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Newt Gingrich: Let’s Steal Private Property To Stop The “Ground Zero Mosque”

Newt Gingrich distinguished himself last month by arguing that we should look to Saudi Arabia in determining the religious freedoms of Muslims in the United States, and by equating Islam with Nazism. Now, he’s essentially come out in favor of using the power of the state to take the property of the owners of Park 51 in order to prevent them from building an Islamic community center:

The majority of New Yorkers want the developers of Park51, known to its opponents as the “Ground Zero mosque,” to voluntarily move the community center further from Ground Zero — but the majority also acknowledges the developers’ right to build there if they want.

Newt Gingrich doesn’t feel that way. In a radio interview today, he said he wants the national government to step in and stop the developers from building the Islamic community center by whatever means necessary.

“I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war,” he said, apparently thinking that if Ground Zero was a national park, Park51 would be restricted from building near it.

And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.

“The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to.”

And, if the federal government doesn’t intervene, and the state government declines to use its regulatory and enforcement powers to delay a private development project, Gringrich says the mayor should step in.

“I am surprised that Mayor Bloomberg said it was okay and I think that if he reconsiders it, he’ll decide its not.”

In fact, on whatever level, Gingrich thinks government intervention is the answer.

So, my question for other opponents of the project is this — do you agree with Newt Gingrich or not ?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James says:

    Can you defend it not being O.K. ? (On what grounds if Gingrich wrong)?

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  2. James says:

    Looking for content as apposed to sound bites.

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  3. Bill says:

    Considering the fact that Saudi Arabia is the source of Wahhbist Islam and a major funder of same, it is perfectly reasonable to ask if that’s where the 100 mil is coming from.  And since (certainly in its most strict forms) Islam DOES have strong Fascist tendencies, it is not beyond the pale to talk about similarities between Wahhabists and Nazis.  In fact, there are strong historical roots tying the modern Arab world to everybody’s favorite goose steppers.  (You can look it up, if you don’t believe me.)

    That said, while I oppose legal trickery and state power to stop the GMZ, I’d like to point out that if others were reasonable about this situation, the conversation would never have gotten to this point.  The blindingly obvious fact is that, if the Mosque’s proponents were truly as moderate as they claim, and if the purpose of Park51 was truly outreach and bridgebuilding,  they’d have politely deferred to the community’s clear wishes, and moved the location a bit, in deference to the sensibilities of the non Muslims they supposedly wish to reach out to.

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  4. Herb says:

    The blindingly obvious fact is that, if the Mosque’s proponents were truly as moderate as they claim, and if the purpose of Park51 was truly outreach and bridgebuilding,  they’d have politely deferred to the community’s clear wishes, and moved the location a bit, in deference to the sensibilities of the non Muslims they supposedly wish to reach out to.

    Yeah right…..try to make that argument the next time some enviros want to stop a Wal-Mart from paving over wetlands with a parking lot.
     
    If Wal-Mart were truly as moderate…they would have politely deferred….
     
    Politely deferred.  Gimme a break.

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  5. Bill says:

    Over the years, artists have often been the target of public outcry, when they’ve produced work that is deemed provocative or offensive on the public dime.  They and their defenders invariably rush to a freedom of speech defence, and insist that their hallowed constitutional rights are being trampled upon.  Anyone of at least average intelligence (and a fair mind) should concede that the issue was never freedom of speech and expression, but the propriety of using the public’s money to deliberately offend and outrage a large swath of the public.  I seldom hear arguments that the artist should not be allowed to practice his/her art, merely that it is absurd that they use our own money to stick their finger in our collective eye.

    In the same vein, everyone on one side of this issue is running to the barricades screaming about freedom of religion. (A cry I seldom hear when Christians are involved in a public issue, I might add.)  No one, NO ONE, is suggesting that mosques should not be built, or Muslims sent home, or any such nonsense.  My understanding is that there are over 100 Mosques in the area, including one that is something like 8-10 blocks from ground zero.  A pre existing Mosque.

    The issue is the wisdom, and the intentions, of the backers of this project.  This is clearly a deliberate and calculated insult to the US, and an effort to erect a triumphant symbol of Islamic victory in the heart of Manhattan.  That is how it is meant, and if completed, that is exactly how it will be seen in the Muslim world.

    No amount of political correctness will wash this fact away.  Tolerance is a virtue, but embraced to the Nth degree, it is idiocy.  One of the reasons 9/11 occurred in the first place was our abysmal politically correct collective stupidity.  Time and again, Americans deliberately ignored blatant warning signs that something was amiss.  The perpetrators of that attack were inept to a degree that would be comical, if it were not for how it ended.  Some of them might as well have been wearing sandwich boards saying “I am a Dangerous Person!  Alert the authorities!”.

    Yet for fear of being presumed racist, insensitive, or intolerant, time and again, Americans shrugged off the obvious warning signs.  We should learn from our mistakes.  It IS possible to be fair to Muslims, but open eyed about the world around us at the same time.

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  6. Bill says:

    And Wal Mart equates to the GMZ issue how, exactly?

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  7. PD Shaw says:

    It seems to me that the state has this power under the Constitution; it’s called condemnation.

    Seems like it could be a pretty expensive game of whack a mole.

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  8. Steve Plunk says:

    No.  I don’t agree.  The government should stay out of it and let public opinion and compromise decide the issue.

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  9. tom p says:

    And Wal Mart equates to the GMZ issue how, exactly?

    I, and a whole lot of other people hate Wal-Mart to the very core of our beings for many and varied reasons, rational and otherwise, not least of which is the way W-M attacks the American way of life with their day to day business practices.

    Any other questions?

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  10. Bil says:

    Okay, Tom P, I’ll try again.  What does a loathing of Wal Mart have to do with any discussion of the Ground Zero Mosque?  Is there any sort of connection between the two issues, and would you care to articulate that?

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  11. sam says:

    @Bill

    This is clearly a deliberate and calculated insult to the US, and an effort to erect a triumphant symbol of Islamic victory in the heart of Manhattan. That is how it is meant, and if completed, that is exactly how it will be seen in the Muslim world.

    This bullshit again. Provide us with proof, please,  documented proof, that this the intention of the folks who wish to build the center.

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  12. Juneau: says:

    @ herb
     
    Yeah right…..try to make that argument the next time some enviros want to stop a Wal-Mart from paving over wetlands with a parking lot.


    The difference is that enviros are generally wackos, who have very little support for their positions outside of the other members of the coven.

    @ sam

    This bullshit again. Provide us with proof, please,  documented proof, that this the intention of the folks who wish to build the center.


    I can just as easily place the burden of proof on you to provide documentation that the intention of the folks who wish to build the center is to fully integrate into American society and laws.   I can already show you how the process is violating the lefts so-called “separation of church and state” guidelines (US Government paying for participation in the fund-raising tour).   But, I am sure, this is perfectly fine with the left, since the fund raising is not for a  Christian church or  Jewish synagogue.

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  13. Bill says:

    @Sam

    Well Sam, to start with, there is the long and well documented history of Islamic behavior and principles from its inception to the modern day.  I’m not being a smart ass.  Personally I’d recommend anything by Bernard Lewis, but particularly a slender tome entitled “What Went Wrong”, an impartial analysis of the relationship between Islam and the Western World, especially in the last 300 or so years.  He is neither an apologist nor a critic, simply laying out the good, the bad, and the ugly on both sides of that fence.

    Secondly, I’m reasonably sure that there is no “documented proof” wherein they record the minutes of their meetings, or their “nefarious plot to undermine the West document” regarding the GZM.  But there’s quite a bit out there on The Muslim Brotherhood  (look it up) and its stated goals regarding the west, and the US in particular.  There’s plenty on the practice of Sharia Law, and the various ways in which Jihad against the unbeliever might be conducted. 

    In particular, you might want to look up the word “Taqiyya”, deliberately and consciously lying for the advancement of the Islamic Faith.  Of COURSE the guy who wants to build this Mosque is saying the things he’s saying, because he knows Americans will respond to a supposed religious freedom issue. 

    I do not paint all Muslims with the same brush, I believe the solid majority of them would just like to get on with their lives, the same as you and I.  But there is a dedicated hard core in the Islamic world that genuinely seeks to overthrow our society and destroy all of its works, and supplant it with Islam.  That sounds nutty and extreme, which is unfortunate because it causes many Americans to dismiss it.  But make no mistake, this segment of Islam is in deadly earnest.

    I suspect you’ll discount all of this, and any other information I might point you towards, as being hateful or ignorant, or invalid in some other way, and that’s unfortunate.  If we are so politically correct that we’re unwilling to even name our avowed enemies (yes, I used the term “avowed enemies” deliberately), we’re stretching out throats out for their knives.  Tolerance is a virtue, but only a fool extends tolerance to the intolerant.

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  14. An Interested Party says:

    “But there is a dedicated hard core in the Islamic world that genuinely seeks to overthrow our society and destroy all of its works, and supplant it with Islam.”

    Fair enough, now provide proof of a link between this hard core and the people behind the Park 51 project…

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  15. Bill says:

    First, look up Feisal Abdul Rauf, and read the statements he’s made in the past.  Sites both liberal and conservative will be selective in what they choose to report, of course, so please do check out several sources.  But the great preponderance of what he has to say is hostile to the Western non Islamic world.

    Second, again look up the word Taqiyya, and read about the philosophy and teaching behind it.  Look at what it instructs a Muslim to do in his/her dealings with a non Muslim, especially one in a position of power.

    Again, these guys don’t exactly have published org charts.  They don’t go to the “bad guys R us” barbeque at someone’s house Friday night.  But if you care to look beyond the carefully hand picked, innocuous statements and portrayals of the nightly news, their intentions and philosophy are not difficult to divine.

    Again, give a book called “what went wrong” a read.  Islam is not a religion in the same sense that we of the West understand it.  It is a comprehensive way of life, where even the smallest details of behavior are regulated, and where there is no separation of the secular and religious.  Indeed, to the Islamic view, the very idea of separation of the two can be construed as wicked.

    I found it very difficult to get my head around the very different mindset of the (Arab) Islamic world, it’s a very different way of looking at things.  But now that I’ve done that, I’m very concerned that too few Westerners truly understand what they’re up against. 

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  16. <blockquote>No one, NO ONE, is suggesting that mosques should not be built, or Muslims sent home, or any such nonsense</blockquote>

    According to polling in The Economist, two thirds of self declared Republicans are suggesting exactly that.

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  17. sam says:

    @Bill

    I do not paint all Muslims with the same brush, I believe the solid majority of them would just like to get on with their lives, the same as you and I. But there is a dedicated hard core in the Islamic world that genuinely seeks to overthrow our society and destroy all of its works, and supplant it with Islam.

     
    And who around here disagrees with that? I don’t. As  for Rauf’s supposedly anti-American utterances, the one most often mentioned is from the 60 Minutes interview in which he said we bear some responsibility for the 9/11 because of our policies and practices in the Middle East. Ron Paul says essentially the same thing. As do others. If you’re going to use this to connect him to the Muslim Brotherhood, a la The Investigative Project on Terrorism, I’ve afraid you’ll have to do better. All you seem to have now is conjecture and innuendo.
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  18. sam says:

    @Juneau

    But, I am sure, this is perfectly fine with the left, since the fund raising is not for a Christian church or Jewish synagogue.

     
    Whine, whine, whine.

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  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    Gingrich’s “principles” have always been infinitely flexible. The sanctity of marriage. Nation building. Shrinking govt. Now we use eminent domain to steal private property. The guy is what he’s always been. A rather sleazy opportunist with very little judgement. His tenure of the speakership was really the point at which the GOP began to distance itself from reality.  

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  20. sam says:

    @Bill

    In particular, you might want to look up the word “Taqiyya”, deliberately and consciously lying for the advancement of the Islamic Faith. Of COURSE the guy who wants to build this Mosque is saying the things he’s saying, because he knows Americans will respond to a supposed religious freedom issue.

    Let me say something about the invocation of taqiyya in arguments like this. The thing to realize is that it leaves your opponent with no defense at all, for you can always say, “He’s just following taqiyya; he’s lying and we can disregard anything he says.” Which is pretty much what you did in the above. It should be obvious, I think, that raising taqiyya is really premised on a vicious recourse to petitio principii. The question is, What are the intentions of the center’s sponsors? But you’ll rule out anything they say contra your, (arrived at without any real evidence) conclusion that those intentions are nefarious as a lie. And you will do this by invoking taqiyya as proof that they lie and thus that their intentions are evil.  It is not possible for them to say, “We are not using taqiyya.” because you will always say, “They are lying.”  This is some weird version of the Cretan Paradox. And basically dishonest on your part to invoke it.

     

     

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  21. Herb says:

    What does a loathing of Wal Mart have to do with any discussion of the Ground Zero Mosque?  Is there any sort of connection between the two issues, and would you care to articulate that?

    “Loathing of Wal Mart” loosely corresponds to “Loathing of Muslims.”  If one is prepared to argue that Park51 should “politely defer” to an unstaked third party to comfort that party’s sensitivities, then one better be prepared to make that same argument in other circumstances.  If they’re not, then I have to conclude that they don’t really believe the argument and are only deploying it to meet some desired end.

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  22. John Burgess says:

    I guess it doesn’t matter that State Dept. has said that Rauf agreed to not fundraise during the trip. State Dept., after all, if full of Arabists and they, due to their familiarity with the region and religion, must all be practicing Taqiyya as well.
    [link: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/feds_funding_zero_imam_mideast_trip_OTq9dmoHpxbaKvJbB4VLGM%5D
    Gingrich has jumped the shark, even if Fonzie didn’t.
     

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  23. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    The real funny thing about those who defend the building of the Mosque of the Triumph of the 19 Martyrs is while they seem to detest Christianty which is tolerant of all, seem to want Muslims to make inroads into our system ignoring the utlimate aim of Islam here.  It is kind of like communists joining with Muslims as in Ahmadinejad and Chavez.  Islam calls for death to the infidel and there is no more infidel than a communist.  Many commenters at this site hate America and our way of life to the point they find fault with all America has ever done.  That is you Herb, Sam and Brummagem Joe.  You hate so much that you traitors have joined with the enemy.  Funny thing is you would be the first they would eliminate.  Not too bright.  But then no one ever said you all were.

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  24. <blockquote>Christianty which is tolerant of all</blockquote>
    *rimshot*

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  25. Herb says:

    Many commenters at this site hate America and our way of life to the point they find fault with all America has ever done.  That is you Herb, Sam and Brummagem Joe.  You hate so much that you traitors have joined with the enemy.

    This is why a lot of people on here think you’re a fool, Zels.  We disagree with your warped conspiracy theories, so we “hate America.”   And to top it off, you can’t help but lob weak-kneed, veiled threats in our direction.

    Funny thing is you would be the first they would eliminate.  Not too bright.

    Ooooh….so scared.  Considering the indiscriminate nature of most terrorist attacks, their statistical rarity, and their operational limitations (blowing yourself up isn’t a very good way of eliminating your enemies, after all), I think I’ll be alright.

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  26. wr says:

    Zels — We don’t hate America. We’re just not crazy about you…

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  27. anjin-san says:

    > the fact that Saudi Arabia is the source of Wahhbist Islam and a major funder of same
    Hmmm. Given that fact, where was the outcry from the right when Bush was in a lip lock with their leader?

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  28. anjin-san says:

    > But, I am sure, this is perfectly fine with the left, since the fund raising is not for a Christian church
    You may well be the stupidest person alive. My wife writes a check to Christ the King every month & we are both Dean Democrats.

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  29. Bill says:

    Stormy Dragon- That’s absolutely untrue.  I’m sure you can show me similar statistics “proving” that most conservatives are, in fact racists.  You can find a poll or a stat backing up just about any point of view you care to, that doesn’t make it accurate, and it certainly doesn’t constitute proof, in some argument clinching way.

    Sam-  One more thing I’d like to get out there is that I am not assuming that Rauf is practicing Tayiqqa merely because his lips are moving.  You act as if all of the burden of proof is on me, and that there is no reason whatsoever to suspect Rauf’s motives.  If this man is a moderate, and if he truly wishes to outreach and build bridges, why does he INSIST on bulding this Mosque at Park 51?  Why do he and his supporters utterly refuse to address the objections and protests to this location?  Why the absolute refusal to even acknowledge the clearly expressed outrage of a large majority of the community, both in New York and in the nation?  This is hardly the conduct of a well meaning bridge builder.

    I try very hard not to have a two dimensional, cartoonish stareotype view of others,  Liberals, Muslims, etc.  I have my prejudices of course, I’m only human. But I make a conscious effort to keep them in mind, minimize them, and compensate for them when I form my opinions.

    What amuses/disgusts me to no end, is that Liberals claim some moral high ground of tolerance and open mindedness, while at the same time, they are the most intolerant and close minded of people.  I’m a conservative white guy, therefore I MUST be a racist.  I oppose the building of the GZM, therefore I MUST be a hater, full of loathing for all things Islamic.

    I’ve taken the trouble to educate myself about the Muslim world, especially since 9/11.  As I’ve said before, it’s a very different mind set than what we in the west typically grow up with, and it’s difficult for one not born to it to get one’s head around.  I freely admit that my understanding of it is far from perfect.  But with this knowledge, I’ve reached the inescapable conclusion that a lively suspicion of Islamicist’s motives and goals is perfectly appropriate.

    1% of 1.3 billion people comes to 13 million people who want to chop your head off.  Literally.  This is a significant problem that no amount of Politically Correct uber tolerance can paper over.

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  30. sam says:

    @Bill

    Sam- One more thing I’d like to get out there is that I am not assuming that Rauf is practicing Tayiqqa merely because his lips are moving.
     

    Excuse me, sir, but that is bullshit, too:
     

    In particular, you might want to look up the word “Taqiyya”, deliberately and consciously lying for the advancement of the Islamic Faith. Of COURSE the guy who wants to build this Mosque is saying the things he’s saying, because he knows Americans will respond to a supposed religious freedom issue.

     
    A fair reading of that is that’s exactly what you’re accusing him of — “OF COURSE”, etc.

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  31. sam says:

    What amuses/disgusts me to no end, is that Liberals claim some moral high ground of tolerance and open mindedness, while at the same time, they are the most intolerant and close minded of people. I’m a conservative white guy, therefore I MUST be a racist. I oppose the building of the GZM, therefore I MUST be a hater, full of loathing for all things Islamic.

     
    I didn’t accuse you of being a racist, of being a hater, only of trotting out shopworn, evidence light arguments and of engaging in defective reasoning.

     

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  32. bob says:

    Islam is a political system in which religion is the excuse to oppress.  As many Muslin clerics have stated there is no moderate Islam, there is only Islam.

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  33. Belladonna says:

    I believe the GZM truly is for “outreach” to the American community.  They are trying to reach out to us to convert us to Islam.  That is the goal of all Islam, to either convert countries to Islam or kill them if they refuse.  The only difference between the Muslim terrorists and the Muslims building Mosques in America is that most of the Muslims in America still think they can convert all of us, eventually, and the terrorists don’t.  That’s it.  The GZM Imam thinks that can be done “peacefully”.  They have no respect for anything  or anyone who isn’t Islamic.  They use fear (either directly or the threat of terrorist attacks) to control and dominate the world.  If we allow them to chip away at our freedoms like they have been doing, our grandchildren will be forced to live in an Islamic world.

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