War on Terror

Newt Gingrich on Intolerable Religious Freedom

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In response to my post about the Manhattan mosque controversy, a reader asked me to clarify whether the critics of the project that I mentioned—Abe Foxman, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich—have demanded government intervention to stop it or have merely urged its backers to relocate it. Foxman's organization, the Anti-Defamation League, acknowledges that "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 ADL also condemns "the bigotry some have expressed in attacking them." Nevertheless, it says, "We believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found."

Palin's comments on the subject have been more ambiguous. One of her Tweets, for example, asked "Peaceful New Yorkers" to "pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real." While it's impossible to say for sure what Palin's idiosyncratic definition of refute is, probably she means something like reject. Assuming that's right, she could be suggesting political action, or she could be saying that New Yorkers should express their opposition to the project and thereby persuade its sponsors to pick a different site.

Gingrich has been clearer in calling for government action. In a recent Fox News interview, he said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate the mosque's financing, implying that the money is coming from illegal sources. He added (my emphasis):

I find it very offensive to get lectured about religious liberty at a time when there are no churches and no synagogues in Saudi Arabia and when no Christian and no Jew can walk into Mecca….I'd love to have these folks say, "Let's build a church and a synagogue in Mecca, or rather Saudi Arabia, and that would balance off our having an interfaith mosque [in lower Manhattan]." They're not saying that. It is entirely one-sided. It is entirely, I think, a kind of triumphalism that we should not tolerate.

Would those who objected when I called Palin and Gingrich "jingoistic dimwits" still like to defend the proposition that he is too smart for that label? First he equates the mosque's avowedly moderate, pluralistic, and ecumenical backers with Saudi Arabia's oppressive theocrats. Maybe the project's supporters are putting on a show, but Gingrich does not make that case. Instead he treats all Muslims as a hostile, undifferentiated collective. In any case, the notion that there can be a mosque in lower Manhattan only when there is a church or synagogue in Mecca is an absurd non sequitur. People who want to exercise their religious freedom in this country don't have to "balance off" anything. That is their right, even if people who share their religion do not extend the same guarantee when they're in charge of another country's government. Since when is a foreign state's intolerance an excuse to trample people's constitutional rights?

NEXT: Manuel Ayau, R.I.P.

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  1. Given the fact that the Palin statement occurred while the decision to allow the mosque to be built was still being taken, I always took her statement as a request that the New Yorkers in charge of the planning commissions reject the mosque and prevent it from being built.

    If it’s ambiguous, it’s because she is too inarticulate for us to be sure what she was asking for.

    1. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    2. First of all, I asked “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” the plan.

      Also, I am honored to consider myself in league with neologists like Shakespeare.

      1. Enough with all the words. Lemme check out your uterus.

        1. Gross. Just fucking gross.

        2. I hear it’s covered in wood paneling and filled with empty cans of Coors Light.

    3. Personally , the religion is one of hatred,and in its design specifically targets all outsiders for either conversion or death, therefore I would go so far to say that any attempt to build an Islamic church, anywhere, is not only an insult to every religion everywhere but, an outright threat to all people who do not practice Islam. What ever you might say as far as ” well these people that are building this mosque are all moderate Islams” your point is? The religion itself is a threat to everyone, until Islam makes an offshoot that doesn’t include half the original Kuran( you know, just the parts about killing infidels and what not) the very existence of their members, mosques, teachings and anything related to them should be rejected. While this idea may sound fascist, its merely in the interest of preservation of the American ideal, that being “live and let live”, something in which Islam is not holding up its end of the bargain.

      1. I’m shutting up about all this.

        The Democrats are headed for a beatdown in November, so I’m not looking to do anything that might fuck that up.

        Let’s talk about Obamacare.

      2. Colossal douche. I guess the mosques in Akron and Kent that have been there for years before 9/11 are threatening me. Time to feel threatened!

        The first sentence is a keeper, though. “Personally, the religion is…” Tremendous.

        1. yes thats what i said,they are all equally offensive

          1. So you’re saying that the hundreds of thousands of people near the many hundreds of mosques should all be freaking out right now?

            1. if they new the truth of what Islam is, they should be outraged

    4. In other words, if Palin’s words don’t match your preconceived notions of her, it can only be because she is too stupid to put her thoughts into words. Wow, you’ve just set up a non-falsifiable Word view. This explains much about you, Fluffy.

  2. Someone out there still thinks you’re a “pot-smoking Republican,” or even a secret neocon.

    Signify!

    1. What the fuck does this have to do with party? You keep trying to make some point about that. And failing.

  3. It is entirely one-sided. It is entirely, I think, a kind of triumphalism that we should not tolerate.

    So let’s not tolerate it.

    Let’s break off diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and put trade sanctions on them.

    I’m game.

    1. But the Bushes are having us for dinner next week!

    2. I’m not a fan of trade sanctions against Saudi Arabia, but I would be glad to see us pull the navy back and let the GCC defend the Arabian Guld themselves.

  4. The Vatican is also a state.

    Let’s not allow any Catholic Churches to be built until you can get an abortion at the Vatican.

    1. Thde vatican is a square mile that houses only the highest offices of the Catholic Church. Nobody lives inside it who isn’t a priest or a monk or nun.

      1. So what?

        If we can punish American Muslims for the offenses of foreign governments, why can’t we punish American Catholics for the offenses of foreign governments?

        1. I’m not saying they shouldn’t legally be allowed to build it. It’s not a punishment to tell someone that they are being rude and have offended you.

          1. Newt Gingrich isn’t saying someone is being rude and has offended him. He’s saying since countries with large Muslim populations and Islam as the state religion don’t allow other religious centers of worship, then somehow the U.S. should not allow Muslims to have a place of worship. He’s a real smart one.

            1. Actualy, he is not saying that. He’s saying that Muslims have no business lecturing Americans about religious tolerance.

      2. The government of Ireland is dominated by Catholics and has made blasphemy a crime.

        No more churches for Catholics! Put that construction shovel DOWN, Patrick!

        1. That is fucking idiotic and you know it. Ireland has never attacked the US in the name of Catholicism. No one is claiming that you can’t build a mosque anywhere in America because Saudi Arabia is awful. This is about this mosque in this place.

          That is just piss poor logic.

          1. That’s exactly right, John. Fluffy was using Gingrich’s logic in a different example to show how stupid it is.

            Now if we can just get you to realize that comparing Muslims to Nazis and the KKK is stupid as well, we’ll have made some great progress today!

            1. Because all Muslims are wonderful people. They are not really people actually. More sort of enlightened beings incapable of any evil.

              Maybe we can have an honest conversation about Islam in this country instead of every guilty white person trying make themselves feel better about the poor brown people.

              1. “Because all Muslims are wonderful people. They are not really people actually. More sort of enlightened beings incapable of any evil.”

                You just can’t get your head out of this collectivist thinking can you?

                Let me try to explain this to you again.

                The KKK and the National Socialists were both groups that were formed with the purpose to eliminate what they saw as racial impurities. They are/were largely homogeneous organizations with express goals.

                Islam, on the other hand, is a religion which contains over a billion adherents. These adherents are themselves extremely diverse, consisting of a variety of races, cultures, and political persuasions. Some of these adherents are also violent extremists willing to kill to spread their views.

                This is where the stupid is, John. Those violent extremists are a small part of a huge group of people. Do you think there is such a thing as a moderate Nazi or a moderate Klansmen?
                No, the entire group is based on extremism.

                If this Mosque was being built by Al Qaeda, then your comparison with Nazis and the KKK would be a good one.

                But you don’t do that, you collapse all Muslims together. That is why you are a bigot.

              2. Holy shit, John. Have you managed to hack into the Muslim subspace hive-mind transmissions? This could be as big as capturing an enigma machine.

              3. You know, I really think it’s comical that you try to assert that I am a guilty white person when I go around saying that the Civil Rights Act should be repealed and that employment, housing and so-called-public accomodations discrimination on the basis of race should be legal.

                Yup! More white guilt on display here! Step right up!

              4. “”Maybe we can have an honest conversation about Islam in this country””

                That would require not using the fallacy of generalization.

          2. No one is claiming that you can’t build a mosque anywhere in America because Saudi Arabia is awful.

            Except perennial presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, quoted above. I invite you to join me in denouncing his comments.

            1. Consider yourself joined. This guy is an idiot and trying to appeal to the so-con/neo-con morons (feel like I should write mo-ron for some reason).

          3. John, that feeling around your neck is a noose you threaded with your own words. You’re smarter than this.

        2. The Catholics are good on this one — The Carmelite nuns left Auschwitz in order to avoid hurt feelings.

      3. But shouldn’t they have the right to have babies (or not)?

  5. I am really growing to hate the word “balance.”

  6. Gingrich’s point about church’s not being allowed in Saudi Arabia is valid, even if that doesn’t justify restricting Muslim’s religious liberty in the US.

    Personally, I’m not terribly fond of the mosque plan, myself. Not that it should be banned per se, but I think that trying to build one close to ground zero is a tad rude.
    Show some fucking respect, you know?

    1. If Gingrich’s point doesn’t justify restricting liberty here, then in what way is it valid? It’s just a big non-sequitur.

      1. Well, it would justify it, if we were following a tit-for-tat kind of rule, or if we were interested in Christian-vs-Muslim equity.

        But we’re operating on different principles from them.

    2. +1.

      Here’s my thought experiment, which I think is better than Newt’s, if more complicated.

      Suppose that US forces accidentally killed 3,000 Iraqi civilians in a mistaken bombing f-up, and that this became a signal tragedy in the Iraqi national congress. Then suppose that a christian group proposed to build a 13 story church 600 feet from the site in the name of engagement.

      Would anyone really argue that it was unreasonable to complain about it, because of fear that your complaints might be interpreted as advice to the Iraqi zoning board?

      Ok, somebody probably would, but they would be wrong.

      IMHO, Foxman’s comments are completely reasonable and every bit as first amendment protected as the mosque. Gingrich’s comments are outrageous. Palin should have been more precise, but “precision,” “Palin,” and “Twitter” are hard concepts to include in the same set.

      1. D’oh. “national conciousness”, not “congress”. Sorry!

      2. Have you seen the US Embassy in Iraq? I think you need a better example.

        1. The embassy in Baghdad is a giant church? Wow.

          1. No. I just wanted to give reference to an actual occurrence of the hypothetical situation that was posted. After all, it’s not about religion – it’s about people’s sensibilities being offended – right?

            We did kill innocent people in Iraq. We decided on some prime real estate for our embassy after our conquest. The people in Baghdad didn’t want it there, didn’t want it to be ?berfuckingmassive, said fuck off, and we built it anyway.

            1. They must not have objected strongly enough. And teh Islams will do the same here if we don’t stop them!

              </sarcasm>

    3. I find myself in agreement.

    4. It’s not rude at all. The people who are building this mosque have no relevant connection to the 9/11 terorrists. How exactly is building a mosque disrespectful to the victims of 9/11? Can anyone explain that?

      It’s a “tad” more rude to say “you offend us because you’re Muslim and the terorrists were Muslim, so could you do that terrori… I mean Muslim stuff somewhere else?”

      1. This. I don’t see how this can be considered rude or offensive. Lumping all Muslims into one group that has to bee extra sensitive about 911 is dumb, just like PC white liberal guilt is. Life goes on. New York is a city, not a monument to 911. People build things where they can. Deal.

        1. So Germans shouldn’t be extra sensitive about the Holocaust?
          Shouldn’t avoid holding Octoberfest down the street from Aushwitz?

      2. The people who are building this mosque have no relevant connection to the 9/11 terorrists.

        I disagree. Being of the same faith, when the attacks were done in the name of that faith, is a relevant connection.

        Especially given that historically Muslims have been in the habit of building mosques on top of the sites of their victories over other religions. Which is probably how Islamist Muslims see the attacks.

        1. So I assume you believe that whites owe blacks reparations for the slavery issue because, well, of the connection….

          1. Excellent point. I’m sure that new Disney ride at the location of the old Congo Square in New Orleans won’t raise any complaints.

            You know the one, where they chain you and your friends in a cramped, windowless hellhole for the duration of the ride?

          2. How is not building a mosque near the site of an attack by Muslims equivalent to “owing reparations” ?

            It’s more like saying that whites shouldn’t make slavery jokes in front of blacks.

            Anyway, being white is not a choice. Religion is. Presumably, by the definition of religion, all Muslims share certain beliefs. And those beliefs were the motivation for the attacks. So you can’t exactly say there is no fucking relationship whatsoever between these Muslims and those other Muslims. If there was no fucking relationship, they would be two different religions.

            1. Especially given that historically Muslims have been in the habit of building mosques on top of the sites of their victories over other religions.

              Hazel, although there are many sects in the Islamic religion, many of which absolutely hate each other, you are quite correct in pointing out this practice.

              One other aspect of the various sects of Islam that seems to go unmentioned is the interchangeable relationship of the political and religious class. Quite often the very same people.

              Anyone claiming that there is no political connection regarding this mosque is simply ignoring the common function of Islamic religious practice.

    5. I wonder how “rude” it is to those Muslims who saw family members, friends and acquaintances die in the attacks. Their religion doesn’t matter and is offensive and shameful to everyone else, right?

      Would it be wrong to build a science center near the Oklahoma City bombing site? As McVeigh said/wrote, “Science is my religion.”

      Would it be wrong to build a Christian church near a site where an abortion clinic was bombed, or near a site where a black man was lynched?

      1. Would it be wrong to build a science center near the Oklahoma City bombing site? As McVeigh said/wrote, “Science is my religion.”

        Did McVeigh yell “Science is Great!” as he blew up the building? Does “Science” have a history of violent supression of other beliefs?

        Would it be wrong to build a Christian church near a site where an abortion clinic was bombed, or near a site where a black man was lynched?

        Was the abortion clinic run by a bunch of atheists? Was the black man lynched in the name of Christianity?

        1. Was the black man a non-Chrstian who was lynched in the name of Christianity, I mgiht add.

  7. Good for you, Jacob.

  8. I was a big Palin supported in 2008, but the fact that we’re deconstructing her 120 character tweets like it’s Talmudic exegesis is a little too much. Once she quit her job, she’s nothing but Katy Perry with a deer rifle.

    1. There is something about Palin that touches beltway journalists somewhere deep in their souls. Slate writes more scare stories about Palin than they do ass kissing stories about Obama. Why anyone is deconstructing her tweets is beyond me. And remember these same people think she is an idiot with no political future.

      1. Why anyone is deconstructing her tweets is beyond me.

        When someone’s statements don’t make sense using the normal rules of English, your choices are to either ignore them or attempt to parse what the heck they were trying to say.

        And given that a large number of disturbed individuals consider Palin a legitimate candidate for the presidency, I don’t think we can afford to ignore her.

        1. There is only a limited amount of time to read things. Personally, I think policies are more interesting than politicians. How many treaties, bills, ordinances, executive orders did you look at this week? I’m up to 4 so far, and it’s only Wednesday.

      2. And remember these same people think she is an idiot with no political future.

        I think they really believe she is an evil genius with a bright political future, hence the dismissive obsession.

        1. As if republicans will vote a quitter for commander in chief.

          Candidates can say all kinds of crap, but the republicans will hammer you with anything that makes you look like a weak commander in chief during an election cycle.

    2. I wish Palin would keel over and die, personally.

      She does have a limited value as a focal point for Team Blue slavering retardation, but she’s too retarded herself for it to be of much worth.

      1. Hopefully she can take all the heat off a good Republican candidate in 2012… If said candidate exists.

    3. Does Katy Perry support jury nullification too?

    4. Does Katy Perry support jury nullification too?

      1. I thought that “Hot n Cold” was all about energy policy and jury nullification.

    5. I think the fact that thousands of people are deconstructing Palin’s tweet is a sad commentary on the people deconstructing the tweet. It doesn’t reflect much on Palin.

  9. Gingrich is an underwiped taint on a hundred-degree day. He’s looking for the Repubican nomination in 2012 and trying to get some early populist digs in.

    Can I say with certitude that conservatives hold Muslims responsible for 9/11?

  10. We came over here to hide from Balko’s stories about cops killing dogs.

    We’re OK with the mosque. 1st Amendment and all that.

  11. So did any of the Mosque defenders here defend the right of the San Diego cross to exist?

    Oooh, but that was public land. Got me there. But please tell me how the cross was more divisive than this mosque.

    Sub me: You can say with certitude that the sentient and sane hold Muslims responsible for 9-11.

    1. That’s weird, I always held the terorrists who did it repsonsible for 9/11…

      To each his own I suppose.

    2. Which of those 2 billion Muslims are responsible?

      Yes, there is a difference between public and private land. Welcome to libertarianism.

    3. I don’t know what a San Diego cross is. But divisiveness is not an issue here. The fact that assholes like you lump all Muslims in with terrorists is.

  12. “I find it very offensive to get lectured about religious liberty at a time when there are no churches and no synagogues in Saudi Arabia and when no Christian and no Jew can walk into Mecca.”

    Hey Newt! Those places don’t have a Bill of Rights either! Let’s suspend ours until they get one!

    1. That’ll learn ’em!

    2. Please! Don’t give him any ideas!

      Of course, he has probably thought of that. Watch your earthlink news scroll for updates.

  13. So your point is we shouldn’t tolerate the speech of people who don’t tolerate the religious beliefs of others.

    I’ll stick with my belief that people are free to object, protest, condemn, yell, scream, cuss, denigrate etc. etc. any idea or belief they want. And people are also free to pray to, idolize or worship the great spaghetti monster,he who must not be drawn, or Captain Kirk.

    1. “So your point is we shouldn’t tolerate the speech of people who don’t tolerate the religious beliefs of others.”

      If that’s the point you got out of reading this, then I’m afraid all you have left in your skull are bees.

    2. “So your point is we shouldn’t tolerate the speech of people who don’t tolerate the religious beliefs of others.”

      What? Saying someone’s views are wrong =/= not tolerating those views. Did anyone say we should not allow Newt and Palin to speak their mind?

    3. Yes they are. And by the same token, I can call them assholes or idiots for doing so.

  14. I find it very offensive to get lectured about religious liberty at a time when there are no churches and no synagogues in Saudi Arabia and when no Christian and no Jew can walk into Mecca

    What. The. Fuck.

    “I find it very offensive to get lectured about religious liberty free speech at a time when there are no churches and no synagogues laws protecting it in Saudi Arabia and when no Christian and no Jew can walk into speak at Mecca”

    Yeah, that makes a lot more fucking sense.

    1. They both make sense. I would be pretty offended to be lectured in my own country about free speech by a Saudi.

      1. Our rights should be determined by the tolerance of same in other countries?

        Seriously?

        Let me get my stoning shoes on, then.

      2. The vast majority of the people objecting to Newt’s comments are not Saudis.

      3. Kind of like being lectured about immigration policies by the president of mexico.

        1. Or being lectured by Newt Gingrich about civil liberties.

  15. I’m sure I’m going to get skewered for defending Newt here, but I saw another interview where he made a slightly better argument…the mosque is clearly a political act, first of all. Anyone with half a brain can see that it is an attempt at provocation. If their aim were truly to unite everyone, they would have decided to build some sort of interfaith center (Newt’s words paraphrased, I agree). We can’t exactly wage war on a religion, but the extremely close ties between the religion and the movement make it difficult to distinguish what we need to be looking at as far as acts of aggression, etc. I live in Houston, and not too long the feds raided some mosques because of their financial ties to terrorist organizations. I don’t think the federal government should necessarily intervene, but this at least needs to be viewed as an act of aggression by high ranking Muslim extremists. Think about it this way…do you think the average American Muslim thinks this is a good idea? I can’t imagine that this is improving interfaith relations, and it is probably worsening the general perception of Islaam in this country. I just can’t see it as anything but political, and I feel sorry for any politican that has to take a stance on what to do about this.

    1. Forgot the CYA language…when I say ties between religion and movement, I mean the extremists in the religion and by movement I mean the Cordoba initiative.

    2. I feel sorry for any politican that has to take a stance on what to do about this.

      I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they have a fucking say in the business of private individuals pursuing their own ends on their own property.

      1. Right…it is private property, so we have to respect the Constitution. But we also need to treat it as an act of aggression, in my opinion, thus creating the dilemma. What are we supposed to do about an act of agression that doesn’t break any laws? I’m not sure I understand what part of my comment you are arguing against or why you are using profanity.

        1. We need to treat building a community center on your own property as an act of aggression? Did you just say that?

        2. But we also need to treat it as an act of aggression

          Really? You have a mighty strange definition of aggression. Where I’m from, aggression involves, you know, actual violence.

          The fact that you view this as aggressive and provocative says more about your own limited abilities than than the supposed propriety of this building.

        3. In what way is it an act of aggression? They own the land, they can do what they want with it. How far away from the WTC site would it have to be to not be an act of aggression?

          There are already mosques closer to the WTC site than the proposed one. Are these acts of aggression?

          And should churches be disallowed from downtown Atlanta because the Olympic park bomber was a christian fundamentalist? Would building a church two blocks away from that site be “aggressive”?

          What opponents of the mosque are trying to do is lump all Muslims together, which is not only counterproductive to our actual struggle against radical Islam, but also a dickish thing to do.

          1. To flugger’s point, the location is intentional. We know this because their explanation for the location specifically says it is intentional. The question is, do you take their entire explanation at face value? I don’t. Also, I will make a concession about the act of “aggression.” Definitionally, it isn’t. You are right. Probably the word I was looking for was “provacation.” Any way you slice it, it is a slap in the face, and, in my opinion, completely intentional. As far as the whole “you can do anything you want in your own backyard” argument, I agree. However, I don’t think ignoring the obvious is in the interest of our nation, and we need to monitor the actions of Muslim extremists, and the groups with which they affiliate themselves (like this one). Are they free to do whatever they want on their own property? Absolutely. But practicing common sense and upholding the constitution aren’t mutually exclusive in this case. We need to understand this for what it is.

            1. I don’t think ignoring the obvious is in the interest of our nation, and we need to monitor the actions of Muslim extremists, and the groups with which they affiliate themselves (like this one).

              How many radically militarized sufi groups can you think of?

      2. It’s NY City. They gave up on private property there a long time ago, didn’t they?

    3. Rebuilding Ground Zero into Freedom Palza or whatever its called is a political act as well – tit for tat – I’d prefer they just put in some condos and strip malls

      1. ? propos of your typo and the Patriot Act, I suggest the site remain a massive pit called “Freedom Palsy.” All prominent statists will launch political campaigns nearby, where attendees can bring approved food and beverages during specified hours.

    4. Anyone with half a brain can see that it is an attempt at provocation.

      When did right-wingers become the easily offended little bitches they used to decry the left for being?

      Take your perpetual victimhood somwhere else.

      1. When did right-wingers become the easily offended little bitches they used to decry the left for being?

        Take your perpetual victimhood somwhere else.

        Amen! The day the right learns to control its collective bladder can’t come soon enough.

    5. Anyone with half a brain can see that it is an attempt at provocation.

      Ahh, the divination of intent strikes again!

      If their aim were truly to unite everyone, they would have decided to build some sort of interfaith center

      Ummm…that’s pretty much exactly the intent. There will be a mosque-like prayer space inside, but it’s first and foremost a community center, education center and place for interfaith dialogue.

    6. Speaking of an interfaith center at Park 51, the Wall Street Journal had an update this week. The builders of the Islamic center at Ground Zero have modified their plans in response to criticism. Proposed changes include having an interfaith oversight board to check that funding sources are legitimate and having a 9/11 memorial on the Park 51 property.

  16. So now that Saudi Arabia is banning Blackberries, does Newt propose that all Blackberries be scrapped for iPhones and Android devices?

    1. I support banning iPhones, because Apple provokes me to violence.

      1. Android is the growth market. iPhone has hit its peak.

        1. Yes, we must unite behind Android. It is our only hope.

          1. I may have to jump to Verizon, just so I can get a Droid X.

            1. Mine’s in the mail. I’m gonna root it when it comes.

              For anyone down under, that doesn’t mean what you think it does.

          2. Help me, Google Wan! You’re my only hope!

  17. big government conservatives like Gingrich and Palin have never really been into private property and freedom and stuff when it doesn’t suit them – the ADL and Foxman jumped the kosher shark a long time ago…

  18. I want to apologize to everyone for ever finding anything that Gingrich had to say as intelligent and relevant.

    He just sounded so damned….sensible…in 1994.

    1. He was sensible in 1994, but only in comparison.

  19. (1) Its their property, they can build what they want on it (subject to the same building codes as everyone else in NYC). The government should treat them impartially.

    (2) Given the mystery of who is really paying for this, and given the fact that they are pushing ahead in the face of a lot of resistance, you’ll pardon me for being skeptical that this is being built to foment reconciliation.

    (3) The decent thing to do would be to build their “reconciliation” mosque w/benefits somewhere else.

    1. And another voice echoes the arguments of residential segregationists.

      “Where did those negroes get all that money to buy this house? They must be dealin in moonshine. And they knows we don’t want their kind around here, so they must be lyin’ when they say they want to improve race relations.”

      1. WTF?

        I get the race card played on me for saying they should be dealt with impartially?

        1. No, I think point (3) was the objectionable one.

          1. #2 is fishy too.

            We’d be applauding anyone else pushing ahead in the face of hyperbolic, mealy-mouthed opposition and telling the authorities to kindly fuck off about where their money comes from.

            1. I don’t know about that… As much as I don’t give a fuck what they do with the property, “fomenting reconciliation” is a phrase that my bullshit detector has trouble with.

              1. Maybe so, but “doing whatever the fuck we want in our own building thankyouverymuch” doesn’t fly with the tender mercies of the chattering class so much, these days. You gotta pay to play.

  20. the mosque’s avowedly moderate, pluralistic, and ecumenical backers

    HAHAHAHA. Yeah Jacob, I love your drug war and anti-nanny state stuff, but please refrain from commenting on Islamic organisation’s shenanigans without deeper research. You won’t find many “ecumenical, pluralist” official Muslim organisations. They’re mostly fronts for Sharia. Don’t believe me? Yes the dimwit Gingrich didn’t make the case, but you could’ve : Imam Rauf of the Islamic Cultural Committee. And AGAIN
    Yeah don’t diss the source without reading it at least, and scrutinizing it if you wish. As a libertarian I’m not against this use of property rights of course. But the Greek Orthodox church destroyed on 9/11 is still not reconstructed due to bureacratic mindfucking, and these same bureacrats are in a rapid rush to push through all permits for this Sharia supremacist mosque.

    1. Your links don’t show any advocacy for Sharia. Not that it would matter anyway; we allow fundamentalist churches advocating jailing homosexuals to be built all over the place.

      1. Actually, the Arabic-language one that PM cites is a Q&A with the good imam about sharia and secular law. He is definitely pro-sharia, but in the sense that the local Catholic bishop is pro-canon law.

        1. And further, the other link says that he supported plural jurisdiction in Britain – i.e., sharia for Muslims.

          I’m finding the assertion provided by the OP that the founders are anything but ecumenical and pro-dialog are refuted by his own sources. The PM article really cherry-picks from the original interview, but I guess you can do that as a journalist when using translated sources.

        2. …in the sense that the local Catholic bishop is pro-canon law.

          And when we find the Catholics attempting to attain supremacy of their religious doctrine over the legal codes, then I’ll buy your comparison.

    2. They’re mostly fronts for Sharia.

      What does this even mean? Seriously?

      1. Is that what Shari Bellafonte goes by now?

      2. Read his sources; he’s…DISCOVERED THE NETWORKS!!!

    3. http://www.reformislam.org
      http://www.muslimsforpeace.org
      Oh, and SCADI has a Facebook page. There are Muslims groups that promote peace. The problem is that most self-appointed American defenders of Islam are too busy pointing at conservatives and calling them bigots to spare a few minutes to advertise worthy Muslim organizations.

      1. “The problem is that most self-appointed American defenders of Islam are too busy pointing at conservatives and calling them bigots to spare a few minutes to advertise worthy Muslim organizations.”

        Heer, Heer

  21. Wait, we’re allowed to use fallacious logic to justify our positions now? Sweet!

    In all seriousness, how can Gingrich try to justify government intervention with a “they won’t let us play with their toy, so they can’t play with ours”?

  22. 1. They are not building a mosque. They are building a cultural center, that has a mosqe in it. It would be stupid to call a hospital a church just because it has a place to worship built within its walls.

    2. The Muslims have a temporary outdoor spot by the WTC they are using now.

    3. Unless the comparison country has the freedom of religion in it’s Constitution, it’s not apt.

    “””What opponents of the mosque are trying to do is lump all Muslims together, which is not only counterproductive to our actual struggle against radical Islam, but also a dickish thing to do.””

    It’s as if people forget we have spent much treasure and life defending Muslims in their own countries. I’ve always found it interesting how some people can defend the Iraq war yet condem Muslims as a whole.

    1. re #1 WTF is a cultural center? Are mega-churches with gyms, cafeterias, daycare, etc. not churches. I don’t understand how the bigassness of this mosque makes it not a bigass mosque. Not that I give a shit about the whathaveyou, but this talking point seems particularly forced.

      1. Think church + convention center + YMCA all put together.

        1. Sounds like a mega-church to me.

          1. A hotel with a chapel is the same? How about Schiphol Airport?

            1. What does a hotel or airport have to do with anything?

              1. Well, you’re calling anything with a place for prayer or worship a church, so I thought I’d throw those in as churches.

                1. So point out other cultural centers that promote one religion and/or provide a place for worship for one religion.

                  “you’re calling anything with a place for prayer or worship a church,”

                  ITT I’ve also called them synagogues, mosques, and hospitals.

                2. A place financed by the Catholic Church and its supporters that centers around a place for Catholic services would hardly be described as a ‘community center’.

        2. Young man, there’s no need to feel down.
          I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
          I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town
          There’s no need to be unhappy.

          Young man, there’s a place you can go.
          I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough.
          You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find
          Many ways to have a good time.

          It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.
          It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

          They have everything that you need to enjoy,
          You can hang out with all the boys …

          It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.
          It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

          You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal
          You can do whatever you feel …

      2. “”Are mega-churches with gyms, cafeterias, daycare, etc. not churches.””

        If it’s a mega-church, then it’s a church by definition. It depends on the primary application of the building. Just as a hospital isn’t a church, gym, daycare center, ect, just because some space is dedicated.

        “”I don’t understand how the bigassness of this mosque makes it not a bigass mosque.””

        You are phrasing that sentence in a way that favors your opinion of it being a mosque.

        1. I don’t understand how the bigassness of the building which contains a mosque and other stuff for Muslims makes it not a bigass mosque.

          1. Do you think a hospital that contains a church, is a bigass church?

            1. The people at a hospital’s other facilities are either sick, related to the sick, or are treating the sick. It is a hospital after all.

              Are you saying the thousands of kids shooting hoops in churches right now are actually in cultural centers?

            2. “If it’s a mega-church, then it’s a church by definition. It depends on the primary application of the building.”

              The sanctuary at mega-churches is used much less than everything else.

      3. It’s like a JCC (Jewish Community Center) but for Muslims.

        1. This is my point. The “cultural center” is a semantic ploy. It’s a Muslim mall just like a JCC or megachurch. But the latter don’t pretend to be anything else. They can’t claim that Islam is a diverse religion stretching from Morocco to Indonesia and also that it’s a culture.

        2. Also I used to live next to a JCC (like I could flick roaches over the condensers). Everyone called it the temple or synagogue or “Jewish building.” Because that’s what it is regardless of any PR strategy.

        3. Yeah, I don’t see much difference between an Islamic center and a mosque either, Sidd Finch. If you ask a JCC member what synagogue he goes to, he’ll say, “The JCC”. Still I don’t think the Park 51 builders are trying to be deceptive any more than JCC builders are. Using a different name advertises that they have a gym too, as opposed to the other temples in the area.

    2. Are non-muslims going to be using the facilities of this cultural center?

  23. Ah yeah, the real libertarians stand out. Rather than take a stand, the coward wing of the Libertarians trots out the private property card. LOL!

    It’s just a community center. And will unicorns be available for nighttime rentals, too?

    Tulpa, where are all these churches calling for homosexuals to be jailed? Will I be able to find one at this new Islamic Community Center?

    1. Rather than take a stand, the coward wing of the Libertarians trots out the private property card.

      Um, that *is* the stand, fucktwaddle.

      Do we need to speak more slowly so you can understand?

      1. It’s a cow for god’s sake, how smart can it be?

    2. Tulpa, where are all these churches calling for homosexuals to be jailed? Will I be able to find one at this new Islamic Community Center?

      If you mean “church” generically to mean “mosque”, then you just might. Assuming this is a moderate mosque that opposes actually executing them, of course.

    3. Tulpa, where are all these churches calling for homosexuals to be jailed?

      Perhaps all the ones that protested when the Supreme Court overturned sodomy bans in twenty-five states?
      Perhaps the ones that stand behind the Family Research Council, which continues to oppose the ruling?
      Perhaps the ones that support the GOP in their efforts to reverse said ruling?

    4. Ah yeah, the real libertarians stand out. Rather than take a stand, the coward wing of the Libertarians trots out the private property card.

      Well, yeah. That’s what makes them libertarians, as opposed to the ACLU.

    5. Uggghhhhhhhh, leave troll.

      You’re a pathetic waste of space and oxygen.

  24. “Rather than take a stand, the coward wing of the Libertarians trots out the private property card.”

    It’s cowardly to stand up for one’s principles?

    Funny, I would’ve thought betraying your principles because of that one thing you find personally icky would be the cowardly thing.

  25. Name me one specific church or clergymen who called for gays to be jailed. Quotes? YouTube video? Your fevered nightmares?

    Anything, Bueller? Oh, but Christians don’t deserve free speech. I forgot.

    Thank Gaia that no Muslims have ever said such horrid things. Yuck! They just incinerate non-believers. Including Libertarians.

    Anyway, this issue isn’t about property rights. The controversy is over taste and sensitivity.

    It’s hilarious to see Libertarians defend a mosque at ground zero. But a cross honoring US soldiers in the desert near San Diego, paid for by private funds and allowed legally to be erected by the Fed. Govt. on its own land, TEAR IT DOWN! TEAR IT DOWN!

  26. I don’t mind the mosque being built at Ground Zero, but I’ve noticed that many of the people supporting it are hypocrites. Where were your protests when Obama declared that Jews are forbidden to buy land and build on it in half of Jerusalem. Is Obama’s policy ok in your book because he’s on the blue team or because it targets Jews?

    1. Targets Jews? How exactly do you make THAT twist? President Obama has been dangerously supportive of israel, to the point that American commanders have clearly stated that Both Afghanistan and Iraq are tied to the rest of the Middle East issues. He has stated and demonstrated numerous times that the health and welfare of the Jewish state trumps the security of American forces in theater. I know that the victim card has worked so effectively for you in the past but let me make something clear, The American people are tired of these never ending wars. We are 14 TRILLION in debt and still backing israel’s false claims against the state of Iran. The American interest is Peace in the Middle East, and allowing settlers to build on clearly disputed land is not a path to peace. The American government supports israel right or wrong to the tune of 3 BILLION annually. So please tell me again how President Obama “targets Jews”? Thanks in advance.

      1. JOOOOZZZ!!!

        1. I take no issue with our fine American Jewish brothers and sisters….as long as they place the best interest of America FIRST, second and third. That goes for our lawmakers as well. I don’t care what your blood is or where you are from, if you want to enjoy American civil liberties on American soil, then you always have the best interest of America at heart. If your race or religion or creed demands subservience to some other pogrom, then you need to go wherever they practice that pogrom. You are welcome to your beliefs in this country as well as long as they are not offensive or abusive towards others. That goes for Christian, Muslim, Jew or anyone else!!

          1. “to the point that American commanders have clearly stated that Both Afghanistan and Iraq are tied to the rest of the Middle East issues.”

            This is obviously true.

            “He has stated and demonstrated numerous times that the health and welfare of the Jewish state trumps the security of American forces in theater.”

            Examples would help your case and word count.

            “still backing israel’s false claims against the state of Iran”

            If Israel is making claims about Iran not supported by other intelligence agencies, I’m all ears.

            “So please tell me again how President Obama “targets Jews”?”

            He’s objectively been the least Israel-friendly since at least Carter. I agree with a lot of it, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore reality.

          2. Effendi, you show no concern that Obama’s policy forbids me, an American Jew, from buying land in certain regions on account of my creed. When I bring up that policy, you accuse me of treason and loyaty to a foreign entity. Look up the “no nothings” I think you would fit right in with them.

      2. Effendi, I see that you were out of the loop when Bidden through a hissy fit on his visit to Israel. Jews got approval from the municipal government of Jerusalem to build homes on land that they bought, and the Obama adminitration freaked out because it got in the way of Obama’s segregationsist plans for Jerusalem. I think I was rather clear when I said:

        Obama declared that Jews are forbidden to buy land and build on it in half of Jerusalem.

        I guess you didn’t read that either. You just went into a knee jerk diatribe the moment anything related to Israel was mentioned.

      3. Pop quiz, Effendi, list all the countries that the USA gives 1 billion dollars or more too each year.

      4. Effendi, bringing up Afghanistan and Iraq is a tired old red herring. I’ve heard that arguement before. It boils down to:

        “Neocon = Jews = Secrete Plot for Middle East Dominance”

  27. In related news, the government of Indonesia is closing 8 mosques, because the congregants belong to a minority sect of Islam.

    1. What is it with the “look how evil they are, why should we be any better” attitude? I’m really glad that I don’t live in country that shuts down my church because I’m a different type of Christian that talks in tongues or plays with snakes. I just don’t subscribe to this Us v Them type of thinking that leads to racial purity pogroms like the KKK, the Nazi’s and zionism. These genocidal hate groups that believe that somehow Their race is somehow better than other races is simply ignorant and a thing of the past. Isn’t it wonderful that here in America we do NOT tell you how, when, why or who you can worship? The rest of the world looks to the United States with envy that we demand our freedom of religion. As far as the whole conversion thing, I have Christian and Muslim friends who both have initiated an excited interest in my soul, I have listened to each and enjoyed their position, but it’s just not for me. I am Much more of a believer in Karma and reincarnation and Nature, so if I was ever forced to chose a religion, it wouldn’t be one of the violent murderous big 3. Lets continue to lead by example rather than constantly point fingers.

      1. GAAIIAAAA!!

      2. Effendi, I happen to blog daily about first amendment rights and sexual freedoms. The post I gave was related to the topic of banning mosques, and it was already on my own blog a while before I read this Reason post. I figured I might as well link to it. Talking about actual actions that a government has taken is much more interesting than talking about the tweets of a couple of private citizens who don’t hold public office. You are the one trading in stereo types. If you had bothered to read the rest of my comments here, you would see that I stand up for the right of the land owners to build the Islamic center at Ground Zero. I guess reading a few lines was too much for you. You just rely on a reflex response. Your thinking boils down to:

        “Jtuf’s not liberal. He must be a racist bigot then!”

      3. Using the “find” function on your browser is probably too difficult for you, Effendi, so here’s a repose of a comment I made over an hour before you accused me of being bigoted against Muslims. I’ve also included Sidd Finch’s response. But hey, we disagreed with you on something, so I guess in your eyes we must be racist bigots.

        jtuf|8.4.10 @ 10:32PM|#
        http://www.reformislam.org
        http://www.muslimsforpeace.org
        Oh, and SCADI has a Facebook page. There are Muslims groups that promote peace. The problem is that most self-appointed American defenders of Islam are too busy pointing at conservatives and calling them bigots to spare a few minutes to advertise worthy Muslim organizations.

        reply to this
        Sidd Finch|8.4.10 @ 11:56PM|#
        “The problem is that most self-appointed American defenders of Islam are too busy pointing at conservatives and calling them bigots to spare a few minutes to advertise worthy Muslim organizations.”

        Heer, Heer

  28. GAAIIAAAA!!

  29. Let ’em build it. Then build a swine farm across the street. And a Jewish deli, and maybe some kind of store specializing in bacon dishes. And a pet store with dogs and pot bellied pigs!
    Be diverse!

    1. Strip shows and bars all up and down the block. Brothels upstairs, and sausage shops in between.

      1. I like that idea, BigT, but brothels are illegal in NYC, and it’s not legal for strip joints to be located close to each other either. Funny how the national leaders on the liberal side are ignoring these much greater infringements on freedoms. I guess strippers aren’t on their list of classes we’re supposed to tolerate.

  30. Newt Gingrich is right. Saudi Arabia Government and Ground Zero Mosque Imam are Hypocrites.

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