9/11

The Next Debate Over the "Ground Zero Mosque"

Is it bigoted to criticize religion?

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When it comes to the proposed Islamic center near ground zero, I subscribe to President Barack Obama's position: "Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country…."

But that's old news. Today, the debate is the debate. And this debate is far more consequential.

There are those who continue to make the facile claim that any protest over Park51 is a display in un-American intolerance and contempt for the Constitution. This position treats criticism of faith—religious institutions and symbols included—as tantamount to "bigotry."

Given that there remains overwhelming opposition to the ground zero mosque, this viewpoint would mean that 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion and irrationally narrow-minded.

Could be. Or, maybe a few of these folks believe the First Amendment features more than one clause. Even a newfound reverence for religious liberty on the left does not negate our right to protest and criticize the philosophical disposition of others. And applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Religious institutions, as far as I can tell, are not exempted from these disputes.

In 2008, thousands of gay-rights activists protested the Mormon temple in Westwood, Calif., for its role in passing Proposition 8—the ban on same-sex marriage. This grew into a national protest to undermine the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—even though not every Mormon was involved.

I don't recall anti-Mormon protesters being referred to as bigots for targeting religion; it appeared to be just the opposite, in fact. And if I am offended by aspects of Mormon theology, why not voice those concerns? Put it this way: If Mormons proposed the erection of a 13-story community center in West Hollywood or the West Village, I would be happy to join the outcry of protest.

You know, though only a fraction of Catholic priests are pedophiles, the entire church is routinely broad-brushed as corrupt and depraved. I've not heard those who make generalizations about Catholicism referred to as bigots in Time magazine.

Nor have I heard those who regularly disparage Evangelicals called intolerant.

These groups inject themselves into political and cultural disputes of the day—as they have every right to do—so they become fair game. And by building the Islamic center near ground zero, the backers of Park51 insert themselves in a broader political conversation.

As a person with a libertarian political temperament, I would hate to see government shut down religious expression. As an atheist, I am distrustful of religion's influence on that freedom. But, in the end, one is a discussion about the role of government in society and the other is a discussion about civilization. Few people in this debate make that distinction.

As we know, only a fraction of Muslims are radicalized to violence. Most Muslims are peaceful—free to practice their religion unencumbered. All of this is indisputable. Prospectively speaking, unlike many other faiths, ideological Islam has a poor track record of compatibility with liberal ideals. Surely, that's worth a discussion in free society. Or is it a case of intolerance to bring it up?

I've read numerous columns claiming that "allowing" a mosque to be built near ground zero is proof of our tolerant goodness. To be certain.

But surely our ability to conduct a peaceful debate over the meaning of institutions, including religion, is also a reflection of that greatness.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

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  1. GO BACK TO RUSSIA, JUGGALO

    1. MORE COWBELL JUGGALO

      1. Don’t encourage those fat fucks to drink even more Faygo, dude.

        1. I’m afraid to try Faygo, for fear that I’ll turn juggalo and have sudden urges to get down wit da clown.

      2. Until I heard about the Tila Tequila stoning, I assumed Insane Clown Posse had been quietly and mercifully killed off by a serial killer with good taste.

        1. There’s still time.

  2. It’s about time someone posted something about the mosque.

    1. Amen! I mean, PBUH!

    2. Thank GOD – I mean ALLAH – that someone FINALLY is posting a blog entry about TEH OMG MOSQUE!!!11!!

    3. It’s either this or Brett Favre, folks.

      1. Bringing up another crazy religion won’t help.

  3. I DON’T LIKE MOSQUE!

    1. The problem is that your mosque uses ladies-scented mosque wash instead of the manly mosque wash used by the mosque your mosque could smell like.

    2. I accidentally The Mosque, is this a problem?

  4. I posted this in the Rand Paul thread, but it can be just as relevant here.

    I can see another parallel between Rand Paul’s position on the CRA and the mosque. Islam is a totalitarian ideology spreading hatred toward gays, non-believers, denying equality to women. It’s a good thing for freedom-loving people to minimize Islam’s influence. And putting public pressure against the spread of Islam unlike outright government bans is the right way to proceed. Quite similar to Paul’s take on fighting Jim Crow.

    1. But if your end goals are equality toward gays, women, etc., which do you think is a more likely scenario: mainstream Muslims becoming more moderate and tolerating gays, non-believers, women, etc. while relegating extremists to the fringe, or Islam going away? I often see Islam as a younger brother to Christianity, where it’s going through the same growing pains Christianity went through 300 years ago when it was burning witches and whatnot. From a purely pragmatic view, I think freedom-loving people will get more bang for their buck in trying to integrate moderate Muslims into western culture rather than marginalizing them, which is the effect of opposing the Mosque.

      1. I agree.

        I also agree with Harsanyi’s general thesis. There is nothing “bigoted” about focusing on the bigotry of Islam, or any other religion’s bigotry.

        1. Dog, I hate threaded threaded posts. My post above was meant as a reply to grizzly.

        2. Or even bigotry expressed by atheists.

      2. That ain’t my little brother, Buckaroo.

      3. Muslims would be horribly insulted by that perspective. They see themselves not as “Christianity’s younger brother” but as the true and correct version of monotheism, while Christianity and Judaism are corrupted predecessors.

        After all, the Koran is the only holy book that is supposed to have been directly dictated by God. The bible (New Testament) is a bunch of word-of-mouth stories that have been edited over 2000 years.

        1. Just for the record, what I mean by “Christianity’s younger brother” is that it’s literally a younger religion. As such, if you view the development of Christianity as an analog for the development of Islam, then one might speculate that Islam will largely abandon its militaristic past over the next one to two hundred years (as Christianity did).

          I never meant to draw doctrinal comparisons between Christianity and Islam.

          1. We are the oldest religion. We deposited the souls in the volcanoes long before your earthling bodies were created. Suck it.

            Long live Xenu!!!

          2. ClubMedSux, by that logic, members of the Church of All Worlds should be the least tolerant of all, because it was only founded half a century ago. The Unitairan-Universalist Church started about the same time as the Baha’i movement. The difference in their development is due to the political environment, not the theology of their parent religions. The Unitarian-Universalist Church has spent the past century and a half in a country with First Amendment rights. The majority of Baha’is have not. So, the Baha’is are still struggling in many nations for basic freedoms. That puts a damper on any progress towards the Baha’is teaching tolerance to Muslims.

      4. I think we should judge each Muslim as an individual on Libertarian grounds. However, if I took your lead and made decisions based on pragmatism I would say that protesting is a good idea. After all the protests, the folks in charge of building the Islamic Center at Ground Zero offered to include a 9/11 memorial in the complex and to have an interfaith board oversee the funding.

      5. I often see Islam as a younger brother to Christianity, where it’s going through the same growing pains Christianity went through 300 years ago

        That’s because you’re an ignorant jackass that does not understand either religion.

      6. They build that god damn mosque im moving to canada

    2. Islam is a totalitarian ideology spreading hatred toward gays, non-believers, denying equality to women.

      For this to be plausible, you have to show me a society that was tolerant of gays and had equal rights for women before adopting Islam, but not after. Otherwise it’s just a case of societies that are already intolerant adopting Islam, not the other way around.

      1. There’s another way to think about it. Do you think that women gained even more equality in the West in the last fifty years or they lost ground? I believe that Western women are not worse off than they were 50 years ago. But that’s not the case with women in Muslim countries. Check these pictures of the Cairo University students. Have you noticed any differences?

        1. Do you know how long Islam has been the dominant religion in Egypt, grizzly?

          1. Are you implying that Islam had a beneficial role in the apparent westernization of Egyptian women in the 50’s -70’s? Marxism — maybe, but not Islam.

            1. No, and I don’t have to. I didn’t claim Islam raises the status of women; YOU made a claim and YOU have to back it up.

              1. Islam has been the dominant religion for a very long time. But it’s not relevant to my point because I didn’t intend to give you an example you wanted. I gave you a different example (“There’s another way to think about it.”) showing that the rights of women in non-Muslim countries improved in the last 50 years, while they deteriorated in Muslim countries.

                1. I’d have to agree with Grizzly on this one. Although it has heen a slow road, there have been great advances for gays and women in western society over the past 50 years, while those in the Islamic world have essentially been stuck in the 800’s.

                  Is it the way gays want it to be here? Probably not, but we’re getting closer. Do women exercise essentially the same rights men do here? Absolutely. In fact, they enjoy more rights than men in some regards. (Ex: Try to get a woman to have an abortion and when she refuses, see if you can get a court order to stop a man from being forced to pay child support for his unfanted fetus that he has no control over.)

                  Say what you want, but progress is being made here while in even the more progressive Islamic states such as Egpyt, Jordan and Turkey there is a constant pressure being exerted by the church to put women and gays back in their place by subjugation and calls for death.

                  1. In western society, things were better for gays in the 200s than they were in most of the 1900s.

                    1. In western society, things were better for gays in the 200s than they were in most of the 1900s.

                      Of course they weren’t western countries then.

                      They were provinces of the Roman Empire which had more slaves than freemen let alone citizens.

                      Oh yeah and they thought crucifixion was a great punishment for all kinds of crime, when not sending those criminals to public deaths by being eaten live by wild animals.

                      And don’t forget the periodic murder of political opponents followed by enslaving their households and confiscation of their wealth.

                      Your such a douche bag.
                      Do you believe even half the bullshit you write?

                    2. Well that probably shows that picking gay rights (or even women rights) is itself cherry-picking. I would go as far as saying that Roman era women had it better than post-Roman Christian women until the 1900s. And yes, I partly blame Christianity itself; but I don’t think it is the only thing.

                2. …showing that the rights of women in non-Muslim countries improved in the last 50 years, while they deteriorated in Muslim countries.

                  You are cherry-picking a timeline (50 years). Not everything is a constant trend toward the ‘better’ (however that might be defined). There are ups and downs, steps backward and steps forward.

                  1. “while those in the Islamic world have essentially been stuck in the 800’s.”

                    The other timeline he cherry-picked was a period of about 1,200 years in which the ups and downs, steps backward and forward added up to a standstill.

                    Also 50 years accounts for over a fifth of America’s history. That’s not cherry-picking.

                  2. DLM, so what. The timeline he picked is relevant to today, not a timeline of 400 years ago… Moron.

            2. Morocco, one of the most progressive Islamic states, has made great strides, particularly in the last decade or so, toward equality for women.

              1. That was a great example of actual cherry-picking. Thanks Raven.

      2. Tulpa, compare Iran of the 1960’s (women as University Professors, support for Israel, ect.) With the Iran of the 1970’s. The difference was Islam’s increasing power in Iran.

        1. Oh, before the Iranian revolution, there was a regional Baha’i center in Iran. It is rubble now.

        2. Good point.

        3. Statism, of course, never had anything to do with the problems of the Middle East. Statism is only a problem for Western countries. For sand niggers, Islam is the problem, not statism.

          1. Psychic Octopus, please don’t use the term “sand nigger”. It is very offensive. I find your bigotry appalling.

      3. Also look at Lebanon. In the 1950’s Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle East. It had discotechs and all. Now it is much more oppressive. Once again, the difference is the rise of Islam to power.

        1. Egypt when Islam first arrived. It once held the Library of Alexandria which was full of texts from the Greek and Roman Empires (Google Ancient Greek homosexuality). Muslims burned down the Library of Alexandria.

          1. Yet Muslims maintained the greatest library in the world at the time IN CORDOBA.

            1. Did that library contain any works by the Ancient Greeks? Granted it all depends on the specific place and decade. Muslim controlled Cairo was once the home of Maimonides. He fled there to escape the pogroms of Muslim controlled Spain.

              1. Aside from the questionable claim of the burning of Alexandria as cited by GILMORE, what does the amount of Greek texts have to do with anything and what does Maimonides have to do with libraries?

                1. A willingness to preserve Ancient Greek texts is a proxy indicator of tolerance towards homosexuals. The fact that Maimonides has to flee the pogroms of Muslim Spain indicates that Cordoba under Muslim rule wasn’t the constant model of tolerance that you are trying to portray it as. Like I said, it depends on the country and the decade.

                  1. Quit putting words in my mouth. You claimed that the burning of the library at Alexandria was an example of Islamic awfulness and I brought up the library in Cordoba as a counter-example. This does not mean that I think Islam is the wonderfullest, most perfectest thing EVAR.

                    Prick.

                    1. Again with the bad language? Timon, please learn some manners.

          2. Jtuf

            Actually that’s not known

            “” – Julius Caesar’s Fire in The Alexandrian War, in 48 BCE
            -The attack of Aurelian in the third century CE;
            – The decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in CE 391;
            – The Muslim conquest in CE 642 or thereafter.”

            So, romans, then christians burned it down, and what little was actually left MAY have been burned by muslims. There were claims that it never happened; see Bernard Lewis – who thinks it was Muslim propaganda of sorts…

            Hope that helps

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..he_Library

            1. Sorry, that was missing a crucial sentence:

              Ancient and modern sources identify four possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria:
              Julius Caesar’s Fire in The Alexandrian War, in 48 BCE
              The attack of Aurelian in the third century CE;
              The decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in CE 391;
              The Muslim conquest in CE 642 or thereafter.

          3. Whatever remained there after (St) Athanasius stole as many books as possible and tortured the librarian to death…

      4. Also look at Lebanon. In the 1950’s Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle East. It had discotechs and all. Now it is much more oppressive. Once again, the difference is the rise of Islam to power.

        1. The discotheques are back, believe you me. Either that, or all the TV was lying to me when they were showing massive parties from Beirut nightclubs.

          It’s not like the ’50’s, but then again, the ’50’s ain’t nothin’ like now.

          1. Cosidering your unreliable reports on conditions in the UAE, I’ll stick to believing the columns I’ve read by a Lebanese expatriate who visited Lebanon this year.

            1. How many times have you been to the UAE, working with the locals?

              1. I chat with locals living in the UAE every week. I have Muslim, Christian, and Hindu friends in the UAE. Last week, my Christian friend in the UAE informed me that if he ate publicly during the Ramadan fast, he would be arrested. I may not be able to afford to fly the UAE often like you do, Timon, but that doesn’t keep me from getting first hand accounts from the locals. With the internet, even a poor writer like me can form friendships with people on every continent. I guess you decided to throw your frequent flyer miles into my face, because you know that I effectively rebutted your claims about the UAE a few articles ago.

                1. I can’t afford it either. I get sent there to work with locals and expats.

                  I know the restrictions during Ramadan. Most places will provide a “Ramadan room” for the ex-pats to discreetly eat or drink. The hotels will often keep a restaurant that doesn’t face the street open for limited service during the day. All these things are legal.

                  You WILL get arrested if you eat or drink on the street. Ramadan is a time where the UAE takes a hard line IN PUBLIC, and it’s a big switch from their usual “look the other way” gig.

          2. From the AFP via the Lebanon Star:

            More than 100 people have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel since April 2009, including members of the security forces and telecommunication employees.

            “Spying for Israel” is a common trumped up charge in the Middle East that factions use when they want to eliminate political opponents.

            1. What does this have to do with discotheques?

              1. Um, Timon, you doubted that Lebanon was sliding into tyranny as Islam rises to power there. Are you saying that arresting political opponents in the press and parliament with trumped up charges is no big deal?

                1. From a Global Politician article in 2008:

                  The intense fight between the government and opposition in Lebanon seems to have come to an end with a compromise formula brokered by Arabs at Doha. The Hezbollah-led opposition left a national unity coalition cabinet late in 2006, demanding more power and a veto over government decisions. The deadlock has stopped parliament from electing a new president for more than six months, creating an unstable power vacuum. Arab League mediators met both sides in Beirut in an effort to end the violence which left many people dead. Under a six-point plan, the rival parties agreed to go to Qatar on Friday to try to elect a president – Lebanon has had no president since November – and to form a national unity government.

                  and

                  In October 2007, when ?mile Lahoud finished his second term as President, the opposition conditioned its vote for a successor on a power-sharing deal, thus leaving the country without a president for over 6 months. On 09 May , 2008, Hezbollah and Amal militants, in an armed attack triggered by a government decision on Hezbollah’s communications network, temporarily took over Western Beirut. The situation was described by the government as an attempted “coup”.

                2. It is, and so was the assassination of Hariri.

              2. Via a BBC article in 2005:

                A bomb tore through a shopping centre in Lebanon’s anti-Syrian Christian heartland north of Beirut killing three people, including two foreign workers.
                It was the second blast in a Christian area in days, sharpening fears of sectarian chaos weeks before elections.

              3. Via a BBC article in 2006:

                Six people were injured in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, when three grenades were fired at a building in the city centre, a government minister said.
                The incident took place at a block housing nightclubs and offices not far from the United Nations headquarters in Lebanon, police said.

                1. This link for the 2006 BBC article should work.

              4. From a Middle East Online 2007 article:

                Lebanon is in panic mode again after a string of bomb attacks, security alerts and three days of deadly battles pitching the army against a tiny Islamist militia in a squalid Palestinian refugee camp.

                Beirut has become a virtual ghost town. Shops and cafes are deserted and many schools closed. Mobile phones are being bombarded with text messages from insurance and private security companies.

                The bloodiest peacetime fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war has sent jitters through people already worn down by conflict, political crises and dire economic difficulties, and created a new headache for the embattled government.

                “Every morning, we don’t know if we will have war or peace, or if we will go to school, work, the nightclub, the hospital or the morgue,” said Salameh.

                1. Although, Beirut and Paris are starting to look like each other again according to this 2010 Daily Times article

                  PARIS: Rioters defied emergency laws that took effect on Wednesday, as they looted and burned two superstores, set fire to a newspaper office and paralysed France’s second-largest city’s subway system with a firebomb.

                  However, the number of car burnings ? a barometer for the unrest ? dropped sharply, suggesting the movement lost steam overnight. From Tuesday to Wednesday, youths torched 617 vehicles, down from 1,173 the previous night, national police spokesman Patrick Hamon said. Incidents were reported in 116 towns, compared to 226 the night before.

                  President Jacques Chirac announced extraordinary security measures, which began on Wednesday and are valid for a 12-day state of emergency, clearing the way for curfews after nearly two weeks of rioting in neglected and impoverished neighbourhoods with largely Muslim communities.

                  1. This link to the 2010 article should work.

                    1. Sorry, I don’t know why the links to the Daily Times articles aren’t working. You can go to their website here: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk if you want.

                      The article I quoted from was published on November 10, 2005. (Yes I know. I got the year wrong at first.)

              5. Timon, you doubted the Islam can lead to tyranny, so I showed you several examples showing that it can. When someone doubts that Islam can lead to tolerance, I post example that show it can. When someone claims that Atheism will protect us from dictatorship, I bring up the Communist experiments. We should look beyond religious identity and realize that each religion can lead to freedom or oppression.

                Timon, your blindness to cases of Islam leading to oppression shows just as much ignorance as does some people’s blindness towards to possibility of peaceful Muslims. You hold a soft bigotry, but it is bigotry none the less. You are content to see hundreds of Millions of Muslims live under the threat of violence from Muslim terrorists and dictatorship from Islamic governments, because your reputation for being “tolerant” is more important to you than their wellbeing.

                1. Whoa, motherfucker! Where did I say categorically or otherwise that Islam couldn’t lead to tyranny?

                  Why are you putting words in my mouth?

        2. Goddamn, there’s a difference between a rise of theocrats and a rise of Islam.

      5. There are examples of Islam existing with tolerance. Just look at Kosovo and Kazakhstan. However, you have to be blind to recent history to deny that Islam can also be a vehicle for a plunge into intolerance.

        1. Obviously this isn’t exclusive to Islam. Given the right cultural and political context atrocities can be, and have been committed in the name of a religion. Even Buddhists doled up the moral justifications for war and militarization in Japan.

          1. Agreed, Rudan. My point was to challenge the people who dismiss any attempt to report about Islam leading to tyranny as unfounded bigotry. The problem is not Islam in general, but there are many clergy, Muslim organization, and Muslim majority countries that have brought regions towards dictatorship in the name of Islam. We have to highlight those specific oppressors even as we praise libertarian minded Muslims. Let’s break from the debate about Islam as a whole and start naming names for specific individuals, organizations, and countries that are attacking others in the name of Islam.

            1. Now, see, this I mostly agree with.

  5. This is better than being bombarded with Blago like we’re getting in Chicago.

    1. What if we propose building a Mosque in Ravenswood right next to Blago’s house?!

      1. That’s Ravenswood Manor to you.

        1. I took a shit at Ravenswood Manor once.

        2. Funny thing is, I almost typed “Manor” before realizing that doing so would mean the terrorists win. And just to be consistent I also cringe when people refer to my neighborhood as Beverly Hills. That’s in California, not Chicago.

  6. Religion: The last bastion of the ignorant. We should be leading everyone to the light that is a post-religion society, not patronizing this whiny bullshit.

    1. Atheism: Where because the atheist cannot be convinced of the existence of something, neither can anyone else.

      1. I totally couldn’t give a shit.

        1. I’m not sure, I mean I just don’t have the balls to decide so I’ll just hedge on a deathbed conversion.

          1. Hell, I’m just nuts. That is all.

        2. I totally couldn’t give a shit.

          Yes, you sound constipated.

        3. Apparently you do give a shit, because you keep harping on it every chance you get.

      2. Atheism: Where the reasonable person recognizes there isn’t a shred of evidence for either someone’s fantasized sky-daddy or Santa Claus.

        1. Atheism: Just another religion based on the belief that there are no beliefs……

          1. Um, no. But thanks for playing.

          2. Atheism is a rejection of gods, not an acceptance of an alternative belief system.

          3. I am an atheist priest. Can I get my tax exempt status now?

            1. Not until you admit your atheism is a religion to the IRS and submit to the code which will forbid you from doing any political lobbying whatsoever unless it’s for bigger government. (This is how Unitarian Universalists manage not to get hit with huge tax penalties for their church’s political activities.)

        2. Atheism, narrowly defined: Lack of evidence is evidence of lack.

          Atheism, broadly defined: Philosophy is over. Go home.

          1. Atheism: without theism.

            Hope this helps.

            1. -:Not even trying.

            2. It won’t!

          2. Atheism: What you define as god, the atheist simply calls nature, up until the point where you say that God is a hairy man who speaks the local vernacular and sometimes provides you with the material comforts you pray for.

          3. Pantheist: Any assertion to any unknowable(anything anyone makes up) is valid until someone figures out how to prove a negative.

            Philosophy is over in this case not the other.

        3. Yes, indeed.

        4. Atheism: the religion of idiots and fools who think believing in the creator God is stupid, but at the same time believe in such incredibly retarded myths such as the might of their own puny intellects, the inherent goodness of themselves/their fellow man, and/or the credibility of any form of man-made morality whatsoever–not to mention their most retarded belief of all, which is that the universe somehow created itself from nothing in violation of the first law of thermodynamics. (They also believe the first law of thermodynamics to have written itself, apparently, or to be eternal, or something.)

          1. Game Overism: The belief that rambling rants are better than pithy one-liners in the “snarky definitions” game.

          2. Ha! Yes, you gotta tighten that up, Game Over.

    2. Pantheism: Where all proselytizing is encouraged except for those slimy, stinking atheists who should shut the hell up.

    3. Atheist: There is no God.
      Pantheist: Everything is God.
      Atheist: Isn’t that the same thing that I just said?
      Pantheist: Shut the fuck up.

      1. Atheist: There is no God.
        Pantheist: Everything is God.
        Atheist: Isn’t that the same thing that I just said?

        Only if you’re claiming that nothing exists.

        1. Existence is relative, and therefore everything and nothing are the same.

        2. Judaism:
          You have two cows. Trade one with your neighbor for a bull in accord with the law of YHWH, and you shall be blessed with so much steak you shall not know what to do with it all.

          Christianity:
          You have two cows. Though all are wastrels and you do not deserve to have two cows, God has graciously forgiven you and shall allow you to have them. Now trade one with your neighbor (Gentile or Jew, either is fine) and he shall bless you with lots of steak just as he previously promised to bless the Jews.

          Islam:
          You have two cows. You may trade with your neighbor for a bull, for Allah hath permitted trade. Just don’t let your wife manage your finances. Also, keep weapons handy to ward off the infidels of other nations who do not appreciate Allah’s blessing of steak.

          Agnosticism:
          You have two cows. Maybe. But who cares?

          Atheism:
          You have two cows. You may do what you want with them. Unless we decide we don’t approve. Infighting will then ensue between our statist and libertarian wings over what you’ll be allowed to do with them.

          Lesbianism:
          You have two cows. Encourage them to have sex with each other, or you’re a bigot.

          Homosexuality:
          You have two cows. Sell them both, buy two bulls, and then encourage them to have sex with each other. Or you’re a bigot.

          Pantheism:
          You have two cows. They are God. You are God. Everyone you know is God. Everything is God. Considering what people do with all these various manifestations of God, God doesn’t get along so well with him/her/itself, eh?

          Libertarianism:
          I have two cows. I will do whatever I want to do with them. Agree with me or you’re an idiot.

          1. Thought of a missing one:

            Hinduism:

            You have two cows: they are sacred! Let them alone, protect them from harm, and rub their blessed dung on your head every now and then.

        3. “Only if you’re claiming that nothing exists.”

          By “nothing” do you mean a creator or god? Because that’s exactly what pantheists reject. The only difference between a pantheist and an atheist is that the pantheist still has a need to perform religious rites.

    4. Atheist, Google “China Cultural Revolution”.

    5. Atheist, Google “China Cultural Revolution”.

    6. Atheist, Google “China Cultural Revolution”.

    7. Atheist, look up the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

  7. The website designer needs to change the head of the website to

    Reason.com

    Mosque and mosque

    1. I am partial to Rabble-Rousing.com. All this rabble rousing around here and all. This site tends to bring the rabbles out of the woodwork. The First Ammendment clearly grants the right to rouse any rabble one sees fit to rouse.

    1. Transcript of audio:

      You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

    2. Nancy’s a fucking partisan retard? Who knew?

      1. She’s looking for “fishy” emails.

        1. It’s funny how just about every politician who comments on the mosque steps in shit up to her thighs. It’s like a retard litmus test. Good thing Congress is on August break, or there’d be gaffe-bombs going off all over Capitol Hill.

          1. Good thing Congress is on August break, or there’d be gaffe-bombs going off all over Capitol Hill.

            Why is not having gaffe-bombs from them going off all over the place a good thing? I would think it most enlightening to the few remaining people who still approve of this Congress to see just how stupid their Congress really is.

            1. Good thing for them. I personally enjoy gaffe-bombs. Where the hell is Joe Biden? Bound and gagged in a rubber room?

    3. Does it bother anyone else that reason increasingly agrees with the socialists?

  8. I think the mosquerbating comment in a previous article is perfect.

    Maybe a mosquerbating section?

    1. Mosquerbation. Awesome.

      1. Thanks!

  9. The issue here is not religious freedom, but prpoerty rights: the right of the owner of a property to do what he wishes with the property he owns without government interference. Describing this as a religious freedom issue is a means of attacking the mosque’s opponents without conceding any limit to government authority to regulate property.

    1. Number 2, you are completely missing the point, I think.

      Nobody is disputing the property rights issue here. Of course the owners of Park51 have the absolute right to build their mosque. Their religious freedom is assured by 1A, and I absolutely respect that as do almost all Americans.

      The issue is whether opponents of the mosque have a right to protest this erection, and at the same time refuse the label of bigotry. Is it bigoted to illuminate the aspects of Islam that are incompatible with US culture and law? Is it bigoted to achieve a symbolic victory against Islam by halting erection of the GZ mosque, which is itself a symbolic monument to defeat of western culture and law?

      1. The issue is whether opponents of the mosque have a right to protest this erection,

        They do.
        and at the same time refuse the label of bigotry.

        The appropriateness of the bigotry label depends entirely upon their reason for protesting the project.

        Is it bigoted to illuminate the aspects of Islam that are incompatible with US culture and law?

        No. What does that have to do with the Park51 project?

        Is it bigoted to achieve a symbolic victory against Islam by halting erection of the GZ mosque,

        Two problems with this
        1) It would be a victory for Al-Qa’ida as it would show their claim that the US is anti-Muslim at its core to be a true claim.
        2) Claiming this is a victory against “Islam” is at its core a conflation of Al-Qa’ida and Islam…which is the source of the “bigoted” label as it treats peaceful innocents as the enemy simply because of a superficial connection to those who have attacked us.

        which is itself a symbolic monument to defeat of western culture and law?

        Again you are conflating a narrow sector of the Muslim community with the larger group.

        1. Sorry. screwed up the tags.

        2. 1) It would be a victory for Al-Qa’ida as it would show their claim that the US is anti-Muslim at its core to be a true claim.

          Should the US be “pro Islam” given Islam’s requirement to spread Sharia law? Is Sharia law compatible with US law? Don’t conflate “Mulsim” with Islam; one is an individual, the other a religion.

          2) Claiming this is a victory against “Islam” is at its core a conflation of Al-Qa’ida and Islam…which is the source of the “bigoted” label as it treats peaceful innocents as the enemy simply because of a superficial connection to those who have attacked us.

          I said nothing about Al Quida. I was talking about the incompatibility of at least some of Islam’s major tenets with US law, and western culture.

          1. Should the US be “pro Islam” given Islam’s requirement to spread Sharia law?
            No. The 1st amendment covers this issue well enough.
            Is Sharia law compatible with US law?

            Depends. Many aspects of it are. It sh/would not supersede US law in any case.

            Don’t conflate “Mulsim” with Islam; one is an individual, the other a religion.

            Islam is no more a single set of beliefs than Christianity. The conflation of Sufi & Wahhabi beliefs are the first place to start with the Park51 issue…

        3. The appropriateness of the bigotry label depends entirely upon their reason for protesting the project.

          Actually, as the label is applied by others, it depends entirely on the interpretation of the reasons for protesting the project. I could call you an obtuse jackass, for example, but I am sure you would disagree, obtusely, of course :-).

          1. No, I am obviously an obtuse jackass.

            The appropriateness of the label is judged not by the person using but by the person judging the appropriateness of the label.

      2. They have a right to protest.

        They have a right to deny that they are bigots.

        …and we have a right to say their protest is stupid and their denial is wrong. Ain’t freedom great?

      3. Maybe nobody posting here, but some politicians and commentators are, in fact, proposing having the government stop the mosque in one way or another (by declaring the former Burlington Coat Factory to be a historic building, or by taking the property by eminent domain, or by some other means).

      4. Halting erection means the end of male Mosquerbating

    2. My point exactly as well.

      The protesters are completely free to camp out on the mosque’s doorsteps until hell freezes over. They can decry them in the press, on the internet, etc… until the same time. I encourage them in this effort.

      What they must not be allowed to do is use the power of government to shut the project down just because it offends them.

      1. Have you heard that corduroy pillows are making headlines?

        1. Ba Da Boom

      2. I encourage them in this effort.

        This is where I part ways with you. They have the right to protest, we all agree (within reason — no trespassing, no blocking the entrance, no harrassment of people entering the mosque, etc).

        1. Perhaps they can establish “Free-Speech Zones” in an adjacent area to accomodate the protestors.

          In progressiveland, that’s how everybody wins!

          1. Apparently in conservativeland, property rights don’t mean shit because if someone doesn’t like your religion they can trespass with impunity.

            And of course, I’m not a progressive by any stretch of the imagination, nor are most of the mosque supporters at this site, so that dog won’t hunt here.

    3. Lots of people who think the mosque is an excuse to have a tribal end-zone dance on the site of a muslim “victory” still think they should be legally allowed to build it.

      Lots of people do stuff that I think is bullshit, and I say so. It doesn’t logically follow that I think it should be illegal.

      1. Not everyone who opposes the mosque or Islam are bigots but people calling it a “tribal end-zone dance” certainly are.

    4. Good point, Number 2.

  10. In Spanish, the word “mosca” refers to a common house fly.

    1. And yet a Spanish fly is a beetle. Those crazy Spaniards.

      1. I thought Spanish Fly was something you dropped in your girlfriend’s coke when you wanted her to get frisky.

        1. They are one and the same.

          1. That’s roofies you lying sack.

        2. The Wine Commonsewer|8.18.10 @ 12:28PM|#
          I thought Spanish Fly was something you dropped in your girlfriend’s coke when you wanted her to get frisky

          If I dropped a fly (whatever it’s nationality) in my girlfriend’s coke two things would happen:
          1) she’d puke all over the floor because she drinks Pepsi and can tell the difference
          2) my wife would make me clean up the puke.

          1. Not that kind of coke.

        3. The Wine Commonsewer|8.18.10 @ 12:28PM|#
          I thought Spanish Fly was something you dropped in your girlfriend’s coke when you wanted her to get frisky

          If I dropped a fly (whatever it’s nationality) in my girlfriend’s coke two things would happen:
          1) she’d puke all over the floor because she drinks Pepsi and can tell the difference
          2) my wife would make me clean up the puke.

          1. wow…maybe I’m missing the sarcasm, etc. but Spanish Fly is a product and a liquid; the Spanish fly is a beetle.

            C’mon, noone has seen the Beastie Boy’s video of “(You gotta) Fight for your right (to party)”?

            Oh, just to actually post about the article; this mosque thing is so indicative of the drama queen society we’ve seemingly built here. Couldn’t give two shits where they build it…unless I missed something and it’s a big statue of the Bird directly on Ground Zero.

        4. TWC: The fly would flap its wings and the coke would get blown everywhere.

      2. They have a differnt word for everything!

  11. This shouldn’t be about religion it should be about property rights.

    And screw Bloomberg and his born again (heh) commitment to property rights. Maybe he could pull a few strings for the Greek Orthodox congregation that’s been tied up with the NYC bureaucracy for 95 years or so.

    And, if the good folks at Mosques Are Us had any sense of decorum, they’d build the got dam cultural center somewhere else.

    1. Oh boy, now you’ve done it, you’ve gone and inconveniently brought up that gosh-darn Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas Church!

      You can now expect to have a bunch of a guys telling you that the two situations aren’t even remotely comparable: that it’s the poor Muslims who are being ruthlessly persecuted in America, and the Greek Orthodox Christians are just going to have to bend over and take it up the rear.

    2. This has already been discussed; it’s the Port Authority holding that up, not the city.

      1. This has already been discussed; it’s the Port Authority holding that up, not the city.

        And that makes it OK by you? So you would have no problem then if the Port Authority were to try to use eminent domain to take control of the Cordoba Initiative’s lot?

        1. and bloomberg is actually in their corner on that one.

          the port authority sucks it. neither port nor authority!

        2. I want to be different too! How do I make it green!?

          1. I want to be different too! How do I make it green!?

            Lots of broccoli, spinach, and iron supplements.

            Or, you could just load the page source and search for my comment.

        3. Jesus Christ, Mike M’s fucking dense, ain’t he?

        4. No, I oppoze zoning of all types. I’m just saying Mayor Bloomberg is not to blame.

          You’re correct, and I oppose zoning as well.

          So, can we all agree once and for all that if we’re talking about issues like freedom of religion and property rights, that the Port Authority is an irrelevant strawman that has nothing to do with the basic principles at play here?

  12. JEEEESUUUUUUS FUCKING CHRIST PLEASE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE MAKE IT STOP PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!!

    So – who’s the odds on favorite for the Super Bowl this year? Ya hear about that 2nd amendment dustup in Michigan for the “Arts, Beats and Eats” festival? I heard a bunch of people are stranded in some ferrin country cause of floods – how they doing? They need money from us? I was tracking commodities futures – really tough to read right now – what do you think?

    1. Dude, don’t you know? They’re tryin to build a mosque in NYC.

  13. There are those who continue to make the facile claim that any protest over Park51 is a display in un-American intolerance and contempt for the Constitution.

    Perhaps, but the more frequent claim seems to be more along the lines of “being offended by a Muslim community center near ground zero requires that the offended person attributes collective guilt to all Muslims. And that attribution is un-American as we don’t (ideally) sanction the concept of collective guilt, but treat individuals as individuals.”

    Given that there remains overwhelming opposition to the ground zero mosque, this viewpoint would mean that 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion and irrationally narrow-minded.

    The last time I saw data on this there was about 20% who would claim to be following this issue closely. That doesn’t sound like “overwhelming opposition” to me.

    I don’t recall anti-Mormon protesters being referred to as bigots for targeting religion; it appeared to be just the opposite, in fact.

    These two situations seem very different to me. The protests were against a class of actions in the “Anti-Morman” protests. In the current case, the protests are based on the premise that the Muslim community that would be building the community center is being offensive just for existing as Muslims…it is their Muslim-ness that is being claimed as the source of offensiveness, not any particular action.

    Prospectively speaking, unlike many other faiths, ideological Islam has a poor track record of compatibility with liberal ideals. Surely, that’s worth a discussion in free society. Or is it a case of intolerance to bring it up?

    Not sure I buy your claim here, but it is certainly worth discussion. However…this discussion would not in anyway be relevant to whether or not the Park51 project’s location is somehow an affront to the victims of 9/11 just because it is a Muslim project.

    Put it this way: If Mormons proposed the erection of a 13-story community center in West Hollywood or the West Village, I would be happy to join the outcry of protest.

    Then you would correctly be called out for your un-American intolerance as this would be a similar case of protesting people for WHO THEY ARE rather than for what they do.

    1. When The Boy was younger he was unable to distinguish between the word Moron and the word Mormon. Every so often he would look at his sister and say: What are you? A Mormon?

    2. “And that attribution is un-American as we don’t (ideally) sanction the concept of collective guilt, but treat individuals as individuals”

      I gave up on that dream years ago.

    3. I’m still not seeing where they get the 70% talking point. The poll most favorable to mosque opponents had them up 45-20.

      1. Fox News viewer poll?

          1. No selection bias there. None whatsoever.

            1. Nope. Extremely fair and balanced. Almost as good as O’Reilly’s “viewer polls” wherein 106% of respondents believe there is a War on Christians and Obama is a “poopy head.”

              1. If by “poopy” head you mean shithead…they’re right!

                1. “Poopy head” is not a scientific term. Margin of error +/- 28%.

    4. …the Muslim community that would be building the community center …

      I have to admit this is new to me. I didn’t realize the entire Muslim community was building it. Did they have a bake sale or something?

      1. “The” as in a specific Muslim community…the community that will be using this community center.

    5. “Perhaps, but the more frequent claim seems to be more along the lines of “being offended by a Muslim community center near ground zero requires that the offended person attributes collective guilt to all Muslims. And that attribution is un-American as we don’t (ideally) sanction the concept of collective guilt, but treat individuals as individuals.”

      There’s a difference between condemning someone for having responsibility for a past act (guilt) and having a set of beliefs or values. Many of the mosque’s critics might think that Muslim certain values or beliefs are responsible for 9/11, which is not the same as saying that all people that share those beliefs are personally responsible. Criticizing Newt Gingrich’s dismissal of religious liberties is not actually assigning him blame for any particular past instance of oppression, only noting that they made lead to future oppression.

      It may still be inaccurate to attribute certain beliefs or values to all Muslims, as there is a great deal of variety even among major sects of a religion, and even more among individual adherents, but since religions are to a large extent defined by their beliefs and values, it’s not inherently fallacious.

      1. Many of the mosque’s critics might think that Muslim certain values or beliefs are responsible for 9/11, which is not the same as saying that all people that share those beliefs are personally responsible.

        But, of course, the Park51 project is being proposed by a Sufi Imam who does not share the beliefs that led to 9/11. It is bigoted blame those who do not share the belief in violent jihad for the actions of those that do due to a superficial connection related to the larger category “Muslim.”

        but since religions are to a large extent defined by their beliefs and values, it’s not inherently fallacious.

        But, in this specific case it would be fallacious as you would be incorrectly attributing beliefs that you believe are to blame for 9/11 to people who do not hold those beliefs.

  14. Finally, the discussion has evolved into a meta-debate. Now we’re really getting somewhere.

    1. Page hits are page hits, dude. Reason has to make some money somehow.

      1. I’m surprised that they don’t get funding from some national prostitution lobbying group.

      2. Yeah, well I’m canceling my subscription to this blog. Take THAT!

  15. And applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart.

    Not if the point of the public pressure is to get politicians to abrogate private property rights thru zoning or other political means to prevent the project, which is what most Wal-Mart protesters try to do.

    1. And those same people who would think nothing of passing targeted zoning laws to prevent a Wal-Mart are worshippers of private property as long as it’ll be used to build a mosque.

      It’s almost as though they have no coherent principles at all beyond “Who – Whom?”

      1. Hypocrites are right half the time.

        1. Hypocrites are right some of the time.

      2. I don’t think the protesters in either case are right.

  16. Mosque was my favorie Kansas album.

    1. Leftoverture owns.

      1. Only the first half.

  17. Could we put a sock in the fucking mosque posts? At least until there’s some actual fucking news about the damn thing?

    Jeebus, reason, how’m I supposed to rip off my employer if there’s nothing here but non-stop mosquerbation?

    1. The least Reason could do is throw one of these mosquerbation threads Peter’s way.

    2. You could, you know, scroll past the mosque posts if you don’t like them.

      1. Narcissism is a terrible thing to waste.

    3. mosquerbation….(giggle)

    4. “”Could we put a sock in the fucking mosque posts? At least until there’s some actual fucking news about the damn thing?””

      LOL. But hey, you can’t beat a dead dog until it’s acutally dead. This dog won’t die!!!!

  18. It is not bigoted to criticize religion per se, though I have met people with a deeply bigoted attitude toward the religious.

    And of course, you can hardly expect the adherents of those doctrines to like you much afterward.

    Not that such fine distinction are allowed in the arena of public debate…

  19. Is the criticism of faith?religious institutions and symbols included?tantamount to “bigotry”?

    No. But this moronic debate isn’t about the tenets of Islam, it’s about the right of certain people to practice their faith and build supporting structures where they see fit.

    I can criticize any form of theism all day long without once trying to tell people they can’t do it here.

    1. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Islam, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

      1. Dammit Walter! What does anything have to do with Islam!?

        1. What were you talkin about, Dude?

          1. SHUTTHEFUCKUPDONNIE!

    2. I can criticize any form of theism all day long without once trying to tell people they can’t do it here.
      Cool.
      Bali Mangthi Kali Ma.

      1. Hey hey…big fan, BIG fan!

        I’ve been meaning to ask this forever! Guy lives after you supposedly rip out his heart…so obviously you faked it. It was fake right? So,why did you try to use it on Indy when you knew it was fake, bro? Of course he’s gonna punch you in the face with your own hand!

  20. If the site was purely religious then there couldn’t (shouldn’t) be any grounds for the government to interfere.

    However, it is a complex situation.

    As we all know the Muslim world does not share our distinctions between religion and politics. The 2 are the same. Religion is political power as those states were conquered by a religious empire.

    As much as I disagree with our ‘being over there’ it is not as a result of Israel or US actions. Any historian worth their salt could tell you this has been going on since a lot longer than 1948.

    The very name “Cordoba Initiative” sends shivers down my spine (as one who grew up in Europe) as it is an obvious nod to the only time that the West (yes I’m excluding Greece) was successfully annexed into that Caliphate of old which still exists in the Muslim psyche.

    Although dormant in its manifestation the promise of global empire still exists. Deny the fact that this drives much of Middle Eastern and Western Asian politics is pure ignorance and wishful thinking.

    There can be no doubt that the entanglement of politics and religion in these states leads to the fact that a mosque is much more than a cathedral of religion but a stamp of domain. Historically and in modern times.

    As such, this is the only way an objection could be launched against the Initiative. A case against seditious foreign agents in the city of NY. An obvious Hail Mary but the only real constitutional avenue (although unconstitutional avenues unfortunately exist) to deny the “center” which contains a mosque.

    Considering the shady nations of origin of the money train I’m sure the investigation wouldn’t take too long.

    1. The sentence above should read “As much as I disagree with our ‘being over there’ the origins of this ‘conflict’ are not as a result of Israel or US actions.

    2. the only time that the West (yes I’m excluding Greece) was successfully annexed into that Caliphate of old which still exists in the Muslim psyche.

      Not that it matters given the rest of your babble above, but that’s not remotely true. St Augustine was as Western as they come…you know where he was from?

      1. The Roman town of Hippo in North Africa? Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was a native (don’t know, one way or the other). If he were a native, I suspect that he might’ve had Punic origins, which would mean that he was Semitic (like Jews and Arabs).

        1. He was born there and educated in Carthage. Not sure about his genetics, but culturally he was definitely a Roman.

          1. Sez Wiki:
            Born November 13, 354(354-11-13)
            Thagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)

            1. Oops. I guess Hippo was where he was a bishop…I know he was educated in Carthage though.

              Regardless, he was a North African who was very Roman culturally.

            2. The point being, North Africa was a hotbed of Christianity before the Islamic conquest.

              1. Not disputing the point.

                1. I am aware of Carthage and it most certainly was not Roman. North Africa was the center of early Christianity, not Rome which eventually bullied its bishop into the role of pope.But North Africa remains a part of the “Muslim World”. Cordoba does not. Hence the inference is that the Initiative is ‘reclaiming’ ground lost.

                  I was just hypothesizing on how one might challenge it on constitutional grounds. Consider that in Europe many governments have handed over local control to Sharia councils and in England there’s even a shadow Muslim parliament, which is consulted by the legitimate government it could be seen as a political building. The ultimate Muslim goal, as ordered, is global governance. Not global faith (like most religions) but global governance. I view Islam less as a religious opponent and more as a political opponent.

                  To get around legal issues in the West it argues on the basis of it being a religion. But where it is the majority it acts with brutal and oppressive political power. Out of all the nations with a Muslim run government, there’s not one I would like to live in as a non-Muslim.

                  I do agree that most arguments against the center/mosque are constitutionally unsound. Therefore the project should go forward, however distasteful.

                  However, seeing how Islam in pure form (which is political, not just a matter of private faith) is fundamentally unconstitutional in its outlook, it is disturbing. But so too would a communist building be equally disturbing and equally legal.

    3. … a mosque is much more than a cathedral of religion but a stamp of domain.

      You mean like a dog peeing on a tree to mark its territory?

  21. Red Mosque of Death.
    KISS: Unmosqued.
    Mosquerade.
    Mosque Eisley.
    And then there’s Mosque!
    Mosque Oil.
    Mosquearoni.
    Mosquellanous.
    Mosquecow.
    Mosquecrosoft.

    1. No offense to people who actually go to mosques. It’s just that the word has been repeated so many times around here that I’m trying to place it again.

      Mosquealine?

      1. No offense to people who actually go to mosques.

        Afraid of the secret mooslum death squads, I see…They are out there!

        1. Nah, it’s that danged civility thing my parents and grandparents forced on me during my formative years.

          1. I didn’t know that you were Canadian.

            1. Southern. Same thing in certain quarters.

      2. That’s what I was trying to get at with this:

        Your mosque uses ladies-scented mosque wash instead of the manly mosque wash used by the mosque your mosque could smell like.

    2. Mosque-See TV.

      1. Who’s that skinny chick married to Johnny Depp?

    3. Mosquerat Love.

      1. You prefer America’s version, don’t you? Bigot.

    4. Mosqueteers

      1. Are you positing the existence of Mickey Mosque?

        1. yes

      2. I meant the singing/dancing young ones with the funny ears, not the Three Mosqueteers with the funny clothes.

    5. It’s “Mosque! : The Musical!”

      1. “Mosque! : The Fragrance for Men”

        1. Mosqueegan, Michigan
          “In a Mosque, No One Can Hear You Scream”
          Mosquehausen By Proxy
          Ford Mosquestang
          Mosqueserati Quattroporte

          This whole topic just mosques me sick…

        2. Isn’t that “Jovan Wild Mosque?”

          1. Mosqueismo?

    6. Mosque-ochism.

      1. chocolat mosque.

    7. They’s mosque soup, mosque gumbo, mosque cocktail, mosque po’boy, fried mosque, broiled mosque, mosque salad, boiled mosque,…., I believe that’s it.

      1. The Mosque of Zoro.

    8. mosquehanna hat company (slowly I turned….)

    9. Brian Fantana: I’ll give this little cookie an hour before we’re doing the no-pants dance. Time to mosque up.
      [opens cologne cabinet]
      Ron Burgundy: Wow. Never ceases to amaze me. What cologne you gonna go with? London Gentleman, or wait. No, no, no. Hold on. Blackbeard’s Delight.
      Brian Fantana: No, she gets a special cologne… It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries… Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.
      [dabs some on]
      Ron Burgundy: It’s quite pungent.
      Brian Fantana: Oh yeah.
      Ron Burgundy: It’s a formidable scent… It stings the nostrils. In a good way.
      Brian Fantana: Yep.
      Ron Burgundy: Brian, I’m gonna be honest with you, that smells like pure gasoline.
      Brian Fantana: They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works, every time.
      [cheesy grin]
      Ron Burgundy: That doesn’t make sense.
      Brian Fantana: Well… Let’s go see if we can make this little kitty purr.

    10. Carrie-Anne Mosque.
      Mosquemelon.
      Mosque ox.
      The Man in the Iron Mosque.
      A rolling stone gathers no mosque.
      In mosques outrageous and austere…

    11. Mosquecow.

      “So I come from Moss Cock?”

      “Yes, I think you probably do.”

    12. Viking Moosque?

  22. If speaking out against grown adults who believe ancient fairy tales that poison everything they come in contact with is bigoted, then send me my scarlet “B” because I’m not stopping.

    A friend’s wife almost refused a C-Section because the wife’s sister started in with the “God’s will” crap about natural birth. Was it God’s will that the baby was facing the wrong direction? Derp! I am happy to report mother and baby are doing fine post C-Sec.

    1. So, you don’t respect their body autonomy. Fair enough. C-Sections, by the way, are practiced somwhere 3-5 times as many times as actually needed. Sounds like your case is one of those where it was needed, but C-Section should remain a general exception. Of course, the AMA disagrees.

    2. So, you don’t respect their body autonomy. Fair enough. C-Sections, by the way, are practiced somwhere 3-5 times as many times as actually needed. Sounds like your case is one of those where it was needed, but C-Section should remain a general exception. Of course, the AMA disagrees.

  23. Who cares? It is being built in New York. You would think that they want to build a soccer stadium at that place the Yankees play or something really dangerous and stoopid like that!

    1. Only a rabid Mets fan would go for an idea that crazy.

    2. That stadium would make a great MegaMosque.

      1. Yes! How did you get that information? Dr. laura is leaving radio so she can preach there . . . .

        You ARE NOT supposed to know that!

  24. I see like four non sequiturs in the first few paragraphs.

    “I’ve not heard those who make generalizations about Catholicism referred to as bigots in Time magazine.”

    If you bash Catholics by going around saying they all support pedophilia because of what some of their leaders have done, then you’re a bigot.

    “Nor have I heard those who regularly disparage Evangelicals called intolerant.”

    If they’re intolerant of Evangelicals, they’re intolerant.

    “But, in the end, one is a discussion about the role of government in society and the other is a discussion about civilization. Few people in this debate make that distinction.”

    Being intolerant of other people is intolerant–your intentions are a distinction without a difference.

    I could go on.

    1. “There are people in this world who do not love their fellow man and I HATE people like that!”

      1. You have to tolerate thew bastards, but you don’t have to accept them.

  25. You guys are right about these goddamn anchor babies!

    ANCHORBABIES HATE’EM!!

    The government should make a big ass bonfire of ANCHOR BABIES and let real Americans roast marshmallows on it. I fucking hate ANCHOR BABIES!

    Ooops, sorry wrong thread…FUCKING MUSLIMS do this to me every time. HATE’EM!

    1. Slappy, is that you?

      1. Fighting to get out, dontcha know.

      1. yeah he got me, blowin’ my cover to smithereens with giggles slipping out of my cube

  26. “I don’t recall anti-Mormon protesters being referred to as bigots for targeting religion”
    “I’ve not heard those who make generalizations about Catholicism referred to as bigots in Time magazine.”
    “Nor have I heard those who regularly disparage Evangelicals called intolerant.”

    Sounds to me like Harsanyi is agreeing the people that oppose the community center because it’s Islamic are bigots. He just wants the label applied consistently. I agree, collectivist bigotry should be opposed, whether it’s expressed by people we may view as ideological allies or ideological enemies.

    1. So are you bigoted if you protest socialism or neo-conservatism? What about those poor people who choose those political paths? Don’t they deserve to be left alone?

  27. Yo, Reason, I herd you like mosques, so I put a mosque in your mosque so you can mosque while you mosque.

  28. …applying public pressure in an effort to shut down a project is as American as protesting the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Religious institutions, as far as I can tell, are not exempted from these disputes.

    While most Libertarians would agree that vocal opposition (and mass opposition as well) to something is well within our rights.

    However, I think most would also agree that lobbying the Government to use it’s power of Force to stop free expression of religion (or building more Wal-Marts for that matter) is not acceptable.

    Which is what those who began the public opposition to this project are aiming for, Government Force to bend others to their will.

    I have no problem with people exercising their Right to Free Speech to voice opposition to this building. I do have a problem with their solution being get the Government involved.

  29. OT —

    Officer who shot dog at park to be charged Anne Arundel County prosecutors plan to charge a civilian Army police officer with two misdemeanors in the fatal shooting of a Siberian husky in a Severn dog park.

    The shooting of the dog, known as Bear-Bear, prompted widespread outrage, and County Executive John Leopold pressed county police for a full investigation.

    Prosecutors say 32-year-old Keith Shepherd of Severn will be charged with animal cruelty and discharging a firearm within 100 feet of an occupied structure. The firearm charge carries a maximum of six months in jail, and there’s a maximum 90-day term on the animal cruelty charge. Both could also result in a $1,000 fine.

    Shepherd’s attorney has said Bear-Bear attacked Shepherd’s dog and that his client fired his gun to defend his dog, himself and his wife.

    — Associated Press

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c…..aking-news

    1. “Shepherd’s attorney has said Bear-Bear attacked Shepherd’s dog and that his client fired his gun to defend his dog, himself and his wife.”

      Bullshit.

      1. Well, at least we all know who will win in a fight between a Husky and a Shepherd.

  30. I personally do support the property rights of allowing the building of any kind of building.

    Having said that, it is very hard to see how an Islamic society could ever evolve into a libertarian one when it openly includes teachings like the banning usury, or a special tax for non believers.

  31. You people do realize that there IS a strip club real close to the planned community center. FOR GOD’S SAKE we can’t have our free access to naked women infringed upon by some RELIGIOUS STRUCTURE causing angst and guilt!

    Think of the children! Just not online.

    1. well, it is a sacred site after all.

  32. The local coven and I have been attempting to develop an Islamicized version of Wicca to show solidarity with our Muslim sisters who have been oppressed by American imperialism and capitalist exploitation.

    Maybe someday Muslims will be able to see Allah as a female Godess.

    1. You sound like fun gals. If I come over, will you do my laundry?

    2. And maybe someday you will shut the fuck up with your Wicca gibberish.

    3. It sure has been awhile, hasn’t it, Organic Girl?

      This effort is sub-par though.

      More granola please.

  33. As far as I am concerned, the fact that there is a mosque in the everfucking Pentagon seals this debate for me. In case the conservatards forgot, the Pentagon was hit, too.

    Anyway, let’s have a sidebar issue:

    Q: If the troops caught Osama Bin Laden tomorrow, would you support or oppose a full-bore triumph for the President? I am not just talking about the word: I mean the diadem, scepter, purple robes, blood on the face, public parade of OBL’s body…the whole fucking nine yards.

    I think I would. I need a little State-worship from time to time, and that oughta get it out of my system for another 10 years or so.

    1. If they cought him alive and then ritually choked him, like Vercingetorix, I would attend.

      1. Of course, as a true-blooded American, I would want him to have a fair and just trial first. But yeah, crank that garrote!

    2. there is a mosque in the everfucking Pentagon

      Maybe so, but nobody’s talking about building one there. Big difference for the “We believe in the Constitution, but…” crowd.

      1. This debate has nothing, at all, to do with the constitution.

    3. Was there a mosque in the Pentagon before 911?

      Maybe it is because of PC run amok in the military, you know, like the PC blinders that allowed/encourage Major Hasan to murder 13 innocent American soldiers and civilians?

      Is the attempt to silence the mosque critics just the latest attempt at political correctness?

      1. There’s a mosque in the Pentagon because we have Muslim Service Members and DoD Civilians, you mouth-breathing retard.

        1. I have worked in a lot of different places. None of them had a church of any kind.

          I was in the Army. I am not particularly religious, but I don’t recall ever seeing anything but an “all faith chapel” on any Army base where I was stationed. I have never set foot in the Pentagon, but seeing as how it is a US military unstallation, I would expect it to have an “all faith chapel” as well.

          Oh, almost forgot, you blinkered nitwit.

        2. According to this source there is no mosque inside the pentagon. This jibes with my own observations on various US military installations.

          http://factcheck.org/2010/08/no-pentagon-mosque/

          Q: Is there a mosque inside the Pentagon?

          A: The Pentagon has a non-denominational chapel that holds services for employees who follow various religions.

          TAO, thanks for being wrong and demonstrating that you really are a blinkered dimwit. Have a nice day 🙂

      2. “”Is the attempt to silence the mosque critics just the latest attempt at political correctness?””

        Political correctness is usually used to NOT offend the the sensitivities of others. So which side is demanding that sensitivites not be offened?

        1. TV, this is a very good criticism of my viewpoint, and has me wiggling a bit.

          My answer is that PCness is a restriction imposed by others that forces one to act, and talk in a way that is contrary to one’s actual beliefs, and carries with it the threat of sanctions.

          The difference here is that I do not support sanctions of any kind, hence I am not imposing any PC standards on anybody. I simply think that building a mosque at GZ is in bad taste, and that the Imam proposing the mosque ought to take that into consideration and should alter his plans. I believe that many Americans see Park51 as an insult and that continuing with the project will damage Islam’s already precarious relationship with Americans.

          Practicing good manners, being polite, being civil to one another is not the same thing as political correctness at all.

  34. Of greater concern to me than the mosque issue is that it seems to have spawned yet another way to sell Al Qaida. I saw a spelling with an apostrophe in it now.

    I’m starting to think this is a way for the terrorist group to get us off track. How can we combat them if we can’t even get them to spell their name the same way?

    Guess we’ll have to ask Usama bin Laden why that it. Or is Osama….I never can tell.

  35. Equidistant La?cit?. There is no other option for the public and the government in a secular society. Get it into your heads already.

  36. The problem is that most people aren’t interested in conducting a peaceful debate over the meaning of institutions, most of the opposition to the mosque is bigots with nefarious purposes exploiting the fears of the families of victims.

  37. From what I’ve heard, “ground zero” is still just a big hole in the ground. Why don’t they build a mosque there? Also, an In-n-Out. they have the best cheeseburgers.

  38. I’m not a big Limbaugh fan, but I do enjoy listening to him for the 10 or 15 minutes I spend driving while going out to lunch. He brought up an interesting point today. A few years ago he was in the minority as a semi-public figure who supported the Dubai port takeover. At that time it was largely Democrats and people on the left who opposed the deal. Now some of those same people are crying “racist” if you oppose the temple. They seem to have forgot what their position was back when Bush was in office. (I feel dirty now, but it’ll wash)

    1. Well, because I went out to lunch today and forgot my XM radio, I listened to that fucking boob, and he basically was 100% opposed with no “but the Democrats opposed the DP World thing” caveats.

      He’s just as much a hypocrite as they are.

    2. Foriegn nations running our ports vs. American citizens converting an old factory into a mosque? There doesn’t seem to be a difference to you? No love for democrats here, but it just seems there was more to be concerned about in the port situation.

      1. Foreign nations already run our ports, and this was one of the arguments that the xenos ignore THEN, too.

        1. I’ll be damned…I honestly didn’t know that…well, I guess that’s what I get for not paying attention.

          I’ll retract the above comment and go back to thinking Democrats and Republicans are not just partisan hacks on most issues, but just about all issues.

          1. Wiki (I know, I know) confirms:

            The controversy pertained to management contracts of six major United States ports. The purchaser was DP World (DPW), a state-owned company in the UAE. The contracts had already been foreign-owned, by Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), a British firm taken over by DPW (completed in March 2006).

  39. “Even a newfound reverence for religious liberty on the left does not negate our right to protest and criticize the philosophical disposition of others.”

    This is the worst bit of libertarian analysis since Dalmia’s Hummer.

    Even a serious respect for the right of stupid rednecks right to put a rebel flag on their pickup doesn’t stop the fact that doing so is to support a system of Southern intransigence that is primarily about screwing over black people.

    No one is saying that the Pamela Geller crowd should be fined or thrown in jail. I am, however saying that the 5% of Americans in the vehemently anti-Cordoba-group stupid racist jerks.

    And the 65% of people who let themselves get persuaded by Geller et al are turning their back on the best of American principles. Sure it’s their right. That’s irrelevant unless someone says “Throw ’em in jail!”

    You know, though only a fraction of Catholic priests are pedophiles, the entire church is routinely broad-brushed as corrupt and depraved. I’ve not heard those who make generalizations about Catholicism referred to as bigots in Time magazine.

    A – I have. Not sure about Time Magazine, but I’ve seen plenty of excoriations of generalizations towards Catholics. If you haven’t, you’re not paying attention. But this still misses the point, as I’ll explain below.

    In 2008, thousands of gay-rights activists protested the Mormon temple in Westwood, Calif., for its role in passing Proposition 8?the ban on same-sex marriage. This grew into a national protest to undermine the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?even though not every Mormon was involved.

    Again, this misses the point.

    What if the Episcopal Church USA were to build a church there, with the stated goal of acknowledging the role some Christians have played in oppressing homosexuals in Westwood? Would it be sensible to protest them, because of what the Mormons did during the Prop 8 campaign?

    Or protesting outside a Presbyterian church because of Catholic child abuse?

    Both of those would be examples of ignorance and religious bigotry. And you and your friends conflating the Sufi-influenced Cordoba Initiative with Al Qaeda is religious and racist bigotry.

    Christ. This was a stupid, stupid piece.

    1. “This is the worst bit of libertarian analysis since Dalmia’s Hummer.”

      harsanyi is not a proper libertarian. he is what you would call a common sense libertarian. his libertarianism is infused with a whole bunch of extraneous beliefs.

      1. You mean like DONDERRROOOOOOOO!!!

  40. Now some of those same people are crying “racist” if you oppose the temple. They seem to have forgot what their position was back when Bush was in office.

    Yeah, the Dubai Ports deal was xenophobia and jingoism wrapped up in a flag of “what about poor American jobs” and faux anti-trust concerns.

    That Rush is pointing that out while denying his own flipflop is just one more of his stupid rhetorical tricks where he decides on an outcome and then rationalizes the fuck out of it with exactly zero intellectual integrity.

    1. Please tell me this is a joke? Xenophobia? Is the constitution xenophobic for insisting that only citizens can vote or run for office?

      There are certain essential elements to running a nation that should not be in the hands of those who cavort with self-confessed enemies of our system.

    2. Please tell me this is a joke? Xenophobia? Is the constitution xenophobic for insisting that only citizens can vote or run for office?

      There are certain essential elements to running a nation that should not be in the hands of those who cavort with self-confessed enemies of our system.

  41. Build the mosque. Let’s see what happens.

  42. Why did the Imam originally choose to name the project, “Cordoba”?

    Why is it now named, “Park51”?

    1. Not sure but I think it goes like this.

      Cordoba is the name of the facility. Park 51 is the name of the group having the facility built.

      1. Switch it around and you got it.

  43. “”http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100818/pl_nm/us_usa_mosque””

    “Muslims in lower Manhattan who have prayed in a crowded basement or in the streets say they are not looking for confrontation with opponents of a new mosque. They simply need the space.”

    “The Masjid Manhattan, one of two mosques in the area, is four blocks from the World Trade Center but has gone largely unnoticed. A door with a modest sign “MASJID” — Arabic for mosque — leads from the sidewalk to the prayer space below.”

    There’s not too much difference between 2 blocks and 4 blocks in downtown Manhattan.

  44. All of this is indisputable.

    Tell this to a friend of mine, who swears that all Muslims are either violent are apologists for the violent. His is a very black and white world. There is no getting through to him. And he is not alone.


  45. mr simple|8.18.10 @ 12:26PM|#

    Finally, the discussion has evolved into a meta-debate. Now we’re really getting somewhere.
    reply to this
    Episiarch|8.18.10 @ 12:32PM|#

    Page hits are page hits, dude. Reason has to make some money somehow.
    reply to this

    I would have to pick the previous two weeks to finally getting around to playing FallOut3 . Nope, it couldn’t be this week.

    1. StarCraft II may be the solution to that problem. WAY better than watching a buncha racists and bigots zerging anything that smacks of Islam.

  46. Moderate Muslims oppose location of Cordoba Mosque ? on religious grounds
    http://dailycaller.com/2010/08…..ba-mosque-?-on-religious-grounds/#ixzz0wzfOQb1o

    1. “OOOOOPS!”

      Wait, does this refer to “OOOOOPS! I broke the link!” or “OOOOOPS! I tried to link to the Daily Caller!”?

      1. Maybe it means, “OOOOOPS, it ain’t just rednecks and bigots that oppose the mosque, it is thoughtful, respectful people everywhere”.

        1. Maybe it’s people kow-towing to the demands of rednecks and bigots.

  47. What a load of bull! Is Harsanyi pretending that there aren’t plenty of people out there screaming for the government to step in, to do anything, anything, to Stop The Mosque? Ask Pam “Atlas Shrugs” Geller. Ask Leonard Peikoff. Ask John Hospers. All of them supposedly pro-property rights Objectivists or Libertarians. (Except when it matters.) Is this really just some ethereal debate about the merits of religion? Horsefeathers. This is pandering to the worst elements in the U.S.

    Further, if the opponents of Cordoba House are really just concerned about “Islamic intolerance”, why pick on Cordoba House? Its backers are Sufis, the most mystical, tolerant and non-political of all Moslems. Sort of the New-Agers of Islam. If this is really all about tolerance, why not pick on Baptist Churches, who are still in favor of alcohol prohibtion, and are proud supporters of the War on Drugs, and vastly outnumber Moslems in the U.S.? Why the double standard?

    1. I think that what Harsanyi’s basic point is, is that Wahabists and Sufis are both Muslims, and so it’s not religious bigotry to say Sufis are bad because of Wahabists. Also, some catholics aren’t child molesters, so the First Amendment means that we’re big meanies for calling people religious bigots for using their right to protest, just because they HAPPEN to be all religiously bigoted in their protesting.

      Also, we shouldn’t call Harsanyi a Stupid Fucking Moron, because that would be bigoted towards “Latter Day Saints” and Time Magazine hasn’t said that would be wrong.

    2. Is Harsanyi pretending that there aren’t plenty of people out there screaming for the government to step in, to do anything, anything, to Stop The Mosque? Ask Pam “Atlas Shrugs” Geller. Ask Leonard Peikoff. Ask John Hospers.

      Any other household names?

      Further, if the opponents of Cordoba House are really just concerned about “Islamic intolerance”, why pick on Cordoba House?

      Could be the whole Ground Zero thing, I dunno.

      1. So collective guilt, then. Wahabist radicals kill thousands of people, so when some Sufis who promote interfaith understanding and ending gender discrimination within Islam get together and try to build a cultural center near Ground Zero, we have to say no, because they’re just as guilty as the Wahabists in Al Qaeda?

  48. And furthermore…

    Check into the manufactured controversy over the Khalil Gibran Academy in NYC, and you’ll find much the same usual suspects. Coincidence? (Gibran, BTW, was a Maronite Christian.)

    1. I know, that thing was ridiculous.

      I think its when they had a slogan about “intifada” on one of their school t-shirts that some NY’r decided that the school was a madrassa and they would make it their pet project to shut the place down.

      It was an early example of people screaming, “SOMETHING VAGUELY MUSLIM!!! KILL IT!!!! ITS EEEEEVIL!!”

  49. For people who favor government intervention in the construction of a privately-owned community center: What is the area around Ground Zero that is considered off-limits? Is it a block? Two blocks? Five? Ten? How large is a neighborhood? How about all of lower Manhattan? Is there really a rational way to arrive at a legal definition for this kind of ban, or is it like some folks’ definition of “porn” – you only know it when you see it?

    1. Is it 600 feet, 200, 2, how about right smack dab in the middle of ground zero? Just kick that skull out of the way and start building.

    2. I don’t favor government intervention on this so I guess you weren’t really talking to me but you beg the question.
      What percentage of people who derive their ideology from the same book or teacher must become commited murderers as a direct result of obeying specific instructions from this book or teacher before it is no longer an act of bigotry to declare that the book and the prophet are evil and that it is morally reprehensible for one to teach one’s children to praise such a book or such a man?

  50. Well said, Harsany.

  51. a moderate Muslim’s thought on the GZ mosque project:

    Schwartz echoed Jasser’s concerns. He highlighted three problems with the project. “First of all, aside from the issues of conflict with jihad, Islam teaches us, especially Muslims living in non-Muslim societies, to avoid conflict with our neighbors,” Schwartz told TheDC. “We think this is an incredibly heedless project. It went forward without adequate planning or foresight, without anticipating reaction and it is absurd to think that there would not have been reaction. It is simply absurd. Second, there is the problem of Imam Feisal’s propensity to mix with radicals. And thirdly, there is a problem with the lack of transparency about money funding.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/08…..ba-mosque-?-on-religious-grounds/#ixzz0x0Ii4pmT

  52. It’s a bit inconsident. When a bunch of private citizens object to Muslims building an Islamic Center at Ground Zero, dozens of people comment here to call the objectors bigots. Not a single one of those commentors call out the Obama administration for its segregationist policy of forbidding Jews from building on land that they own in certain neighborhoods. I guess some religions are more equal than others in your eyes.

    1. A couple of the folks here have stood up for the right of both Jews and Muslims to build on land that they won. Those guys have my respect. The rest, not so much.

    2. I dont understand; I thought the jews run America?

  53. Harsanyi doesn’t know what he’s talking about…

    Most of West Hollywood would cheer a 13-story erection and line up for photos with it.

  54. I was one of many people who had a change of heart and mind on religious toleration because of 911.

    I had generally given republicans a pass on some of their crazy in a misguided sense of religious toleration – they have a right to their crazy beliefs, after all.

    911 opened my eyes. New Rule – you don’t get a pass on bigotry, cruelty, ignorance, and hatred by saying “But God tells me so.”

    You have a right to your crazy, but I have my right to condemn it. No more free passes for idiocy just because you claim God wants you to be a bastard.

    1. So, you stand in opposition to a Liberal church when it sends representatives to Congress to demand that the feds stop global warming?

  55. For people who favor government intervention in the construction of a privately-owned community center: What is the area around Ground Zero that is considered off-limits? Is it a block? Two blocks? Five? Ten?

    1. Ground Zero is a special place in the heart of all americans. And you can’t build a mosques in someone’s heart. And Americans are everywhere, so building mosques anywhere is a desecration to the spirit of 9/11. Islam is an intolerant religion.

      1. This is hilarious. Nice irony.

      2. Perhaps they should learn to tolerate us

  56. There’s some truth to that, but an extra lane in a highway that ten people use each day is just as bad as a bridge to nowhere.

  57. There should be a special law making intolerant people like Muslims second-class citizens, who can’t vote, can’t own private property, can’t swim in public swimming pools, and are forced to pick cotton on plantations. Also, they could be bought and sold in an open air market. What could be more libertarian? I mean, they hate woman and gays and their religion is like, fucked up! They’d impose Sharia law!

    1. No way! That sounds just like sla… Wait a minute. That was a rouse wasn’t it?

      1. In fact, I’ll bet Mr. Logical isn’t even your real name.

  58. In related news, New Yorkers are protesting a proposed construction project 40 blocks from Ground Zero. Would you call those protesters bigoted?

  59. I think that all religion is evil, even if most evil done in the name of religion would have probably been done anyway in the name of whatever else was convenient.

    I don’t see this as bigoted because it is a belief, not an inborn trait. I don’t hate the person, just the actions that result from them believing some supernatural being wants them to hate someone else.

    That said, I see no reason to want to ban members of any particular religion from building a YMCA in an old Burlington Coat Factory.

  60. “Given that there remains overwhelming opposition to the ground zero mosque, this viewpoint would mean that 70 percent of Americans are impulsively hostile to freedom of religion and irrationally narrow-minded.”

    Precisely. To claim otherwise is to ignore the obvious.

  61. We must defend Islam at all costs. But you fucking Christians can eat shit and die.

  62. This article has no real content. Oh, if ONLY 70% of Americans were bigots! Christians who claim their condemnation of the project is motivated by Islam’s generalized or specific bigotries might look over their shoulders and consider what athiests might say about them. The 9/11 meme went off the tracks immediately when the opportunists in government and the media realized it was highly in their interests to make it out a Big Deal. What other crime scene is “hallowed”? Sheesh.

  63. This whole debate is a cynical misdirection to take voters’ attention from more pressing issues. It is fueled by morally bankrupt politicians and a media that feeds us junk food news.

    1. misdirecting us from what? better look over here while they build it aye?

  64. More “bigoted” New Yorkers opposing a construction project. This site is in Brooklyn. It isn’t even in the same borough as Ground Zero.

  65. They cant build that thing there total bullshit. If it ever gets built someone is going to bomb the fucking hell out of it and rightfully so. Perhaps bush will make some muslims hijack a plane again and ram the mosque in a clever distraction from the explosives he had planted in it by the CIA.

  66. As an American Muslim, I find the very concept of this mosque/Islamic center disgusting. News reports indicate that the center is planned to be 13 stories high, and include a pool, restaurant, performing arts center, and prayer space. The estimated cost of the facility is approximately $100 million.

    This is obscene.

    If the organizers of this mosque truly want to show this country what Islam stands for, they should scrap plans for the building. They should instead spend that $100 million funding rescue missions, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food banks, clothing banks, free clinics, and thousands of other services that genuinely help their fellow mankind.

    If they really want to show that Islam is a religion of peace and charity, spending $100 million on a monument to their own desire for recognition does nothing toward that objective, and in fact damages their case horribly.

    They should help people in the name of their Lord and ask nothing in return, as their religion requires. Using the bounty that God has provided them in order to further their own glory is not just misguided; it is a spiritually impoverishing tendency common to far too many of those who purport to interpret God’s word.

  67. I agree with Harsanyi’s general point that it is o.k. to be critical of religious ideas. This broad thesis does not do justice to the current debate. People are opposing any Muslim mosque going up at the site because they think Islam is inherently bad. That is different than Harsanyi’s references to people being critical of Catholic priests. It is o.k. to critique a particular institution like Catholicism but in America you cannot critique Christianity in general. What irritates people who call critics of the mosque as bigots is that the anti-mosquers are not nearly as critical of the American Taliban – 700 club, Newt Gingrich, etc. Yep, it is hypocrisy. As a non-religious person I am all for bashing on Islam. I think it is bunk. But then, I think Christianity is bunk too. So when I see people frothing at the mouth over the evils of Islam, unless I see equal zeal to critique Christianity I just don’t see the outrage of putting a Mosque up at ground zero.

    1. Only a very small percentage of the people opposing the Islamic Center at Ground Zero are criticizing Islam in general. Some just don’t want the Islamic Center at Ground Zero, but they wouldn’t mind it in Midtown. Others have concerns about the specific organization behind the Islamic Center at Ground Zero, because of alleged ties with terrorists or sympathy for terrorist. Still others objected on historic preservationist grounds and would not mind the Islamic Center at Ground Zero opening up within the existing building on the site. Peter, it helps to research what the other side says by reading the articles and posts on websites from the other side. The reality is much more complicated than the headlines.

      1. “because they think Islam is inherently bad.”

        What’s wrong with saying that? Communism is inherently bad. Doesn’t make all followers bad. Misguided and misled more likely.

        Islam is simply a terrible system. Try living in Saudi Arabia as a non Muslim without the need for constant protection. Oh, and make sure you don’t talk to any women you’re not married to.

  68. GO BACK TO RUSSIA, JUGGALO

  69. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT—-Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows TO Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.REPOST THIS

  70. REMINDER!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  71. I think this author is trying to say that people have the right to criticize a religion. Islam has a lot to be criticized for just like many other religions. The catholic church doesn’t allow female priest (I think) and it get criticized all the time. The left criticizes that all the time and they are not branded as anti-religious. Its simply someone’s speech that is being used in both cases of the mosque and the catholic church to criticize certain practices within that faith.

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