ADL Condemns “Ground Zero” Mosque Bigotry, Sides With The Bigots

The Anti-Defamation League has taken an unfortunate stand on a issue involving religious tolerance and bigotry.

The Anti-Defamation League, which describes itself on it’s website as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency,” has come out against the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque:

We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship.

We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.

However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

(…)

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.

This is really quite astounding. An organization dedicated to fighting bigotry, and specifically religious bigotry, acknowledges that much of the opposition to the Cordoba House is based in religious bigotry, but says that they agree with the bigot’s goals. As Greg Sargent points out, the people who are stoking the pain of 9/11 survivors aren’t the mosque owners, but the opponents of the project:

The foes of this mosque whose opposition is rooted in bigotry are the ones who are trying to stoke victims’ pain here, for transparent political purposes. Their opposition to this mosque appears to be all about insidiously linking the mosque builders with the 9/11 attackers, and by extension, to revive passions surrounding 9/11. To oppose the mosque is to capitulate to — and validate — this program.

Exactly, what the ADL has done here is say that the Pamela Geller’s and Robert Spencer’s of this world have a legitimate argument, and that statements like this from a Newt Gingrich aide make perfect sense:

Newt Ginrich’s spokesman told Salon in a phone interview today that building a mosque at Ground Zero “would be like putting a statue of Mussolini or Marx at Arlington National Cemetery.”

Asked what the 19th century German philosopher had ever done to America, Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said: “Well let’s go with Lenin then.” Tyler explained that he was talking about Lenin, who died in 1924, as representative of the Cold War and ideologies opposed to America.

Yea, sure. It’s just like that Rick.

It’s pretty pathetic when a civil rights organization with a record as exemplary as the ADL’s sides with people like this.

FILED UNDER: Islam, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook