Eye of Newt

The former House speaker knows a "stealth jihadi" when he sees one.

I do not often agree with President Obama or New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But they have taken the right position in the controversy over plans for a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, defending religious freedom and property rights against government meddling driven by irrational prejudice.

In contrast, whatever residual respect I had for Newt Gingrich because of his libertarian impulses as a Republican opposition leader and speaker of the House has been wiped out by his shameful performance as a jingoistic rabble-rouser who insists that "we should not tolerate" what the Constitution requires us to tolerate. By conflating the avowedly moderate, pluralistic, and ecumenical backers of Park 51 with the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center, he encourages the same sort of collectivist thinking that inspired those mass murderers.

Gingrich distinguishes between "well-meaning Muslims," who agree with him that the project should not be built so close to Ground Zero, and "radical Islamists," who are fundamentally hostile to the West. But he says the radicals include both "violent jihadis" who openly support terrorism and "stealth jihadis" who advocate peaceful coexistence while using "political, cultural, societal, religious, [and] intellectual tools" to achieve the same goal of Islamic domination.

Although Gingrich implies that the imam behind Park 51—Feisal Abdul Rauf—is a stealth jihadi, there is not much evidence to support that view. Gingrich cites the project's original name, Cordoba House, as proof of Rauf's aggressive intentions, calling Cordoba "a symbol of Islamic conquest." Yet Rauf, rather more plausibly, says the name was intended to evoke the Golden Age of Spain under the relatively tolerant Cordoba Caliphate, a period when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in what, by the standards of the Middle Ages, qualified as harmony.

One of Rauf's most prominent critics, Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, notes some radical-sounding associates, but even he concedes that Rauf has reached out to Muslims with a wide variety of viewpoints. While Rauf might be faking it, he has a long record of condemning violence and engaging in interreligious dialogue—a record persuasive enough that the FBI looked to him for help in fighting terrorism.

To Gingrich, however, none of this really matters. In his view, anyone who supports Park 51 is a stealth jihadi by definition.

Gingrich does not object to the project because the wrong sort of Muslims are building it. He objects to any Muslim house of worship on that site. He declares that "there should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia." What an absurd non sequitur: Since when is a foreign state's intolerance an excuse for trampling Americans' constitutional rights?

Sarah Palin, the first national figure to make an issue of the Park 51, says "we all know that they have the right to do it." But Gingrich knows no such thing.

"The Ground Zero mosque is all about conquest," he says, "and thus an assertion of Islamist triumphalism which we should not tolerate." In response to those who note that interfering with the project because of its Muslim character would violate the First Amendment, he says, "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington."

Put aside the fact that if Nazis owned a lot next to the Holocaust Museum, they would have a right to put up a sign, subject to content-neutral regulations. Gingrich's comparison between Muslims and Nazis reflects his more general equation of Muslims with terrorists, which is at the heart of his objections to Park 51.

Jews, Christians, or Hindus are free to build whatever they want at 51 Park Place. But not Muslims. Why? Because the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Muslims. Once you strip away the Orwellian rhetoric equating peaceful religious activity with violence, Gingrich's position really is as simple, and appalling, as that.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2010 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Suki||

    Good morning reason!

  • Almanian||

    Morning, Suki

  • Suki||

    I do not often agree with President Obama or New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But they have taken the right position in the controversy over plans for a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, defending religious freedom and property rights against government meddling driven by irrational prejudice.

    No, you mean favoritism for people who want to take away all of our freedom over a tolerant Greek Orthodox Church that has been fighting for over nine years to rebuild. That is what you and the whole Reason staff mean whenever you post anything on this subject.

  • ||

    So now this is the latest string that the anti-"mosque" folks will play until completely beaten to death, discredited several dozen times, and finally abandoned for another misleading "argument"?

  • Mike M.||

    We're still waiting for them to allow St. Nicholas to be rebuilt. What's good for the Muslims is good for the Greek Orthodox, is it not?

  • ||

    When the Port Authority becomes the governing authority of the Park51 location, we can discuss it.

    BTW, I think the whole idea of the Port Authority owning non-infrastructure is illegitimate. However, the situation is what it is and you can't honestly compare the two situations.

  • Mike M.||

    You're a total fucking joke, one of the biggest bullshit artists in the whole entire place.

  • ||

    How so? Hasn't this been discussed ad nauseum in the other threads? The situations AREN'T FUCKING COMPARABLE.

    Explain how you think they are.

  • Jeffersonian||

    So if the NYCPA was put in charge of the Park51 location and tied the mosque up for nine years, you'd be perfectly okay with it?

  • Mike M.||

    If the Port Authority attempted to use eminent domain to take control of the C.I.'s property, Timon and all the other cosmotarians would be screaming bloody murder, and they would be correct to do so.

    That they don't give a rat's behind about St. Nicholas proves that they don't really care about freedom of religion; they're simply on the elitist side of the culture war.

  • ||

    Oooh! Now I'm a "cosmotarian"! Sweet!

    You're using St. Nicholas as a crutch and a distraction from the actual topic at hand. There's a word for that.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Even if that were true, Mike M. (which it is not), all this unknown-until-two-days-ago Greek Church is, is a giant red herring. One particular instance of injustice does not justify another.

  • ||

    red herring


    Okay, so it's TWO words.

  • Mike M.||

    One particular instance of injustice does not justify another.

    The Cordoba Initiative has not suffered any "injustice" whatsoever, at least not yet. No legal authority has attempted to illegally seize their property or stop them from building their center. The only thing they are suffering is the disapproval of a lot of people, and in my country, expressing your disapproval of something is still allowed.

    The only people suffering the injustice here are the Greek Orthodox, who had their land seized by the Port Authority and are illegally being prevented from rebuilding their church.

    When the C.I. has the same thing happen to them, then we'll have a comparable situation of injustice.

  • zoltan||

    Americans don't care about government taking private property. They care about the shitstorm that happens when anti-Muslim sentiment goes full retard.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    That ban of yours did not last long enough.

  • JohnD||

    Timon, you and Sullum are damn fools. This is not about "religous freedom". Are you too stupid to understand that Islam is an evil religion of murderers? They are building this monument to satan as an affront to America.

  • Douche||

    These threads have broken my sarcasm meter. Are you for real or joking?

  • ||

    Wow. This one's got me stumped, too. Seems way too over-the-top to be serious.

  • ||

    Considering he tried to insulted me for baiting a Neo-Nazi downthread, he might very well be serious.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    Clearly God wanted the Greek Orthodox Church ruined because, well, it happened. And we all know that 9/11 happened because God was punishing America for being a land of infidels. That the Greek Orthodox church was so close to the Twin Towers (read: Baal) in the first place only shows their true infidel nature. What God hath brought down, let no man raise up. If we let the Greeks rebuild, God may strike again. Is that what you want?

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

    You raise some interesting points. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Martin||

    Once-and-for-fucking-all do you think anyone reading this magazine opposes a Greek Orthodox Church being built anywhere?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Please do not feed the Faux-Asian-Girl-Rednecks.

    KTHXBAI

  • Mike the Grouch||

    I do. I absolutely oppose the building of any religious facility until property taxes are levied against them the same as for any other profit-making entertainment business. Or until everyone else who tells fairy tales for a living is exempt from taxation as well. Take your pick.

  • creech||

    Ministers do pay taxes on their comp.
    However, it might be funny to found the Church of Grimm and Aesop and see if the real estate and donations are free of taxation.

  • Mike M.||

    The Port Authority is in blatant violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, passed by Congress in 2000. The Church should sue the hell out of them.

  • ||

    Yes, the church should.

  • zoltan||

    I completely agree.

  • ||

    Religion is stupid.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    ^^The most important thing to keep in mind^^

  • Mo||

    Bloomberg has come out in favor of the Greek Orthodox Church and has said he's going to talk to the Port Authority to see what can be done. However, since it's a PA issue, he has zero power beyond persuasion and possible horse trading over them.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    But the seas parted and everything got approved as soon as he voiced mosque approval.

  • Joe M||

    This should be in morning links. Remember the school that was taking video of their students at home with laptop cameras?

    Prosecutor: No Charges in Webcam Spy Scandal

  • anarch||

    “For the government to prosecute a criminal case, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged acted with criminal intent."

    Friday Funnies on Wednesday.

  • Joe M||

    Yeah, since when did they feel the need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt BEFORE prosecuting the case? Quite convenient.

  • mr simple||

    It's not like they used the webcams to record police or prosecuter public activity or anything. Spleesh.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

  • anarch||

    broke link

  • ||

    Pretty funny, huh?

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Meh. Apparently the site is having some difficulties. I'm sure it'll be back up soon.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I'm sure none of us give a shit.

  • ||

    I guess the White race isn't so superior when it comes to keeping a server running.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Oh, I don't know, every time that link gets posted here they get about a dozen new members within the next several hours.

    Kind of like selling ice water in hell, I guess.

  • ||

    So you're site-whoring Neo-Nazi? Explains a lot. For example: your inability to post anything that's not completely vapid and idiotic.

    Fuck off, Himmler. What are you doing posting here anyway? Those crosses don't burn themselves, you know.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    I am still waiting for you to back up the claim that A3P a Neo-Nazi. Site an example, please.

  • ||

    You are my example.

  • Warty||

    This is Dick Hoste, right?

  • ||

    I doubt it. He'd be linking to his own shitty website. He was always nothing but a blog-whore after all.

  • ||

    Shut the fuck up, slappy.

    As for your citation, I have your citation right here...

    *grabs crotch, shakes vigorously*

  • JohnD||

    Apparently "Sugar Free" is also brain free.

  • ||

    Here's a White Power cookie, JohnD. Try to tell someone next time before you have to go poopy. The class doesn't have an infinite supply of clean pants, you know.

  • Adonisus||

    A3P is DEFINENTLY a white supremacist group. The whole thing was founded by neo-nazis and white nationalists solely for the purpose of making a political party that appears respectable.

    Hell, they even admit their own origins on their website!

  • Warty||

  • ||

    I don't care about Newt logic, but if you can't see that the motive behind this mosque is the same as an army planting a victor's flag on the hill after a battle, well, apparently you're a write for Reason in the year 2010.

    I'm with you on most things but not having this mosque go where they want it to go isn't going to stop anybody anywhere from pointing their ass towards Mecca and praying.

    Thank you very much.

  • scineram||

    Given that they won, the earned the right to plant that flag.

  • ||

    No, thank you for revealing so much ignorance in so few words.

  • ||

    Thank you, no name.

  • zoltan||

    Its name is sunshine.

  • DG||

    They hate us for our freedoms, so naturally, the way to beat them is carve out exceptions to and slowly chip away at our Constitutional rights. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  • ||

    GINGRICH / TORQUEMADA 2012!

  • Peetsker||

    Yeah, never mind that someone is stabbing you in the back over and over in your own house. Just make sure you don't infringe on their freedom by turning around and kicking their ass out.

  • ||

    They're stabbing someone?

  • ||

    They're stabbing our feelings!

  • Peetsker||

    dude, you are loving you some islamic dick, aren't you?

  • ||

    Who's stabbing people, goddammit?

  • DG||

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Am I right?

  • Zeb||

    Who's stabbing who now?

  • T||

    Aretha Franklin?

  • DesigNate||

    Getting stabbed in the back isn't fucking symbolic, it's actual motherfucking assault.

    You DO have the right to kick someone's ass if you're being assaulted. You DON'T have the right to kick someone's ass cause they "air" stab you.

  • zoltan||

    "Feeling" stab. A new thought crime.

  • DesigNate||

    SO FUCKING WHAT!!!

    I'm sorry but this is fucking America and we don't fuck with people's rights because our feelings are hurt or there may be some symbolism in something to someone. If you hate muslim's so much join the army and go over to Irafuckistan.

  • Draco||

    Never forget the profound statement of the great Marvin Kneemauler:

    "First they came for the people whose religion says that everyone else is a dog or a monkey, and that unbelievers must convert, submit or die, and that no law is valid but the law of the great Shazam. Then they came for casual anti-semites. Then they came for the people who remove those little clips on the gas station pumps so you have to hold it while it pumps. Then, when there was no one left to defend me, they came for me!"

    A sobering lesson indeed.

  • ||

    When they came for the murderers, I wasn't a murderer so I didn't say anything. When they came for the pedophiles and rapists, I didn't say anything because I wasn't a pedophile or rapist. When they came for the cannibals I wasn't a cannibal so I didn't say anything. When they came for me there was no one left to defend me??!!!!

    Sounds more like a lesson given from a drunk.

  • JohnD||

    another stupid post by a fool.

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

    "Then they came for the people who remove those little clips on the gas station pumps so you have to hold it while it pumps."

    Yeah. What the fuck is up with that?

  • T||

    Somebody should come for those people.

  • ♥♥♥||

    Where is the Batman when you need him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I call for an investigation to find if there is anyone involved in the Islamic cultural center debate who isn't loathsome.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    [Speaker Pelosi said] "How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we've been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City."

    Am I serious?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Were you ever, Nan?

  • ||

  • ||

    Gilmore claimed in the other thread that Reason wrote about the religious freedom of religions besides Islam. He didn't provide any links.

    Anyone have any links of Reason defending any non-moslems religious freedoms? I could obviously find dozens defending the horribly oppressed Mohamadeans.

  • Discord||

    That would require that another religion be fighting for its right to exist in America.

    Queue someone saying something about perceived Christian persecution in this country.

  • Bill O'Reilly||

    It's a war on Christians! A firestorm! I'm not a conservative. I'm just looking out for the people™!

  • ||

    It's the folks™, Bill, the folks™

  • ||

    +2

  • ||

    Butbutbut!!!! Greek Orthodox Church!!!!

  • DG||

    When there are organized campaigns to prevent churches and synagogues from being built, I'm sure Reason will have an article to satisfy you.

  • ||

    I think that's called 'Saudi Arabia.'

  • Discord||

    I didn't realize Saudi Arabia had agreed to govern under the US Constitution, which would make it relevant.

  • ||

    It sure is. Aren't you glad you live in the west, where we have religious freedom?

  • ||

    Wait...reason is supposed to write articles regarding religious oppression that goes on in other countries (and thus outside the purview of the Constitution) and that everyone knows about? How many fucking articles do you want them to write, really? It may take a while.

  • ||

    He wants Reason to be "fair and balanced," evidently.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Or at the very least hire some vapid blond-bots to read the teleprompter.

  • DG||

    I figured anyone with a functioning brain could infer that I meant in the US. It seems I was right.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I think that's called 'Saudi Arabia.'

    Is that Arabic for "Port Authority?"

  • Amakudari||

    Well, for starters, there's the whole giddiness behind drawing Mohammed a few months back. That counts as defending people from them there Mohammedans.

    Also:

    - On a Texas school board movement to marginalize deist Founding Fathers
    - On a divorced husband facing jail time for baptizing his daughter

  • Amakudari||

  • Amakudari||

    - On a devotee of Wotan winning an NYC city council seat
    - Mocking Islamic creationism

    Seriously, is your argument really, really going to be that Reason only defends Muslims (clicking on Topics > Religion be damned)

    (Apologies for the two-links-per-post deal. For a magazine called Reason...)

  • ||

    Well, the article regarding the censorship of letters to inmates comes close, even though it reads more like an attack on censorship.

    The Texas school board article is about religion, but it hardly takes a position in defense of it's practice. The divorced husband is also not a defense of religious liberty. The defense of Geert Wilders is about free speech, not a defense of religious liberty.

    Seriously, is your argument really, really going to be that Reason only defends Muslims (clicking on Topics > Religion be damned)

    There is a big difference between writing about religion and supporting it's free exercise.

    Actually, my point was more that Reason doesn't give an ounce of a shit for Christianity and regularly attacks evangelicals. Their beating a drum about religious freedom is kind of like a certain ex-speaker beating a drum about morality. These articles are not about defending religious liberty, they are about sticking a finger in the eye of political opponents, nothing else.

  • Bill||

    Evangelicals deserve to be "attacked" (not sure how an editorial is an attack) if they are trying to use the power of government to push their religion on others.

  • Amakudari||

    And you could make this article as much about property rights as it is about religion. Hypothetically, if NYC were trying to build a mosque using taxpayer dollars in the new WTC building (like I said, hypothetically), do you think people here would care as much? How about if the land were owned by the state of New York and the Cordoba Initiative had won through a non-competitive bidding process? I certainly don't.

    And explain how Reason does not support the free exercise of religion. As far as I can see, Reason's staff have alternately criticized and defended several religions, and the specific determinant I see is the use or threat of force by government to impair religious practice.

  • ||

    Nah, the one about the jail is not about anyone's religious beliefs, its about correctional overreach--Reason isn't defending unpopular theistic moves.

    Geert Wilders wasn't taking part in religious speech.

  • ||

    Reason's article had nothing to do with 'deist founding fathers'--that bit is an aside in that Texas curriculum fight(on which this Reason article took the wrong side, IMO). Jefferson, the deist in question, was not excluded from the curriculum.

    The baptism link didn't work.

  • ||

    Well, for starters, there's the whole giddiness behind drawing Mohammed a few months back.

    Yeah, and they didn't post any of the pictures and closed the comment section. The Heat Death of the Universe will occur before I could post all of the negative articles with hundreds of anti-Christian posts that didn't get shut down.

    Don't get me wrong, they shouldn't have been shut down. I haven't been here that long, but I don't remember it ever happening.

  • ||

    What, you mean like defending the right of doctors/hospitals to not perform abortions if their religious beliefs are opposed to it?

    Or do you mean like Mormons right to free speech and freedom of religion when they talk about how their faith sees homosexuality as wrong--or worse, when they legally pass a law that keeps gays from marrying.

    You know, doing everything according to the law--something so important in the Park51 issue.

    Silly, those people have stupid ideas, ideas Reason's liberaltarian majority doesn't like, so thier Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms not only don't matter, but should be taken away.

    Weirdly, they seem to like Muslims, whose religious ideas include bans on abortion and severe homophobia--of a type even fundamentalist Christians often find severe and horrifying. And they won't let gays marry either.

    But, that's all okay. Religious freedom for Muslims(who are not all terrorits), especially the sainted Sufis, is something that should be defended at all costs.

  • ||

    You haven't hung out here much aside from these threads, have ya?

  • ||

    Timon, I've been coming here for quite some time. I slowly stopped commenting, and eventually coming as I watched the 'weigelisation' of Reason--and a whole lot of the libertarian movement. I came back when I saw that Dave was had joined his herd at the Post. I had hope that you had all been purged somehow. Someday, I'll dredge the archives and find the name I was using then so you can see that my assholery has remained fairly consistent, k?

    Now, as you chide me, with the implication being that there has been a rousing defense of peoples religious freedom rights(excluding the right to get high and say that it's 'praying'), you neglect to link to, or even mention a single issue on which Reason defended people's right to practice their faith in ways or areas objectionable to liberaltarians.

  • The Angry Optimist||

  • ||

    Nah, there's no defense of FLDS beliefs there-- no 'they have the First Amendment right to do this' kinda thing. This was a government/police state thing.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You are not even trying anymore.

    More here.

    Just because it is inconvenient to your particular combination of red herring and ad hominem does not mean that you can just ignore it in the hopes that you can continue this ridiculous Kulturkampf bullshit.

  • ||

    Sugar Free'd link

  • ||

    That link's not working.

    And I'm not sure what you mean. I read the article. It doesn't actually defend the FLDS religious beliefs. Sorry.

  • zoltan||

    Where are Muslim beliefs being defended in the Park 51 articles? This is a property rights article, you illiterate prat.

  • ||

    Now, as you chide me, with the implication being that there has been a rousing defense of peoples religious freedom rights(excluding the right to get high and say that it's 'praying')


    Why are you excluding that?

    people's right to practice their faith in ways or areas objectionable to liberaltarians.


    Explain precisely what you mean, because, of course, the term you use is loaded (no way!).

    I'll also assume since you've dropped to tossing about the term "liberaltarian" as an epithet because I disagree with you on this issue that
    1. you'll be bringing out "dhimmi" soon enough, and
    2. you'll not complain when someone dishes out some form of "conservatarian" or "neo-con" or "KulturWarrior" or some such

  • ||

    I exclude the 'marijuana sacrament' because it gets defended for reasons having nothing to do with freedom of religion.

    'Objectionable' refers to religious issues on which Reason generally takes a 'socially liberal' stance such as abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, creationism.

    Reason rarely, if ever, defends the rights of these people to hold those beliefs, and act and associate accordingly. They will come down on the state for screwing with them sometimes, but rarely defend the beliefs.

    To be honest, since I have views on many of these matters that are 'socially liberal', I am loathe to defend them myself, but pretending that Reason finds the positions that are held by evangelicals as more than objects of ridicule is just that--pretense.

  • ||

    I would like a definition of "liberaltarian".

  • zoltan||

    Evangelicals' beliefs and Muslims' beliefs are ridiculed. This has nothing to do with religious beliefs.

  • Toolbag||

    While reason may not agree with many of these practices they never say the people can't practice them.

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

  • ||

    OOOh! Reason is pro-marijuana legalisation? Who knew?

    Are you high?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    How about their defense of the FLDS?:

    Plenty here.

  • ||

    I just can't seem to find Reason defending their beliefs. The defense is focused on how the law overstepped.

  • DesigNate||

    I'm sorry, I don't recall any of the myriad of articles over the last week defending mooslims beliefs. Most of the articles have been about how the Republicans are beating this dead horse with some shitty ass rhetoric.

  • zoltan||

    Azathoth has shown to be an absolute moron who can't separate defending someone's property rights with defending their religious beliefs.

  • ||

    Indeed, zoltan.

  • ||

    Sigh. This thead is in answer to this-

    Anyone have any links of Reason defending any non-moslems religious freedoms? I could obviously find dozens defending the horribly oppressed Mohamadeans.

    -posted by Marshall Gill.

    My examples are of ideas that are often expressed as religious beliefs--and, while Reason may occasionally ride to their defense if the law tramples on them, Reason doesn't seem to have a problem with picking at those beliefs.

    And, zoltan, honey, it isn't Azathoth who's throwing around the word 'bigot'

  • Toolbag||

    I am sick of people feeling like people have to be sensitive to their beliefs. How about this, they are allowed to believe whatever they want. They can do whatever they want in pursuit of that belief so long as it doesn't infringe on someonelse's rights or safety. If your religion requires you to dance around a pig and call it Sally no one is questioning your right to do it. But remember people will have the right to pick at it.

  • Martin||

    I appreciate these little controversies, because they remind me of why I hated the Republicans so much in the first place. With the Democrats in power; It's tempting to get nostalgic about Republican rule. Thanks Newt!

  • JohnD||

    Martin, sounds like you have been hitting the pot a little too much. Moron.

  • ||

    This author is an idiot!

  • Peetsker||

    fuck you and your hateful death-to-all-liberty-and-freedom mosque

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    As one wit once put it - the problem with libertarianism is that no libertarian had ever proposed a policy that would actually have the effect of increasing anyone's liberty. Rather the opposite, as far as I can tell.

  • -||

    You're not very bright.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Neo-Nazis tend not to be. As taught to us by our brethren, Jake and Elwood Blues (PBUT).

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    If you're going to call me a neo-nazi, you could at least back up the statement. Exactly what have I ever proposed that could be characterized as nazi? Making the trains run on time, or what?

  • SIV||

    Well there is that whole posting links to a white nationalist party thing.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    A Nazi is a national socialist. I am not any kind of a socialist.

    And since when is an ethnic group advocating for it's interests equivalent to being a Nazi? Or is that only when white people do it? I sure don't hear anyone calling LaRaza or the NAACP Nazis.

  • ♥♥♥||

    A Nazi is a national socialist.

    And a Democrat is a believer in personal freedom, and a Republican is a supporter of limited government.

  • ||

    Do you deny it, slappy?

    Also, do you deny the charge that some have made that you, slappy, are in fact a raper of barnyard animals?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You spoke laudingly of deporting millions of illegals, which would require a massive police state and real-live people-moving trains. That would be a start.

    Talking about your proud Euro-American history is usually code for "Redneck Klansmen".

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    The last time I saw a poll, a large majority of the country agreed with that position.

    If that's all it takes to qualify as a Nazi in your book, I suggest you start looking for another country. You aren't going to be very happy in this one.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The last time I saw a poll, a large majority of the country agreed with that position.

    Cite.

    Also, do you seriously deny that you are dog-whistling for white power tropes? Because...it is to laugh, if you are.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Big mistake. Unlike some people, I don't make statements I can't back up.

    Perhaps you'd like to define "white power". Last I checked, lots of ethnic groups have organizations advocating for their interests. But I only hear crying when white people do it.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Nothing in that link about mass deportation or a police state.

    Fifty-four percent (54%) of all voters remain at least somewhat concerned that efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants will also end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens

    So...yeah, your statement is bullshit.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Er, what do you think happens to illegal immigrants that are identified by the police? Does it take Einstein to figure that one out? If people don't want them deported, why do they support having the police identify them?

  • ||

    So you don't deny it?

    And the other accusation, do you not deny that as well?

  • ||

    I propose that monks be allowed to sell coffins without a license.

    There, I did it. Now shut the f*ck up.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    As one wit once put it - the problem with libertarianism is that no libertarian had ever proposed a policy that would actually have the effect of increasing anyone's liberty.

    Quoting yourself and calling yourself "a wit" is pretty damn trashy.

  • ||

    It's remarkably similar to Dick Hoste's assertion that libertarians weren't for freedom because we didn't support apartheid.

  • ||

    Ah, Dick Hoste. Wasn't the world much more simple in those days? A truly racist troll, instead of the "you favor policies that hurt brown people and therefore must be a racist" racist.

  • It's always 4:20!||

    How can policy increase liberty?
    All policy does is restrict.

  • ||

    Nancy Pelosi yesterday

    "There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded," she said. "How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we've been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City." (h/t Kristinn)

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....mosque-op/

    And of course Harry Reid says it should be "built somewhere else".

    Even I am getting board with this topic. But if Reason wants to blog about it twelve times a day, could they at least blog about comments made by people who actually hold power? What does Dennis Hassert or Jim Wright (if he is still alive) think about this subject? Let's go dig up Carl Albert and ask him while we are at it.

  • -||

    Even I am getting board [sic] with this topic.

    But you'll keep on commenting.

  • ||

    Getting bored. The whole adverb thingy is really difficult to grasp for some people.

  • ||

    Neither "bored" nor "board" are adverbs. There's not an adverb to be found in the sentence in question. Seems the whole English language is difficult to grasp.

  • T||

    I recommend a refresher course of Schoolhouse Rock for all involved. Indubitably!

  • JohnD||

    uh....bored would be a verb! Board is a noun. Duh.

  • ||

    And an adverb is a modifier for a verb. So?

  • ♥♥♥||

    And an adverb is a modifier for a verb. So?

    Dangerously.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bored is a noun, as it is a feeling or a state of being:

    "I am bored"

    I is the subject, am is the verb, bored is a noun. Now, if something bores you, that makes it a transitive verb.

  • T||

    The pedantry around here knows no bounds, does it?

  • Jen||

    Uh, no. It's an adjective in that sentence.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Adjectives can be nouns. Example: colors.

  • zoltan||

    Board can be a verb. Like boarding a train.

  • Tim||

    Gingrich is just trying to get out in front for 2012 among the religious right. After all, his numerous wives and shameful record of adultery make Gingrich seem to have more in common with the stereotypical Islamic chirftain than a southern Baptist.

  • ||

    Engaging in total hypocrisy in your personal life while leading a bunch of religious believers has worked pretty well for Al Gore. I guess Gingrich figures he will give it a try.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Hey, look over there! John is still a silly hack on this issue!

  • ||

    You are such a prick. Ginrich is the Al Gore of the religious right. The guy lives a completely depraved personal but then lectures the country on values. He is no different than Al Gore talking about carbon footprints while building his mansion in Malibu.

    If you want to be a dick, that is fine. There is a great tradition of being a dick on here. That is what the board is for. But at least read the posts and try to have some understanding of what people are saying before you be a dick.

    I just wrote a post slamming on Gingrich and all you can do is run around and yell Hack. You are normally not that stupid. Did you not sleep last night or something?

  • ||

    Actually I take that back. You often times really are this stupid. You are not quite as MNG, but you give a good try most days.

  • -||

    Do you ever read the words you write?

  • ||

    No but apparently you do. It is nice to have a stalker and a fan. It is also nice to know I get under the skin of the real lefty trolls on this board. I do it better than anyone apparently.

  • zoltan||

    You get under the skin of anyone with a brain, you partisan fuck.

  • Tim||

    Putting aside the Islamic angle on this for the time, GOP religious polkitics are incredibly convoluted. You got early candidates like Gingrich and Romney chasing, among others a whole lot of Baptist voters. The pandering is terrible.

  • ||

    Romney is like a Jew trying to fit in with leftists. Leftists tend to be terrible anti-Semites, so Jewish leftists are often the most radical and anti-Israel to sort of prove their street creed. Most evangelicals don't like Mormons. And of Romney will do anything to get people to forget that he foisted the original model of Obamacare on the State of Massachusetts.

    And Gingrich is the worst sort of political opportunist. He was never a social conservative when he was in power. And he has lived a totally depraved personal life. But, he doesn't really have a constituency to run for President with. So now he is Mr. Values.

  • Tim||

    Having said that, I don't know what position Romney has taken on the mosque, if he has at all. I would guess that after 2008 he knows he'll never get those Huckabee voting shriners anyway.

  • ||

    I think they are all pissing in the wind. People are going to want someone new in 2012. The 08 crowd is done. All of them.

  • Tim||

    In the end the GOP will give us another septuagenarian senator.

  • ||

    Nope. They will not do that. McCain won't run and I think he is the only one who fits that description. They will give us a governor. They have had enough of running Senators.

  • Tim||

    I hope you're right.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Either way, it'll be an empty suit with nothing new to say.

  • ||

    It's remarkable how many pseudo-libertarians have inadvertently outed themselves over this issue. They can't all be trolls.

  • Tim||

    The right is pandering sure, but so is the left. They love kissing butt while wrapping themselves in the flag. As if they would normally give two shits about religious liberty.

  • ||

    Or maybe people think for themselves and think differently on some issues rather than slavishly following a party line? Maybe you would be happier being a leftist. They are quite good at maintaining intellectual and party discipline.

  • ||

    What? No they're not. They're TERRIBLE at maintaining intellectual discipline.

  • ||

    That is just because they can't shoot each other in this country. In places where they can, they are very good.

  • ||

    WTF are you on about, John?

  • Zeb||

    It's not so much that they can't as they won't because guns are icky.

  • ||

    DO NOT INTERRUPT THE SCRIPT! IT IS ALL THAT HE HAS!

    THE VOICE OF REASON HAS SPOKEN!

  • ||

    Philosophical consistency is paramount. That's the hardest thing for anyone, including libertarians, to maintain. When you're right, you're not being "slavish" to any particular ideology.

  • ||

    It is not that easy. There are competing values involved in different issues. If maintaining philosophical consistency were easy, someone would have developed a theory of ethics everyone could agree on.

  • ||

    If maintaining philosophical consistency were easy

    Who said it was easy? I said it was hard. It separates the men from the adolescents.

  • T||

    Philosophical consistency is easy. Applying your principles consistently in the real world turns out to be kind of a bitch, though.

  • highfiveT||

    nice +something

  • Psychic Octopus||

    What about Islam?

  • It's always 4:20!||

    Most of the time when someone says "if you were really a [fill in the blank] then you would [fill in the blank]" they are presenting you with a false choice.

  • ♥♥♥||

  • Almanian||

    Not this again...

    **swallows handful of Death Panel Brand™ pills**

  • Tim||

    Has Drew Carey saved Cleveland yet? Or was it Pittsburgh?

  • Death Panelist||

    Those pills are a panacea and Obamacare approved!

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

    What a buffoon.

  • ||

    Just remember: Newt is the smart one.

  • Tim||

    +1

  • ||

    I keep looking in the Constitution and can't seem to find that clause or stanza or whatever thay you seem so fond of that says I've got to tolerate people who refuse to tolerate me.

    I notice we didn't tolerate those people who wanted to own other people. And we didn't tolerate them again when they decided they just wanted to treat some people bad and kill them a little.

    And we sure didn't tolerate those folks who thought Jews belonged in ovens.

    And even when the First Amendment demanded that we let them speak, or march or something, I don't remember anyone being vilified for speaking or screaming out against what they were saying.

    So why do we have to do it now? What part of the Constitution demands that we, the people(as opposed to the government) have to tolerate or respect anything?

  • Tim||

    We're Libertarians: we can't even tolerate each other.

  • Yearning to Breathe Free||

    STFU!!!

  • ||

    American Muslims have not violated any rights of anyone, unlike slaveowners and Nazis.

    Also, you don't have to tolerate anyone. We're just saying you're a fuckstick for being intolerant of people simply because they share a religion with a group of assholes who flew a couple of planes into some buildings. We're also saying you're a whiny little bitch for arguing that your feelings will be hurt because said group wants to erect something containing a mosque on property that already serves that purpose and that they own.

  • ||

    We didn't let the 'non-murderous' Klansmen slide, Timon, did we?

    And I consider my right pretty violated when you keep attacking my country.

    But you know something? If it was "a group of assholes who flew a couple of planes into some buildings" this might not be such a big deal. But it's not.

    9/11 was the second successful Muslim attack on the WTC--and it knocked them down. And then there's the Beltway Sniper, and the Ft Hood shooter, and the Times Square Bomber, and the Underwear bomber, and the El-al shooter at LAX, and the Muslim nut in the SUV at UNC.

    And that's just the tip of the fucking iceberg, Timon. I could go on--and you know it. And, like the Media likes to crow, they're not all affiliated with Al Qaeda or terrorist organizations.

    But they all still have something in common, don't they, Timon? Islam. Every damned one of them was a Muslim--not in a terrorist organisation. Terrorist organisations are NOT something they have in common. Islam is.

    Do you know what really annoys me? People laugh at the ineptness if the Times Square bomber or the Underwear bomber, but the only thing that prevented those two successful terrorist attacks from being horrors in their own right was bad bomb making skills. That's it. Had those bombs been made well....

  • ||

    We didn't let the 'non-murderous' Klansmen slide, Timon, did we?


    Huh? They have a right to gather and march through Skokie and all that. They're still assholes, racists and deplorable human beings.

    And I consider my right pretty violated when you keep attacking my country.


    Rauf's congregation has been attacking America? Holy shit! American Muslims have been attacking America? Holy shit! 1.49999999 billion Muslims worldwide have been attacking America? Holy shit!

    And that's just the tip of the fucking iceberg, Timon. I could go on--and you know it. And, like the Media likes to crow, they're not all affiliated with Al Qaeda or terrorist organizations.


    Please, continue.

    But they all still have something in common, don't they, Timon? Islam. Every damned one of them was a Muslim--not in a terrorist organisation. Terrorist organisations are NOT something they have in common. Islam is.


    I do believe that 19 hijackers, the underwear bomber, and the Times Square guy were trained by terrorists (as well as the first WTC attack).

    Do you know what really annoys me? People laugh at the ineptness if the Times Square bomber or the Underwear bomber, but the only thing that prevented those two successful terrorist attacks from being horrors in their own right was bad bomb making skills. That's it. Had those bombs been made well....


    If your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle.

  • ||

    I do believe that 19 hijackers, the underwear bomber, and the Times Square guy were trained by terrorists (as well as the first WTC attack).

    True. Islamic terrorists.

    There was a PEW research poll done few years ago. They estimated over 2 million moslems in the US at the time. 8% said that they believed in suicide bombing.

    So, while I certainly have sympathy for the supposedly peaceful moslems, 8% of 2M is 160,000. The idea that we should ignore this, and the explicit violence in much of modern, not only ancient, Islam, is a defense of suicide, not Liberty.

  • ||

    How was the question phrased and what were the available answers.

  • ||

    http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans.pdf

    The table is on page 11.

  • ||

    You'll note that "often" and "sometimes" are grouped together, and also that this was before the downturn in favorable opinion on suicide bombing abroad in the last few years.

  • ||

    Yes, they do have that right, Timon, but you and yours are not vilifying the people who come out to protest their marches--do you? Even though these are not murderers--though they share the same ideology(and often the same faith). You don't waste time excusing the klan because 'not all of them are murderers'.

    But you know what? There are a whole lot more murderous Muslims than there are murderous klansmen.

    Yet the people who protest one get a pass, while you call the people who protest the other 'bigots'.

    I do believe that 19 hijackers, the underwear bomber, and the Times Square guy were trained by terrorists (as well as the first WTC attack).

    I'm sorry, did your eyes just skip over 'not all'? They were not all affiliated with terrorist organisations.

    But they were all affiliated with Islam.

    If your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle.

    No, she'd be my aunt, you homophobe. Got something against the transgendered? I know Muslims aren't fond of that whole thing, but I'm avoiding calling you 'dhimmi' because it annoys you.

  • DesigNate||

    I don't remember the last time the Klan marched at anything, except on the flag episode of South Park.

    All the people that blow up abortion clinics or shoot the doctors have been associated with Christianity.

  • ||

    NONE of which has anything to do with Rauf's group or any other existing group of Muslims currently peacefully practicing their religion in the United States.

  • ||

    NONE of which has anything to do with Duke's group or any other existing group of Klansmen currently peacefully practicing their philosophy in the United States.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Well, non-murderous Klansmen have / are establishing all-white commnities when and where they can. And we let them.

    Oh, and, did you know that more people die in drug related violence every year than at any of those attacks bar 9/11 itself? Stat wars are fun.

  • ||

    What part of the Constitution demands that we...have to tolerate or respect anything?

    You're confusing private thoughts with government actions. The "part" of the Constitution you may be interested in is called The Bill of Rights, the First Amendment in particular. It guarantees your right to be pissed off about anything you choose and to publish your concerns in a variety of ways. It doesn't "demand" that you respect anyone.

  • ||

    Ah, so you're saying it isn't there. Very good.

  • JohnD||

    Azathoth, Its not the Constitution that demands it, it's the left wing rabble. They are mostly Marxist anyway so who gives a damn what they think.

  • DesigNate||

    Fuck you very much. I am not now, nor have I ever been left wing rabble or a Marxist. Just because I disagree with you and Azatoth and Marshall Gill and Mike M et. all doesn't mean I like to eat Nancy Pelosi while getting buggered by Obama

  • dennis||

    Yeah, the left wing rabble is totally into dialectical materialism and false consciousness.

  • William F Cain III||

    Am I the only one who hears Stealth Jihadi and thinks of the Covenant from Halo?

  • Peetsker||

    I'm sure there would be no problem building a christian church next door to the Mosque, would there? How about a gay sex club? The national klan office?

  • Wind Rider||

    There's already a strip joint, a Mickey D's and a BK, plus street vendors. That's enough to qualify as pr0n across a pretty wide spectrum of special interests right there.

  • Peetsker||

    bet they won't be allowed to stay

  • Wind Rider||

    The Rorschach Test-2010 Edition continues.

    Next up, the commentariat shreds itself over the vital question - Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, or Neapolitan.

  • ||

    Mint chocolate chip, motherfucker!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Clearly, chocolate-chip cookie dough, the delicious mulatto of ice cream, is superior thanks to its hardy, biracial, doughy goodness. Everyone knows mixed kids are the hottest.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Hybrid vigor!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream violates Azathoth's rights.

  • DesigNate||

    This literally made me laugh out loud. Now my boss is looking at me funny.

  • Amakudari||

    Clearly Neapolitan's the worst. People buy it because they think they like variety, but then they just eat around the strawberry.

    Little dampens a young child's soul as seeing two cartons of ice cream in the fridge and opening both to the find the family has left only that pink bastard strawberry.

  • T||

    Now we we know what you discuss with your therapist. I think that may be TMI.

  • Amakudari||

    Obviously if our collective neuroses had been addressed we wouldn't be libertarians. Thank you, I'll be here all week/for the next five minutes.

    (I think that calls for some beer-flavored ice cream.)

  • M. Simon||

    And I'm so glad. I love strawberry.

  • Law Student||

    Cinnamon Vanilla

  • Halberger||

    Newt Gingrich...the same man who sponsored a bill in 1995 calling for the death penalty for drug smugglers from Mexico.

    This man is a nut.

  • JohnD||

    What's wrong wth that? Oh wait, that would cut off your supply f coke. Sorry.

  • zoltan||

    Ah yes, all of us who actually believe in the 4th amendment are cokeheads. Idiot.

  • Wind Rider||

    The only thing of interest at this point is to see if someone in the thread accuses someone else of being a mouth breathing bigot in the same sentence that they refer to followers of Islam as "muzzies".

  • Me||

    “But he says the radicals include both "violent jihadis" who openly support terrorism and "stealth jihadis" who advocate peaceful coexistence while using "political, cultural, societal, religious, [and] intellectual tools" to achieve the same goal of Islamic domination”

    I don’t get why so many people can SEE this when it comes to Christian fundamentalism, and politically and symbolically resist the Christian fundamentalists, but can’t seem to see it when it comes to Muslims, and politically and symbolically resist Muslims. I don’t mean either fundamentalist Christians or Muslims should have their property or religious rights infringed by the state, but protesting their influence, calling attention to the danger of their philosophies, calling attention to their political goals, using free speech rights to resist their political goals, etc. seems reasonable. The difference, I suppose, is that there are no “radical Christians” routinely blowing shit up in the name of Jesus, so there’s no fear of equating fundamentalist Christians who want to use the legal system to gradually and slowly achieve Christian domination with all of those Christians who are blowing shit up in the name of Jesus and murdering innocent women and children in the name of Jesus.

    But the same people who resist Christian fundamentalism tooth and nail get all bent out of shape when people issue words of caution about Muslims. Craziness.

    The problem isn’t that they don’t have a legal and constitutional right to build there. The problem is that liberal and moderate politicians have begun to pander to Muslims for fear of being called bigots, in a way they would never, ever, pander to fundamentalist Christians or Orthodox Jews. This is just one of many signs of that. If Christians and Jews had as easy a time getting through the red tape as Muslims to expand schools, community centers, and places of worship, this would not be the sign of pandering it is. When governments show themselves willing to pander to Muslims for fear of, at worst, being blown up, at best, being called bigots, that’s a sign of caution. This “mosque” infringes on the rights of no one, but the spirit of pandering will gradually mean accommodations that WILL infringe on the rights of others, and already we are seeing privileges for Muslims that are not enjoyed by members of other religions. This I think is what really has people so riled up – the lack of a SPIRIT of resistance to the expansion of a religion that really is not at all consistent with liberalism, despite the presence of a spirit of resistance to the expansion of OTHER religions that are at least somewhat consistent with such principles.

  • zoltan||

    I don't waste my time resisting the building of churches, mosques, synanogues. I waste my time arguing that most of religion is crap and not worthy my time.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    The problem in the USA is that Christianity is a majority religion; Islam is not. I agree that there are stealth theocrats in both, but obviously the one more dangerous is going to be the one which already has a majority of adherents (and thus, possibly easier to coax or have acquiesce into theocracy).

  • ||

    if islam were only a religion building there temple anywhere would be consistent with the values of the nation. however, given that islam is a both a religion and a system of governance intent on displacing the governance of its host it should be treated with careful consideration.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So don't vote for any Mooselin candidates. Problem solved.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Muslims and Atheists are mostly tied on "what candidate I would never vote for" polls.

    Of course, Obama, by being thought of as a Muslim, is probably going to harm American Islam more than bin Laden did.

  • It's always 4:20!||

    I find that those who criticize people suspicious of Muslims know next to nothing about the religion.
    They do not understand that Islam is a way of life, complete with its own system of economics, law and government.
    True Islam can only be practiced in an Islamic state that follows the Islamic system of economics, law and government.
    Violence committed towards that goal is completely justified.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    True Islam cannot be practiced within any state, period. Complete submission to God comes with zero submission to fellow human. That, of course, both historically and now hasn't stopped Muslims from governing or seeking to govern countries in the name of Islam. But literally, it is about as apolitical / crypto-anarchist as Jehovah's Witnesses are. And yes, Muslims have a lower threshold than Witnesses for responding with violence to perceived prosecution, I am not denying it.

  • mr burns||

    wrong. god appoints one man as his emissary and complete obedience is due that man (the caliph) . That is how all islamic states have been/are organzied . Violence in the acheivement and expansion of such states is the duty of every muslim (that would be jihad) .

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Like Saddam Hussein, the “Ground Zero Mosque” is yet another not-involved entity to be linked to 9/11. At this point, you have to believe that the still-at-large bin Laden is the only Muslim the Spite Right doesn’t blame for the WTC attack.

  • ||

    I find it amusing that the "issues" that are surrounded by the most vociferous arguing are the ones that a) have no direct impact on the arguers lives, and b) will be completely forgotten about shortly.

    Does anyone here honestly believe that we will be having this debate(I sully that word to describe what occurs above with it)in a year, or that anyone will care?

    This bullshit is the rope in which we are slowly hanging ourselves with.

    Do you all really give a shit about this mosque...really? It's not as if they are building the mosque on your...FACE.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I find it amusing that I was all alone two weeks ago Thursday watching a little show on FoxBiz which you might remember.

  • ||

    I was in the woods for two weeks doing my survivalist/militia/camping/roasting marshmallows thing.

    This Thursday it will be on like Donkey Kong.(if there is a new episode)

    Let's hope for a mosque episode, we will crush that shit...lamentations of their women and such!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Militia thing, eh? Say helloooooo to the DHS watch list!

    I can't imagine mosque controversies would be Stossel's thing, unless he wants to address the whole Manhattan zoning system (or they try to enforce a sharia law against moustaches).

  • ||

    I could see The 'Stache attacking this issue from the property rights angle, to be sure.

    I mean, what say should an eft from Georgia have on what gets built by private groups in NYC?

    DHS already came, but they were too charmed by our down home cooking and true grit(which we are chock full of)to bust anyone. A fun time was had by Aul*.

    *Aul is the small Indian boy who washes the dishes for the camp, he had a good time.

  • ||

    Yes, there many people that really do care about the building of this "mosque", and its because they have a different perspective than yours... a perspective that is cause for genuine concern based on what they (we) have come to know about Islam. And what we have come to also realize, is that these "Islamists" are counting heavily on there only being a few that see it for what it is, and that there are many, many more that have the perspective that this is nothing to be concerned about. So, yes. We REALLY do care about this.

  • ||

    based on what they (we) have come to know about Islam.


    And of course, EVERYTHING you've "come to know" about Islam comes bias-free and 100% accurate and in-context, and allowing for varying interpretations.

  • ||

    It ain't that hard to read the Quran and the commentaries on it. I've got three. A translation, one in Arabic, and one audiobook. The audiobook is easiest.

    What else is there to know about Islam that is not there in the word of Allah?

  • Psychic Octopus||

    Surely then you can now explain the differences and feuds among rival Islamic factions.

  • ||

    Don't give me that shit, sparkles. The mosque will go up, nothing bad will happen, and everybody will move on to more trite and banal issues to rage against.

    Remember Terry Schiavo, anyone still bitching about that?

  • Mary Schindler||

    [Raises hand]

  • ||

    well, you just brought her up....

  • Marcello||

    +1. Thanks, Jacob.

  • ||

    The average 14-17-year-old girls sends 100 text messages per day.

    Very few things make me feel old, but this hits the spot.

  • ||

    For the Morning Links. If people would leave me alone I could avoid work properly.

  • ||

    another disappointing read from reason magazine...yawn...like I really need another source of news to weigh in on whether Bloomberg, Obama, and Gingrich are right or wrong. Is there any chance at all this building (whether it be a mosque or a church or some other place of worship) isn't somehow benefitting from taxpayers? Reason should let me get past what I find in other magazines, but it doesn't. Reason is meant to stimulate, not bore.

  • ||

    Is there any indication that there will be more than one or two articles in the print edition on this?

    Blogs, I'm sure you know, are a tad different from print media.

  • ||

    To those of us who think, this is obviously a completely fabricated non-issue that is being pursued by the ignorant, the gullible and the frightened. Where were the howls when a mosque was opened in the Pentagon? Oh that’s right, it wasn’t an election year. If you are caught up in this rhetorical nonsense then perhaps you should find something else to wring your hands about because I can promise you that in a couple of months or so this absurd story will be forgotten and the right wing will have found other witches to burn.

  • ||

    If we spent this much time worrying about what was respectful and proper for us to do in Muslim countries, we would never have had a 9/11.

  • mr burns||

    foretunately that is carefully spelled out in sharia law. Pay the dhimmi tax (during which you should expect to be slapped and or have your beard pulled), walk , never ride or otherwise show yourself in public in a manner in which you could appear to be superior, in any way, to any muslim, wear special demeaning clothing and never let anyone witness the practice your religion. You should also be aware that your testimony is not accepted in sharia courts (so be prepared to be stolen from and otherwise mistreated).

  • Draco||

    What I found most interesting about Jacob's piece is his having found it necessary to insert this into the argument:

    the avowedly moderate, pluralistic, and ecumenical backers of Park 51

    And this isn't the first time I've seen someone refer to the moderate nature of the particular group backing this house of worship.

    I conclude that the level of moderation is an important element of the argument for or against the house of worship (or it wouldn't be mentioned, again and again).

    So, my question is, on a scale of 1 to 100 where 1 is "they are really a bunch of Unitarians who have been misidentified," to 100 being "open members of a death and terror cult, preaching death, destruction, and overthrow of the city, state, and federal governments and general mass murder in the name of their religion" when do the scales tip? When does it become legitimate to ban the house of worship?

    If you say "never" then I'd like to revisit the argument over whether the right to bear arms includes thermonuclear weapons. If you say "87" then I guess you agree with Gingrich in principle, and you are just arguing about the tipping point.

  • R. Whittell||

    I couldn't disagree with the premise any more. The issue has little to do with religious freedom or the Constitution. It has to do with common sense and a sense of decency.

    Had the President come out and said something like, "There is no question that you have the right to do this, but part of being a free people is respecting the rights of those who disagree. In this particular case, because the atrocities associated with the WTC were committed in the name of Islam, it would be best if this group would take their business to another site." Instead, Obama dodged the issue by trying to have it both ways without really committing to anything; all too common for him. And the left has jumped on this as a case of intolerance on the right which is ridiculous. (No one I know who is opposed to this idea is opposed to the center itself, only its location.)

    There are two reasons why this makes sense. The first is that symbols are important and the symbolism associated with this site will do, and already has done, more harm than good. Second, it is appropriate for Muslims around the world to see that we are very sensitive to the events of 9/11, and sensitive to religious freedom. In opposing this, without any authority to do anything, the President would have forced moderate Muslims around the world to realize that there needs to be a clear and defined separation between Islam and radical terrorists. And there simply is not enough public evidence of that to warrant ignoring the potential ill effects this will have, including millions of Muslims who will laugh and see this as a symbol of Islam peeing on the graves of 3,000 innocent Americans.

  • Bill||

    I couldn't agree more

  • Bill||

    Hey Sullum, did you ever get beat up when you were a kid? If not, it's hard to believe. You sure like to provoke the hell out of people. Maybe you and Newt should sit down and have a debate. I'd like to watch that.

  • ||

    Mr Sullum is flat-out wrong: Rauf discredited himself and his cause when he repeatedly claimed on live TV that "the US has more Muslim blood on its [sic] hands than al-Qaida." Even a rudimentary knowledge of history shows that ever since the battle of Karbala (9th Cy) Muslims have been massacring each other with great enthusiasm. Even the bombings of recent years have killed or injured far more Muslims than they did "infidels." As for the children who perished after the international embargo on Iraq, they were killed by Saddam. There was always enough resources to obtain food and medicine: He bought weapons. Why doesn't a magazine with REASON on its cover know history?

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  • ||

    oh, newt, how you disappoint me.

    i thought he was the least of the evils trying to be the next prez.

    i am surprised, i thought i couldnt feel any more cynical towards our politicians

  • Paul A'Barge||

    Sir, just where were you when the Islamists dropped the two World Trade Center towers?

  • ||

    "Gingrich cites the project's original name, Cordoba House, as proof of Rauf's aggressive intentions, calling Cordoba "a symbol of Islamic conquest." Yet Rauf, rather more plausibly, says the name was intended to evoke the Golden Age of Spain under the relatively tolerant Cordoba Caliphate, a period when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in what, by the standards of the Middle Ages, qualified as harmony.

    What a load of crap. If they weren't rubbing it in Spain's face, why would they have had to CONVERT THE EXISTING CATHEDRAL into a mosque if they weren't showing dominance? Yeah, that's what I call tolerant. You won't be happy till these losers immolate 3,000 more innocents.

    From wiki on the Cordoba mosque: The building was begun in approximately AD 600 as the Christian Visigothic church of St. Vincent.[2] After the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom the Emir Abd ar-Rahman I bought the church.[3] Abd ar-Rahman I and his descendants reworked it over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784.

  • mark||

    And now its a mosque again for Christs sake

  • دردشة||

    thanks

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

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