Islam

Two Cheers for American Tolerance

The Ground Zero mosque controversy shows that America manages its hatreds better than others

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Sarah Palin has not only revealed herself to be linguistically challenged in "refudiating" the proposed "mosque" near Ground Zero, but also emotionally overwrought. "It stabs hearts," she tweeted to her fellow mosque-bashers. But Palin notwithstanding, the way this country has comported itself during this controversy represents a damn fine moment for humanity. As a naturalized American, let me just say that if every country handled its hatreds as well as this one, this world wouldn't be a half-bad place to live in.

It is painfully obvious that opposition to the Cordoba House, as this structure would be called, is motivated less by a desire to protect the memory of 9/11 victims and more by a knee-jerk suspicion of Muslims. If it were not, mosque-bashers wouldn't have so much difficulty processing some basic but crucial facts about the structure. The "mosque," for instance, is not really a mosque but an Islamic community center–complete with a swimming pool, auditorium, bookstores and restaurants—along the lines of the many YMCAs or Jewish community centers around the country.

It will house a place of worship, but it won't blare muezzin calls summoning Muslims to pray five times a day, suggesting that it has a fairly relaxed attitude toward Quranic strictures. Nor will it be a Muslim-only place where members of other faiths are unwelcome; rather it will be open to anyone willing to pay its dues. Best (or worst) of all, it won't be "on" Ground Zero, but two blocks and a bend away at a spot not visible to World Trade Center visitors.

None of this is preventing some opponents from bizarrely suggesting that the center represents a surreptitious attempt to glorify Islamic victory on American soil. But a victory statement communicated through esoteric means negates itself because such means signal weakness, not strength. What's more, it is one odd victory statement when its alleged authors are not claiming any moral high ground for their putative side. To the contrary, the couple, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, who are spearheading the center, have "refudiated" the 9/11 attacks in particular and Islamic terrorism in general.

They have qualms about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that plenty of nonterrorist Americans would share. And they are Sufis, the moderate and mystical sect of Islam that is known for its refined music and art, not its militancy. In fact, by all auguries, they are modern and liberated Muslims who seem rather embarrassed by the hot-headed jihadis who speak for their religion. Their whole project was conceived in order to highlight the more benign, moderate side of Islam and build bridges with other faiths. Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria is absolutely right when he notes that, "if there is ever going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed mosque."

It is possible that the center is really an elaborate ruse for some sinister anti-American agenda—just as it is possible that America's next president could be a Manchurian candidate installed by the Chinese. But to suspect such an agenda in the face of massive evidence to the contrary testifies to just how deep-seated the suspicion against Muslims is in this country.

But this is precisely why it is all the more remarkable that this resentment hasn't boiled over into active persecution—something that would hardly be possible any place else in the world. To be sure, this controversy has triggered a backlash against other proposed mosques in the country, with opponents holding protest rallies with dogs in tow to taunt Muslims who regard dogs as napaak, or impure. And Republicans in some races have turned this controversy into something of a rallying cry to energize their base.

But that's about the worst of it.

On the other hand, to this country's enormous credit, New York City's Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously rejected demands that it subvert local zoning ordinances allowing houses of worship in the area "as a right" to scuttle the project. (Mosque opponents had wanted the commission to declare the existing Burlington Coat Factory on the site a landmark so that nothing else could be built there.)

The losers have appealed the decision, although they know they have virtually no chance of prevailing. Yet so far they have resorted not to violence but persuasion to convince the couple to go elsewhere. Even Palin's silly tweets are infused with a sweet civility, asking Muslims to reconsider as a gesture of goodwill toward their fellow Americans.

Her request might be wrong-headed, but can anyone think of another country where a major national figure would resort to gentle cajoling to win over members of a vilified minority? Certainly not in continental Europe, which is busy enacting burqa bans for no other reason except that the majority wants to bend a minority to its norms. And it would never happen in India, my native country, where Hindu lynch mobs, aided and abetted by the ruling Congress Party, orchestrated a mini pogrom of Sikhs following the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguard.

It is out of question that a Sikh gurudwara could ever be erected next to Gandhi's residence, where she was assassinated, against the will of the majority Hindu population. And Indian Muslims have yet not been allowed to rebuild the mosque that Hindus led a national march to tear down with their bare hands in 1991—not even as recompense for the bloodletting they visited upon Muslims following the mosque razing.

The point is not to pick on any country. The point is that it is not easy, even for liberal democracies, to rein in the tyranny of the majority. That in America no majority can forcibly evict the imam and his family against his will is not nothing. Nor is the fact that if anyone tried to, they would have to contend with the full force of the law, in contrast to India where the perpetrators of the Sikh and Muslim massacres have still not been brought to justice. No people anywhere has yet found a way to rationally examine its hatreds before venting them. But at least America's commitment to property rights and religious liberties runs deep enough that it can contain that hatred.

America, in short, represents not just how far humanity has yet to travel on the road to complete civility, but how far humanity has already traveled. For now, if the rest of the world just caught up with America, it would be a huge leap forward for the cause of toleration.

Shikha Dalmia is a Reason Foundation senior analyst and a columnist at Forbes. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

NEXT: Hard Lessons

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  1. Good morning again reason!

    1. you mean, Islamic Center?

  2. Shikha, Tim Cavanaugh did this story months ago, “We Don’t Do Backlashes”.

    Best (or worst) of all, it won’t be “on” Ground Zero, but two blocks and a bend away at a spot not visible to World Trade Center visitors.

    Where will the Greek Orthodox St. Nickolas Church be? It was there first.

    1. Yes, John, you said that already. And Tulpa already told you that it is awfully convenient that you are harping on this all of the sudden. Frankly, you did not give a rip about that church until about yesterday.

      1. MNG, are you going to call me John from all of your fake names after every comment I make, or are you going to skip a few?

        1. Lighten up fake-Asian-girl-redneck Francis.

        2. John T,

          It’s not one guy calling you out on your failed advertising scheme…

          Most of us have figured it out.

          It’s annoying, pick a handle and stick with it.

    2. Based on the comments I’ve read, it looks like the preferred copout on this is that it’s the Port Authority and not Mike Bloomberg, so what can you do, and it sucks to be a Greek Orthodox Christian.

      I don’t know how much more pathetic it possibly can get than this.

      1. How is it a copout to say that it’s a completely different governing body in charge of this. You’ll hear no love from me on the Port Authority, their arcane rules and restrictions on allowing people to build whatever the hell they want. However, those height restrictions came because of lobbying from 911 widows and survivors groups. The rule obviously needs to be changed.

        1. Frankly, the church should be getting more attention precisely BECAUSE it’s the Port Authority sticking their nose into a place where it has no business being!

          Honestly, what the hell gives the P.A. any just authority at all over the piece of property on 155 Cedar Street? That’s not a bridge, or a tunnel, or an airport, or a marine terminal.

          1. Because they own some of the land that the church is moving on to.

            Also, all the bitching about Bloomberg ignores that he’s been trying to help the church get built.

            1. I don’t think you get it. I’m not talking about the proposed new location for the church, I’m talking about the original piece of property on 155 Cedar Street that the church still owns.

              1. From Wiki so take it with a grain of salt:

                “On July 23, 2008, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a deal with the leaders of the church for the Port Authority to acquire the 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) lot that the church had occupied for $20 million. $10 million is coming from the Port Authority and $10 million is coming from JPMorgan Chase & Co.”

                If this is true, the PA purchased the land from the church, thus giving them the right to say whatever the hell they want.

                1. After blocking the church for seven years the church gave in to government pressure to sell. That would be the wording for any other land owner in New York.

      2. Also, no one is trying to stop them from rebuilding on their original site. The church is in a dispute with the Port Authority over building on a new site that he PA is giving to the church, along with a large donation, but doesn’t want the church to be built very high. Don’t forget that part, which makes it nothin at all like the Islamic community center scenario since it’s a building size dispute an not bigots trying to stop people from building on their own land. I know someday you’ll understand this.

        1. Also, no one is trying to stop them from rebuilding on their original site.

          No, they’re just saying “you can build here, but if you do we’re going to seize the property.” What kind of a “deal” is that?

          You can try and spin this any way you want to, but the bottom line is that the P.A. is unjustly taking control of the land that the church owns.

          1. I haven’t seen anything about property seizure. That would definitely be an over reach of power. Do you have a link?

            Ive always been in favor of the church doing whatever it wants on its own land. I still don’t think that one story justifies the other. To apply principles consistently, any group should be able to build whatever they want on their own land.

              1. Just read the article. That is some messed up funny business on the part of the PA.

              2. That link is 17 months old.

                1. And nothing has changed; in the last seventeen months they still haven’t been permitted to rebuild their destroyed church.

                  Here’s a more recent link from a few days ago in which The Nanny claims that they may finally reach a deal soon. Personally, I don’t believe a word that comes out of the guy’s month.

                2. Looks like the deal is that the property the church was previously on was extremely tiny (1,200 square feet, or the size of a small house (not counting yard or driveway or garage-just the house)), and the church was/is trying to work out a land swap with the Port Authority to build on a property twenty times the size but failed. They always had the right to rebuild their munchkin church, but have still been trying to get a bigger plot of land.

                  1. Oh, and nothing there was “messed up funny business”. If anything, the Port Authority was being generous by giving them a property twenty times the size and $20 million for the 1,200 sq ft property, but the church demanded the money upfront (instead of in stages), and the right to review plans for parts of the memorial near the church, neither of which the Port Authority was willing to do.

                    1. The funny business I was referring to was the Port Authority telling the church they were more than welcome to build on the land they already own, but even if they do the PA would just eminent domain their asses and take the land. Everything leading up to that was pretty damn generous.

          2. “unjustly taking control” is what the Port Authority does. Just ask the property owners whose property was originally taken for the Rockerfeller business-socialist montrosity known as the Twin Towers.

            No, they’re just saying “you can build here, but if you do we’re going to seize the property.” What kind of a “deal” is that?

            Sorry, entities conveying land to other entities frequently encumber said land with all kinds of restrictions, among them the size and character of the buildings built there. In this the PA is simply exercising its prerogatives as a property owner. My position on the PA as a property owner is noted in the first paragraph of this post.

            Of course, wandering off topic, as I often do. My position on what should be done with the WTC site is that the Port Authority should sell that property and every parcel of land that it owns that’s not a bridge, tunnel, airport, or marine terminal or is not otherwise needed for it to fulfill its statutory functions, like administration buildings, to private investors and let them decide what to do with them. I also think that is the “correct” libertarian position.

            In the meantime, there is no such thing as private development in NYC, or at least not on Manhattan Island. Every development has in it the sticky fingers of the State or City governments or one of the swarms of Authorities that have been set up to facilitate the proper business socialist development of the place. Of course, this model is so successful for that class that it is coming to a city near you, if it has not already arrived, that is.

            1. I agree; the Port Authority has been abusing its charter for decades. It was wrong then, and it’s still wrong now.

            2. Hey, I’m supposed to be the token Isaac at this party!

        2. By “not very high” do you mean 13 stories or less, like the Cordoba Mosque?

          1. Cultural Center you dumb bastard

  3. Rah Rah America! The majority of whom have revealed themselves as bigots!

    Rah Rah Libertarians, for cheerfully pointing how great we are, because our bigoted majority hasn’t hurt anyone…yet

    Errrr….this is a terrible episode for America, and it makes us look wildly hypocritical overseas (because our bigoted majority IS being hypocritical!).

    If you oppose the mosque, you are helping the terrorists. That makes YOU a bad person.

    1. Take a bath already.

    2. make us look bad to what people? Maybe the Muslims, but I’ve heard from numerous people overseas who feel it is something that Americans should be against. I don’t agree with them, though.

    3. Rah Rah Libertarians, for cheerfully pointing how great we are, because our bigoted majority hasn’t hurt anyone…yet

      Dude, you really are reaching aren’t you.

      So Chad, let’s do some headshrinking…

      Show me where the bad libertarian touched you.

    4. As the good Democrat or leftist you probably are, it must tear you up inside every time you’re reminded of the fact that you need the votes of at least some of these bigots to win elections.

    5. Damn libertarians helping the Mohammedans build their terrorist recruitment centers.

    6. I looked on Bing and saw that Manhatten already has 4-5 mosques, more in Queens, 4 in Brooklyn. Wow, we really are bigoted bastards here in America. Hey chad , how many Christian Churches are in Mecca?

    7. “because our bigoted majority hasn’t hurt anyone…yet”

      HEY! What about the vast majority of American bigots who are non-violent?
      You can’t say that all bigots are potentially violent just because of the actions of a few crazy bigots. Even if the most basic tenets of Islam..uh, I mean, bigotry command its adherants to rule and govern those found inferior under the doctrine. The majority have rejected this part which means that nobody should say anything bad about bigotry lest they become one. You bigotry bigot!

    8. Dude, I live overseas, and Europeans are BY FAR much more racist than Americans could dream of.

  4. This is seriously the Dumbest Thing since Dumb came to Dumbtown.

    1. This is dumber than all of Dumb’s mongoloid babies put together.

      1. The “mosque” “controversy” is dumber than Paul Krugman.

        1. Whoa, whoa, whoa – “dumber than Krugman?”

          Let’s not get carried away…

          1. Word. An assertion like that is capable of tearing a hole in the space-time continuum.

    2. All religion sucks.

    3. Bush already left dumbtown. Now dumber is there.

    4. What do you expect from Shikha “Drive a Hummer, Save the Earth” Dalmia?

      So far we’ve had bigot apologist pieces from Harsanyi, Cathy Young, and now Dalmia. We need to bring back Michael Young to complete the rogues gallery.

      1. When did everyone on this site become a bunch of religion groupies? It used to be you could make fun of a couple of rogue creationists and everyone had a little chuckle. But this god is off limits? Why?

        Religious Bigotry?!?!?! That’s like saying bigotry against an economic system. IT IS A SET OF BELIEFS!!! NOTHING MORE!!! An atheist does not have to grant some supernatural sanctity to something he regards as non-existent anymore than he should apologize for saying Communism is destructive. Why is religion exempt from the marketplace of ideas? Because they REALLY REALLY believe it?!? Everybody believes their beliefs! People must never criticize bad ideas and if they do they are bigots? All religions should be treated the same under the LAW! That does not mean that I must shut down my brain as soon as some zealot says “God tells me such and such so you have to keep your opinions on the matter quiet.”

        And to anyone who is about to respond to me, let me just mention that God told me to say all that so if you disagree you are a religious BIGOT!!!!

  5. It was Bizarro World last night on the cable-news opinion shows. MSNBC, the Worst Network Ever?, got it right with calm, unimpassioned reasoning, while FOX News ideologues went the hysterical route, essentially calling into question the legitimacy of the First Amendment. “Of course we believe in freedom of religion, but…” It’s clear that FOX, who are usually a little more professional in their propaganda efforts, are fanning the flames of this “firestorm” in an effort to discredit the President, who also, incredibly, managed to get it right.

    1. Good morning sunshine.

    2. I caught a bit of the Madcow show last night and could only marvel at the amount of effort that went into constructing that straw man, only to knock it down.
      I didn’t catch any of the FOX rants.

        1. Umm… I’m not a big fan of Lou Dobbs, but that was not “ranting” by any definition whatsoever.

          1. Let’s hear some definitions of ranting, because I do believe they apply.

            1. rant? ?/r?nt/ Show Spelled[rant] Show IPA
              ?verb (used without object)
              1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave: The demagogue ranted for hours.

              I have to wonder. Did you even watch the interview with Dobbs that you linked?

    3. I must agree that the Prez got this controversy right.

      1. Yes yes yes. I hear all the talk show hosts, be they the conservatives or the Liberals, saying how the president contradicted himself. He did not. He said they had every right to build it by law, then he said that he hadn’t commented on the wisdom of such an action, which he hadn’t. No contradiction.

        It’s nice to see our liberal leader admit that there are some moral and ethical choices that should not be dictated by federal law.

      2. The only way Prez would have gotten it right is if he had said “It’s none of my goddam business. Next question?”

    4. It’s not really Bizarro World, it’s just a nostalgic return to Bush’s second term.

      I guarantee that if the GOP takes back the White House and Congress by 2012 we’ll all be ripping Fox News and praising MSNBC again.

  6. Yay, Reason gets to bash Sarah Palin again! No article is complete with tearing down that uppity woman for offering an opinion on a current issue of discussion.

    1. “Sarah Palin has not only revealed herself to be linguistically challenged…”

      Newsflash! Palin “revealed” that two years ago to a national audience.

      1. Palin is a dip shit, but who said there were 57 states?

        1. Candidate Heinz?

      2. Palin is so dumb she:

        Thinks Austrians speak “Austrian.”

        Says she’s in St. Louis when she’s actually in Kansas City.

        Claims membership on a committee she is not on.

        Calls Sunrise, Fl, “Sunshine”

        Says she can see “fallen heroes” in the audience on Memorial day.

        Says 10,000 people were killed in a tornado where 12 people died.

        What a ditz! Oh, wait… It was Obama who said all those things.

        1. No shit, dude. Both Obama and Palin can be fucking morons.

          1. I’m not into name-calling as a rhetorical tactic, but whoever came up with Caribou Barbie is a genius.

            1. That is the first funny one I’ve heard. But it’s really, really funny.

          2. No, you’re wrong. Obama is smart as a whip, brilliant, a true intellectual. Palin is just a dumbass baby factory redneck from BF Alaska.

          3. No shit, dude. Both Obama and Palin can be fucking morons.

            Yes, but only Obama is qualified to be President, because….

            1. Ah the great leftist charade.

    2. No, she’s being bashed not because she’s an uppity woman, but because she’s as ignorant as a bucket of rocks.

      Personally, I will never forgive her for getting into politics so that she could loot the taxpayers of her home town to help out some of her buddies.

      1. That’s highly offensive.

      2. Uh, how is that different from all the other asshole politicians?

  7. This episode has been a useful one in many ways.

    First of all, it drew people like Gingrich out and got them to further discredit themselves on constitutional issues. I can remember Gingrich’s little lecture series on the Constitution and on liberty issues, and it’s good to be reminded yet again that Newt was absolutely full of shit. Hopefully he will have made himself fucking clear enough this time that he won’t be winning any more first amendment awards any time soon.

    It was useful in one other way as well:

    There have been two types of opposition to the mosque: opposition from the “Bomb Mecca” crowd, that should have been expected, but also opposition from people who say some variant of, “Look, I know that rationally there’s no connection between the 9/11 hijackers and American Muslims, but the mosque builders should be sensitive to the feelings of non-Muslims and should think about the symbolism here.” And it’s useful to know exactly who these douchebags are, because they never get to complain about any nonsense the left pulls on speech issues ever again.

    Anyone who ever puts “sensitivity” over rationality for even a moment deserves to have an asteroid fall on their fucking head. Please Baby Jesus, please send an asteroid to Earth soon. Pretty please?

    1. Fuck you fluffy; I live here and the asteroid would hurt me and my family!

      Why can’t you pray for small precisely targeted meteoroids?

      1. I think you mean metroids, but those things are a bitch to clear out.

        1. Only way to clear out Metroids is to call this lady

          It’s the only way to be sure.

    2. Perhaps rather than worrying about Muslim “symbolism”, the anti-mosque-anywhere-near-the-TT crowd ought to worry about the symbolism America exhibits with the tens of thousands of dead innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade.

    3. First of all, it drew people like Gingrich out and got them to further discredit themselves on constitutional issues.

      Discredit? You think he’s discredited himself? Polls put national opposition to Park51 at around 70%. Can’t see how that’s ‘discrediting–oh, wait, I know–I bet all these politicians who are against Park51 have lost that valuable liberaltarian vote. Shucks.

      1. Polls also say about 20% of people are following this story.

      2. The sentence you quoted said that he discredited himself on constitutional issues.

        Now what do you think that means?

        1. Why Fluffy, it means that if a majority of people disagree with you then Newt Gingrich has not been discredited. Tyranny Righteousness of the majority, you know.

      3. Polls put national opposition to Park51 at around 70%.

        Link please. The most favorable poll for your side had 45-20 against, last I saw.

    4. You forgot that Sen HARRY REID said that he didn’t want the mosque built, further discrediting him. He is a little more important than Newty G.

      1. He comes pre-discredited, though. It’s like kicking a one-legged puppy at this point.

      2. I already knew Harry Reid didn’t give a shit about the Constitution.

        Newt Gingrich engaged in a lot of Liberty Theatre, like making little videos of him pretending to still be a history professor teaching kids about our constitutional traditions and how the modern state betrays them.

        So when Newt Gingrich pisses on the Constitution now, and talks about how we have to get rid of free speech to fight terrorism, I’m not only pissed at him in the moment but am forced to go back in time in my memory and be pissed at every moment when he was filming his fucking little lie-filled videos.

    5. Anyone who ever puts “sensitivity” over rationality for even a moment deserves to have an asteroid fall on their fucking head.

      Here in a nutshell is why libertarians are doomed to live on the fringes. Just apply your ideology and rationality to everything at 100% strength and it will all work out, eh? When your girlfriend asks you if this dress makes her look fat, what do you tell her?

      Sensitivity, manners, tact, and discretion are lubricants that help societies function smoothly. Sometimes the most rational thing is to not be 100% rational.

      1. Sensitivity, manners, tact, and discretion are lubricants that help societies function smoothly.

        They’re also convenient excuses to squelch the freedom of undesirables. If you’re concerned about sensitivity, then it’s pretty damned insensitive to NYC Muslims to tell them they’re not welcome within a two block radius of the WTC site. This is one of those situations where someone’s sensitivities are going to be bruised no matter what…which is why concerns about “sensitivity” have no place in decision-making.

        1. Ok, this is why you are a fucking moron –

          “They’re also convenient excuses to squelch the freedom of undesirables”

          Wrong, you dumb shit. No one’s freedom is being squelched. People are expressing their displeasure about the location of the proposed mosque. The people in charge of the project still have the freedom to build it there, or move it if they are so inclined.

          If you don’t like the reasons people are protesting, that is fine, and you have every right to say it, but to mischaracterize their position as ‘squelching the freedom of undesirables’ is dishonest at best.

          1. Meh…

            I apologize Tulpa, as usually I don’t think you’re a fucking moron, so perhaps this was a bit harsh.

            To many people are letting their emotions get in the way of their logic on this issue.

          2. Meh…

            I apologize Tulpa, as usually I don’t think you’re a fucking moron, so perhaps this was a bit harsh.

            To many people are letting their emotions get in the way of their logic on this issue.

        2. The fact that something can be abused doesn’t invalidate it. It’s a matter of degree.

          Some mosque in Brooklyn may be opposed by somebody down the block who lost someone on 9/11, and there I’d agree with you. On a hurt sensibilities scale, it barely registers. If this building had a mosque and a church and a synagogue in it, again, no problem. If this was just a mosque that took over a storefront two blocks from Ground Zero, again, no problem.

          The problem is that it’s a very large, distinct, exclusively Muslim building very close to GZ. At that point, I can understand the outcry. It’s not that Muslims aren’t welcome two blocks from GZ, it’s that they aren’t welcome to build a big building that close. I’m sure the Japanese are welcome at the U.S.S. Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, but if they wanted to build a 13-story Shinto shrine two blocks away? Sorry, that’s too much and too close.

          1. The problem is that it’s a very large, distinct, exclusively Muslim building

            Wait, what? Are we making shit up again? I could have sworn that this was a community center designed for outreach, containing many facilities available to anyone.

            1. Sorry, should have written something like “with exclusively Muslim worship areas.”

          2. Do a google map search and you’ll see 18 Shinto shrines near Pearl Harbor, granted some of them are pretty far away.

      2. If you are dating a bitch who’s stupid enough to ask that question, then yes, you are doomed to live on the fringes.

      3. Me telling my wife she looks fat in a dress doesn’t impact freedom or require the government to get involved. You have every right to say they are being insensitive, but insensitive shit goes on every day so I think most people need to get over it.

    6. Yes , we all could take the great quote from Eleanor Roosevelt to heart: you can not offend me without my permission.

      Gutfeld’s take is much better, build a gay bar next door. My addition would be to specialize in serving pork products.

  8. What’s this about a mosque?

    1. I think it’s a Poe book. The Mosque of the Red Death. I don’t know why everyone’s talking about it, though.

      1. “The Islamic Center of the Red Death”.

        oooh I get the controversy. They’re “socialists”

    2. Don’t have a mosque cow, man.

  9. And yes, this means that whenever Reason posts an article about, say, some college somewhere forcing white male students to ritually abase themselves during orientation to show “sensitivity to women and people of color”, when John shows up to say how much he agrees with Reason and what bullshit it is, I will be here to remind him that he is full of shit and really should shut the fuck up.

    1. Other than the difference between “trying to persuade” and “forcing” your argument is airtight.

    2. Fluffy, I know it’s hard for you to understand but it is possible to be libertarian and have empathy. As a self-proclaimed asshole you don’t have empathy, which led you to believe that the only way to hold your political views is to be an insufferable asshole as you are, but it’s just not true.

      1. Call it like you will, but if you prescribe customs to be of more import than laws you can hardly call yourself a libertarian.

        1. There is no contradiction between firmly supporting someone’s right to do something, and firmly opposing their actions in doing it.

          As long as there is no force used, and only persuasion (even if its annoying, incessant and obnoxious protesting), then there is nothing at odds with libertarian ideology.

          1. What Leroy said.

          2. As long as there is no force used, and only persuasion (even if its annoying, incessant and obnoxious protesting), then there is nothing at odds with libertarian ideology.

            That doesn’t mean it’s not stupid and bigoted. The fact that you’re not advocating coercion does not render you immune from criticism.

            And of course, mosque opponents only started this “persuasion” campaign after they tried and exhausted all coercive remedies available to them.

            1. “That doesn’t mean it’s not stupid and bigoted. The fact that you’re not advocating coercion does not render you immune from criticism.”

              Agreed entirely, although it also does not mean that protesting necessarily IS stupid or bigoted.

              “And of course, mosque opponents only started this “persuasion” campaign after they tried and exhausted all coercive remedies available to them.”

              Wait, isn’t one of the big arguments against the protestors that they can’t possibly know the motivation behind building the mosque, so to assume it has a hidden agenda is nonsense? Wouldn’t this concept be extended to – Tulpa, you can’t possibly know someone’s secret motives without ESP. How do you know all these protestors protest because of bigotry?

          3. As long as there is no force used, and only persuasion (even if its annoying, incessant and obnoxious protesting), then there is nothing at odds with libertarian ideology.

            But why, as a libertarian, even have the argument? Why try and persuade people to not acting out their perfectly protected rights? In theory, it may be compatible, but in practice it makes no sense whatsoever to don the libertarian hat and say “Yes, you can!” and then don the conservative hat and say “But you shouldn’t!” — just simply say “Yes, you can” and then let the people do whatever they want to do. It’s none of your business.

      2. Where’s your empathy for the Muslims that are being told they’re not welcome within a two block radius of the WTC site?

        1. Wait. Muslims aren’t allowed within two blocks? Are there armed guards checking IDs?

          Oh. You mean the protesters don’t want the mosque there. I guess I was just confused by the idea of a mosque = muslim.

    3. Like the others said, just because you shouldn’t be forced to show empathy, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show empathy.

      I support the 9/11 debris field mosque’s right to be built, on property rights’ grounds – but that doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that it’s kind of an asshole thing to do, and likely motivated by ulterior motives that have nothing to do with their stated objectives.

      1. likely motivated by ulterior motives that have nothing to do with their stated objectives.

        Whoa, so not only do you have empathy, but you have ESP too! You can fucking read minds! Holy hell you need to get your own TV show.

        1. It doesn’t take ESP to realize that a group that truly wants to “build bridges” and is “committed to promoting positive interaction between the Muslim world and the West” isn’t going to start by building a mosque and worship center so close to 9/11.

          But, hey. I guess the next time a cop shoots a dog and says it was in self defense, you won’t have anything to say, huh? I mean, yeah, I may point out that it’s probably an act of cowardice or malice when a cop shoots a dog that isn’t actively attacking him, or terrorizes a family during a drug raid, but you, you’re above all that ESP shit and wouldn’t dream of questioning the cop’s motives without getting into his head somehow.

          1. What’s this about building a worship center on or about September, 2011?

            As to the bizarre strawman in your second paragraph, I’m pretty certain you’ll find nearly unanimous disgust for dog-shooting cops.

            Why are people continuing to trot out these drinking-game-worthy “for a site called Reason” strawmen all of a sudden?

            1. Timon19, do you even know what strawman means? How did I misrepresent Zoltan’s position on cops who shoot dogs?

              1. The whole class of arguments is designed to distract from the discussion while intentionally misrepresenting the opinions of those with whom you disagree.

                Point being, why do people keep coming up with situations where they suppose people have to a certain position which is pretty much demonstrably false if one has spent any time here at all outside of the mosque threads.

                1. Um… then you’re saying Zoltan doesn’t call cops cowards or malicious when they shoot dogs?

                  Or maybe you’re just missing the sarcasm in my response to Zoltan?

          2. It doesn’t take ESP to realize…

            No, all it takes a functioning bullshit detector to see that the community center plan is covered with flies.

  10. Some of the comments at Forbes, where the article originally was published, are quite telling. A selection:

    Posted by mbabbitt | 08/13/10 07:26 AM EDT
    Pure, silly, liberal, intellectual gibberish. Just ask other countries who submitted to Muslim so-called goodwill where that got them. Dhimmi-ism at its most faux enlightened. Even if the majority of 9/11 reactors are wrong about their motivations, dialog is not built upon such intrusion. The very act of defying the wishes of the victims, direct or indirect, shows that these people know nothing of true dialog or respect. Their diversity outreach actions belie their incompetence — or deceit.

    By the same not-so-gentle-man, minutes later:

    Posted by mbabbitt | 08/13/10 07:38 AM EDT
    Such liberal, enlightened condescension. Dhimmi-ism at its best. The writer conflates two issues: the civility of the opposition. Great, that how it should be. But the utter arrogance of her lay back, of-course-I’m-right attitude is just infuriating. She cannot truly understand that the opposition may be right. And look at countries that demonstrated western tolerance to Muslim expansionism. Not a pretty picture. People who understand dialog do not step over the feelings of those who oppose their acts. That just arrogance. This isn’t about a mosque in lower Manhattan. This is about building it at the foot of the sacred ground of Ground Zero. Common sense tells you it’s wrong. But liberalism is too often the denial of common sense; they refuse to see evil or just plain stupidity, because they are enlightened.

    Posted by dqzy123 | 08/13/10 09:05 AM EDT
    “What Muslims want is to ensure that their secular laws are not in conflict with the Quran or the Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad.”

    That’s a quote from your “moderate” Imam. There is only ONE way for secular laws to exactly follow the quran and hadith. That is to throw out the secular laws and replace them with quran and hadith. But, oh, you’re so smart, and Sarah Palin is so stupid.

    Posted by BacsiT | 08/13/10 09:11 AM EDT
    Although you suggest that the building is not intended to be a mosque, but rather will be an Islamic community center, you refer to the building as a mosque (as did Zakaria) in the remainder of your article (without parentheses around the word, mosque). That is also exactly how Muslims outside of the US (the intended audience for the “community center”) will view the building. By the way, in keeping with the stated reconciliatory purpose of the “community center”, if it houses worship areas for each of the World’s major religions (of similar size and prominence as the Islamic worship area), then I will completely give up my objections to the building.

    Posted by patriciamcnaughton | 08/13/10 01:00 PM EDT
    This mosque is within sight of Ground Zero. All anyone need do is look up 110 stories. There, Ground Zero is always within sight.

    Those of us who object do not question the right to build the mosque, the right to free speech or consequent right to worship. That’s what supporters wish people to think. We question whether the mosque should be built. Common human decency and respect for the dead and their surviving families says it should not.

    In the name of political correctness, we are constantly cautioned to avoid even the appearance of ‘fill-in-the-blank’ so as not to offend any number of individuals and groups. To expect others to do the same is very little to ask.

    It should not and cannot be stopped from a legal perspective. That’s a given. It can be stopped if supporters simply afford the dead and their families the normal deference customary in this country.

    Posted by NateWhilk | 08/13/10 04:07 PM EDT
    It is painfully obvious that, except for a few details, this entire column is a lie, an exercise in taqiyyah. Citing Newsweek’s Zakaria, just another journalist, does not support anything.

    Rauf may have said nice things in English, but Islamic extremists often say quite the opposite in Arabic, knowing few outside of the Muslim world know the language.

    “It will house a place of worship, but it won’t blare muezzin calls summoning Muslims to pray five times a day”

    There is NO guarantee that this will always be the case.

    Sorry, the cat’s out of the bag. You apparently think nobody knows about an article in the Ottawa Citizen by two Muslims that states, among other things:

    ‘The fact [is] we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as “Fitna,” meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.’

    ‘As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America…their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within.’

    Posted by kit5464 | 08/14/10 02:32 PM EDT
    i love and adore Sara Palin, she puts things
    in perspective, which the muslims have never
    done in all my 48 yrs of living in this country. Clearly, if you werent shaken by her,even an editor, then you wouldnt be trying to have people rally around you !!!

    Posted by Pilcro | 08/15/10 12:59 AM EDT
    Gov. Patterson has offered to donate land to build the mosque at another site. Why aren’t the liberals using the “separation of church and state” argument now? It’s because they are against the Christian principles upon which this country was founded as much as the Muslims are. If a Christian church was to be built on land provided by New York State the ACLU would be suing right now. Beneath the surface these people are a bunch of phonies, frauds and fakes!

    My personal favorite:

    Posted by NAVYVET | 08/15/10 10:13 AM EDT
    NOTICE HER LOW “CUT” DRESS! ISLAM WOULD PUT HER JAIL FOR THAT AND GIVE HER “THIRY” LASSES!! ALSO “THROUGHOUT HISTORY” YOU ARE SO RIGHT AND WELL BACK UP BY “THOUSANDS” OF YEARS OF HISTORY”!! BUT THIS CONTRAVERSARY TAKES AWAY FROM THE “FACT” THAT WE HAVE A PRES THAT “REFUSES TO SHOW HIS BIRTH C AND HATES AMERICA AND REFUSES TO SHOW PAST RECORDS AS ” ALL OTHER PRES HAVE DONE”! THIS GOV IS DESTROYING AMERICANS BASIC VALES FOR ONLY ONE THING “TOTAL CONTROL” FOR “GREED AND ILLEGAL VOTES”! DOCUMENTED!!!

    1. Gee, thanks for all that. Did you get an A in Copy ‘n’ Paste class?

      1. You mean I should have paraphrased each and every comment I meant to display as illustration for what was rampant in the Forbes comment section?

          1. Thanks.

            1. You’re welcome. Thanks for shopping at H&R.

      2. Wow, you’re a fucking idiot. I appreciated this copying and pasting, personally.

        1. Maybe you should start your own blog, consisting entirely of copy-and-pasted commentary from the World Commentariat. Has anyone thought of that yet? I would spend the whole day there!

          1. __ vs. –

    2. What’s a “THIRY LASS” and where can I get one?

  11. The “mosque,” for instance, is not really a mosque but an Islamic community center–complete with a swimming pool, auditorium, bookstores and restaurants?along the lines of the many YMCAs or Jewish community centers around the country.

    I must admit that this strikes me as a rather strange argument. If the location is to be a community center and not a mosque (a house of worship), then exactly how is freedom of religion at stake in this issue? If any allowance for worship means that religious freedom is at stake, does that mean that I can claim first ammendment protection to open a chicken processing plant in a residential neighborhood, so long as I make a prayer room available?

      1. Plagiarist!

      2. Okay, fine. Why not?

    1. You don’t even need to reach the 1st amendment issue. Whoever owns the property should be able to do whatever they want with it, even if it is a chicken processing plant.

      1. Except that’s not the argument that has been put forward. And, as much as I wholeheartedly approve of that position, it is not one that would be accepted by our legal system, at least for the case of the chicken processing plant.

        1. Have you not been paying attention to the property rights arguments here or are you just being willfully ignorant?

          1. Fine, Zoltan. Enlighten me. Where in New York case law has property rights been accepted in the way Law Student urges? When has a building’s owner’s property rights been treated with the deference you suggest in New York City.

            1. You forgot to mention they don’t allow synagogues in Saudi Arabia. Keep on message, Bill!

              1. Actually, Tulpa, I didn’t voice an opinion regarding the mosque/community center/whatever. I simply noted that pointing out that it was a community center is a strange (read weak) argument in the project’s favor. But, feel free to keep conversing with the strawman version of me that you made up in your head.

      2. Hah. You could never put a chicken processing plant there.

  12. Nice to see so many on a libertarian site act like progressives…”if you don’t agree with me then you hate the brown people”.

    How about some of us just think it’s a bad idea?

    “…and more by a knee-jerk suspicion of Muslims”

    Yeah because in the last 15 years, this religion has been so honest and trustworthy.

    1. What does that even mean, “honest and trustworthy”? Are you suspecting of the muslim woman selling fresh produce on the street secretly plotting your demise, white man?

      1. Yes, some actually see every Muslim on earth as an undercover agent to destroy America and every American, simply waiting for their cell to be activated.

    2. Describe the bad idea in terms that don’t assign collective guilt for the 9/11 attacks to all Muslims everywhere, including American citizens.

      Don’t you think it’s a little absurd for you to claim not to be motivated by prejudice, and then to declare all Muslims everywhere dishonest and untrustworthy two sentences later?

      Is this performance art or something?

      1. I never said I was not motivated by prejudice. Actually I am. It is my pre-conception that while all Muslims are not bad people, the essence of the religion is bad. They want to destroy the infidels. Guess what we are?

        I prefer to stop the problem at its early stages than wait until its a nightmare.

        Social Security/Welfare (you hate the poor?) was a “great idea” at first…now it drains our country’s finances.

        They are just pissing all over your face and telling you its sweet water love from Allah.

        1. Free Exercise Clause. Suck it.

        2. “How dare you call me a bigot!”

          “Hey, I never said I wasn’t a bigot!”

          Make up your mind.

        3. They are just pissing all over your face and telling you its sweet water love from Allah.

          This is the essence of most religions. Pointing at a pile of shit and telling you it’s gold. That’s not the point. A person’s property rights are not determined by the value of his religion. That would be the entire fucking point here.

          And who but crazy-ass leftists thought Soc Sec and welfare were good ideas? Stealing from the productive to give to the unproductive was not a popular idea. It was loudly lauded by the media, but when has condescending to the unwashed masses not been?

    3. Nice to see so many on a libertarian site act like progressives…

      That’s because this site, like most out there, is practically overrun with progressive trolls.

    4. The question is simple: do brown people’s rights to freedom of religion supercede your “right” not to be offended? Why are conservatives so P.C. all of a sudden?

      1. Because apparently the Constitution only matters when you can advance the WASP cause? Come to think of it, what do Fox’s libertarians, Napolitano (Catholic) and Stossel (Jewish) think of this display of moral outrage by their conservative cousins?

      2. Conservatives have been playing the “you have no right to offend me” card for years (not as long as various lefties have been playing it). It probably started as parody (and would be farce by now, if it weren’t so depressing).

  13. Even if the majority of 9/11 reactors are wrong about their motivations, dialog is not built upon such intrusion. The very act of defying the wishes of the victims, direct or indirect, shows that these people know nothing of true dialog or respect.

    Yup. These people here.

    We have to remember to never take them seriously again. And we have to remember that when they complain about having to, I don’t know, role-play being a black midget lesbian rape victim burning an American flag to get a job or a competitive college slot, we need to tell them to shut the fuck up.

  14. It’s Mosque-See TV!

  15. I heard the Cordoba House is going to have a gay bar, but they haven’t named it yet.
    It’s a toss up between “The Minaret
    Where the Men are At”, and “The Red Crescent”.

    1. Dude, you are soooooooo late to the gay bar naming party.

      The all-time best possible name was already posted: “Suspicious Package”.

      Still makes me laugh.

      1. I thought “Underwear Bomber” was pretty good.

        1. Whom itself had a better name: “Fruit of the Boom”.

      2. Does anyone take you seriously?

        If so I have no idea as to why.

        1. So you post a gay bar joke and then get annoyed because I post a better one?

          Look, it’s not my fault that I stole a better joke than you stole. It’s the internet. It happens. Find a way to deal with it.

          Look at it this way – you can now re-steal the better joke and use it elsewhere.

          1. Such declarative language with an emotional tone, daring a reaction instead of a response.

            I can recognize a progressive troll when I see one, and I do not understand how anyone except another progressive troll can take one seriously.

            1. First time here? You may want to learn what progressives, conservatives and libertarians actually believe before you start calling people names.

              1. You presume much.

                As far as calling people names goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

                1. then it’s a progressive?

                  1. If it’s progressing like a duck, yes.

                  2. No, it’s an Aflac.

                    1. Gilbert Godfrey must die!

        2. But he hasn’t been the same since he got his purse snatched.

      3. I heard that the name “Outfidels” was the new front-runner.

    2. Greg Gutfield just wrote that his nearby Muslim gay bar project will be called “Dialog.”

  16. These Vermont Catholics are being prevented from putting up a lighted cross on their own property by NIMBYists and environmentalists.

    I was about to say that I was on their side in this dispute, but you know what? Fuck ’em, they should be more “sensitive”.

    http://www.benningtonbanner.com/ci_15789879

    1. Of course you are not on their side. You wouldn’t walk across the street for the other team. That kind of petty land use bullshit goes on all of the time all over the country. And people are fucked by it. Indeed, the Greek Orthodox are being fucked by the Port Authority as we speak.

      Yet Reason hasn’t put one post up about it. Why? Because Muslims are special and makes you people feel better about yourselves to bitch and moan about it.

      If we lived in a world where people were actually free to do what they wanted with their property rather than play mother may I with the local gadflies, your argument for this thing would be a lot more compelling. But we don’t. And if this had been Sikhs or Buddists or Catholics trying to build in that spot, chances are the historic preservationists would have done them in. But since they are Muslims and your beloved Blue team sees it as a way to fuck the bubbas, they will build when few other people can.

      1. Yet Reason hasn’t put one post up about it. Why?

        Because it’s crazy paranoia? Irrelevant? Conspiracy-theory insane?

      2. I imagine Reason hasn’t put up a post about it because they’ve never heard of it.

        I had never heard of it until an hour ago when I saw it in the paper, and I actually live here.

        And I actually am on their side, dopey. I’m pretending to not be on their side to shake my genitals in your face. If I was to follow the maxim of your action, it would in fact relieve me of the moral obligation to be on their side. If I followed the maxim of your action, I could concern troll them instead of voicing any support for them. I will just have to keep reminding myself not to follow the maxim of your action, no matter how satisfying it would be to do so.

        1. If it is a big tacky cross that will offend people, I would say it was a bad idea for them to put it up. But it is free country. And they can do what they want. And people can call them tacky for doing so. It is that second part you don’t get. You do understand that people should be free to do what they like with their property. I will give you that. But what you don’t get and probably never will is that people are free to also criticize what people do with their property. You sort of get it because you would gladly criticize people you don’t like. But you never extend that right to anyone else. Thus, it is not good enough that I say the Muslims ought to be able to do what they like with their land. No. I must put my tongue up their ass and say it is a good idea to.

          1. Wait…Fluffy is oppressing your ability to express your opinion?

            1. Of course he isn’t. But that is only because he can’t. He routinely says the most digusting bigoted things about he doesn’t like. Yet, someone stands up and says that it is a bad idea for some shaddy imam who want say where he is getting his funding to build a huge ass mosque two blocks from the old WTC site, and immediately he is Mr. Sensitive and calling everyone bigots. But, that is pretty much the Blue team cultural playbook.

              1. So “shaddy” that Bush sent him to the Middle East in the wake of 9/11 to be a liaison of sorts?

                Anyway, calling a spade a spade isn’t necessarily being “Mr. Sensitive”. Sometimes, it’s actually calling a spade a spade.

                And for the 40th time or so, the mosque isn’t the largest feature of this building, and YOU WERE FOR THIS before the whining really got turned up and people started generating arguments for you.

                1. So what if Bush sent him as an envoy? Like Bush never did anything stupid or ever taken in. Why won’t he say where he is getting his funding?

                  And I am for it in terms of a legal matter. The land use laws in New York suck. They should be able to do what they want.

                  But unlike you people I am not sucking these people’s cock and pretending this is a good idea. It is a terrible idea that is going to do nothing but piss people off and give our enemies good propeganda. You don’t Al Quada is going to play this up? I don’t care what the guy intends, this being built is going to mean a lot to our enemies. And it is going to piss people off in this country and just cause problems.

                  But we can’t admit the obvious on here. Because most of you are at heart whinny ass PC liberals terrified of thinking anything a minority might do is a really bad idea. And even if you have some idea that it might be a bad idea, it is more fun to bitch and moan about the evil other who object to this than it is to think sensibility about it.

                  1. I don’t actually recall ever saying it was a “good idea”, but that you and your pals are being whiny bitches and perhaps bigots afraid of the Brown Horde.

                    Please point out anyplace I’ve actually said it was a “good idea”. Or anyone else arguing a similar position to mine.

                    Because most of you are at heart whinny ass PC liberals

                    John, I hate PC and pretty much every aspect of modern liberalism. I know that that sentence will mean nothing to you, but whatever.

                    And stop calling me a horse.

                    it is more fun to bitch and moan about the evil other

                    Performance art at its best.

                    So is “sensibility” thinking about this only what you believe and nothing else?

                    Also, your objection to it on sensitivity grounds did not materialize until well after you literally said “never mind” and started actually telling others to shut up on the issue. It coincided with the increase in the number of arguments positing “sensitivity”.

                    1. The placement of this place has been unclear. At first it seemed like it was right on top of the WTC site. Then it was said it was “blocks away”. Then it seemed like no big deal. Now I know the truth is that it blocks and pretty close. And yea, two or three blocks it offends a lot of people. And these guys seem to be building it there specifically just to poke people in the eye.

                      That is a bad thing. It doesn’t help. For better or worse it does piss people off and makes relations between the community a lot worse. That is a bad idea. And these people are stupid building that there and they are going to regret the day the did it.

                      But it is more fun to call everyone bigots. It is like you guys get to be honorary liberals for the day. You must love that.

                    2. Even when you found out it was two blocks, you said (in effect), “two blocks in Manhattan is really not an issue at all. Everyone calm down.”

                      Then all the “sensitivity” arguments came around and you gave yourself whiplash once again.

                      And these guys seem to be building it there specifically just to poke people in the eye.

                      “Seem to be” on WHAT BASIS? Your perceptions (which have changed dramatically twice in the space of about a week back near the beginning of this)? The fevered rantings of Pam Gellar and her newfound pals of the “they’re so INSENSITIVE” movement?

                  2. You don’t Al Quada is going to play this up?

                    Oh yeah, they’re totally going to make red meat of this on their 24hr cable news channel.

                    oh, wait…

                    1. They have websites and a wonderful propaganda machine.

                    2. Umm.. Al Jezeera ring a bell for you. Yeah, the same network that gets Bin Laden tapes first, for some reason.

                    3. I have no idea about the Arabic language version of AJ, but the English language version is mostly dispassionate news reporting of a very high quality, and they hit every continent in quite a lot of depth.

                      The fact that they can obtain OBL’s tapes has more to do with the fact that AJ is so influential and that’s the outlet through which OBL and his lieutenants prefer to release tapes (because of AJ’s influence and broad reach).

                  3. But unlike you people I am not sucking these people’s cock and pretending this is a good idea. It is a terrible idea that is going to do nothing but piss people off and give our enemies good propeganda. You don’t Al Quada is going to play this up? I don’t care what the guy intends, this being built is going to mean a lot to our enemies. And it is going to piss people off in this country and just cause problems.

                    The extremists of Islam are going to spin this anyway they damn well please, no matter what transpires, because that’s what extremists do. On our side of the isle, the GOP does it. If Park51 gets build, then the fanatics will cheer “OH YAY WE SUBVERTED THE INFIDELS!” and if it does not get build, then the fanatics will cheer “SEE? THEY ARE SUPRESSING ISLAM! WE TOLD YOU SO!”

                    At the end of the day, much more imbecile, dangerous and destructive than “siding with Islam” or “siding with the victims of 9/11”, you are trying to say that customs and feelings and sensitivities of the majority should be more important than the laws that governs the whole of the land and grants even minorities their rights.

                    1. you are trying to say that customs and feelings and sensitivities of the majority should be more important than the laws that governs the whole of the land

                      The vast majority of the opposition is not saying it is or should be illegal to build that mosque there. They are saying it’s a bad idea because it’s insensitive and provocative. The fact that something is legal doesn’t prove that it’s a good idea.

                      Remember, the supposed point of the building is to “build bridges” and create “reconciliation” and blah-blah-blah. And yet it’s obviously not doing that, so the backers should cancel their plans if “reconciliation” was truly their goal. The fact that they seem to be going forward shows they are lying about their motivation.

                    2. The vast majority of the opposition is not saying it is or should be illegal to build that mosque there.

                      After they’ve exhausted all the coercive remedies they were attempting to keep the mosque from being built, yes, they’re totally against coercion. Puh-leeze.

                      As a non-Muslim, I’m not really in a position to say whether it’s a “good” idea, any more than I can opine whether it’s a good idea to build a Bed Bath and Beyond, tanning parlor, synagogue, or any other establishment I have no use for. But I’ll say it’s not a bad idea, and I have yet to see any of you show that it’s a bad idea for any reason other than hurt feelings of a few people.

                    3. The vast majority of the opposition is not saying it is or should be illegal to build that mosque there. They are saying it’s a bad idea because it’s insensitive and provocative. The fact that something is legal doesn’t prove that it’s a good idea.

                      But they have no standing as any sort of opposition when they do not have legal grounds. It does not matter whether it is a good idea what people do with their own property and whether and how they exercise their freedom of religion as long as nobody’s rights are violated. It just does not matter.

                      Remember, the supposed point of the building is to “build bridges” and create “reconciliation” and blah-blah-blah. And yet it’s obviously not doing that, so the backers should cancel their plans if “reconciliation” was truly their goal. The fact that they seem to be going forward shows they are lying about their motivation.

                      I don’t think the goal was, in any realistic sense, to immediately build bridges with the most extreme forces in society. The GOP have proven to be of that ilk. Their “opposition”, consisting in little else but shouting and frothing at the mouth, does not prove any project of reaching out to have failed. In fact, the GOP’s reaction to the initiative, their un-american and un-constitutional approach only proves how dangerous reaching out in general has become to the GOP who thrives off of extremism and feels threatened that their particular brand might not get them re-elected in November. They are stoking the fire, fanning the flames.

              2. John, show us where the Muslim touched you.

          2. You sort of get it because you would gladly criticize people you don’t like. But you never extend that right to anyone else.

            Fluffy is a progressive troll, easily recognized by the hypocrisy that is the hallmark of all progressives.

            1. It’s always 4:20! is a moronic troll, easily recognized by the idiocy that is the hallmark of all morons.

            2. “Troll”, it’s the new Godwin of our time.

          3. I must put my tongue up their ass

            I missed the first few episodes. Who again is making you lick crack?

            1. Too bad, John.

              Everything everyone does, says, and feels is subject to moral judgment. Period.

              You are free to judge the people who want to build this mosque. But I can also judge you based on your judgments. And I can judge GOP politicians as well.

              There is no way to be offended by the construction of this mosque unless you either:

              1. Hold all Muslims collectively responsible for 9/11

              2. Don’t hold all Muslims collectively responsible for 9/11, but think they should defer to the sensibilities of those who do hold them collectively responsible, in order to be sensitive to the feelings of those people.

              People who think #1 are bigots.

              People who think #2 never, ever, ever get to complain about any unreasonable demand for ersatz “sensitivity” put forth by any maudlin victim group anywhere.

              It’s not about “Team Blue”, John. It’s about Team Fuck You. I really don’t see how anyone who frequents these boards could not say Fuck You to anyone who thinks either #1 or #2.

              1. You’ve presented a false dilemma with your two choices.

                Many who lost friends and relatives on 9/11 are well aware of how Islam is related to the reasons and motivations for the attack.

                A symbol of something so intrinsically linked to the deaths of their friends and family sitting so close to where those deaths occurred can understandably cause angst.

                Few believe all Muslims are possible terrorists, and even fewer believe those who frequent this place are collectively responsible for 9/11, but the building will be associated with the main motivation behind why their friends/family were killed.

                In the face of their emotional toll, asking them to ignore the relation is perhaps too much to ask.

              2. You’re good at presenting false “either or” choices.

                Tell me, do you still beat your wife?

                Either you stopped beating the shit out of her every day or you still slap her around when you come home from a bad day at work.

                Which is it?

                Well?

                1. Hey fluffy. Have you ever eaten a human baby you didn’t find delicious? Either yes or no? I don’t see how anyone who frequents these boards could NOT say fuck you to anyone who answers either yes or no.

              3. Gee, ideology sure makes it easy to decide things, huh? Just dispense with all considerations of proportion, gray areas, human feelings, taste, and manners, and all decisions become clear.

                Of course there are frequent ersatz claims of “sensitivity.” The solution is to use judgment, not dismiss the entire concept of sensitivity. And a sensitivity issue that involves thousands of recent deaths should be given greater weight than one involving, oh, somebody objecting to the terms “master” and “slave” when describing disk drives.

                1. And a sensitivity issue that involves thousands of recent deaths should be given greater weight than one involving, oh, somebody objecting to the terms “master” and “slave” when describing disk drives.

                  Slavery resulted in far more than three thousand deaths, and the sensitivity concerns you speak of are as ridiculous as the network naming convention concerns.

                  But I like how you equivocated there, very clever.

                  For the concern you wanted to present as important, you mentioned that it was connected to a terrible event, but failed to mention how insignificant the connection was.

                  For the concern you want to present as unimportant, you mention how insignificant the connection is, but fail to mention that it was connected to a terrible event.

                  You and Neu Mejican should hang out sometime, you could make great sophistry together.

                  1. Well, again you are missing the matter of degrees involved. Slavery ended 145 years ago. Nobody alive remembers it, and darn few people alive can even remember talking to anyone who remembered it. If somebody wanted to build this mosque in 2155, again, no bigger deal. It’s just so close in time and space, and so big, that I can understand the outcry.

                  2. You and Neu Mejican should hang out sometime, you could make great sophistry together.

                    Tulpa…although we seem to basically agree on the larger issue being discussed on this thread, I think you are again confusing nuance with sophistry here. There is nothing disingenuous in PapayaSF’s statement and the distinction between recent national traumas and more distant national traumas is legitimate.

                    While I don’t see the recent trauma as a sufficient excuse for assigning collective guilt to Muslims and while I don’t see the proposed mosque as in anyway an affront to the victims of 9/11, the distinctions between 9/11 and, say, slavery or Pearl Harbor or the Boston Massacre are worth making.

      3. Yet Reason hasn’t put one post up about it. Why?

        Because this has become a rather large story, and the stories about the story themselves have become a story. It’s taken on quite a life of its own, thus the volume of words written on it.

        And it’s precisely because of the whiny fucksticks that it CONTINUES to be written about to the near exclusion of other items of a similar nature.

      4. But since they are Muslims and your beloved Blue team sees it as a way to fuck the bubbas, they will build when few other people can.

        so this is what reality looks like in your head?

        man, the pc age has done fucked up everyone! even john feels like a perpetual victim.

        (ps we have bubbas in ny, we call them guidos/staten island.)

        1. [John pounds out a furious, misspelled rebuttal…]

        2. Why aren’t the Greeks building their church? This is exactly reality. People like you are so cowed by PC you are terrified of criticizing a minority. Just terrified.

          1. john? john.

            john.

            sigh.

            do you know why the greek orthodox church efforts have been so slow?

            http://www.nydailynews.com/blo…..-to-r.html

            now, why wasn’t this gong being banged by fox and friends – and yourself – for the *years* it’s been going on?

            hmmm. could it be there was no hook to draw in you rubes until this “ground zero” “mosque” showed up?

            ps the greek orthodox are a considerable minority in nyc as well. not sure what you’re getting at, calamity jane.

            pps the loud voices who claim the mantle of “9/11 victims’ families” haven’t helped in this regard, either.

            1. Or could it be they don’t have a good PC hook to get you dumb asses to think it is a good idea?

          2. John is playing Team Red yet again. Deflecting talking about the mosque because something else is happening that no one is paying attention to.

      5. Wow, John, if you have made a coherent statement on this issue I have yet to see it. The church is in dispute with the PA over height restrictions, also a stupid regulation, but they’re not being shouted down by people who hate Christians. That’s what makes the two stories different. It’s really easy to understand. Also, no one on this board, except the Chony trolls, has ever had any love for land use regulations or historical societies. Your statements to the contrary are disingenuous at best.

        1. :”but they’re not being shouted down by people who hate Christians.”

          So everyone who disagrees with this “hates Muslims”? That is just horseshit. And ultimately this whole thing is a bad idea and in bad taste. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be resorting to calling anyone who disagrees with you a racist.

          It is also funny that you are so convinced that everyone hates Muslims. Okay, let’s say that is true. How does doing this and fanning all that sentiment help things? Even on your own terms this is a terrible idea.

          1. What’s funny is that the only argument against the community center I have heard is “We don’t hate Muslims, we just think they all had a part in 9/11 and shouldn’t be afforded the same rights as everyone else.”

            Look, I am against sharia law, against the implementation of sharia law in our country, against separate sharia courts, against Muslim groups suing for defamation when they are called out on their shit, against any private group being forced to submit to muslim demands, and think religion is a bunch of mystic mythical fantasy. But this is about land use rights issue and I think [insert random group name] should be able to build what they want on their own land.

            1. mr simple,

              Please direct me to one article or post where someone claims that Muslims should not have the same rights as everyone else. I have not seen this argument, and as you say its the only argument you’ve heard, I’m interested to see where you’ve seen it at.

              The argument I’ve seen from the opposition to this mosque is that while Muslims have the right to build it, the location of the Mosque offends many people, and so in the interest of building dialog and understanding, a different location would be better suited.

              How ‘This isn’t a good idea and is only going to create more tension and ill-will towards muslims’ has been spun into ‘I hate these Muslims and they shouldn’t be allowed to build!’ I don’t know. Please explain.

              1. “Please explain.”

                It is easier to attack a bigoted straw man than to debate the actual idea you are putting forth.

              2. I have not seen this argument…

                Base on his presuppositions, someone simply *must* have said it….someplace…sometime….

              3. If you say that the sites where mosques can be built should be restricted, you are saying Muslims should not have the same rights as everyone else. There are coercive remedies being sought all over the US to prevent mosques from being built, and mosque opponents in NYC were trying to coercively prevent this mosque from being built until they ran out of coercive remedies there.

                1. Who said they should be restricted? To restrict the sites where mosques can be built would require government intervention. I have yet to see the argument that government should intervene and not allow the mosque to be built.

                  Saying ‘They have the right to build it, but I don’t think they should’ is not equal to saying ‘They have no right to build it’.

                  “mosque opponents in NYC were trying to coercively prevent this mosque from being built until they ran out of coercive remedies there.”

                  So you mean once they realized that the project didn’t violate any zoning ordinances, they accepted the idea that everything was legally permissible, and moved on to peaceful protest? So you’re saying that most buildings are built without the prior consultation of zoning laws, and that this was specific to the GZ Mosque case?

              4. This an actual comment on FB:
                Kelly ****: they can build in mecca, thats close enough… we need to take a page from hitlers book…build concentration camps and lock them all up. its a matter of national security. its for ur own good…lock them away and keep the greater populatio…n safe…hitler had the right idea, he chose the wrong race, he could have saved us all alot of grief n been baking arab muslims!! and that is coming from a hungarian jews grand daughter
                See More
                13 hours ago ? Like

                1. Congratulations you’ve found a bigot!

                  Want a cookie?

                  1. Isn’t that what you wanted? To be pointed to a bigot?

              5. It ‘offends’ people, but why does it offend people. I don’t see how it can ‘offend’ people unless you assign collective guilt to all Muslims.

          2. So its a ‘terrible idea’… but in theory, OK

            How does this get your panties in a twist again?

          3. So everyone who disagrees with this “hates Muslims”?

            No, but apparently they hate freedom.

            And they try to subvert it with their mob majority rule of customs and taste. Just like the islamic fundamentalists they pretend to oppose, by the way.

            1. Wrong.

              Trying to subvert this with mob majority rule would mean they are trying to influence the laws/regulations in order to prevent the building from being constructed.

              It seems to me they are expressing their displeasure of the idea, but not using any type of force to achieve their goal. So what is the problem with this again?

              1. So what is the problem with this again?

                Anyone who objects, should be re-educated and forced to approved, or at least should forfeit any first amendment rights to say anything whatsoever.

              2. It seems to me they are expressing their displeasure of the idea, but not using any type of force to achieve their goal.

                A position that does not advocate coercion is still not immune from criticism. They can express their displeasure with the idea, and we can express our displeasure with their displeasure, and so on.

              3. Trying to subvert this with mob majority rule would mean they are trying to influence the laws/regulations in order to prevent the building from being constructed.

                The people who manufactured this controversy want the heavy hand of Government to stop the building and feel their best weapon is negative public opinion.

                You really believe that all the efforts by the anti-mosque groups to get the zoning council to change it’s opinion is not an attempt to “influence the laws/regulations”?

                (BTW – citations — here is just one of many “calls to action” by these groups to influence lawmakers to get them to stop this building…but hey that isn’t using the Force of Government)

                1. Thank you EvilTwin…

                  Ok now I will come out and say that groups trying to pressure the government to interfere are evil fuckers and should be shot.

                  That being said, I still believe the majority of people opposing this are doing so without the intention of government intervention, or atleast that is the point of view I have seen on this board.

                  I don’t think anyone here would disagree that the government getting involved stinks.

                  1. I don’t think anyone here would disagree that the government getting involved stinks.

                    Maybe not anyone on here, but the people who are forming the “opposition” disagree, I am sure. They are not of the opinion that government involvement in this kind of issue is wrong, they just want it to be their own kind of government. Why else make the case against the 1st Amendment to begin with? It’s a full-fledged culture war, and the GOP simply does not care what freedoms it would have to sacrifice in order to win it.

      6. Yet Reason hasn’t put one post up about it. Why? Because Muslims are special and makes you people feel better about yourselves to bitch and moan about it.

        Because, unlike us, Muslims tend not to use ‘sweet civility’ when someone is doing something they really don’t like. They use this thing called ‘violence’–you might have grasped it during the first attack on the WTC, because we sure didn’t grasp it from all the violence that occured before that.

        Since Muslims use violence, people are loathe to piss them off. A random threat on a website gets TV shows to self censor. Remember the Mohammed cartoons being published and broadcast all over the country when that atrocity initially happened? No? That’s because Muslims use violence.

        Perhaps, if we really understood that Jefferson really meant that the Tree of Liberty needed the blood of tyrants and patriots as fertilizer, we’d have lees people trying to water this poor dying tree with crybabies tears.

        Sometimes violence is the answer.

        1. When others mean to use violence against you, it is the only answer.

        2. Had you stuck around here during the cartoon and South Park controversies, you’d see much the same set of people arguing that the newspapers were cowards and that Cartoon Network were cowards, etc. When Westergaard was attacked, pretty much everyone here was united in condemning his attackers and supporting Westergaard’s right to do what he did.

          That’s because those people understand that “Muslims” don’t use violence (and certainly not Sufis), but that “a small portion of Muslims” use violence.

          1. And Reason was so courageous with their everybody draw Muhammad day. How is that working out?

            1. Nice strawman, John.

              1. Wow. John has become joe!

                1. Tinkerbell’s dying! CLAP HARDER!!!!!

          2. Wow, you’ve really got a hard-on for them Sufis, Timon. Do they know? Are you gonna meet them out behind the gym at recess?

            If 1% of Muslims are terrorist jihadis and there are 1.5 billion muslims then there are 15 million jihadis. That’s a lot–and those are the fighters, as opposed to the larger group of rabble rousers and the even larger group of quiet sympathizers.

            And most estimates of diehard jihadis put the percentage higher than one. I’ve seen some sa high as ten. That’s a huge number of people.

            So, while it may be a small portion of the total, it’s not an insignificant number.

            I was here during the South Park, Cartoon, and Wesergaard stuff–and during the Draw Muhammed day thing. Lurking.

            And it’s great that they were called ‘cowards’. The problem is that you take that aquiescence to bullying as an isolated incident.

            There is a pattern of Islamic bullying that runs from their outright violence to their instistence that they are the victims of ill-will(trying to use hate-crimes statutes).

            There has been no major backlash against Islam. That would not be….American. But there is suspicion.

            The major spokespeople for Islam in this country act as if they are the ones who were wronged. They support questionable actions on behalf of individual Muslims, and many seem to have some kind of ties to various terrorist organizations.

            When pressed, they mealy-mouth around support for the country, using the same kind of deliberate ambiguity that Arafat was so adept at.

            It may be only a ‘small portion’ in relation to the whole of the Muslim population, but it seems to be the portion that’s running things.

            1. Your estimate of the number of violent Islamic terrorists is off by several orders of magnitude. No serious claim would put the number in the millions. Most likely we are talking about numbers in the 10,000’s and that requires us to include insurgents in occupied territories.

              1. Most likely?

                So 1% of Muslims being radical jihadis is too many? Why? Because it’s a big number?

                If I’d phrased it like this–

                If 1% of Muslims are terrorist jihadis and there are 1.5 billion muslims then there are more than 1.4 billion muslims that do not actively support terroristic jihad. That’s a lot.

                –would it be so problematic? Or would you happily accept that as proof that Islam is not bad?

                When you’re dealing with billions even .25% is multimillions.

                1. When you’re dealing with billions even .25% is multimillions

                  True enough. However, you need to start with the estimates of how many Islamic terrorists there are and then figure out your percentage…not start with a wild-assed guess as to what percentage of Muslims are Islamic terrorists and calculate from there.

                  Now if you want to say that radical jihadis are not all Islamic Terrorists you might be able to get a larger number. But I am not sure why I worry about radical jihadis that are not actively violent.

                  1. In another comment thread, in another post on Muslims generated by the mosque issue, the statistic that roughly 20% of American Muslims think suicide bombing is justifiable under certain unnamed circumstances(the statistic is cited in reverse–like my example above–to show that roughly 80% of of American Muslims think suicide bombing is not justifiable ever).

                    But that’s about 600,000 American Muslims who can think of an instance in which terrorism is just fine.

                    I don’t think my 1% worldwide number is a big leap.

                    1. I vaguely remember this poll. It asked about a technique for defending Islam (suicide bombing) and whether it “could ever be justified.”

                      Sort of like asking if it is ever justified to use deadly force to defend yourself or your community.

                      Not sure what it says about support for terrorism.

            2. I realize there are some anti-religion zealots here that hold any religion responsible for the actions of a few, but honestly if you are one of those then I guess ignore the rest of the post.

              The “well some of them are violent” argument is trifling.

              Do we hold all Christians accountable for bigots like Fred Phelps or Jerry Falwell? What about violent terrorists like Scott Roeder or Eric Robert Rudolf?

              All Catholics for the violence of Irish terror groups like IRA?

              All Hindus responsible for the violence used against the Muslims in India?

              All Shintoists responsible for Pearl Harbor and the atrocities in Asia and the Pacific Rim during WWII?

              The list of violent groups of religious fanatics over the history of this Earth is long, but holding all adherents of a religion culpable for the actions of others in the name of that religion is narrow-minded at best and hate-fueled bigotry at worst.

              Nothing PC about any of that, but I know that I want to be judged on my beliefs by my own actions and words, not those of fanatics who claim to do things in the name of my religion or my God.

              …and thankfully in America I can usually do that without the threat of Government Force to stop me.

  17. The sensitivity argument only came about and matured after it became clear that people like Pam Gellar didn’t have a leg to stand on other than the “collective guilt” one. Now that they’ve had a couple of weeks to one month to repeat the message and drum it into more people, they disingenuously cite “feelings” and “insensitivity” while sounding credible to people who want to oppose it for other reasons but haven’t thought of a neutral-sounding argument.

    But a lot of them slip and in the next breath appeal to “common sense”, which is an automatic loser.

    1. They lose all credibility as soon as they say “But…”

  18. Jeebus H. Fuck. This again?

    1. You might want to leave now. It’s only the beginning…

    2. The Conservation of Stupidity: Stupidity never goes away; all you can hope for is for it to change form sometime in the near future.

      1. that implies that new stupidity cannot be added to the system, which is evidently false. stupidity is more like entropy than energy.

        1. I’m proposing that all the stupidity there will ever be in the universe already exists, but varying amounts of stupidity cohere and decohere in human perception at different rates over time. Whether a particular observer finds the stupidity in a discrete situation is subjective. Stupidity is always conserved for a later date.

          Stupidity remains.

          1. But stupidity is a human invention/activity.

            And the amount of maximum stupidity increases with the number of humans present in the system.

            We need to work out a better theory of stupidity.

            1. Maybe we need better stupids. I’d suggest a breeding program, but it looks like they’ve already got that covered.

          2. I am interested in your theory and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  19. My favorite part in this whole episode as it’s played out on Hit & Run has been John’s arc in all this. He started out (what, a month ago? 6 weeks?) being OUTRAGED that there was a mosque being built at Ground Zero (TM). Then, when he learned that it was two blocks away and not on the site, he did the quickest 180 I’ve ever seen, almost fully jumping on the support bandwagon.

    Slowly thereafter, as the narrative began to dictate that it was about “feelings” and “sensitivity” and more people jumped on board for him to hide behind, John has slowly lathered back up to being royally pissed about it because it’s “too close” and “insensitive” and “mean”.

    It’s been quite a sight to see.

    1. But wait! There’s more! Now it’s all about a Greek Orthodox church that the “Blue Team” is knee-capping. Comedy gold!

    2. I generally enjoy John, but you’re right, he’s gone pretty batshit crazy over this, trying to find anything he can grasp on to support the non-building of this joint.

      John. Do you believe in property rights? If so, then STFU. If not, what the fuck is your problem?

      No one is asking whether you like it or not (except progressives, but they dont count anyways), because no one gives a shit how you “feel” about it.

      1. I see the property rights angle. But, everyone in this gets fucked over before the zoning commissions. It is New York for God sakes. Good luck tearing down an old building and building a new 17 story one.

        They only got over, where few if anyone else would have, because liberals felt like it was their patriotic duty to stick it in the eye of the bubbas. And that sucks.

        1. You ever stop to consider they “won” because it’s the motherfucking law?

          1. God no, it’s the evil violent Muslim influence over…the Port Authority…wait now I’m getting confused.

            1. Simple. I’ll explain it to you. John has gone off the deep end because he thinks that The Blue Team? is forcing him to respect and acknowledge and pay attention to Muslims, whom he hates. By forcing him to respect, acknowledge and pay attention to Muslims, The Blue Team? are destroying the nation, because they don’t care about “decency” and “people’s feelings,” and besides, the Muslims are just taking advantage of The Constitution.

  20. As soon as the left successfully made this a religious freedom issue (oh the hypocrisy of that!) and not a human decency issue the Cordoba House won. Whoever said they couldn’t build it by the way, it’s about location. Nice how the author used the time honored tactic of praising those he just stiffed.

    Throwing in a little Sarah Palin bashing was like icing on the cake!

    1. It’s so indecent to build a place of worship to a religion shared by terrorists! Oh dear god, the indecency! As if one were to build a science museum next to the OKC bombing site.

    2. Unfortunately for you and the other conservatives, freedom of religion is actually touched on by the constitution, ‘human decency’ is actually a very vague and relative term, and you’ll find very little said about it in the constitution.

  21. Why is this such a big political issue? Aside from thinking that the administration was rather inept in ultimately taking the correct position, I don’t see how there’s much hay to make here.

    First, virtually everyone acknowledges that the mosque/community center can be built and that the government can’t stop it solely because it’s a mosque and not a temple to Athena. Since government can do nothing, why are politicians talking about it, beyond maybe suggesting that it’s an insensitive move?

    Second, how is this a black eye for the Democrats (like they need another one)? Yes, they’re in power, but they can’t legally do anything about this issue. On the flip side, most Republicans are clear that they aren’t repudiating the First Amendment, even on this issue.

    So, in the end, what the hell are we arguing about?

    1. it’s a stick to push them thar real ‘muricans to fight the dangburn sufi hordes.

      or something.

      it’s not like these fuckanuts are going to all say “hey, the economy is boned and there’s very little we can do beyond making it worse whenever possible, so eat a dick!” as refreshingly honest as that might be.

      1. If Muslims want to do it it must be a good idea right? Anything and everything they do is in good taste and a great idea. It is like they are supermen or something.

        1. Its not like anyone can win in your world – anyone criticizing the thing is an irrational, anti-constitutionalist idiot, but anyone defending them is somehow a knee-jerk liberal defender of the Umma.

          (message) = My Blood is Redder Than Yours!!

          1. Yeah. pretty much. Look it sucks. This guy building this is an asshole taking advantage of freedoms that if he were in charge he would never extend to anyone else. But hey, sometimes life is like that. He has a right to do it. And I have a right to hope he downs in a well.

            1. John,

              The objections to the insensitivity aside, I’m not sure I like the argument (Gingrich employed it, too, I believe) that we’re giving these guys freedom they wouldn’t extend to others. It’s not really relevant to whether they have rights and freedom here, is it? After all, we let Nazis march through Skokie. That’s more akin to this mosque being a monument to bin Laden than what is happening today.

              As far as I know, it’s just some YMCA for Muslims or something like that, and it’s not overtly tied to anything connected to 9/11 or terrorism. It may not be the swiftest move to insist on building it near Ground Zero, but we do need to recognize that it’s relatively mild on the offensiveness scale. It’s not like people aren’t digging into this to find out whether there’s a significant terror connection to the backing group. If there is, the whole thing will likely end there.

              1. You are right Pro, this is like Nazis in Skokie in some ways. This guy is not a Nazi. But he is a jerk being a jerk. And he is free to be so. What pisses me off is not that the people on Reason defend his property rights. It is that they have a fit when anyone calls the guy out.

            2. see, i don’t see the asshole part, but i’m not retarded. i think that’s the issue.

              if some dworkinish lady were to say “well, you shouldn’t build anything for men down there at all, since men blew up those buildings and men kill the most people in wars and commit the most violent crimes, so it’s a slap in the face to all the victims to allow men to blah blah blah” you’d be all “whhhhhhhhhhh” but instead you’re all “we’re thenthitive!” instead. and whatshistits would be posting links to feministing because he hates us.

              1. That is right DHEX. Saying he has a right to do what he wants with his property isn’t good enough. I have said that like then times. But you are still pissed off because I don’t like what he is doing.

                But there is nothing PC about you or anything.

            3. This guy building this is an asshole taking advantage of freedoms that if he were in charge he would never extend to anyone else.

              Wow! You’re inside his head!

            4. I hate it when people take advantage of their freedoms.

              Like, blacks for instance…

              (runs to safe-room)

              1. There it is. That is what I am talking about. It is not enough to admit that this guy has a right to do what he wants. To be a reasonite, you must suck his cock and talk about how great it is.

                Yeah, he sucks. He is total asshole who i hope never gets anywhere near power anywhere. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have property rights. But that also doesn’t mean the rest of us have to deny what he is.

                1. You’re declaring him an asshole for the mere fact that he’s exercising his property rights AND a whole lot of conjecture that you can’t possibly come close to proving. Essentially, he’s an asshole because you’ve determined it to be so.

                  1. Oh he had no idea that building that thing where it was would piss people off. No symbolism there. Nope. And he just won’t release where he is getting his funding by clerical oversight I guess.

                    Whatever. You guys will never criticize anyone the Blue Team tells you is oppressed.

                    1. That is right DHEX. Saying he has a right to do what he wants with his property isn’t good enough. I have said that like then times. But you are still pissed off because I don’t like what he is doing.

                      No, dickweed.

                      The reason I’m pissed at you is because although out of one side of your mouth you agree that the have the right to build the mosque, out of the other side of your mouth you bend over backwards to defend the people who tried to game the system to stop the construction of the mosque, and go into your “Leave Sarah Palin ALONE!!!!!!!!!” routine when people criticize any GOP grandstanding on the issue.

                      “Stop being mean to these poor New Yorkers, they’re just using the same system of laws everyone else uses, and they have feeeeeeeeeeeeelings!” Drop that shit, and we can both agree that the Cordoba group is legally in the right and move on.

                      You would never and have never extended this kind of irrational and excessive consideration to any left-wing victim or grievance group. The way you bend over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to the side here that’s in the wrong makes me suspect that you will, once again, demand forgiveness for GOP politicians who piss on the Constitution, because “they’re doing the best they can” or some such shit. And that’s why I’m giving you a hard time.

                    2. Who’s tried to ‘game the system’? It looks like the mosque went through the standard process. Everyone who can legitimately try to get the mosque legally stopped is using the legal channel provided. I don’t see new laws being written to stop this, or regulation passed to make it somehow impossible.

                      Private citizens who don’t like it are using their Constitutionally protected right to assemble and protest.

                      Where is the gaming of the system? Where is someone cheating in all this?

                      Look, you may not like it, but, if the protesters, who’ve already lost in court, can convince the mosque builders that a mosque in this particular place is such an affront that it’s mere presence will undermine it’s mission of promoting understanding, and they move it because of this, the system will have worked.

                      Even better–Imam Rauf will show, beyond the shadow of the doubt, that he means what he says, that this mosque is to promote understanding.

                      Sometimes, Fluffy, people can do a better job than the State.

                      Oh, and if anyone is seriously suggesting that Rauf and his confederates would move the mosque out of fear of the protesters(i.e. that he was ‘terrorized’ into doing it), I’ve got a bridge, just a little ways from the mosque–it’s got your name written all over it–plus, it won’t make your ass look big.

                    3. Private citizens who don’t like it are using their Constitutionally protected right to assemble and protest.

                      The fact that they were trying to use coercive remedies while those were available shows that they don’t believe in religious freedom. The fact that Governor Faubus attempted to use passive resistance at the front door of Little Rock High School to prevent it from being integrated does not make him a peaceful protester to be praised for exercising his constitutionally protected rights in defense of what he believed.

                      And regardless, we’re just using our Constitutionally protected right to criticize them. The Blind Idiot God’s name is quite appropriate for you.

                    4. Indeed, and when you understand the Blindness of Azathoth, wisdom shall be your reward.

                      But getting to your comment, it becomes evident that you have a problem with people using their Constitutionally protected rights in service of issue you’re against.

                      I don’t.

                      You have every right to criticise, and I have every right to point out what I see as flaws in your argument. Rights for everybody!

                      They are not using any ‘coercive’ remedies that are not perfectly legal–and their protests aren’t a coercive remedy. Protesting is what you do when you have no power to force your views on someone. You stand in the streets and scream and hope that someone will do what you say just to shut you up. It’s an important right–but it has no actual power. At best, it shows any who see it that there is another side to the issue.

                    5. John, YOU DON’T KNOW HIS MOTIVATIONS. You THINK you do, but you don’t. Based upon that, you feel it OK to take off down the road of condemning motivations that MAY NOT EXIST.

                      And, John, I like to think that I’ve posted enough in the past here for you to feel embarrassed to continue to call me some sort of Team Blue-er.

                    6. Just to clarify, I was saying that this wasn’t Nazis marching in Skokie. The analogy would work if al Qaeda or some other terror group (or a political front group) were behind all of this. As far as we know, that’s not the case here.

                      I don’t think this is PC run amok. I’m a little uncomfortable with the knee-jerk reactions going on on both sides, but I can see some questioning of the motives of those backing the construction. Still, since it’s clearly nothing the government can prevent, I don’t see a legitimate issue for politicians to debate.

                    7. That is right DHEX. Saying he has a right to do what he wants with his property isn’t good enough. I have said that like then times. But you are still pissed off because I don’t like what he is doing.

                      But there is nothing PC about you or anything.

                      john, i’m not mad at you. i think you’re mentally challenged.

                      there’s a difference.

                      no, i don’t see the “symbolism” nor do i see what makes this particular spot “assholish”, but i’m a) familiar with the area and b) not retarded.

                    8. Timon, I’ve only seen you in the past couple of weeks and only at the Islamic Center at Ground Zero posts. When did you first show up and where have you been hiding?

                    9. I mostly lurk, but have popped up in a number of other threads. I’m not going to do a search to list them.

                    10. Team Red vision only sees Team Blue?

                      John…the symbolism of the location and the purpose of the building is more of an affront to Al-Qa’ida and their ilk than it is to the victims. Its purpose and location emphasize the failure of Al-Qa’ida’s act.

                      In order to see the location as a symbolic fuck you to America, one needs to attribute the acts of Al-Qa’ida to Islam writ large. It REQUIRES an attribution of collective guilt in order to find offense in the location. If you want to argue that the families of non-muslim victims have a harder time not making that collective attribution of guilt, you MIGHT be correct (I doubt it), but that does not make the collective attribution correct or the symbolism you imply the message that the world would see if this place were built.

                      As just an exercise in open-mindedness…try on this symbolism for a while: this place being built near ground zero is the biggest fuck you to Al-Qa’ida in years. Wear it around for a while…and after a test drive see if you are soooo sure the Imam is being an asshole to the victims.

                2. “It is not enough to admit that this guy has a right to do what he wants.”

                  How hard it must be for you to ‘admit’ this. Just the thought of it must make you cringe.

          2. Its not like anyone can win in your world

            Not unlike many of John’s critics.

        2. It’s more like any questioning of a minority is responded to with accusations of bigotry.
          This way the original question is lost as the person is put on trial for bigotry.

          In this case we have people questioning the wisdom of building a YMMA (Young Men’s Muslim Association) center so close to where some Muslims drove a couple planes into skyscrapers killing thousands of Americans, and they are being accused of bigotry.
          Now the wisdom of building this thing is not being discussed as those questioning it are put on trial for bigotry.

          1. OK, shoot. Find a way to “Question the wisdom” that doesn’t involve assigning all Muslims collective responsibility for 9/11.

            I need an explicit explanation that is phrased in direct terms and doesn’t rely on rhetorical devices like, “Can’t we be allowed to ask questions?”

            I want you to explicitly tell me your non-bigoted reasons in declarative and detailed sentences.

            I’ll wait.

            1. Thank you for proving my point by painting me to be guilty of bigotry until I am able to prove my innocence.

              And you thought you were so clever, when you’re nothing but a progressive troll.

              1. Dude, he didn’t call you a bigot. He’s just asking for an explanation that doesn’t include “they should be sensitive to the fact that 19 Muslims flew planes into buildings”.

                1. “Dude, he didn’t call you a bigot.”

                  He is telling me to prove I’m not a bigot. Same diff.

                  1. Well, then make a case without using collective guilt or a version of it.

                    1. Wouldn’t it be in bad taste for a militia group to build a bunker a few blocks down from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building?

                      Nobody would be assigning the militia members guilt for what McVeigh did, but the symbolism would be a bit on the tasteless side don’t you think?

              2. Thank you for proving my point by painting me to be guilty of bigotry until I am able to prove my innocence.

                If a cop pulls you over and finds that you have a bound, gagged, bludgeoned dead body in your trunk…you’d better be ready to prove that you didn’t kill the person.

                1. The dead bodies are mixed in with the rubble a couple blocks away from the proposed site of this building.

            2. I’m your Huckleberry!

              I assign ALL Muslims individual responsibility for accepting the teachings of the prophet Muhammad to whatever degree they do(Which each and every Muslim necessarily does to some degree). Even those who reject all of his most barbaric teachings on murder and stoning and torture are still guilty, though to a smaller degree, of continuing to seek wisdom from such a source and of indoctrinating their children with its teachings. They, and the children they indoctrinate, must disobey many teachings of Islam just to remain innocent of murder. This Sufi sect, as well as any building they wish to build on private property, will have my moral sanction just as soon as they officially disown the Koran and write their own book of teachings which does not include the evil ones and teach their kids to obey some other prophet who never said such things. They will not have it a single day sooner.

              So there you go. No bigotry. Just moral disapproval of a belief system. Do you disapprove of no belief systems? That would be a difficult stance to take.

              1. ^^To Fluffy^^

          2. Besides, I don’t see why you’re complaining, when you openly admitted being an anti-Muslim bigot in a post above. You just happen to think that in the case of Muslims, bigotry is the proper way to proceed.

            When you openly admit to being a bigot, you really shouldn’t then walk around in the same discussion complaining about people thinking you’re a bigot.

            1. “when you openly admitted being an anti-Muslim bigot”

              That’s my cue to go on the defensive, right?

          3. “In this case we have people questioning the wisdom of building a YMMA (Young Men’s Muslim Association) center so close to where some Muslims drove a couple planes into skyscrapers killing thousands of Americans, and they are being accused of bigotry.”

            See this phrase right here? This is you assigning collective guilt to all muslims, despite the fact that the muslims who perpetrated 9/11 were of a totally different sect than those who want to build the mosque (I bet you can’t name both of them w/o a google search). It’s sorta like being offended at the building of a Protestant church near the site of a crime committed by Catholics.

            The act of assigning collective guilt does make you somewhat of a bigot. Don’t get defensive. Consider this your intervention. This is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s the day you recognized you had a problem with bigotry, much like others have a problem with heroin, or cocaine.

            1. You proved my point by dismissing the idea and attacking the source.

              Thank you for playing.

    2. We’re libertarians. Since when do need a reason to argue?

    3. It’s the Battle of Straw Men!

      In the Red corner we have the racist Islamophobes who wants to burn the Constitution to prevent brown Muslims from setting up a monument to their victory on 9/11, and in the Blue corner we have terrorist sympathizers who are gleefully thumbing their nose at those who lost friends and loved ones when the WTC collapsed.

      Game On!

      1. You know, I think you’re right. There’s not an underlying issue here at all–just a metaissue. Very odd.

        1. And, for the record, I’ve got no problem with people protesting, boycotting, and saying nasty things in connection with this mosque/community center/strip club being built. That’s protected behavior, too.

          Personally, I can’t get too uptight about this, though I wonder at the motivations of those who wanted to build there in the first place. It may be they didn’t think of the issue, but it may also be that they wanted to provoke a response. If I were behind this, I’d build a center promoting love and peace between the brothers of the Book or something like that.

          1. It may be they didn’t think of the issue, but it may also be that they wanted to provoke a response.

            That’s been my thought all along.

          2. I tend to think this was a basically sincere effort at ‘dialog’, or at least not some kind of ‘victory’ symbol, but that it wasn’t thought out too well. Personally, I don’t care about the issue that much since I live in California. If it *is* some kind of victory symbol, it’s still not terribly significant. It looks to me more like they are just taking what they can get because they can’t come up with any more significant ‘victory’. Assuming the place is built, I don’t think it’s not going to mean much 10 years from now either way.

          3. It’s funny, Pro, as much as you question the intent of the people building the mosque, you never drop the slightest hint of concern about the motivations of those who oppose it.

            Your curiosity smells a bit one-sided.

    4. So, in the end, what the hell are we arguing about?

      It’s just sticking the nationalist thermometer into the nation’s butt. Like a focus-group, trying to assess how much bigotry they should rain down on the public for the midterm elections in order to be efficient.

  22. For once, I agree with you, Ms. Dalmia. But while saying that we handle intolerance “better” than other nations is true, it is not good enough. We need to aspire to the highest standards.

  23. If they build it the terrorists win

    1. And if “we” prevent them from building, the terrorists win.
      Best hope is to stop talking about it and maybe the issue goes away.

      1. Why do the terrorists win? Because we’ve abrogated our commitment to religious freedom?

        I can’t sacrifice humans, Mormons have to be satisfied with just one wife, there are no religious drugs available, or temple whores. America doesn’t really have a good record when it comes to freedom of religion anyway–so why start with a religion that wants us to crash and burn, preferably at the tips of their scimitars.

        1. Because we have laws that supersede your ability to sacrifice humans or have brothels for your religion. If or when Muslims run afoul of our secular laws they should and are prosecuted. The debate on the laws prohibiting those behaviors are another story.

  24. Yea!!

    Reason writes a blog about Freddie and Fannie and it gets 29 comments all day. Write something about a stupid f’n Mosque in NY which has almost no influence on our lives whatsoever and we get 124 in 3 hours.

    No wonder Libertarians are impotent.

    Enjoy the next 15 years of economic malaise, people.

    Seriously, our priorities are so damn out of whack. This is basically tabloid shit.

    There should only be three causes in the minds of Libertarians right now: Sound money/free banking, ending the overseas occupations, and ending the drug war (in that order). Everything else is just rabble rousing meant to distract you.

    1. Fannie and Freddie have been argued endlessly over the last couple of years here. This is the issue of the moment.

    2. Believe me, for most of us here, the economic debacle is what we care about most. Fannie and Freddie are very high on our shit list.

      1. I think he’s one of those guys still bummed out Ron Paul lost, and blames us

        1. Hey, I voted for Ron Paul!

    3. So right. I mean, how could the potential destruction of the 1st Amendment be nearly as important as banking policy?

      In the same vein, be sure to stay away from the pesky 14th Amendment argument as well people. It’s just “not as important” as stopping the drug war either.

      No offense, KPrez, but Geez. These are fundamentals of our society. IMHO, it is considerably more important to shine the light on those who would subvert or destroy the Constitution than it is to ensure weed is made legal…..just so the pigs in charge can tax it as well.

    4. We tend to agree on those things, so the article gets read, but there’s no real need for a lot of debate in the comments.

      Over here, we can hurl invective at each other, secure in the knowledge that we’ll come together on the important stuff.

    5. If there were a post at Daily Kos or Red State about Fannie and Freddie, they’d be lucky to get 10 comments. And of course you wouldn’t even get a post about them at those places.

      So that’s probably not the reason libertarians are so powerless.

    6. Look back at the recent high comment articles on Reason over the past few months. They deal with one of two issues really, Immigration and Islam.

      I believe that the reason for this is because these two subjects really show the dividing line between Libertarians and Conservatives.

      Take John for example (there are others), while he tends to be relatively libertarian on financial issues, immigration and Islam cross his social-Conservative line and put him at odds with the core of the Reason audience. There are many who have the same general political stance and therefore it leads to long argument threads.

      While on economic issues it is mostly everyone arguing with just a few individuals, Chad, Tony, MNG.

      (Plus since many Libertarians are zealous atheists, any discussion that involves a religion gets heated.)

      1. Funny, I’d put that dividing line at libertarians and liberals. Interesting, no?

  25. Reason writes a blog about Freddie and Fannie and it gets 29 comments all day. Write something about a stupid f’n Mosque in NY which has almost no influence on our lives whatsoever and we get 124 in 3 hours.

    Sensational stories always get more interest. Wait, let me back up. Do you know the difference between boring and sensational? Wait, let me back up. Are you older than 12?

  26. You don’t Al Quada is going to play this up?

    If the location of this community center is a big fuck you to anyone…it is a big fuck you to Bin Ladin and co. Why people can’t see that I don’t know.

  27. Hey conservatives, why don’t you lock yourself in the closet with your Dashboard Confessional cds and cry about your feelings some more? Sheesh, and I thought the Left was oversensitive. At least they have the ACLU…

    But seriously, isn’t the bigger issue here that terrorism is the most overrated thing around (or at least was, until Lady Gaga and Ed Hardy came around…) Geez, let’s write a blank check and violate innumerable rights to fight a nonentity a million times less likely to kill me than my own car.

    1. “It stabs hearts” would be a great emo song title.

    2. sounds like a suspiciously unconservative plan. they’ll never go for it…

  28. Funny thought I just had…

    Everyone thinks its ‘insensitive’ for these people to be building a muslim community center within …well, a certain invisible distance from the WTC. Its horrible and its the muslims laughing in our faces and arent they all just a bunch of dicks.

    …But no one seems to mind all the dumb white college kids with the “9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!” t-shirts.

    Seriously, if they passed a law it was OK to kick anyone’s ass who proposed 9/11 either never happened, or was ‘faked’? I’d be down with that. I’d have a 2×4 with notches on it already. “I got me 5 truthers yesterday!”

    Seriously. Haven’t americans been about as insensitive (well, embarrassingly stupid) as possible to each other already? Who needs teh mooslims?

    1. “But no one seems to mind all the dumb white college kids with the “9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!” t-shirts.”

      I sure as hell did. I would let this guy build his Mosque before I would that those fuckheads build something.

  29. Islam is a violent religion

    1. I c whut u did thar

  30. With all due respect, and I have great respect for your article and the point you have made, but the information you present is the very evidence for why I believe the American reaction (suspicion) to Islam is a bit more than “knee jerk”. For one thing, the fact that there are so many mosques already in existence in the US is, as you have implied, because we are basically a tolerant society. But for this structure to be planned for this very location hit a “sore spot”. Suspicion deepens when the developers resist placing it somewhere else and then specifically cite the 9/11 event as a primary consideration, to offer a gesture of healing and reconciliation for the tragedy. So THEY have intentionally associated the center with 9/11, and with no attempt to deny it. While the gesture appears to be sincere, the problem with it is this. To use your words… “It is possible that the center is really an elaborate ruse for some sinister anti-American agenda?just as it is possible that America’s next president could be a Manchurian candidate installed by the Chinese.”… I would have to add that building an Islamic “mosque” that is not really a mosque has about the same odds. The problem lies at the very heart of Islam. The Koran. There is no mount of moderation that can change the very mandate it imposes on every Muslim, and that’s the advancement of Sharia law… at any cost. And to quote again from your article… “if there is ever going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed mosque.”… I would make the point: The imam knows that if there is ever going to be a mosque built at this location, so close to GZ, then it would have to be a “mosque” that has the appearance of “not really being a mosque” and look like a “reformist movement” agenda to establish a community center complete with restaurant, pool, etc. etc. So, to quote the linguistically challenged Ms. Palin (or at least paraphrase her comment): “a pig with lipstick is still a pig”.

    1. Until you can prove that’s what it is, STFU.

    2. Those sneaky bastards! They try and look all ‘reformist’…yeah, right! We see right through that double-talk.

      This reminds me of the great quote from Dispatches/Full Metal Jacket:

      “Anyone who runs is a VC; anyone standing still is a *well trained* VC”

      Funny how the millions of muslims already in America have made no progress with their universal mandate to impose Sharia law on all the rest of us. Oops, and also the vast majority of muslims around the world. They’re just *biding their time*, the sneaky bastards! They’ve just been waiting hundreds of years for the *right moment*.

    3. There’s a concerted effort by the organized Christian fundamentalist movement to impose its version of theocracy on the U.S. I suppose we should raze all their churches and universities?

      1. Right, that meme has been out of fashion among all but the farthest of the left for a decade or so. For all the talk of the impending Christian theocratic state, the first piece of legislation has yet to arrive.

        But, as always, lefties confuse conservative politicians talk of family values and morality with Christian sharia instead of an appeal to voters who believe those traits are important on a PERSONAL level.

        Note: A response to this will probably be along the lines of, “those voters should stop being idiots and vote according to the appropriate instructions from Democrats.”

        1. Right, that meme has been out of fashion among all but the farthest of the left for a decade or so. For all the talk of the impending Christian theocratic state, the first piece of legislation has yet to arrive.

          I really hate to refute an argument against Tony, but “the first piece of legislation has yet to arrive”….really?

          The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) wasn’t based on Christian religious attitudes about gays?

          Many states and localities still have Blue Laws that are meant for no other purpose but to impose a Christian philosophy on the populace.

          The attempts to put “prayer back into schools” is based upon forcing everyones children to adhere to the Right’s Christian beliefs.

          The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance (by the Federal Government) for no other purpose, but to differenciate us a Christian nation as oppossed to those “Godless” Communists.

          Most people who are pushing anti-abortion laws are forcing their Christian views of life on the rest of the populace.

          The list of Christian laws in this country is long. While I may not agree with radical atheists on religion, I do agree that we have a long way to go before the people of this country stop trying to use Government Force to shoehorn their religion on everyone else.

          1. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) wasn’t based on Christian religious attitudes about gays?

            Christians are more upset over government attempts to secularize and redefine a religious institution. DOMA may not be the best way to counter that, but they are correct when they point out how government arbitrarily picks marriage for this function given many other religious institutions such as baptism, communion, bar mitzvahs, circumcision.

            Many states and localities still have Blue Laws that are meant for no other purpose but to impose a Christian philosophy on the populace.

            I’ve never known those laws to be anything but symbolic.

            The attempts to put “prayer back into schools” is based upon forcing everyones children to adhere to the Right’s Christian beliefs.

            This is more of an attempt to allow each religious student a moment of religious prayer. I know of no effort to ensure this is a Christian prayer, and I can’t imagine anyone supporting teachers going around to check you’re praying to the correct God.

            The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance (by the Federal Government) for no other purpose, but to differenciate us a Christian nation as oppossed to those “Godless” Communists.

            That was in 1954, decades before the relevant period. Even then, it’s an emphasis on freedom of religion where the state does not impose atheism on us all.

            Most people who are pushing anti-abortion laws are forcing their Christian views of life on the rest of the populace.

            Most values they propogate are on a personal level and not a dicta to be imposed by government and enforced by a religious police (ala Saudi Arabia). Murder, however, is immoral on secular and religious levels and is not an issue when those with a religious motivation oppose it.

      2. Really? Can you prove that? Because there’s nothing that gets that ol’ devil up like a night of church burning.*

        Let’s all seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.

        And I’m only half joking…

        *funny, isn’t it, there has been a bit of church burning lately, and some synagogue defacing, but I don’t ever seem to hear about anyone doing anything to mosques–anyone got some mosque defiling?

        1. That indicates you didn’t vote the proper way.

          Churches are only burned and synagogues are only defaced if Republicans are elected to office.

  31. And an idiot with idiotic justifications is still an idiot.

  32. Liberal progressive Jon Stewart nailing the thing on its head:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa…..sque-erade

    1. Good point. This is exactly like people protesting if a Catholic church was being built 2 blocks from a school where a bunch of students had been molested. (Now some will say it would need to be a school where 2,143 students had been molested to make it equivalent or maybe molested and then killed).

      But it still points to the fact that, as many have already pointed out, you have to conflate being Muslim with being a jihadist terrorist in order to get really upset over this.

      1. While the Catholics would be within their rights to build their church, it still would be in bad taste.

        1. Because all Catholics are molesters. Got it.

          1. No, you don’t “Got it”.

      2. I’m not sure what the epidemic of public school molestation has to do with the building of a church. I mean, if the church wasn’t there before then it wasn’t catholics molesting those poor students.

        Though, Catholics face the same problem of suspicion that muslims face. They did, after all, try to cover it up.

        Funny that–why’d they try to cover it up? Isn’t their invisible god omniscient?

        1. I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Azathoth, but yeah, that analogy makes no sense. The molestation problems of the Catholic Church were all occuring in their own churches and schools…it’s not like roving gangs of priests were spreading out into the neighborhood looking for a quickie on the street.

  33. This column needs, no, NEEDS to be found in more places. I don’t underestimate my more ignorant fellow Americans’ ability to dismiss this, but if it is out in public, fewer will have the excuse that they weren’t exposed to it or somehow were justified in wallowing in their ignorance.

  34. I only have one thing to say. Would this even be an issue if the Twin Towers had already been rebuilt like they should have been by now.? I think not.

  35. Yeah, well, Sarah Palin may not be as smart and Sciency as the Real Libertarians, but at least she knows when someone (in this case Radical Islam) is about to take a crap on this country….again.

    Wow. So Palin said/wrote refudiate? I guess no Reason commenters/paid clowns with jobs every make typos or mispeak…Or Vote for Obama.

    1. Sarah Palin is teh bestest and America and the bible and suports our troops and is fighting the terrism against sosialists and appeasers and the libral elitests. Also mosques are bad. My dog has a wet nose and santa I want a Hanna Montana this year.

      1. You betcha!

  36. Wow. The discussion here is so enlightened. Whatevs…

    1. We’re not so much enlightened as we are enfrightened.

      1. Mostly we come here for entertainment. I do, anyway.

        1. I came here for an argument but got abuse instead.

          1. I come for the abuse, but was entertained instead.

          2. That’s what happens when progressive trolls invade a perfectly good forum.

            Their method for shutting down ideas is to wage mass personal attacks against the person.
            That way they switch the subject to the person and the idea is forgotten.

            1. Lets be fair, conservative trolls do the same.

              1. That statement presumes that progressives have ideas to shut down.

            2. Just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean they are “progressive trolls”.

  37. Welcome to the great Rorschach Test of 2010! Woo Hooooo!

    Did we win?

  38. The place being proposed is called the Cordoba Center, apparently. OBL is, from what I remember, obsessed with the idea of taking Spain back for the religion of peace. So it is a classy touch for a centre with a Spanish name of great meaning to pissed Muslims to be built near Ground Zero. Nice.

    Seriously, though, no-one is making the suggestion that this mosque somehow is about all Muslims able to gloat at what happened on 9/11. But come on, surely it takes an ounce of common sense to realise that this building, and what it symbolises, hits at a raw nerve.

    BTW, anyone know about the funding of this building, and the sponsors? If it is the Saudis then I trust all those purists libertarians on this board realise that it is a project backed by a fascist state, and show a bit of understanding to those who are angered by all this.

    1. Thanks, but the Cordoba thing has been discussed and dissected in any of the 1300 other comments sections on this subject. You’re late.

    2. a project backed by a fascist state

      All states are fascist?

    3. Ugh… you’re a day late and a dollar short. Go read the last mosque post + it’s 350+ comments and then come spew your Newt Gingrich talking points.

    4. Last I checked Saudi Arabia was a monarchy.

    5. So what if it is?

  39. Teh Gays have the same right to marry as I do. Someone of the opposite sex!

  40. Here are some shots of the hallowed ground in question:
    http://daryllang.com/blog/4421

    1. Also, there are already two mosques in the area. And by mosques, I don’t mean community centers with swimming pools. I mean mosques.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08…..osque.html

      Like all the other crap we have to put up with in the MSM, this is just another case of a false Team Red v Team Blue dichotomy.

      1. “Also, there are already two mosques in the area. “

        WHERE??!! BURN!!! BURN THEM!!! RELIGION OF EVIL!!!!

    2. “…shots of the hallowed ground in question:”

      If you look closely in the windows of the Off Track Betting, you can see a faint reflection a the statue of liberty with tears in her eyes.

      Also, “FDNY & NYPD Tshirts $10” has 18 letters = 9+11. Hello?? Miracle alert! Does anyone else hear a faint choir in the background??

  41. I think nthe entire article could have been much shorter. I’ll have a go at it:

    “People have been using their 1st Amendment rights to attempt to stunt the 1st Amendment rights of others. Sarah Palin, among others, is using fear and anger to score points politically in hopes that she can raise more money than her potential competitors for the Republican 2012 presidential bid. Meanwhile, Obama actually gets something right, but decides to stick his head up his ass to help his party in the midterms.

    In a related item, Harry Reid is a spinless pussy that is more concerned with his own political skin than what is right. Dems are expected to flock to his position.”

  42. It’s not good hatred management, it’s political correctness. In other countries they fear less about speaking up their mind. In US people are constantly afraid of being called a bigot or something alike.

    1. Right, Peter. Unfortunately, the ones who aren’t afraid to speak up usually start their statements with, “I’m not a bigot, but…”

      1. I’m much too big a fan of adultery not to be bigotted about that whole stoning thing called for in Sharia. Dealing with people who tsk tsk it is alot easier than havin big rocks chucked at your head.

  43. Why is it so easy for people to insult Palin? Because she’s not part of the ruling class Ivy League elites? REALLY? I say that’s a bonus X10, but people have some borderline sexual fetish for insulting her. No one in America is scrutinized more heavily.

    1. I think people love to insult her because the people who love to defend her are so easy to bait…

  44. I would like to take this opportunity to state, for the record, that reading through a H&R nested-commentary thread is like trying to read Finnegans Wake while sober.

  45. I figured I’d leave one of the handful of posts that actually have something directly to do with the subject of the artical rather than mindlessly bashing someone I disagree with like most posters here seem to be doing.

    1. In both India and Europe, a higher percentage of the population are Muslim. This makes a difference in how the majority views them, how much ‘tolerance’. Also, it’s my impression (rightly or wrongly) that Muslims in the U.S. are of the more ‘moderate’ type.

    2. I’ve never heard of any significant groups or public figures even hinting at violence. It’s always been “I’m against the Mosque (or whatever it’s intended to be), but they have a right to build it there.” (As noted, there were attempts at legally preventing it from being built.)

    1. ah yes, and you haven’t at all bashed all the other commenters here (whose off-topic posting you disagree with)…

  46. So, has the horse come back to life yet? No? Let the beatings continue.

  47. When there is a thread about videotape of Palin shooting a dog in a mosque while dressed in swat gear, while watching a porno about milkmaids and whateverthefucktheotherthingwas, then we will have the 1 million post apocalypse.

  48. My issue is this- why are the families of 9/11 dead any different than the families of any other murder victims? When I see some poor Asian grocer get gunned down in the city, I think it would be nice if his widow could get a nice financial package like the 9/11 families received. I understand that we were attacked as a country, but we seem to be bending over backwards for the 9/11 families. When does it end?
    My (white) father was murdered in his pharmacy by a black man. Is it ok for my family to refuse to sell the property to a black person? If we do sell it to them, can we dictate what they can do with it? We Americans are murdering our fellow citizens every day, but not much is thought or done about it. We’re too busy with mental masturbation like this bullshit.

  49. This article implies that the imam proposing the mosque, who refuses to call Hamas a terrorist organization because the question is “complex,” has benign motives in building this structure. But if that were so, can somebody please tell me why on Earth he’s building it next to Ground Zero?

    1. Dan M.

      Since I know as much or more about his motivations than, say, John does, I’ll take a stab at telling you why he has chosen to build this where he has.

      1) It is close to his current Mosque…in the neighborhood where his patrons live.
      2) He opposes Bin Ladin and company and their aims and wants to send a symbolic message to the terrorists – the short version of it: “Bin Ladin and company tried to destroy the relationship between America and its Muslim population, but they have failed. I want to build a center dedicated to dialog near the site of their atrocity to show them that their efforts have failed and that Muslims in America are on America’s side and not theirs.

    2. Have you ever met a person from the Middle East and actually had a dialogue with them? A lot of them view Hamas as freedom fighters. A lot of Irish people thought the same thing about the IRA. And just to refresh your memory, we (Texan’s) were terrorist to Mexico.

  50. It is painfully obvious that opposition to the Cordoba House, as this structure would be called, is motivated less by a desire to protect the memory of 9/11 victims and more by a knee-jerk suspicion of Muslims. If it were not, mosque-bashers wouldn’t have so much difficulty processing some basic but crucial facts about the structure.

    Hmm. I think I realize why you guys reacted so differently from me towards this debate. You’ve been watching the national leaders and their soundbits. I’ve been following what local opposition say. Most of the ordinary people who showed up to argue against the Islamic Center at Ground Zero had very specific arguments against it. Those arguements were not based on general anti-Muslim sentiment. While I disagree with those arguements, I think it’s worth reading them so that you can see the variety of motivations behind local opposition.

    1. Historic preservation: The building site currently has a building that was built a century and a half ago by an architect who is famous enough to have other buildings by him preserved with landmark status. The Burlington Coat Factory Building got extra historic signifigance when a part of one plan that landed in the WTC fell into it.

    2. Location. The building is very close to the WTC foot print and arguably at Ground Zero. Until now, no one has actually marked off the borders of Ground Zero. The Burlington Coat Building was actually damaged by the plan attack, so why wouldn’t you say that it is part of Ground Zero?

    2. Specific accusation about ties that people who want to build the Islamic center might have with terrorist organization.

    My rebuttal.

    1. Historic preservation laws violate land rights.

    2. Passing a mosque might be emotionally painful to people on their way to the 9/11 memorial, but it could also aid the healing by habbituating people to the sight of Muslims peacefully going about their lives.

    3. Accusation belong in court, not at a debate over building permits.

    So you see, this is not a black and white case. There are many sides to the debate that Reason neglected to cover.

  51. Newsweek Editor Fareed Zakaria is absolutely right when he notes that, “if there is ever going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed mosque.”

    A reformist movement did emerge in Islam. It’s called Baha’i. It stared in the 19th century, and it is illegal in most Muslim majority countries. If our goal is to reform Muslims, we should push for the rights of Baha’is in Muslim majority countries.

  52. It is possible that the center is really an elaborate ruse for some sinister anti-American agenda?just as it is possible that America’s next president could be a Manchurian candidate installed by the Chinese. But to suspect such an agenda in the face of massive evidence to the contrary testifies to just how deep-seated the suspicion against Muslims is in this country.

    By that logic, all those conspiracy theories about the Bush administration prove how anti-Protistant or anti-White America is.

  53. “Yet as Shikha Dalmia explains, it’s to America’s credit that anti-mosque sentiment hasn’t boiled over to active persecution.”

    Only an overheated imagination, like Dalmia’s consistently is, would fantasize that it would. Put up or shut up already, Dalmia: Let’s see your list of Muslim persecutions by the American public.

    I won’t hold my breath.

    1. That was Dalmia’s point, Federal Dog. All that exists is some bad sentiment, not persecutions. We’ve got a system of debating emotinal topics that diffused bad feelings without any violence.

      1. Dissent and persecution in this context are completely unrelated. Since there have never been grounds on which to think that persecution — active or otherwise — has ever been part of the social calculus, Dalmia’s suggestion that dissent is some admirably restrained form of persecution is dishonest.

  54. America, in short, represents not just how far humanity has yet to travel on the road to complete civility, but how far humanity has already traveled. For now, if the rest of the world just caught up with America, it would be a huge leap forward for the cause of toleration.

    Dalmia the conclusion is great and the essay is good overall. With the few edits I suggested above, this article would be amazing.

  55. Sorry, but I agree theres are right for a mosque to be built there, but this woman is just like the leftists defending the mosque.

    Seriously, community center in lower Manhattan? At best you are going to have 20-30 year old Muslims working in the area which happens to be hard majority of corporate buildings and of course Wall Street. A community center my ass, its a Mosque, my church has a pool and book store, but it sure as heck ain’t a community center.

  56. Conservatives justa few months ago were screaming mad at how little the other side cared about the constitution and rights…and here they are ignoring property rights and religious rights. Not only is it hypocrital, it’s a depressing and glaring example of how politicians on both sides will say and use anything to rile emotions and get votes.

  57. Sad thing is people always talk about tolerance. What about actually respect for others beliefs and ideas. I think the term tolerance is quite ugly and overused.

  58. “The ‘mosque,’ for instance, is not really a mosque but an Islamic community center…. It will house a place of worship…”

    Oh, so only the mosque part is a mosque? How dumb we all are!

  59. there is a specific merit belong to an advanced society deserved to be studied and imitated. the wheel of time always keep forward.

  60. in short, America,represents not just how far humanity has yet to travel on the road to complete civility, but how far humanity has already traveled.

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