But that makes it harder to deal with in many ways.”

    Perhaps, but in this case it makes little difference. If this was an al Qaeda mosque, we’d all agree that it shouldn’t be built – not anywhere in the US. Since it is not an al Qaeda mosque and there is no connection to al Qaeda, considerations of the actions of al Qaeda are irrelevant. Or at least it should be.

    What if someone tried to build a church there? Using the same “logic” as Krauthammer, one could say “Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack in America by religious extremists – a worldwide movement which consists entirely of religious people, acts in the name of religion and is deeply embedded throughout the world. These are regrettable facts, but facts they are. And that is why putting up a monument to religion in this place is not just insensitive but provocative.”

    This statement would be just as true as Krauthammer’s, yet no one would say that to prevent a church from being built. That Krauthammer would use these non sequiturs to prevent a mosque being built demonstrates bigotry.

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  24. ponce says:

    “Yes, yes they are! Are they justified in that sentiment? But they’re free to have it.”

    How many of the people protesting the community center being built were actual victims of 9/11?

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    Wow. I often disagree with you James, but always respect your opinion. But Krauthammer? A man deserving of respect? One of the most brilliant analytical minds of his generation? OK, I have to admit that my estimation of him comes from his tendentious, poorly reasoned and ultimately wrong (by every possible metric) cheerleading for the Iraq war, but, given the quantity of it, and the breathtakingly wrong-headedness of it, I think calling him “a leading analytical mind” is beyond the pale. I mean, just to reiterate, he was wrong about everything, for years, and was pig headed and obnoxious, sanctimonious and contemptuous, while doing it.

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  26. Brummagem Joe says:

    MarkedMan says:
    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 13:31
    “Wow. I often disagree with you James, but always respect your opinion. But Krauthammer? A man deserving of respect? One of the most brilliant analytical minds of his generation?”

    Have to agree both with your characterisation of Krauthammer and the extreme wrongheadedness of Jim’s comment. It would hard to imagine anyone (or perhaps I should say any group) who got it more consistently wrong and Krauthammer was one of their leading voices. I wouldn’t take this guy’s recommendation on what brand of coffee to buy on the basis of his record. I assume Jim was one of the cheerleaders also so it is better they hang together than separately.

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  27. The first part describes virtually anyone with strongly held views and using “bigot” that generally strips it of its usual connotation.

    No, not everyone with strongly held view holds them “obstinately or intolerantly”. And I wasn’t using bigot, generally, I was using it specifically. Krauthammer is just a modern day Karl Lidner. No matter how politely he tries to word his proposal, he is in fact advocating the segregation of muslims away from areas that make certain non-muslims uncomfortable. Even if he only intends to enforce this via social pressure, and even if he says it with a friendly smile, it remains bigotry.

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  28. mantis says:

    No worries, I’m sure this Holiday season they’ll find rediscover the finer points of public displays of religious symbols and any telling of the Christmas Story outside of blacked out basements.

    See, if you want to be taken seriously, you would be wise to refrain from ridiculous statements like this. Christmas has not been, and will never be, banned to “blacked out basements.” On the contrary, it’s everywhere you look during the holidays. To pretend like you’re some ostracized group when in fact you are the majority just makes you look stupid, or crazy, or both.

    I’m sure you’ll welcome this opportunity to denounce Vermont. They don’t seem to share your commitment to free expression of religion. Or is it the fact that the issue is a cross erected by a Catholic family make it more about aesthetics and propriety?

    That sounds pretty damned clear cut to me. The state commission has obviously overreached in that case; erecting that cross on their property is well within the Downings’ rights. I predict that they will prevail in court, and rightly so.

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  29. sam says:

    “That sounds pretty damned clear cut to me. The state commission has obviously overreached in that case; erecting that cross on their property is well within the Downings’ rights. ”

    Absolutely. (Somebody help Wayne up off the floor).

    But that reminded me of the story Chris Buckley tells in his memoir of his parents. His mother had died and her ashes were placed in giant bronze cross on the Buckley property. WFB told Chris that his were going into the cross, too. They had a conversation about the wisdom of a permanent, giant bronze crucifix on the property:

    “I wouldn’t worry about it.” How well I knew this formulation. “I wouldn’t worry about it” was W.F.B.-speak for “The conversation is over.”

    “Thus I was left with the impression I had committed lèse-majesté by suggesting that a future owner — Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Amish, Zoroastrian — might be anything less than honored to have William F. Buckley Jr.’s last remains in his garden, encased in an enormous bronze symbol of the crucified Christ. Certainly it would present the real estate broker with an interesting covenant clause. Now, um, Mr. and Mrs. Birnbaum, you do understand that Mr. and Mrs. Buckley’s ashes are to remain in the crucifix, in the garden, in, um, perpetuity?”

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    Actually, the perfect Pearl Harbor analogy would be a Shinto shrine near Pearl Harbor.

    On September 16, 2006 the Star Bulletin reported, “A small Shinto shrine in downtown Honolulu was the destination of about 10,000 people during the New Year holiday weekend. People of many ethnic and religious backgrounds flocked to the Izumo Taishakyo Mission at 215 N. Kukui St. seeking good-luck amulets and blessings on their endeavors and relationships.

    According to the Google it’s about 7 miles from the Arizona and less than a mile to the National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific where many of the dead of Pearl Harbor are buried — certainly “hallowed ground.”

    You’ll also find a Japanese consulate, Honda and Toyota dealerships within a few miles, and a sushi restaurant just a bit over half a mile away.

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  31. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds

    Sure, but I’m betting that sushi restaurant wasn’t there 9 years after Pearl Harbor. Hell, Roger Sterling was still pissed at the Honda guys more than 20 years later!

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  32. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr. Joyner, I see at as east coast elitism that once a Harvard educated inside the beltway man pronounces a reason to oppose the mosque then opponents should be treated better. Yet for days many of us here made the very same arguments and were dismissed as cranks or bigots. So which is it? What is said or who says it? The two resident apologists for mosque certainly made no bones about fanning the flames against those who saw emotions as a valid reason behind opposition.

    I suppose it would eventually happen. The left leaners shouting down opposing viewpoints with accusations of racism, bigotry, and just plain ol’ bein’ a redneck. Conservative thought is having a difficult time being heard of the noise of that nature here. Thank you for finally injecting some common sense back into this. I see you’re already catching heat from the usual suspects.

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  33. The left leaners shouting down opposing viewpoints with accusations of racism, bigotry, and just plain ol’ bein’ a redneck. Conservative thought is having a difficult time being heard of the noise of that nature here.

    The only person who’s being shouted down is ZRIII who’s gone as far as calling for Cordoba house to be bombed if built. Are you suggesting you consider this a legitimate conservative opposing viewpoint?

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  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    James:

    Well, yeah, who knew from sushi back in the 50′s?

    Roger’s one-liners and Joan’s . . um . . . talents, are the main reasons I watch Mad Men.

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  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    James:

    By the way, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog but surely there’s some current events post that could be illustrated with a picture of Christina Hendricks. Maybe something like, “Housing Market Sucks, But Damn, Loom At These.”

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    Loom? Seriously?

    Look.

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  37. Juneau: says:

    @ mantis

    “To pretend like you’re some ostracized group when in fact you are the majority just makes you look stupid, or crazy, or both.”

    Until there are less of you, just shut up and keep quiet. Unreal… and uninformed about religious bigotry ongoing right here in the good ol’ US of A against all but the ( suddenly) pet Muslims.

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  38. Brummagem Joe says:

    “and uninformed about religious bigotry ongoing right here in the good ol’ US of A against all but the ( suddenly) pet Muslims.”

    Would you rather talk about Juneau’s fantasies about religious persecution or Mike Reynold’s fantasies about Joanie. I know which I’m voting for.

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  39. ratufa says:

    Maybe Michael Reynolds would be happy if there was a daily feature on this blog called, “Why They Hate Us”, containing a photo one could loom at. That would have the advantage of being relevant to the ongoing discussions about Islam.

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  40. G.A.Phillips says:

    Speaking of Harvard educated, and the perfect Pearl Harbor analogy, both Yamamoto and Obama went there. :)

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  41. davod says:

    Back to Imam Rauf: I just posted this on the “Cordoba House Imam “Extremist” in “Sheep’s Clothing”? entry but the information is appropriate for “Bigots – opportunists” as well.

    Everything in moderation – If by moderate you mean working to impose Sharia by other than violent means.

    Obama’s interest in the 9/11 mosque may be more than protecting the constitutional rights. The
    The 9/11 Imam says he wrote Obama’s Cairo Speech.

    (These quotes, from a translation of Imam Rauf’s commentary and a newspaper interview, are edited (but are not out of context).

    “WEBTODAY EXCLUSIVE (August 24, 2010) [ http://888webtoday.com/articles/viewnews.cgi?id=EklkyAFAFVxHELEDIJ originally from Atlas http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/imam-rauf-boasts-that-he-wrote-obamas-muslim-speech-in-cairo.html ]

    — QUESTION: Who really was speaking on that historic day of June 4th 2009 in Cairo, Egypt? President Obama or the Imam of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf?

    ANSWER: Feisal Abdul Rauf! Link to audio of Rauf’s admission

    “This is an example of the impact of our work in a positive way to be used by the President.”

    “… IN THE BOOK CHAPTER 6, I WROTE ABOUT THIS BLUE PRINT as to WHAT HAS TO BE DONE BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, what has to be done by the Jewish community, what has to be done by the Christian community, what has to be done by the Muslim community, what has to be done by educators, what has to be done by the media. For example, IN MY BOOK IN THE ARABIC VERSION page 293, what did I write? WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO DO. IF YOU EXAMINE THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL FIND THAT THE OBAMA SPEECH IN CAIRO WAS ALL TAKEN FROM THIS SECTION [Section 6].
    The story was even collaborated in a written article in an interview with Hani Al-Waziri of Egypt. The clue was revealed while Rauf was answering a question regarding President Barack Obama’s speech in which Rauf replied:

    “The speech was wonderful and wise in his choice of words, the Prime Minister of Malaysia after the speech disclosed to me that it is now easy for any president of a Muslim country to establish good relations with America, and I AM NOT GOING TO HIDE FROM YOU THAT ONE OF THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN WRITING THE SPEECH, TRANSFERRED ENTIRE PARTS OF MY BOOK ‘A NEW VISION FOR MUSLIMS AND THE WEST’, which he referred to U.S. interests being compatible with top interests of the Muslim world”.

    The interview with Hani Alwaziri dated February 7th, 2010 intended to discuss Rauf’s plans for what he terms “American Style Islam” and the Cordova Initiative goals for the U.S. Rauf later stated that his goal was “To establish an American style Islam in the United States” in which he explains his aspiration of spreading Islam in America by using flexibility and molding Islam to become palatable to the American culture while preserving the integrity of Islamic ideology:

    “If we look how Islam was spread from Hijaz (Arabia) to Morocco then Turkey, we note that Islam was shaped by the culture and society, hence showing a Muslim version of the architecture and culture and the arts, but with preservation of the framework of belief and worship. We need to provide a GLOBAL ISLAM in accordance with the nature of each society.”

    Rauf boasted about his towering structure by Ground Zero as:

    “an icon that will make Muslims proud, not only locally but globally.”

    His suggestion to Muslims on how to deal with western Christians and Jews was:

    “deal with them as one courts a pretty girl he wants to date; stop thinking like a typical Muslim. Then you can engage.”

    He also discussed how he courted Bloomberg and the Jewish Community boards that “we have inroads with the Jewish Community Center”. It is interesting that Rauf stated in Arabic to Hadielislam, another prominent Muslim think tank that:

    “people need to use peaceful means to advise the governors and government institutions…we also suggest to the governors and political institutions to CONSULT [MUSLIM] RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS AND [MUSLIM] PERSONALITIES IN THE FIELD SO AS TO ASSURE THEIR DECISION MAKING TO REFLECT THE SPIRIT OF SHARIAH.”

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  42. G.A.Phillips says:
  43. davod says:

    Imam Rauf’s Cordoba Association is billed as bridging the gap. This link shows Cordoba schedulled Awlaki speak to a Cordoba sponsored conference in London in August 2009.
    http://www.currenttrends.org/research/detail/the-making-of-the-christmas-day-bomberl

    “Despite this furor, Awlaki was once more invited to broadcast a speech from Yemen, at an August 2009 event sponsored by two British pressure groups: Cageprisoners and the Cordoba Foundation.[93] His appearance, which was set to take place at the Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall in Central London, was cancelled only by a last-minute intervention from the local council.[94]“

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  44. Trumwill says:

    /Which, in the end, is why deciding an issue like this based on emotion is a recipe for confusion in the end. Since emotion is by definition irrational, there is no rational answer to the question “How far away is far enough” /

    You can’t will emotion away, though. It’s pointless to even ask if we should try. If you know something is going to make a lot of people angry (an emotion, lest we forget) and there is another thing you can do in order to avoid it, you should consider doing the other thing or at least take into account the emotions that your actions are going to evoke. This is true whether we’re talking about the N-word, a picture of Mohammed, or the location of a Mosque.

    As it stands, I disagree with those that are upset. I wish they would stop being upset. However, if it were actually a card-carrying member of Hamas that were wanting to build this thing or if it were actually being built *on* the WTC site, I would actually be angry about it myself. And those emotions, while you may disagree with them, would not be invalid. Even if the distinction of what would and would not upset me is subjective in nature.

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  45. davod says:

    “However, if it were actually a card-carrying member of Hamas that were wanting to build this thing or if it were actually being built *on* the WTC site, I would actually be angry about it myself.”

    You are not worried about a group that is acting to impliment Sharia law in the USA (See my Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 15:15) .

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  46. Trumwill says:

    I don’t worry about things that will never happen. Sharia law being implimented in the United States falls into that category.

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  47. mannning says:

    “I don’t worry about things that will never happen. Sharia law being implimented in the United States falls into that category.”

    —-said the ostrich as he made his head more comfortable in the sand.

    It is now being attempted, mini-step by mini-step, though I hope and pray this commenter is right and all the attempts fail.

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  48. There are at most 2,000,000 Muslim-Americans in a nation of 308,000,000. Does the concept of majority rule mean anything to you ? Not to mention the Constitutional protections of the First Amendment preventing religion from being implemented by government force ?

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  49. mannning says:

    Why they mean everything to me, and to you, I hope, but absolutely nothing but opportunity to those who would bend us to their will.  All they worry about is the how and when: the how being from within, and the when being when they have enough power and presence here to attempt it. 

    Not now, of course, when they are weak and relatively powerless, but later, after their immigration and birthrates reach some “tipping point” in some places to give them much more purchase.  What year? Definitely post-2060. Am I speaking about all Muslims. No! Some? Yes. 

    Your estimates of the population of Muslims in the US is off by at least 100% Over 4 million Muslims have actually physically registered with the Christian Worship Database (their exact name I need to look up again). Perhaps ACORN census takers will confirm this number?

    It only takes about 10% of the population to effect a revolution history tells us, over and over, and the other 90% never seemed to get it soon enough then, and probably won’t here later! But, then, are we not strong and well-armed–at the moment?

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