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Charles Krauthammer's transparent dodge

It must be tough being Charles Krauthammer these days. Here's his difficulty, in a nutshell: How do you insinuate that all of Islam should be viewed through the lens of 9/11 while disguising the fact that you're insinuating that all of Islam should be viewed through the lens of 9/11?

After arguing against the project last week by invoking government zoning against liquor stores and strip clubs, Krauthammer is back again. He protests mightily that he is not arguing that radical Islam counts for a majority of Islam, but that the project must not be built because the attacks were carried out in Islam's name:

Radical Islam is not, by any means, a majority of Islam. But with its financiers, clerics, propagandists, trainers, leaders, operatives and sympathizers -- according to a conservative estimate, it commands the allegiance of 7 percent of Muslims, i.e., more than 80 million souls -- it is a very powerful strain within Islam. It has changed the course of nations and affected the lives of millions. It is the reason every airport in the West is an armed camp and every land is on constant alert.

Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world. These are regrettable facts, but facts they are. And that is why putting up a monument to Islam in this place is not just insensitive but provocative.

Here's the thing: If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks. If you don't believe that -- if you believe that the attacks were carried out by a group that perverted Islam and wasn't genuinely acting on its behalf -- then you wouldn't have any reason to see the building of a project nearby devoted to studying Islam as "provocative."

Claiming that the attacks were carried out "in the name" of Islam is a transparent way to dodge that simple truth. It's a way for Krauthammer to make an argument premised inescapably on the idea that all of Islam should be somehow conflated with the attacks while claiming he isn't doing that at all.

Opponents of the project point out that majorities believe building the project is insenstive to the families of 9/11 victims. No one is arguing that there aren't enormous sensitivities surrounding this. As the events of the past few weeks have shown, the scars of 9/11 are far from healed. No one is arguing that the feelings of the 9/11 families shouldn't be taken into account as we weigh what to do here.

But not all 9/11 families oppose the center. Some are in support of it, even though they suffered through the same tragedy that those opposing the project did. And the question here is not whether the wounds of 9/11 should be weighed as a factor. Rather, it's whether those senstitivities should ultimately dictate our position on whether the center should proceed.

The arguments in favor of the project have all been ably hashed out elsewhere by people who know far more about national security than I do. Allowing it to proceed is an important reaffirmation of American values that we must always support -- no matter what. Building it would send a strong signal about American democracy and religious tolerance to the Muslim world. Moving it would give terror recruiters a potent symbol to foment anti-American sentiment.

The question for Krauthammer and other foes is why lingering sensitivitives about 9/11 should take precedence over all the reasons proponents have given.

As hard as this may be to accept, the more rational response is to support the project -- even if causes many people discomfort and even pain. This is discomfort and pain we must work through for our own good. Simply put, the cost of doing the alternative is unacceptably high. Opposing the center on the grounds that 9/11 was carried out "in the name of Islam," and is sacrilege towards hallowed ground, signals that our commitment to American values is not unshakable when maintaining it is emotionally wrenching. It legitimizes, unwittingly or not, the notion that it's valid to vaguely and irrationally conflate all of Islam with the attacks. In the long run, doing these things is worse for America.

UPDATE, 12:31 p.m.: In the seventh graf I inadvertently used the term "proponents," when I meant "opponents." Edited to fix.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 20, 2010; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: People who hate Obama are more apt to think he's Muslim

Comments

Another day, another heaping helping of mosquey goodness.

(Vikings: Mosgue mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque mosque. Lovely mosque! Wonderful mosque! Mosgue mosque mosque mosque...)

Posted by: CalD | August 20, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Its sad to see Howard Dean taking basically the same position as Charles Krauthammer here. Greg, I'm still hoping for a post on that topic, particularly on DFA's decision to split with Dean. Any chance you could shed some light on that one for us?

Posted by: jbossch | August 20, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The most succinct and compelling argument in support of Park51 (no, I will not refer to it as the "Ground Zero Mosque") I have read. If this debate were to be carried out in anything approximating a rational manner, Sargent's argument would carry the field. If Charles Krauthammer had any self-respect, he would admit his errors of logic and yield to the better argument

Posted by: Patroklus | August 20, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer? Inconsistent and disingenuous? NO. WAY.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Methinks Greg doth protest too much. I would advise against getting into a tit for tat with Krauthammer, Greg.

I disagree with everything you write below:

"Allowing it to proceed is an important reaffirmation of American values that we must always support -- no matter what. Building it would send a strong signal about democracy and religious tolerance to the Muslim world. Moving it would give terror recruiters a potent symbol to foment anti-Ameircan sentiment."

These aren't facts, these are your opinions. Many legitimately disagree. Krauthammer provides indisputable facts and you respond with unsupported assertions.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 20, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Any chance you could shed some light on that one for us?"

I vote for a post on a totally different topic.

Iraq. Bush Tax Cuts. Middle East Peace. BP Oil Spill. David Vitter.

Tons going on that we're not talking about...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The goal of Neocons like Krauthammer is to demonize Muslims in any manner and at every opportunity. If they succeed, which they apparently are, they will instill in the mind of many Americans that all Muslims are terrorists and therefore, we must support Israel in its aggression against Muslim Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Libyans, Jordanians, and Iranians. Krauthammer is selling a war for Israel, a war against Muslims in general and against Iran in particular, and he may succeed with the not inconsiderable help of the WaPo editorial board.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | August 20, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Greg - Great Post.

Krauthammer is not a serious person. When was the last time he went against the prevailing right wing meme of the day?

And you are giving him too much credit by not questioning the underlying data that he puts forth.

"...it commands the allegiance of 7 percent of Muslims, i.e., more than 80 million souls."

I'd like to see the source of that figure, because I'm familiar enough with Krauthammer's previous body of work to know not to trust what he writes.

But the bigger related point is that this is nothing new. The GOP loves to inject racial, xenophobic tension into the political debate, but they learned in 68 that they couldn't do so directly. They had to disguise what they were doing. How is this Mosque issue any different?

Here is a quote from Lee Atwater about the Southern Strategy:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, 'N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.' By 1968 you can't say 'n*gger'—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff..."

This is nothing new. This is what the Republicans do every two years. Apparently they have decided to quit attacking gay people this time around and shift their hate speech to the Muslims.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Two key perspectives are relevant. One, Muslims have a reputation (appropos or not) for not being truthful (due to Mohammed's Quranic encouragement in the context of war). Therefore, a certain paranoia has developed around both Muslims and those "warm" towards them due to exasperated fear at how to get to the truth. Second, liberal Christianity, which Obama has chosen, is decidedly agnostic about which "path" is the right one, basically claiming they're all good. What really matters to the liberal Christian is not Christ over Allah or Buddha but rather the golden rule over greed and oppression. Therefore, both Obama's choice of Christian church as well as both warmth toward Islam and descent from a Muslim creates a perfect storm of disbelief among true believer Christians; who see Muslims as hell bound Christ-rejecting possible liars and liberal Christians as hell bound heretic, miracle denying do-gooders. Either way, though Obama likes Jesus' teachings, his "brand" of Christianity is prone to not care if Christ really rose from the dead. Rather, what matters is that Christ was willing to sacrifice for truth and justice. So, it is logically consistent to be a liberal Christian and pro-Quran all at the same time. Hence, the question becomes whether or not Obama leans far enough that way, that he might as well just be a Muslim who appreciates Jesus teachings as opposed to a Christian who thinks Islam is just as "right" a religion as Christianity. Liberal Christianity would not be offended either way. Conservative Christianity calls both spiritual wickedness.

Posted by: jonswitzer | August 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@ Ethan:

Yeah, I'm getting sick of the mosque crap too, but I agree with Greg that this is about fundamental American values and caving in (even to those urging some ill-defined compromise like Howard Dean) would represent a major setback. We don't just uphold values like pluralism and freedom of expression when its easy.

Posted by: jbossch | August 20, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

If we really want to send a signal to the "radical islamists" who attacked us on 9/11, we should put a mosque on the top of the new building at the World Trade Center, for all the world to see.

We are just too cowardly to even consdier such a thing.

Posted by: donovong | August 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Didn't NEW YORKERS vote on and approve the building of the Park 51 Community Center?
Didn't NEW YORKERS bless this project?
If it is sacreligious to have it on Ground Zero (it won't be by the way)than why is a strip club right across the street from said hallowed ground. How bout this, I will agree that it shouldn't be built when you can explain to me why the Bill of Rights don't apply to all Americans.

Posted by: ttanner509 | August 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

sbj: "These aren't facts, these are your opinions. Many legitimately disagree. Krauthammer provides indisputable facts and you respond with unsupported assertions."

Clue one...Krauthammer writes on the OPINION page. Many disagree with Krauthammer's facts, too, they are certainly NOT undisputable.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

IMO the hatred and hot air wasted on this issue simply blurs the real issue of eliminating radical Islam and respecting (not embracing- respecting) Islam in general. The simple fact that this issue is being politicized is a disgrace to the ideals this nation is founded upon. Any national politician weighing in on this issue is simply pandering.

We will never eliminate the radicals without the support and help of the peaceful majority of Islam. The hatred and hypocrisy that this issue has exposed does nothing but harm our effort in what is and will continue to be a long struggle to eliminate a dangerous radical sect of Islam hijacked by extremists.

Also - Charles how exactly did a zoning application for a community center become translated into "putting up a monument".

Posted by: dcperspective | August 20, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

SBJ Please forgive me if I offend you with this post. I truly mean no offense but am truly curious and you can provide us all with a great view of why people support politicians who in many cases hate them.

We go back to the old days on the old site and perhaps you have answered this for someone else and so again forgive me for missing your response, but it bears repeating anyway for our new posters.

The larger question is not the Park51 community center. It is the rampant Islamophobia running loose in our nation right now and being stoked mightily by the right. Again if the Park 51 center was the ONLY situation where this was going on then the so called sensitivity argument perhaps would have some merit. But this is not going on in a vacuum. A virulent hatred is loose in our land and it should frighten you of all people.

How do the R's expect a Muslim to vote for them? A Hispanic? An African American? (Of course they gave up on the black vote long ago) and from your perspective SBJ how can a Gay person possibly support an R. WTF is with "Log Cabin" R's.

You do realize that a SIGNIFICANT portion of the R's don't view your choices as a sexual orientation. They think you are a pervert and an abomination against THEIR God.

Truly SBJ...can you even imagine what it would be like if Huckabee/Palin got elected along with a conservative congress.
Katy bar the door. Gay bashing would cease to simply be an activity for frustrated thugs perhaps acting on projection...it would become a STATE SANCTIONED activity. All those R congressmen hiding in the closet..the worst kind of Gay bashers...

Seriously SBJ...your answer could provide some insight for all of us as to why any Gay, Muslim, Black, Latino would ever support a party who is dead set against their interests.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

If Krauthammer wants to be consistent he will also hold all of Christendom accountable for the Jim Jones massacre in Guyana. It makes as much sense as blaming Islam for the fringe kooks who committed the 9/11 attacks.

Posted by: Maezeppa | August 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The Kraut Hammer Word:

"sensitivity"

His entire argument is based on a claim that the NY Muslims are guilty of not being Sensitive Enough.

Every heard of the word "Empathy" Charlie? You hammered President Obama for daring to express a desire for someone to show "Empathy"

Now that it suits your bigoted agenda, because you lack the courage, and honesty, to admit that you are blaming all Muslims, for the atrocities committed by a very small group of homicidal psychopaths, you play your own Politically Correct, "Sensitivity" card.

Charles Krauthammer, you are just as much of a defamer, as those who treated your own people in much the same manner, and you are making Bin Laden's case for him.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@sue: Which facts do you dispute?

"Radical Islam... is a very powerful strain within Islam. It has changed the course of nations and affected the lives of millions. It is the reason every airport in the West is an armed camp and every land is on constant alert. Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world."

As Kraut says:

"They were the leading, and most successful, edge of a worldwide movement of radical Islamists with cells in every continent, with worldwide financial and theological support, with a massive media and propaganda arm, and with an archipelago of local sympathizers, as in northwestern Pakistan, who protect and guard them.

"Why is America fighting Predator wars in Pakistan and Yemen, surveilling thousands of conversations and financial transactions every day, and engaged in military operations against radical Muslims everywhere from the Philippines to Somalia -- because of 19 crazies, all of whom died nine years ago?"

Posted by: sbj3 | August 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@jbossch

I hear you, but we've been debating these issues for weeks now.

We can certainly discuss American Values in the context of other issues, though. In fact, all of the issues I listed impact or are impacted by fundamental American Values. Two of them even relate to the discussion of America's relationship with the Muslim world. Discussing Howard Dean's comments on this would be like discussing his "Kill the Bill" comments during HCR -- a totally pointless exercise. Let's talk about values, absolutely, there's a lot to talk about, but let's do it in the context of other issues or a broader swath of interrelated issues.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

ttanner509 asks, “I will agree that it shouldn't be built when you can explain to me why the Bill of Rights don't apply to all Americans.”

You don’t seem to understand. It isn’t up to the people of New York. If you had been paying attention to the right-wingers you would no that New York is NOT a part of the “Heartland” and therefore New Yorkers are NOT “Real Americans.”

The Bill of Rights only applies to “Real Americans.” That is why it makes total sense that the people of Missouri and Arkansas decide what gets built in NY City.

snark/

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"And that is why putting up a monument to Islam in this place is not just insensitive but provocative."

Except, Mr. Krauthammer, this place isn't at ground zero.

It's proximity is happenstance.

Krauthammer and the Fox propagandists act as though they are erecting a shrine in honor of the 9/11 hijackers constructed of airline parts of the planes that took the towers down.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Keep on Greg. Your arguments hold as much water as a late term abortion.

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | August 20, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Folks like Krauthammer told us that; "we are fighting them over there, so that we do not have to fight them here".

Now those same people are telling us, that was just a big lie, and we must fight against all Muslims here, as well as over there.


Since Krauthammer does not trust any Muslims, then he should be calling for us to have nothing to do with any Muslim nations. He should be calling for us to sever ties with Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and on and on.

He can not have it both ways, but of course he always tries to.

In his warped mind, all Muslims are against us, but we must partner with a lot of them in their countries, and keep telling them, that we are their friend.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

We have a very nice YMCA built several years ago here in St. Petersburg.

I may be a bit confused here after Krautheads piece.

Is it a YMCA or a MONUMENT to Christanity?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer's argument:

Muslims aren't actually accountable for 9/11, but they are sorta kinda a little bit responsible for terrorism in their midst, so however absurd the argument is, they ought to act like they are guilty and respect the sensibilities of those who do blame all Muslim's for 9/11 because the logic isn't entirely absurd.

something like that.

only we have politicians in Murfreesboro, Tennessee opposing a mosque there on the grounds that a mosque would undermine the moral foundation of the state. (I'm not making this up).

If someone made an argument like that to you and asked you to curtail your religious freedom out of respect for idiots, how would you feel?

We might as well just tell Muslims that bin Laden is correct, we do hate Muslims.

he hasn't been able to sell that message, so Gingrich, Palin, and Krauthammer are doing it for him.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"It's proximity is happenstance."

Not true.

"It is as close as the project organizers could get; the landing gear from one of the planes and human remains were found on that site... the organizers specifically chose the site because of its proximity to Ground Zero and used the phrase pretty regularly until it became a point of controversy:

"A December 8th, 2009, New York Times article stated, “The location [next to Ground Zero] was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims,” and quoted Rauf as noting that they got a property “where a piece of the [9/11] wreckage fell.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/243955/two-mosques-islamic-centers-currently-within-1-5-miles-ground-zero

Posted by: sbj3 | August 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Any one know when Mr. Krauthammer's birth day is?

I want to send him a nice gift of a WWACD Bracelet.

WWACD(What Would Ahmed Chalabi Do?)

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

OT, statement from Quartet on Middle East Peace:

...direct, bilateral negotiations that resolve all final status issues should 'lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors.

''The Quartet expresses its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations, which can be completed within one year, and the implementation of an agreement.

''The Quartet again calls on both sides to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/08/20/world/AP-EU-Mideast-Quartet-Statement.html

I know these things tend not to work... but for some reason this statement is very encouraging to me.

Perhaps it's the line about ending Israel's 40+ year occupation of Palestine.

Fwiw, to all the Right Wing readers who do not know me and are ready to jump down my throat for not supporting Israel: I am Jewish, have family in Israel, and have been there twice. I support Israel bigtime. But I also support a free Palestine!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 20, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm sick and tired of people acting as if this proposed center is on "sacred ground" - it's two city blocks away. If these people are so concerned about "sacred ground" why haven't they taken to task those who have done nothing to memoralize "sacred ground" nine years later? This is a business and that area needs development. It seems to me some of this is pure and simple racism and hate.

Posted by: rlj611 | August 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

"Moving it would give terror recruiters a potent symbol to foment anti-American sentiment."

And surely they are lacking recruiting symbols otherwise, right Greg?

I wonder why liberals like Greg are so condescending towards the rest of the world. He seems to think that the rest of world is a lab rat, and we are the scientists. If we prod them with this stimuli, they will do X. If we prod them with that stimuli, they will do Y.

I'm pretty sure that people in the rest of the world are motivated by all kinds of things beyond responding to what the US does, and I am also pretty sure neither I nor Greg have much of an idea about many of those motivations. And to be honest, if there is some Muslim nutter whose radicalization hangs on whether or not this m/Ic/w gets built near GZ or not, well then I guess I will just have to take the chance that there will be yet one more radicalized Muslim nutter in the world. I'm not basing my sense of what is right or not on the potentially crazy reaction of radical Islamic loons.

I also wonder how Greg would react if he discovered that the legalization of gay marriage (which, I would venture to guess, is more of an affront to whacked-out Muslim radicals than is the whole m/Ic/w imbroglio) would "give terror recruiters a potent symbol to foment anti-American sentiment." One thing I'm guessing is that he wouldn't be arguing against it on the grounds that it endangered national security.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Jeffrey Goldberg points out the speech given by Imam Feisal Rauf, who’s been viciously maligned as a “radical Islamist” and worse, at a memorial service for Daniel Pearl.

In 2003, Imam Rauf was invited to speak at a memorial service for Daniel Pearl, the journalist murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan. The service was held at B’nai Jeshurun, a prominent synagogue in Manhattan, and in the audience was Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl’s father. In his remarks, Rauf identified absolutely with Pearl, and identified himself absolutely with the ethical tradition of Judaism. “I am a Jew,” he said.

There are those who would argue that these represent mere words, chosen carefully to appease a potentially suspicious audience. I would argue something different: That any Muslim imam who stands before a Jewish congregation and says, “I am a Jew,” is placing his life in danger. Remember, Islamists hate the people they consider apostates even more than they hate Christians and Jews. In other words, the man many commentators on the right assert is a terrorist-sympathizer placed himself in mortal peril in order to identify himself with Christians and Jews, and specifically with the most famous Jewish victim of Islamism. You can read the full text of his remarks on the B’nai Jeshurun website, but here is an especially relevant portion:

We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one’s heart, mind and soul Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ahad; hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl.

If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one Mr. Pearl.

And I am here to inform you, with the full authority of the Quranic texts and the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, that to say La ilaha illallah Muhammadun rasulullah is no different.

It expresses the same theological and ethical principles and values.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

donovong wrote:
>>If we really want to send a signal to the "radical islamists" ... we should put a mosque on the top of the new building at the World Trade Center, for all the world to see.
We are just too cowardly to even consdier such a thing.<<

Appeasement = courage?!

Posted by: wumhenry | August 20, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"the organizers specifically chose the site because of its proximity to Ground Zero and used the phrase pretty regularly until it became a point of controversy"

Oh really? A point of controversy?

Here's more from the Times article.

“We want to push back against the extremists,” added Imam Feisal, 61."

“Building so close is owning the tragedy. It’s a way of saying: ‘This is something done by people who call themselves Muslims. We want to be here to repair the breach, as the Bible says.’ ”

The only controversy here is what the Fox propagandists and Pamella Gellar are pushing.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 20, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Happenstance was the wrong word then. But, by no means was this intended as a front to the victims of the tragedy.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Remember a few years ago when the right wingers were telling us the terrorists "Hated us for our freedoms?"

That was right wingers projecting their own hatred on terrorists. If anyone hates us for our freedoms it is America's right wing.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Scott C that where the Muslim Center is located will make no difference to the Terrorists. They want to attack us, regardless of what is done, so I want to give Scott C. credit for having come up with another sound reason for not moving the proposed Center, since it will not make any difference to the real terrorists, where the center is opened.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer (& Co) are predictable, and their motivations clear - see Lazarus40's post above. They see us Muslims (as a whole) as a constant, ever spreading "clear and present danger". They don't trust us, they want nothing to do with us, they wish we would go away.

More generally, most Americans knew little to nothing about Islam/Muslims until 9/11.

Many of us, on all sides of the faith spectrum, have been working hard to try and repair the damage caused to us all by Al Qaeda that day, and by other Islamic terrorists elsewhere since then. A terrorist attack is equally traumatizing whether it happens in NYC, Casablanca or Tel Aviv.

I agree with Dr. Dean. Yes, of course, Park51 has the right to build wherever in this country, but we Muslims also have the responsibility and obligation to make sure we promote harmony in our communities, not dissension. So, as it stands, this project is detrimental to us all, in my view; obviously much more dialog is needed.

I'm now betting that Park51 will not happen as envisioned. We've already heard about the lack of financing, which means that Muslims themselves are not in a hurry to support this. I'm also betting this project's promoters are under a lot of pressure - from Muslims - to drop it, and instead spend all that energy into building trust. It will take a while, especially if innocent people (Muslims included) keep getting killed by individuals wrapped in Islamic banners.

Posted by: Mag3 | August 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Must be tough being an insignificant liberal these days.

Posted by: votingrevolution | August 20, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"I'm pretty sure that people in the rest of the world are motivated by all kinds of things beyond responding to what the US does"

Agreed Scott. But it is your suggestion that U.S. domestic policy is not watched and reported around the world. It is your contention that U.S. domestic policy has no effect on opinion around the world?

We can agree to disagree on the AMOUNT of that effect.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And then there is:

"Official: Hamas does not and will not speak for Park51. Our mission is one of peace, understanding, tolerance and faith."

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/36965_Cordoba_House_Developers-_Hamas_Does_Not_and_Will_Not_Speak_For_Us

That sure doesn't sound like they are trying to agitate American's.

The only agitation is that coming from the right wing hate groups stoking 9/11 sentiment and turning against a group of Muslims headed by a guy that has worked with our FBI and worked with the previous administration and this one.

This has become a misdirected hate fest because a few people out there, Pamella Gellar and most of Fox, have decided to latch onto this and try and use it politically against Democrats without considering the repercussions of a highly charged religious debate.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@mikefromArlington
Really the only controversy?

What person interested in dialog would not say "Hey. I hear your complaints. Though invalid I would welcome a discussion."

Instead, it has been this is our right, which it is, those who disagree be damed.

Not so much dialog. Thus the the much seen hole in liberal condescension.

Posted by: NelsonMuntz | August 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Poor, dumb Chucky the Kraut needs to keep writing lies and crap because that's what his supporters want from him. Don't expect anything that elevates America or demonstrates our values. His values are war, Zionism and hypocracy.

Posted by: mdenny1 | August 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, dude, but Krauthammer could eat your lunch any day.

Shoo.

Posted by: Smarg | August 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Must be tough being an insignificant liberal these days constantly preaching to their choirs.EARTH TO PLANET FAR LEFT, NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU!!!!!Well, maybe 20%.

Posted by: votingrevolution | August 20, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

1. Krauthammer asserts that "no one" objects to the legality -- they object to the propriety.

That's good to know, because with 70 percent of the GOP specifically questioning the Constitutionality of the construction in some polls, it's pretty clear that the legal basis argument hasn't been highlighted sufficiently by the GOP and its mouthpieces.

People like Krauthammer may take it for granted -- or simply gloss over the issue -- but let's first establish without equivocation that the legal questions are largely moot here. Why Krauthammer felt obliged to mention that zoning laws were somehow relevant in his previous column -- effectively a "legal basis" objection -- is a bit of mystery in that light, but perhaps it's simply a matter of Krauthammer being too intellectually dishonest to acknowledge the fact that he is shifting the grounds of his original objection to narrower ground.

2. With respect to the issue of propriety, the whole issue here has to do with one of conflation. Krauthammer excuses prejudice which impugns the actions of a small minority with that of an entire religion. Never mind the fact that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are at war with various Muslim sects -- including Sufi Muslims in Pakistan -- let's just treat a religion of 1.5 billion without any distinction between the individuals who make up the faith.

Pretty much by definition that is a prejudiced way of thinking, but perhaps that's one way that Krauthammer squares his particular circle of reasoning.

With respect to the Carmalite nuns and sloppy analogies, no one accused the nuns of being Nazi SS concentration camp operators -- effectively those are the objections being leveled at the builders of Park51 (e.g. with some even claiming that the site will be used as a recruiting and training center for future terrorist attacks). That is part of what makes the analogy particularly inapt in this instance.

The developer and the imam had no involvement with the 9-11 attacks and no direct -- or even tortuously indirect connection to the attackers -- yet they are being treated as if they are in some way responsible or bear some extra moral burden. This is patently absurd.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Must be tough being an insignificant liberal these days constantly preaching to their choirs.EARTH TO PLANET FAR LEFT, NO ONE IS LISTENING TO YOU!!!!!

Posted by: votingrevolution | August 20, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This is that columnist who wrote the impassioned ode to Obama's strong spine the day after he "stood up" for the mosque, and then he looked like a fool when Obama backed down the next day. Krauthammer stuck him where it hurts.

Posted by: kls1 | August 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Americans; rampant and mad emotionalism is NOT in the interest of our national survival! I hope the following is worthy of your consideration:

Do you know there are two other mosques in several block proximity to the site in lower Manhattan? Should they be "removed"?

Do you know that this proposed development is a Convention Center, with meeting rooms, a swimming pool, restaurants as well as a prayer room?

Do you think Mayor Bloomberg is incorrect that they are fully within their private property rights, and the project is in compliance with NYC ordinances and zoning?

Do you know the Imam of the Cordoba House is a Sufi Muslim? They are the most liberal of all Muslims. They are the ones we want on our side.

Do you know that Iman Rauf is today in the UAE courtesy of the State Department, trying to make the case for America in its dealings with the Islamic world?

Do want to totally cut the rug out from beneath him in such efforts?

Do you know that to make 9/11 into a battle with all of Islam, comprising about a third of all humanity, is just about the most stupid thing we could do?

Do you know that many of the most ardent on this thread, pouring gasoline on the flames, are Zionists who actually do want UNENDING WAR against all of Islam?

Please wake up. Gingrich and Palin are saying the most irresponsible things, greatly to our national detriment.

Posted by: tarquinis1 | August 20, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what Krauthammer writes. The left reads it and interprets it into leftist mentally. No one condemns all Muslims for the actions of the radical Muslims, but the left absence of reality and truth writes it as such. Every one knows what Krauthammer means, except for those who has an agendas to slap America in the face with their support of building the mosque near Ground Zero.

Posted by: houstonian | August 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder why liberals like Greg are so condescending towards the rest of the world. He seems to think that the rest of world is a lab rat, and we are the scientists. If we prod them with this stimuli, they will do X. If we prod them with that stimuli, they will do Y."

That's funny, although I don't think that's what Greg is doing here, he is just doing his job of "analyzing", from his perspective. But there is a bit of truth to that statement, in my experience.

That said, Muslims are not stupid, and generally well informed, even among the unwashed masses. I think folks afar are (as always) impressed with the debate itself and the freedom to discuss these thorny issues. They also know that the President himself (and Bush before him) have no animosity towards Islam per se. Many of us also do understand why Park51 has hit such a raw nerve, and are deeply uncomfortable with the whole situation.

As often is the case, we mainstream Muslims don't seem to have a voice at all in the media.

Posted by: Mag3 | August 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I love how Sargeant respond so fast to anything against this mosque. I still think he is wrong and that this mosque should not be built there. And I am tired of the argument that not building the mosque there would increase the number of radical islamists. This is bs. Radical islamists will always find an excuse to say that the West is evil and the whole world should be islamicized. There are radical people who don't care about the good things done by the US and the West. So stop with this stupid argument please.

Posted by: trumeau | August 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Presuming you intended "Opponents of the project... " (not "Proponents...", as written -- 7th paragraph counting the 2 quoted from Krauthammer)?

Posted by: oaguabonita | August 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"No one is arguing that the feelings of the 9/11 families shouldn't be taken into account as we weigh what to do here."

Maybe someone should.

9/11 was almost nine years ago. Since that time the United States has "responded" to 9/11 with security kabuki at airports, throwing privacy rights in the trash, flagrant abuses of human rights and dignity at Guantanamo Bay and Basram, and determined efforts to blast two Middle East countries back into the stone age. Now the United States is "responding" to 9/11 by trying to argue that office space and shopping complex on top of Ground Zero doesn't violate "hallowed ground" but a *place of worship* two blocks away somehow desecrates it.

Maybe it's time to say to 9/11 families, "Sorry about your loss but we've spent nine years going completely loco about your feelings. Enough. It's time to act like rational human beings again."

Posted by: petermilley | August 20, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

trumeau - Bin Laden and people like him claim that America is at war with Islam. This is a fact.

This xenophobic nonsense from the right is validating Bin Laden's message.

You may not like it, but there it is.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

All, new numbers shed light on people's belief Obama is a Muslim:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/people_who_hate_obama_think_he.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

People like Krauthammer and Pamela Geller are making Bin Laden's dream come true.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The attacks were made in the name of Islam you idiot. Whether or not they represented a majority of muslims feeling, is yet to be determined. Most people still recall the images in Palestine of muslims cheering as the towers went down. Somehow it is not OK to questions Muslims, as if they are above anyone else

Posted by: romeror2k | August 20, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@dcperspective "The simple fact that this issue is being politicized is a disgrace to the ideals this nation is founded upon. Any national politician weighing in on this issue is simply pandering."
------------------------------------
About the most succinct and pointed comment yet. It's shameful and embarrassing that we permit divisive wedge issues to permeate our elective process every year. We are all Americans and we deserve better than this from our electorate.

Posted by: JenAZ | August 20, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

nislieb ask:
Krauthammer is not a serious person. When was the last time he went against the prevailing right wing meme of the day?
Stem cell research, Don't ask Don't tell going away, Gay Rights, and Abortion Rights are a few things he sides with Democrats. What he does not side with is letting a country being run into the ground financially or with a foreign policy designed for failure. Get your facts straight and know something about the man you write about.

Posted by: daviderwin46 | August 20, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't get into a tit-for-tat with Krauthammer, Greg. He's not a "juicebox" journalist like yourself.

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"But it is your suggestion that U.S. domestic policy is not watched and reported around the world."

I don't doubt that it is widely reported and watched in some places, and barely reported and watched in others.

"It is your contention that U.S. domestic policy has no effect on opinion around the world?"

It probably has an effect on the opinion of some, and probably has no effect on the opinion of others.

You do realize that the notion of "world opinion" is a fairly useless, if not entirely meaningless, concept, don't you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I am fully convinced that this is not a left-right issue, nor a Christian-Muslim issue, nor a Jew-Muslim issue, nor a us-versus-them issue. It's a right-versus-wrong issue with the Constitution at its core.

Ted Olson, who won Bush v. Gore and became Bush's Solicitor General, is one of the "9/11 families"--he lost his wife when terrorists smashed a plane into the Pentagon. He did not oppose the mosque inside the Pentagon, and he is in favor of the Park 51 community center.

Voices from across Christianity and Judaism are calling for Park 51 to be built, because freedom to worship is worthless if it doesn't mean all are free to worship.

New Yorkers are calling for Park 51 to be built to help revitalize a dilapidated, empty storefront and help make lower Manhattan a better place to live. My parents lived across the street from the biggest mosque in the tri-state area and couldn't have asked for better neighbors.

What it comes down to are Constitutional principles. It's private property, and the duly elected local government approves. The Constitution protects the free exercise of religion on private property. Period.

The Constitution does not, on the other hand, protect your right to not feel icky.

Posted by: JamesK1 | August 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Kraut uses the story of the Carmelite convent at Auschwitz as an example of a religius group "showing sensitivity" to the "feelings" of another. Can you do a post explaining why that story is NOT analogous to this mosque issue? As I understand it, that case was more about Polish nationalism than religion...the Poles did not (and still do not) appreciate groups from the U.S. and Israel coming to their land and telling them what they could or could not do.

If I see this excuse one more time in print I will scream.

Posted by: hoos3014 | August 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

sbj said: "These aren't facts, these are your opinions. Many legitimately disagree. Krauthammer provides indisputable facts and you respond with unsupported assertions."

Well, it seems a tad silly to say that when Krauthammer uses his demographic facts to get to this...

"These are regrettable facts, but facts they are. And that is why putting up a monument to Islam in this place is not just insensitive but provocative."

Will this building in this place damage America? Hard to imagine any such consequence. To some (the neoconservative camp and the our-flag-has-more-testosterone-than-any-other crowd) might suffer ego-damage or penis-shrinking, I suppose. Some relatives of victims will be offended but other relatives of victims will not (and their sensitivities ought not to be ignored, yes?).

Will succumbing to such a wave of xenophobia and bigotry as is evident surrounding this issue hurt America? I suppose one could hold that we've gotten past the lynchings of blacks, the murders and beatings of gay people, the internment of Japanese and the anti-Semitism at the local golf and country club. Inconsequential now, I suppose one might think.

Will rewarding those who forward this issue in the manner we see it forwarded for reasons of domestic political power have destructive consequences? Again, I suppose one might have argued that helping out Joe McCarthy or George Wallace would be a grand thing for America's soul and future. One could. And one could argue that Jeffrey Dahlmer possibly relieved headaches.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 20, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent ... you criticize Krauthamer for bringing up local zoning, yet that is exactly what President Obama said. It is also one of the things that Nancy Pelosi said.

The right to build a religious center is protected by the Constitution, SUBJECT to reasonable local government zoning regulations.

In the subject case, this Right is not in issue .. no responsible politician or journalist has said that there is no right to develop the proposed Islamic Cultural center.

The only issue is the insensitivity of doing so close to 'ground zero' ... frankly it is a slap in the face of the victims's survivors.

And this insensitivity is NOT based on hatred of Islam ...

Posted by: Hazmat77 | August 20, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Radical Islam... is a very powerful strain within Islam. It has changed the course of nations and affected the lives of millions. It is the reason every airport in the West is an armed camp and every land is on constant alert. Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world."______________----

BY this measure NO PRIEST should be allowed near a school zone, playground or probably even in a church.
The pedofiles of the church have inflicted just as much or more harm than seen on 9/11 and over many more years yet we are arguing about a community center not even within site of WTC.
ANd yes I WAS A RESCUE VOLUNTEER - and your moral rethugs voted AGAINST assisting those heroes needing medical care

Posted by: racerdoc | August 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

oaguabonita -- many thanks for the correction. I edited to fix.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 20, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@romeror2k
by that logic, is it ok to ban churches being built in communities due to the 'christian,' bombers of abortion clinics? the 'christian' bombers of oklahoma city? the 'christian' militia men and women in michigan that wanted to shoot police officers? the 'christian' believers that the white race is superior to all others and are willing to ignite race wars to prove it? or the 'christian' pastor in arizona that prays for the death of the POTUS? or a catholic church next to a playground? where do you draw the line? just sayin...

Posted by: ttanner509 | August 20, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing tough about being Krauthammer these days. Like most other days, he flies intellectual circles around lightweight pundits like yourself. He has forgotten more stuff than you have ever learned.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | August 20, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

10:08 AM | Report abuse

From Little Green Footballs:

"Pamela Geller: Poster Girl for Eurofascists"

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/33462_Pamela_Geller-_Poster_Girl_for_Eurofascists

"Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 3:37:33 pm PDT

Pamela Geller of “Atlas Shrugs” and Paul Belien of “Brussels Journal” have been announced as speakers at a German far right event organized by a group called “Pro Köln” — a successor to the notorious fascist group “Deutsche Liga für Volk und Heimat” (the “German League for People and Homeland”).


One of the main organizers of “Pro Köln” is Manfred Rouhs. Here are two photos of Rous with hardcore neo-Nazi activist Axel Reitz, who the local media call “the Hitler of Cologne.”

..................

Use the link to the article to get all the details. Old Geller is keeping strange company these days.

That would explain why she has stopped waxing that upper lip space, beneath her nose.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@Mag3: "I agree with Dr. Dean. Yes, of course, Park51 has the right to build wherever in this country, but we Muslims also have the responsibility and obligation to make sure we promote harmony in our communities, not dissension"

While true, in this particular case it should be understandable that they wouldn't have anticipated quite this level of reaction. So far, they have changed the name of the center from Cordoba house to Park 51 (if I understand correctly) and emphasizing the community center aspect. It's understandable that they just don't want to walk away, because the opposition is not rational, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that walking away will be considered a tacit admission that Islam=Al Qaeda.

In the end, the right to build a religious community center is protected by the constitution (George W. Bush promoted such things with his faith-based initiatives) but there is also the explicit and implicit rights of local communities to decide their own destinies, where such decisions do not conflict with federal law. If for no other reason that respect for the individual community, the Park 51 developers should be free from such harassment.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"

If we really want to send a signal to the "radical islamists" who attacked us on 9/11, we should put a mosque on the top of the new building at the World Trade Center, for all the world to see.

We are just too cowardly to even consdier such a thing."

If this is your definition of courage, then you must be French.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

POSTED TO MR. KRAUTHAMMER'S OP ED:

Moral myopia my petutie! This is a ginned up story and you know it, Mr. Krauthammer, but it gives you a chance to rant. I have read some of the stuff written by your fellow Synagogue members about your absolute hatred of all Moslems. (eg MJ Rosenberg at Media Matters.org). Shouting at a Rabbi you do not agree with, indeed! Such hatred is most unbecoming any pundit.

A name to remember, Mr. Krauthammer: Pamela Geller. Who? The woman who started all this, sir. No one complained in 2009 about the proposed islamic center. In fact your friends at Fox gave it a positive review in 2009. But in May of this year, Ms Geller, who has a website called Stop the Islamization of America, published an article about the "Monster Mosque" and her friends at Murdoch's NYPost then picked it up. It naturally migrated to Fox and we were off and running in a slow news month. If readers want to understand just what kind of person Pamela Geller is go to AtlasShrugged.com, her primary website. Read a little. Keep some Mylanta at hand.

This has become a game of Ropa Dope. The MSM and the American people are the dopes. Three times in the last year internet nobodies have put out phony stories on their websites intending to create a firestorm. First Andrew Breitbart with his ACCORN pimp edited videos, and then his Shirley Sherrod repeat performance, and now these Pamela Geller lies about the Islamic center. And each time, knowing these people are wackos, known fabricators, the MSM runs with the fabricated story without much fact checking or correction. Even when they later know most of the facts, the MSM and even leaders like Howard Dean, ignore them and continue to repeat the misinformation (eg “Gound Zero Mosque”). A large part of the American public buys it because we still want to believe the media tells only the truth.

The polls say the American people do not want the center so that should be enough to stop it. But the fact is that the Gellers and Foxs of this word are CREATING opinion with never ending negative stories. We all know public opinion can be manipulated. It is done every election year. If the American people had all the facts, perhaps the polls would be quite different. But unfortunately the MSM, and particularly people like you, Mr. Krauthammer, and the politicians, are more interested in milking the story each for their own personal agendas.

Posted by: tarryh | August 20, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

daviderwin46,

Krauthammer hasn't written a defense of stem cell research that I can recall (he wrote an article saying that W's policy of restricting embryonic stem cell research was vindicated because of some advances in other forms of stem cell research -- the authors of the research even came out and rebutted his claims that W's policies had not "set back" research in the field and they noted that Krauthammer misrepresented the potential advances available through alternative research methods). His view on gay marriage is that of an agnostic. These wedge social issues may be an overriding concern and point of emphasis for social conservatives, but for Krauthammer they tend to be more secondary concern. He's clearly willing to compromise on these issues to advance other pet issues.

With respect to financial responsibility, he was completely silent during the past decade when GOP congresses and a Republican president added $6 trillion in new liabilities to the federal budget -- he said nothing about an additional $2 trillion connected to Medicare Part D and the war that have yet to appear on the books. An extension of Bush-GOP tax cuts for the rich would add at least another $2.5 trillion in debt to the bottom line over the next decade as well.

On issues of foreign policy he has a particularly shameful track record. e.g. with respect to the Iraq War he pushed the WMD line and made a soft-sell on the self-financing reconstruction argument. His prognostications turned out to be wildly off the mark. His blank-check for Israel and his "Israel-First, America-Second" stance is definitely at odds with the views of foreign policy realists in both the Democratic and Republican party.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

gotta wonder why ANYONE would allow seargent to question Dr. K.

What is wapo thinking.... oh, that the electorate is a bunch of idiots.

seargent is nothing.... Dr. K is an accomplished intellectual, author and columnist.

seargent is a fraud.

Posted by: docwhocuts | August 20, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib

I think I understood what you wrote, which is that not building the mosque near ground zero will only increase Islamic radicalism while building the mosque will reduce Islamic radicalism. Now if that's wrong correct me.

But if that's right, I think the argument is extremely simplistic. People like Bin Laden are Muslim evangelists who believe that the whole world should be islamicized and that the sharia (the way they interpret it of course) should be applied everywhere. That means mandating women to wear the hijab like women did during the taliban regime in Afghanistan for example. Having the death penalty for people cheating on their spouse etc... I hope you agree with me that this way of thinking is pretty backward.

My whole point though is that muslims who become radicalized don't do it because a mosque may or may not be built near ground zero. They do it because they want the whole world to become islamic in the same way as it was in the Taliban regime before the US overthrow.

So when I read commentators arguing that not building this mosque will only increase radicalim among muslims I found them either naive or uninformed. Sargeant is both in my view. Building the mosque to decrease radical islamism is a very weak argument in my view.

Posted by: trumeau | August 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully some of that "Conservative" New York Money will be drummed up and used to BUY OUT the whole "controversial" proposal --- and the Imam and his group will TURN A HANDSOME PROFIT,LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK, and go build an EVEN GRANDER Community Center in the very near vicinity,(perhaps with even MORE space available for prayers)!

Now THAT would be a FITTING resolution of the whole silly "flap"!

Posted by: BirdsAbound | August 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant analysis of Krauthammer's propaganda tactics, Mr. Sargent. When virtually all of the right wing punditry (Gerson, Norquist and Parker the rare exception on this issue) is jumping on the same non-issue, using the same talking points and changing them from "monument to terrorism" to "sensitivities" in concert, it is obvious that someone is giving orders. The framing of this issue to demonize Muslims for political gain while pretending it is about sacred ground would make Goebbels proud.

Posted by: fingersfly | August 20, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

This is the thing about remembering 9/11.

In remembering 9/11 everyone is focused on the fact that the murderer/terrorists happened to use a religion as their fuel to slaughter. They USED Islam, Islam did not slaughter, 19 young men did, because they were murderers/terrorists not because they practiced Islam.

In remembering 9/11 I would much rather remember the way our fellow American citizens responded to this horrific act of violence. Our fellow Americans were awesome. Our fellow Americans actually saved this Nation and the World from drowning in the abyss of darkness by walking into that darkness trying to save who could be saved. Our fellow Americans were the only light the world could see on that dark, dark day.

The murderer/terrorist who tried to hide their perverse hate behind a religion are the least important memory of that dark day, 9/11. They were and are JUST another murderer/terrorists who all hide behind something or other.

It is our fellow Americans, their courage, their light, their awesomeness in action that I will always and only choose to remember, along with all those who perished at the hands of those small, insignificant, murderer/terrorists.

Let the community center/mosque be built. It is not all that imporant when it comes to remembering 9/11. It cannot compare to those men and women who walked toward and into the darkness of a hell to save a life that day.

Islam is just another religion, it has it's beauty, it's ignorance, and it's followers who distort and use it for their own ends.

Let us stop giving those murderer/terrorists an importance they simply do not deserve in the memory of that dark day.

Posted by: rannrann | August 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Leftists are always consistent. The problems of the world are always caused by us. Our foreign policy, our imperialism, and, of course, our support of Israel. They believe, and will always believe, that if we simply change our actions - in this case, let the Mosque be built - there will be fewer terrorists - and we will be a beacon for Muslems to admire and love and everyone in the world will live hapily ever after. This is the world view of Greg Sargent. He first claimed the Mosque had to be build because Muslems had the constitutional right to do so. When this straw man failed, after no one disagreed, Greg then tried to argue what he truly feels, that it must be built to show the world America can be good, because imagine the hate that would result if we didn't. Yup, in Greg's little world, every little US action is a test and of course in his world view, we are always failing and inspiring more hate. Heaven forbide that Greg and his JournoLister ilk actually ever put their precious lives on the line to demonstrate the courage of their convictions. C'mon Greg, join the military and help preserve another country's liberty. Or go hiking near the Iran border. After they kidnap you, you can show them there are "good" Americans. No doubt, they will immediately stop building nuclear weapons and stop killing their own people. Yes Greg, after you convince them with your impeccable logic, there will be peace in the world,
The naivete of people like Greg is just incredible. They just can't believe that some people are evil and it matters not a whit what America does. So Greg you keep worrying about the bad messages that America is sending and I, along with the 70 percent of Americans that you despise, who don't want this Mosque built at Ground Zero, will work on getting people elected that care about protecting America and not impressing the world.

Posted by: MrRealistic | August 20, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent attempting to climb into the intellectual ring with Krauthammer is like Screech from Saved By The Bell climbing into the boxing ring with 1980's era Mike Tyson. The results, predictably, are the same.

The Post is being charitable to Mr. Sargent by calling this a "debate." After reading the first three paragraphs of Mr. Krauthammer's piece today, the better description is "woodshedding."

Posted by: crackresearchstaff | August 20, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's simple really. The majority of Americans seem to think this is a bad idea. Forget about religious freedom, racism, 9-11, political correctness, who's right or wrong, etc. Those who are behind Park51 should simply be more considerate of the majority of Americans who oppose it. If the shoe were on the other foot, our own media would be all over "us" to be more considerate of the other side. Like I said - it's simple.

Posted by: dave751 | August 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

trumeau says, "Building the mosque to decrease radical islamism is a very weak argument in my view."

That isn't what Greg and lefties like me are arguing. What we are saying is denying them the right to build will feed into Bin Laden's message that, "America is at war with Islam."

And by "denying them" I include bullying and intimidating the builders until they give up the effort.

In my opionion we would have been much better off if this whole thing would have been left to the people of NY city. But now that it has been politicized by rightwinger xenophobes like Pam Geller, if the project gets killed Bin Laden will be able to say, "See, America claims to be a free country, they claim not to be at war with Islam, but they lie."

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mag3,

I don't know if you will see this. (Hope so.) I read your two posts on the Park51 controversy, and I can appreciate your point of view, and am glad that you expressed your thoughts. You are right, the voices of Muslims need to be heard on this issue.

As a non-Muslim who grew up near East Dearborn, and then lived there, renting from an Iraqi Muslim couple for 5 years, it always pains me how little the average American knows about the Muslim faith....but even more essential than that, that Muslims are human beings. People, just like them.

I can understand the trepidation that you and other Muslim Americans may feel about Park51. I can't and don't know how much ground work was done in community outreach prior to this project starting to move forward. But, since the polling started recently, the one place that the majority of people support the project is the community in which it will be located. This should be their decision and theirs alone.

Meanwhile, it concerns me that many other mosque projects, either already approved or just being proposed, are meeting the same kind of resistence, coast-to-coast. This is beginning to feel like and appear to be a good old fashioned witch hunt. It also concerns me that if there is wholesale backdown on Park51, other communities will be empowered to reject mosques for specious reasons, and that is just simply dangerous, and to more than just Muslims.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3:

"These aren't facts, these are your opinions. Many legitimately disagree. Krauthammer provides indisputable facts and you respond with unsupported assertions."

"indisputable facts" huh? Then, you would be so kind as to provide us with **credible** evidence (please, note the emphasis on "credible") supporting those "indisputable facts" now, would you?

Otherwise, thou shall suffer the same cramdwon as Jeffrey Goldberg got this morning.

Posted by: grosmec | August 20, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Will this building in this place damage America?...Will succumbing to such a wave of xenophobia and bigotry as is evident surrounding this issue hurt America?...Will rewarding those who forward this issue in the manner we see it forwarded for reasons of domestic political power have destructive consequences?"

Umm...I'm pretty sure America will survive pretty much intact regardless of whether or not it gets built.

Those who would insist that "It must be built for the sake of America" are being no less loony than those who would insist that the future of America hangs on it not being built.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I am waiting for ordinary Americans and those in the media to wake up to what is really going on. It is almost time for mid-term elections. The Republicans have been the party of no after ruining the economy. There have been no NEW ideas suggested only a refusal to participate in the give and take in governing because their side is not in control. Just as McCain swore he had a sure-fire plan to get bin Laden and all we had to do is elect him president that was dropped and forgotten. When laws were proposed Republicans backed out each and every time for some lame reason but had no real alternatives -- their 2011 budget was 15 pages long with NO numbers.

So here we are with conventional thinking saying history shows the party out of power wins legislative seats - but because they were in a snit that Obama won they all went Beckian and pouted, wore hats with tea bags, carried photos so racial and disgusting turning off non-crazy voters. Now they have to find a way to get people who aren't crazy to vote for them. What to do, what to do? In years past they pushed for an amendment to ban burning flags - that's kind of a lame now, no one is going to get outraged. OK what about them dang gay people wanting to get married? Oh it's legal in a lot of states, it will rile people up but some we want to vote for us might know someone gay or be gay or actually believe in equal rights for everyone. OK, here's the plan. Months ago everyone in NYC's zoning, building permits, etc. approved this center - it's in an abandoned building, no one has wanted it for years, the guy in charge used to help W out but now if we play this right we can make him seem bad and we don't call it a cultural center with facilities for all kids in the area to use we call it a mosque and say it will be used to train future terrorists even though I'm betting there will a lot of eyes watching that location.

I am not Muslim, I do not care much for the thinking that surrounds much of their religion (from the little I know) however I do believe in freedom of religion and a freedom to worship. I don't live in NY so placement is not my call -- from others I've heard it's not all that close but again -- if this is such sacred ground then whenever the new building goes up they won't rent out for profit any part of the building right? No McDonald's, no Taco Bell -- I mean that's tacky and IN the same building? No way.

I would rather the Republicans be forced to explain what plans they have to help the economy and create jobs. If it is the same ideas W had then think back, there was absolutely NO job growth even with the big tax breaks that were to trickle down but didn't. The tax cuts were never added to the budget and were never paid for. Two wars were started but never put in the budget and were never paid for. When is the public and press going to insist the Republicans actually give us their plan instead of stirring up false controversy?

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Sargent's 27th mosque column in a row is making him boring and completely irrelevant.

Posted by: diehardlib | August 20, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Its the Continued attacks and attempts to attack us, even after 9/11: the Texas base killing; the attempt by the underwear bomber; the recent attempt in Manhattan.
You'd have to be out of your mind not to be concerned! Concern is not the same as hate, either --- although Democrats are trying as hard as they can to create a "wedge issue" wherever they can.
Democrats are playing a very, very dangerous game with this country.
True Hate is when someone tries to attack and kill people... that's True Hate.
If Americans are sensitive about 9/1l, about the killings at the Texas base, about the underwear bomber, about the attempt in Manhattan -- They Have Every Right to Be!
Only an idiot would be quick to sweep these incidents under the rug!

Posted by: ohioan | August 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is like every other racist pig-clown that is trying their best to NOT sound racist but having a hard time hiding it because they ARE racist... It's hard hiding your core beliefs if you honest about them.

What I find more disgusting than Krauthammer and his blatant racism, is all of his his pals that are too cowardly to even come out and hint that they are racists.. They try to run so fast away from that label that it makes them look even more so..

ALL fo them are blatant racists - they hate EVERYONE of color (or not); they HATE everyone that has actually had a thought that doesn't fit in with their pre-perscribed way of life; they hate anyone that dares to speak up and tell them they are full of hot air and warm crap; they hate anything that's not white and right out of Rupe's cookie-cutter oven...

If there ever was a group of racists that have shown up in MY lifetime that are more blatant than the Krauthammer-Klan (KKK) about being racists, they haven't been exposed to the public - yet...wait a couple of weeks and maybe beck, billo, hannratty and/or the fat man from palm beach will think of something new.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | August 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll accept that 7% of Islam is radical. The problem is, of the other 93%, 3% speak out against the radicals, 40% cheer the radicals on (but don't claim to be radical themselves), and 40% don't dare speak out against the radicals because they fear they will be beheaded as infidels.

Now why would anyone have a problem with that?

Posted by: AmericanWithABrain | August 20, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin "While true, in this particular case it should be understandable that they wouldn't have anticipated quite this level of reaction."

That's probably true, which tells me there wasn't enough dialog or preparation prior. But, surely by the time Ramadan rolled around and POTUS had to address the issue, they should have realized it had gone too far.

"It's understandable that they just don't want to walk away, because the opposition is not rational, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that walking away will be considered a tacit admission that Islam=Al Qaeda."

I disagree, it would actually be the exact opposite of what terrorists do. AlQ never says "let's talk". I suspect it's about ego now.

Their point has been made, loud and clear, at the highest levels. The entire political leadership, from the president on down has spoken on this. The rational thing to do is to put the project on hold and engage in (even more) earnest dialog, thus demonstrating Muslims are respectful of the feelings of their fellow citizens.

Building mosques (or whatever) in the West is simply not conducive to dialog at the moment. That's reality, and people's feelings DO have to be respected in my view. We don't need to constantly create uproars in non Muslim majority countries. There are other, more pressing issues, we all have to deal with.

Posted by: Mag3 | August 20, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@trumeau,

It's worth noting that Park51 isn't properly a "mosque". It's a community center with a prayer space. The construction site is no more a "mosque" than the Newark International prayer-meditation room is a Synagogue, Cathedral, Church, Mosque, or Buddhist temple.

With respect to the purely speculative issue of what the impact of the construction will have on religious terrorism, I share your skepticism up to a point. More likely it will be a target for right-wing extremists in our own country than anything -- Mosques are already a target of domestic terrorism.

More broadly though, the anti-Muslim sentiment of some and the demagoging of this issue -- as well as the hostility towards the construction of mosques in other parts of the country -- can't be constructive. The the stoking of hysteria and prejudice is especially problematic.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Charles wheel chair has more intellect then this idiot Greg. The Hypocrisy on the left is laughable. Liberals recently protested the building of a Walmart near a Civil War Battlefield in Culpeper VA stating that it would be insensitive to build on that site. They however can't seem to make the same connection between the Ground Zero Mosque and it's proximity to the worst Terrorist attack in Americas history. There are many Liberals against the building of that Mosque including majority of residents of NY. Will I see a hit piece against Harry Reid or Howard Dean? You’re a fool Greg. Who trained you, Eugene Robinson? Liberals Suck!

Posted by: Cobra2 | August 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Talk about fighting outside of your weight class!!

Sargent, you are so overmatched taking on Dr. Krauthammer, your nose is probably bleeding.

You should probably stick to debating those of your own intellectual heft....My niece has a Speak 'n Spell if you want to borrow it. (Watch out for the cow though. She might be able to take you.)

Posted by: etpietro | August 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this post. This is one of most coherent and to the point arguments on this issue that I have seen yet. And it was very much needed.

Posted by: dboe16 | August 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@AmericanWithoutABrain,

What are you basing your numbers on? It seems like you basically pulled them out of your youknowwhat.

And why should we base reasoning on the basis of made up numbers?

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Not that I have a problem with your writing about the mosque, but I hardly consider a moronic Krauthammer column to be newsworthy.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 20, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

cobra2: "Charles wheel chair"

You revealed a lot about your character with this.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg,
You quoted the very part of Krauthammer's piece that unravels your disagreement with him.

"Radical Islam is not, by any means, a majority of Islam. But... it is a very powerful strain within Islam. It has changed the course of nations and affected the lives of millions. It is the reason every airport in the West is an armed camp and every land is on constant alert."

While it is not most Muslims we are wary of, it is a most potent minority.

If that's not enough for than let me remind you of something your Mom should have taught you... don't go where you are not invited. It's just bad manners. And it doesn't win you any friends.

Posted by: jonathanfranz | August 20, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

jonathanfranz says, "don't go where you are not invited. It's just bad manners. And it doesn't win you any friends"

Which is why xenophobic republicans from Alabama and Texas should decide what gets built in NY City?

The NY authorities already gave them the permission to build. They have "been invited" already.

Posted by: nisleib | August 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

It is not up to any outsider to determine whether or not it is appropriate to build a mosque on this site. The backers have gone through all the legitimate legal hoops to secure the site, and have listened to all the arguments pro and con.

It is up to the Islamic Cordoba group itself to decide whether this is an appropriate and sensitive project for this site. It is up to the Imam and his backers to make this decision.

Posted by: captn_ahab | August 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Suekzoo1, thanks for the thoughtful post.

Yes, it should have been left to the local community, who did approve it. But the discussion has now gone global because it's hotly relevant just about everywhere in Europe, and of course in the Muslim world.

"Meanwhile, it concerns me that many other mosque projects, either already approved or just being proposed, are meeting the same kind of resistence, coast-to-coast. This is beginning to feel like and appear to be a good old fashioned witch hunt. It also concerns me that if there is wholesale backdown on Park51, other communities will be empowered to reject mosques for specious reasons, and that is just simply dangerous, and to more than just Muslims."

I entirely take that point, but I'm also concerned and disturbed with this "mosque building militancy" that is surging everywhere. It does have an expansionist (for lack of a better word) feel, because unlike Christianity and Judaism, there is no obligation for Muslims to go pray in specific buildings decked with what is considered to be "idolatry figures". The focus on building mosques is a new phenomenon among some Muslims wishing to assert themselves that way. I don't support it.

Look, what I'm saying is this: somebody has to back off, and cool heads have to prevail on all sides. Things are just too volatile between the faiths right now for comfort.

Posted by: Mag3 | August 20, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

THIS MOSQUE WILL NEVER BE BUILT AS THERE IS NOT ONE UNION CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN NY WILLING TO TOUCH THAT SITE. IF NON-UNION WORKERS TRY AND ATTEMPT TO BUILD ON THAT SITE, I WILL PRAY FOR THEM AS ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOSE. LIBERALS ARE AGAIN PLAYING THE SAME OLD TIRED RACE CARD. THEY DO IT ON EVERY ISSUE. THEY HAVE NO RATIONAL FOR THEIR ARGUMENT SO THEY JUST THROW OUT THE WORDS BIGOT AND RACIST LIKE ITS BATH WATER. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE ON YOU GUYS HATING WHITE AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE? NOTHING MORE SHAMEFUL THEN FOR WHITE PEOPLE TO CALL OTHER WHITE PEOPLE RACIST. THEY WRAP THEMSELVES UP IN THAT LITTLE DIVERSITY BLANKET TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES. I AM RETIRNED BLACK MARINE. WHERE WERE ALL YO SO CALLED LIBERALS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP? YOU GUYS VISIT DURING AN ELECTION CYCLE FOR A PHOTO OPP AND THEN DISAPPEAR UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTION CYCLE. JUST LOOK AT ALL THE URBAN CITIES IN THE US THAT ARE RUN BY LIBERALS. NEED I SAY MORE. LIBERALS SUCK!

Posted by: Cobra2 | August 20, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Sargent, you have it exactly right. Using Krauthammer's logic should we dismantle all of the Christian churches in our country because of the subjugation and genocide against native Americans done in the name of Chrisitanity? No, that doesnt'fit with Krauhammer's myopic views and opinions.

Posted by: lfigueroa1 | August 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, you lost your argument before you even began with this accusation against Krauthammer:

"How do you insinuate that all of Islam should be viewed through the lens of 9/11 while disguising the fact that you're insinuating that all of Islam should be viewed through the lens of 9/11?"

Before writing something so infantile, perhaps you should reread Mr. Krauthammer's very direct (not insinuated) statements.

Krauthammer reiterated the distinction between "right" to build (legality) and the "wisdom" of building (sensitivity, respect, "propriety and decency").
Your inability to understand this distinction smacks of a dogmatic type of inept journalistic writing.

Perhaps for you it is simply a basic lack of understanding. For this "provocative" type of issue, your argument must display generous portions of insight, intelligence, feeling, reason, and context.
Clearly, you are unable "to see the forest (through) the trees", that is, you are too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole.

Charles Krauthammer nailed it; you, Mr. Sargent, need to take a lesson or two.

Posted by: pjcafe | August 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line outcomes on the Ground Zero Mosque:
(1) Victory: Opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque will win. It won't be built near Ground Zero.
(2) Legal: No laws will have been broken in the process of defeating this ill conceived idea.
(3) Violence: None
(4) Unity: Nothing has united the American People like this in a long time.
(5) Muslims: Why didn't Bloomberg, Obama and the Media warn us before we made this big mistake? Friends don't let friends do stupid things. Shouldn't leaders understand their People and warn people of other cultures why what they are planning is a big cultural mistake?
(6) Media: The American People are wrong. The Media knows better.
(7) Pelosi: Investigate the American People. Who do they think they are?
(8) Obama: Glad I'm on vacation again.

Posted by: jfv123 | August 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"Don't go where you are not invited" was used to segregate African Americans, keep woman from voting, and restricting where Jews could go.

Strange how Right Wing Hate Mongers want to teach such manners to others, when they were all for invading Iraq, and now Iran, where they have never been invited. Your Mommas would be ashamed of all you bad mannered hypocrites.

There are no foreign armies on American soil. There are plenty of American military on the soil of sovereign nations.

Do as I say, not as I do, is not good manners. It is the Big Lie, of the Hypocrite.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Most of the commentators on this site remind me of the European Jews of the 1930s who tolerated Nazism all the way to the ovens. Wake up this is a religion that is long on symbolism; those proposing this structure surely understand how this is perceived here and abroad. Yes, I understand their legal right to build on that site, and no I do not support a government effort to block construction, nor I am not Anti-Islam, I would just prefer they not build on a site that was directly impacted by debris from the tragedy of 9-11.

I understand that the perpetrators of this crime did not represent the majority of Muslims, but before we give a free pass to the rest of the community, I would like to remind the readers of these posts of the videos taken in the days after 9-11 of "the Arab Street" where thousands of Muslims (presumably not terrorists or extremists) danced, cheered, sang, and clucked in delight, as the Great Satan got his just reward.

I think that the leaders of this effort, and the moderate Muslim community would do well to better explain their efforts and to denounce the violence that seems so pervasive among many of their followers. Explanations that are not filled with ifs, ands, buts, and excuses.

Posted by: cavedave | August 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

This is a very good article, probably the best I have read on this from this perspective. I say that as someone who ultimately disagrees with the conclusion, although I think it is arguably a close call.

I think it would be more persuasive if it were not an attack on another commentator rather than a simple address on the issue. When you add the attack, you inevitably open yourself up to mischaracterising the opposing argument and impugning/guessing at someone else's motives. That was clearly done here.

I seriously doubt CK is being disingenuous. The argument is simply nuanced.

Whether the building of the mosque is "provocative" or not is not really a matter of opinion. We know from the reaction of many of the 9/11 families, and others, that it is. The writer implicitly recognizes that, while ultimately concluding that it should be "considered" but ultimately not affect the outcome because a larger principle is involved.

That argument is a good one. The appeal to therefore support the building of the mosque because to do otherwise would undermine the larger principle.

Where I think the argument fails is that when "legally" put to the test, Americans have indicated that they do support the right to build and will accept it if need be. The writer therefore says that the majority of Americans, and CK, should not voice moral opposition to the building.

I would argue that if all parties support the Constitutionality of the build, then the propriety of the building should be voiced by commentators so it can weighed by the builders themselves. If they, in their own hearts can be persuaded that it better serves their message or a higher principle to build elsewhere, then they should build elsewhere.

The highest principle of all is not the law, but the law of love. This is the law that should motivate the builders, not man's law. Ironic that it is a religious project.

Posted by: jjd1965 | August 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

cavedave: "this is a religion that is long on symbolism"

Name one that isn't.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Isn't it amazing that the Washington Post routinely, day after day after day, runs column after column after column written by the most left wing raving progressive loons on the planet, with no retort from anyone with a more common sense point of view, but they just couldn't run this one common sense column by Charles Krauthammer without posting this loony tunes non sensical retort by Greg Sargent.

Is it any wonder that people just don't trust the lame stream media anymore. I mean they are so in the tank for the loony progressive left that they don't even try to hide it anymore. Thank GOD for Fox News and the few other remaining outlets that aren't in lock step with these fools.

Posted by: SayWhat5 | August 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Greg - Here is my problem with people of the islamic religion. Right after 9/11 you didn't hear any condemnation of islam by muslims in the U.S or around the world. The silence was deafening. I'm tired of hearing that not all muslims accept the fanatical element of their religion, and that these people (whisper) their sympathy for us and the victims behind closed doors. I think that most muslims living in america cheered when the towers came down. Most muslims in america believe in sharia, which is, in effect, a fanatical belief. This debate about who supports what is causing alot of americans to dislike muslims. Politicians should stop taking about it.

Posted by: landrperite | August 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

911 was because we support ISRAEL and their apartheid and land theft of Palestinian lands.

It is not about their or our religions but about Israels inhumanity to man.

Since 1967 Israel has kept the West Bank and Gaza as concentration camps while the UN and US stand by and Israel kills and steals.

Every year we give Israel $500 each for every man, woman an child and all they give the US in death, debt and hatred for aour actions just as if we were supporting the Nazis in WWII.

If anything we need a bronze Plaque 100 feet tall stating, these building fell because of Zionist oppression of the Palestinians.

Posted by: nycguy2 | August 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer basically wants everybody dead.

I consider the 9/11 attacks to have been committed by Saudis more so than just "muslims" although of course I realize that all Saudis are muslims as well.

I'm not in favor of building the mosque near ground zero, however, if these are Americans who want to build then I don't believe that they can legally be deprived of worshiping the religion of their own choosing under the laws of the United States of America, nor do I believe they can lawfully be prevented from building a church anywhere they so please.

But I do believe that we as Americans cannot fully appreciate the meaning of building a mosque near the place where we were attacked on 9/11, and I'm very concerned that overseas such a building will be looked upon as a symbol of victory to terrorist organizations, and I am completely against that.

But people having an opinion is one thing.

Trying to deny the American People their rights under the United States Constitution is altogether different.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Correct on all counts. Mr. Sargent. I consider the siting of Cordoba House to be somewhat unfortunate, but that is my only critique. It violates no laws. It violates no aspect of the Constitution. It violates no dimension of Halacha (Rabbinic Law). It announces to the Terrorists that WE WON and YOU LOST. It puts the lie to every bin Laden among the Radical Islamic maniacs. What we have, they don't have and can never have. IMHO, Let Freedom Ring.

Posted by: bloommarko4 | August 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"(4) Unity: Nothing has united the American People like this in a long time."

That's why fascists always scapegoat a vulnerable minority.

Posted by: fingersfly | August 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha... Sargent's groveling obsequious Obama-worship was revealed to be as phoney as everything else this DNC-stenographer/hack writes. Sargent isn't worthy of shining or tying Krauthammer's shoes, and the metrosexual "logic" of Sargent, the terrorist enabler, is amply described in Andy McCarthy's new book, "The Grand Jihand: How Islam and the Left work together to sabotage America."

Sargent, the political commissar WaPo sycophant to socialist Obama, is a first-class saboteur, I will give him that!

Posted by: djman1141 | August 20, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

TO: nycguy2:

That's heavy, and it's true.

What you said.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Quoted from the website www.allaboutturkey.com/mosque.htm:

"Within few years after the death of Muhammad, mosques became such important symbols, that when Muslim conquerors established themselves somewhere, a mosque was put up first, and then the military camp was built around it."

Symbolism is very important in Islam.

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

This issue has received a lot of posting with discussion of the pro's and con's of Park51 center during the past month or so.

I am an avid supporter of the constitution which clearly grants the freedom of religion. I take the words of the constitution very serious because I realize that, although not perfect it firmly states, it was created to "form a more perfect union."

Needless to say when the framers of our constitution prepared this great document stating that "all men are created equal," they were not talking about people like me. Polls after polls could have been carried out on this issue but the majority of people still felt that there were no wrong in slavery.

Many years have gone by and finally we are at the cusp of truly believing that the words of our constitution includes people like me without any grayness such as "three-fifths, etc." Just how much pain has been experienced by all the people, without regard of color, involved trying to get this part of our constitution right.

Thankfully, today I live as an equal citizen within the greatest country of the world.

What exactly does our constitution means to each of you? To me, we cannot have mere words that sound beautiful yet are lies to those that live within its boundaries.

I for one, cannot accept a constitution unfulfilled!!! There is no pandering that can slyly state otherwise.

Posted by: ronhamp | August 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Krauthammer is a neo-con bigot and it amazes me that you elevated him to the level he does not deserve. Repeating his nonsense here is like repeating the nonsense of kluckers. He is the b-side of the same coin, and until we start treating him accordingly, his nonsense will continue to get printed.

Posted by: bushidollar | August 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"I would argue that if all parties support the Constitutionality of the build, then the propriety of the building should be voiced by commentators so it can weighed by the builders themselves. If they, in their own hearts can be persuaded that it better serves their message or a higher principle to build elsewhere, then they should build elsewhere.

The highest principle of all is not the law, but the law of love. This is the law that should motivate the builders, not man's law. Ironic that it is a religious project. "

Maybe if that is where the opponents had started rather than from the hysterical view that it was some sort of insulting victory memorial to terrorism, you would have a point. Maybe if the same people weren't opposing mosques all over the country, you would have a point. The sensitivities of bigots is the last thing that should be considered. Demonstrating that America truly does support religious freedom should be the first.

Posted by: fingersfly | August 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

IT's people like 'nycguy2' and 'lindalovejones' who are the real Haters. Imagine hating people only because they are Jewish, while at the same time looking past the Muslim terrorists who are hell bent on destroying anyone who isn't in lock step with their warped idology.

It kind of makes you wonder where the parents of these 'people' went horribly wrong...

Posted by: SayWhat5 | August 20, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

cavedave,

A person could just as well say that the opponents of the site are reminiscent of the Nazis who scapegoated and dehumanized a religious minority in order to achieve political aims. The burning of Korans and a bombing of a mosque in Florida would probably have met a Nazi seal of approval. Not really so sure that the Nazi analogies are apt in either direction here, but it's fair to note that pretty much anyone can play that particular game.

As far as "apologies" and "explanations" go, the fact that the Imam of this particular center has been tasked by two presidents for the express purpose of evanglizing about the virtues of American democracy and pluralism should be enough. He's done so on his own volition -- he could have just as well said: "No thanks, I don't want to lie about the way we are actually treated by Americans.". I suspect he's able to differentiate between the demagogues and political opportunists and the public figures such as Bloomberg, Christie, Obama, et al, who have stood by the value of religious liberty.

At a more fundamental level, applying your standard neutrally one would expect that Christian leaders would need to apologize for the actions of Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, or when the Hutaree Militia. For obvious reasons this wasn't seen as necessary, because Americans have a more nuanced view about Christianity. Asking someone to apologize for someone elses prejudiced views strikes me as backasswards.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Mosque question is a good measure of just how sincere WE are about our Constitution.
I expected the Hannity/Beck/Limbaugh/Palin/Gingrich/Krauthammer/Fox Noise types to put Politics above the Constitution's freedom OF RELIGION.
The major disappointment is finding Harry Reid and other Liberals joining them.
It's Déjà vu --- Dems lining up to vote for the Iraq Invasion BECAUSE they were more concerned with loss of reelection than with doing the RIGHT thing!

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent, this is just plain dumb. Krauthammer was crystal clear. You put words in his mouth.

It seems to me that you NEED the opponents of this mosque to make a misstep. Just like the left NEEDED someone at that tea party rally to use the N word in the general direction of a black congressman.

It must be quite troubling to you when we don't live up to your expectations. But I note with amusement that this doesn't deter you. By the use of pretzel logic you can create out of whole cloth an underlying leitmotif in Mr Krauthammer's essay.
this is classic:
"Here's the thing: If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks. If you don't believe that -- if you believe that the attacks were carried out by a group that perverted Islam and wasn't genuinely acting on its behalf -- then you wouldn't have any reason to see the building of a project nearby devoted to studying Islam as "provocative.""

Oh really, who says? Apparently you and thus far only you.

This one is game set and match to Mr Krauthammer.

Still your essay had its uses. Since Palin hasn't created any news lately, this will suffice as the bell your pavlovian followers need to get their juices flowing.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

P.S. I'm a bit surprised you didn't also note (and ridicule!) the laughable circularity of "argumentation" in Krauthammer's characterization of "radical Islam" (i.e., a subset -- or arguably more a perversion -- of Islam, which he restricted to Islam while deliberately ignoring and excluding all other forms/sources of fanaticism/extremism/terrorism​) followed by

"Ground Zero is the site of the most lethal attack of that worldwide movement, which consists entirely of Muslims, acts in the name of Islam and is deeply embedded within the Islamic world"

(while being opposed by the vast majority of Muslims, who would reject the radicals' claim that their acts were validly in Islam's name).

Yeah, no kidding, Sherlock. Likewise, argyle socks consist entirely of socks and are deeply embedded within the socks world!!!

Complete tautology.

But can anybody believe for a second that Kraut is unaware of what transparently BS "logic" this is?

Posted by: oaguabonita | August 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

In reality, Muslims were killed that day in the World Trade Towers in NYC. Radical Muslims are not much different than redical Christians, radical Jews, or any other radical group. Moderate and liberal groups are the ones with whom people choose to deal, even radical groups would prefer to deal with moderate and liberal groups as long as they are in other countries.

The big flareup now is purely another way to launch a political attack against President Obama. Obama, a black man (albeit, biracial) beat a very lame war hero (white man) in 2008. Racial, ethnic, and religious attacks against Obama did not work then and I pray that they will not work now.

Charles Krauthammer would have been a keeper of a concentration camp under Hitler if he were an adult at that time and living in Germany. He is so transparent.

Isn't it funny that the same gang that always complained about people were picking on poor old "W" are the same ones who have launched the most vicious attacks during my lifetime on a sitting President.

Think about it: Obama is a family man with wholesome family values and a very strong marriage, an articulate speaker, a person who was never supposed to have risen to the office of President of the USA based on his background, and so forth. Try to beat him down all you want, but Obama is going to win the day. Intelligence that is accompanied by a sincere strain of humility and optimism will win the long political battles and wars. I am so proud that my political heroes are not Boehner, McConnell, and Cantor.

I proudly wore the military uniform of my country for six years during the Vietnam era. The Republicans of today make me sick. They turn the US Constitution upside down and call it patriotism. When I faught for liberty and justice for all, I did not fight solely for white Christians and Jews.

Posted by: EarlC | August 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I am a New Yorker and was an EMT responder on 9/11. Here's what I think: Allowing - even embracing - the Community Center is what's great about America. Period.

The danger with the thinking of Krauthammer is that it necessarily leads to the undermining of what we should be determined to defend. For any of our national tragedies to have meaning, they must speak to what is fundamentally American - freedom. Anything less and they are reduced to personal tragedies.

The issue is about who we are. Not who "they" are.

Posted by: dwoolfe | August 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

TO: the hater called “landrperite” who wrote:
“Greg - Here is my problem with people of the islamic religion. Right after 9/11 you didn't hear any condemnation of islam by muslims…”
^^^^^^^^^^
Anyone, anyone can plainly tell a white racist pig when they write stuff like that.

We know, you hate all non-whites, and it makes the rest of us sick to our stomach.

You know we tried to free ourselves of that type of racism for over 50 years now, but the devil just has a strong hold on the wicked, evil uneducated racists who have nothing but hatred where there used to be a heart.

Why on earth would muslims condemn islam for the evil deeds of 19 extremists who were muslims in name only?

That’s the same as condemning all Christians whenever a Christian wrongdoer commits a crime.

I did, however, hear numerous Muslim leaders around the world condemn the 9/11 attacks, most memorable was Yasser Arafat’s comment: “Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Racists idiots conveniently forget facts that don’t fit into their racist frame of mind.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

SayWhat5,

"Isn't it amazing that the Washington Post routinely, day after day after day, runs column after column after column written by the most left wing raving progressive loons on the planet, with no retort from anyone with a more common sense point of view, but they just couldn't run this one common sense column by Charles Krauthammer without posting this loony tunes non sensical retort by Greg Sargent."

Of course, the Post didn't run the commentary side by side in the print edition, and I'd wager that Sargent doesn't draw a Krauthammer style paycheck -- or have Krauthammer's visibility in other outlets (e.g. Krauthammer can thank the Post for his paid nightly gig with the RNC news channel).

We can talk about double-standards, but this is pretty weak tea. I'd like to think that you aren't that stupid. Maybe I'm being too generous.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

My extreme fatigue with the single-minded focus of this blog on this one subject will drive me away very soon if we don't get some other topics (and I don't mean whether Obama is a Muslim as being an example of one of the great issues of our time being overlooked).

Anybody else feel the same?

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your clear, cogent analysis. Unfortunately, a "controversy" such as this one only shows what the divides are in this country; articles such as yours, no matter how well argued, will not change the minds of people who choose to agree with the likes of Charles Krauthammer, Fox, Newt Gingrich, et al. We don't/won't listen to each other, and we don't/won't seek ways to deal with the really serious issues in this country and in this world. It’s depressing; if it weren’t for “The Daily Show,” this senior citizen would just want to give up on us…

Posted by: jujones1 | August 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I just want to know why the developers of the mosque are so keen on this particular site? What is their motivation? It seems if their intention is truley to have a muslim community center, then an alternate location should be acceptable, even desirable considering that the State of New York seems to be willing to donate land for a relocated project. It seems to me that they want to provoke this argument. Its not really about the center is it? It is about something more.

Posted by: ksilton | August 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

People should keep something in mind. The Islamic terroists, (radical islamists), have changed the game of warfare. Their enemies, or targets, cannot be left powerless because of their choice to cloke themselves among a larger group of people. A "religion of peace" shield if you will. I cannot tell a good muslim from a "bad" muslim but I know who can. The good muslims. Therefore, as unfortunate and as unfair, (life isn't fair by the way) as it may be, the "good" muslims have an increased responsibility to identify and help erradicate the "bad" muslims. They also must suffer more severe consequences as a rusult of the 10 or so percent of the religion that has hijacked them. Keep this concept in mind, because like it or not, it is the future of the West's dealings with Islam.

Posted by: jbm3 | August 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The effort to build a mosque near ground zero should be seen for what it is, a transparent provocation--one that is meant, if it succeeds, to draw out the basest kind of response once it's built so that the left and the radical Islamists whom they support can point out yet another atrocity committed by the Western bigots.

Constitutionality does not mean something is a good idea. It might be constitutional to open an abortion center across the street from a Catholic Church, but I doubt it would be a good idea, nor would it be a good idea to erect a Catholic Church across from an abortion center. Both would be provocative and be asking for trouble.

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Most of the commentators on this site remind me of the European Jews of the 1930s who tolerated Nazism all the way to the ovens. Wake up this is a religion that is long on symbolism; those proposing this structure surely understand how this is perceived here and abroad. Yes, I understand their legal right to build on that site, and no I do not support a government effort to block construction, nor I am not Anti-Islam, I would just prefer they not build on a site that was directly impacted by debris from the tragedy of 9-11.

I understand that the perpetrators of this crime did not represent the majority of Muslims, but before we give a free pass to the rest of the community, I would like to remind the readers of these posts of the videos taken in the days after 9-11 of "the Arab Street" where thousands of Muslims (presumably not terrorists or extremists) danced, cheered, sang, and clucked in delight, as the Great Satan got his just reward.

I think that the leaders of this effort, and the moderate Muslim community would do well to better explain their efforts and to denounce the violence that seems so pervasive among many of their followers. Explanations that are not filled with ifs, ands, buts, and excuses.
Posted by: cavedave | August 20, 2010 1:36 PM"
================================

Okay, so you start out by saying that you're reminded of European Jews tolerating Nazism all the way to the ovens, but then go on to say that you're not anti-Islam? You're comparing Islam to Nazism, but go on to say that you're not anti-Islam? Is it safe to say that you're not anti-Nazi, either?

It disgusts me to no end to see people like you, who write so eloquently, completely miss the point. We're not rewarding the Wahabbi sects in Saudi Arabia or the violent extremists in al-Qaeda by building a cultural center. We're simply upholding the values that our Constitution was built on.

This cultural center is being built by and for the Americans in this country who share the Islamic faith. It's not being built to somehow appease those abroad. Should we have dismantled synagogues after the attack on the USS Liberty? NO!

And regarding your comments regarding the Palestinians - do you even bother to think about why they were celebrating? We've spent DECADES supplying Israel with weapons, bulldozers, fighter jets, and tanks that they turn around and use to demolish Palestinian homes, and then build settlements over it. They see us as Israel's supplier and enabler.

But aside from that, WHO CARES? They're in Palestine. We're not building this cultural center for them. Stop bringing irrelevant matters into a discussion.

Posted by: ClandestineBlaze | August 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is, in effect, asking Muslims to curtail their exercise of Constitutional freedoms out of respect for the feelings of those who hate Muslims because they think all Muslims share responsibility for the terrorist attacks because they feel Muslims are guilty of not doing enough to stop them.

If I were a Muslim, I would respond: I am not going to dignify that insanity with a response, but if I did, I would say who the hell are you to tell me how much I am or should be doing to condemn terrorists, and who the hell are you to tell me that I should respect the feelings of those who hate Muslims so much they don't care whether we were the terrorists or not?

What would be the point? Politicians in Murfreesboro Tennessee are oposing a mosque on the basis that it would undermine the moral fabric of the state. If I were to give in to your irrational hatred to this extent, what would you ask me to do next in deference to your bigoted, irrational hatred of my religion?

Are you really saying that Bush was just being politically correct in calling on Americans not to blame Muslims for 9/11? That bin Laden is correct that you do hate us and associate us with terrorism?

bin Laden has been trying to sell that argument to get Muslims to attack the infidels, with limited success. We just announced to the world that he is correct.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 20, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse


TO: the hater called “landrperite” who wrote:
“Greg - Here is my problem with people of the islamic religion. Right after 9/11 you didn't hear any condemnation of islam by muslims…”
^^^^^^^^^^
Anyone, anyone can plainly tell a white racist pig when they write stuff like that.

We know, you hate all non-whites, and it makes the rest of us sick to our stomach.

You know we tried to free ourselves of that type of racism for over 50 years now, but the devil just has a strong hold on the wicked, evil uneducated racists who have nothing but hatred where there used to be a heart.

Why on earth would muslims condemn islam for the evil deeds of 19 extremists who were muslims in name only?

That’s the same as condemning all Christians whenever a Christian wrongdoer commits a crime.

I did, however, hear numerous Muslim leaders around the world condemn the 9/11 attacks, most memorable was Yasser Arafat’s comment: “Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable.”

Racists idiots conveniently forget facts that don’t fit into their racist frame of mind.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I love the attempt by the post to frame this as some sort of intellectual debate. Krauthammer is one of the most intelligent perceptive minds around, and Mr. Sargent is essentially a college kid who's done the expected lapping up of the standard University nonsense .
Of course none of Mr. Sargent's admirers actually believe what they're saying. Most would have no objection to criticism of the plans if it were Christians or Jews building a cultural center. The enemy of my enemy maxim has driven the Left to stand up for and champion the cause of homophobic, racist, misogynistic religious zealots. Not all Muslims.. blah blah blah. Yes, nearly all Muslims DO see homosexuality as a crime. They do. And MOST Muslim men DO believe that men are intellectually superior to women. What's your defense of this, Sargent? That it's their culture and not for us to judge? Way to stand up for the persecuted, you courageous liberals.

Posted by: gabrielofsantamonica | August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

It is highly amusing to hear the residents of rightwingnutistan exalt Krauthammer and make him into some kind of demigod of international affairs and general intellect.

He did in fact root for the Iraq invasion and supported the WMD fallacy. He was a cheerleader for the worst president in the 20th century and probably of all time.

He is in fact wrong on his incredibly hawkish stance on Israel and the need for a 2 state solution with Palestine having a contiguous and relatively intact country that mostly follows the 1967 borders.

He is one of the Iran hawks, that think somehow attacking Iran is in the US national interest.

Could he be more wrong? Why should anyone listen to his blovating?

Posted by: srw3 | August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks"

What a load of BS. Do you even try to refute Krauthammer's point that a sizable minority of Muslims DO SUPPORT violent jihad? If they are "perverting" Islam, then why do other Muslims not do anything about them? By your own argument, a center studying "all of Islam" will necessarily include those violent strains in Islam -- probably why the Imam blamed us for 9/11 and won't denounce Islamic terrorist groups.

And if the 9/11 hijackers were a bunch of kooky fringe weirdos, then why do we have footage of Muslims dancing in celebration all over the world on 9/11? Why were these "fringe kooks" permitted to worship at such large, wealthy, "mainstream" mosques like the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, VA (which, in an amazing coincidence, also harbored the Ft. Hood shooter)?

I shudder to think the good we would do in our nation and the world if people like Greg Sargent defended America with even a fraction of the hysterical fervor with which they defend Islam. Instead, they condemn us to the slow drip drip drip of "man-caused disasters" by "fringe kooks" trying to blow up our cities, and convert our nation to the same repressive, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human rights, intolerant cesspool that nearly every Islamic-dominated nation is on earth. For the love of god, Mauritania HAD FORMAL SLAVERY into the 21st century! And we're the ones with a tolerance problem? Give me a break -- the reason the Islamists hate us is precisely because we support tolerance and diversity. I have to assume Democrats still vaguely remember this, and their frantic caterwauling is just pathetic appeasement rather than overt cowardice.

Posted by: zippyspeed | August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Tbloom1

'Quoted from the website www.allaboutturkey.com/mosque.htm:

"Within few years after the death of Muhammad, mosques became such important symbols, that when Muslim conquerors established themselves somewhere, a mosque was put up first, and then the military camp was built around it."

Symbolism is very important in Islam.'
========================================
Oh . . . and by all means, the Roman Catholics didn't build mission churches and shrines EVERYWHERE they moved into the New World (and Europe)? And the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. haven't built their churches and mega-churches everywhere their people move? GEEZE!

Obvious - Symbolism is very important to ALL religious sects (the Cross, etc.).
That Muslims revere symbols is an enormous revelation --- just as is: "Half Way Down the Road and Back is just as Far as All the Way Down the Road".

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 20, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Watch your back, Greg.

Dan Froomkin (my all-time favorite columnist, no offense) was fired from the Bushington Post for daring to oppose Krauthammer.

As for me, I am torn because I despise all organized religion but I also despise hypocritical rightwing hacks like Krauthammer.

In this case my hatred for hypocritical rightwing hacks has the edge.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 20, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

lufrank1

You make my point very eloquently, although you are probably not sophisticated enough to realize it. But thanks anyway.

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What about Roman Catholic priests and there problems with young boys? Society has been incistent that Catholics clean that mess up? Why cannot society insist that the Muslin world clean up its act?

Posted by: tschuhart | August 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Note to JPRS and your dwindling band of fellow travelers -

The same old attack, belittle and ridicule tactics that the left (you) have been using for years against all who aren't in lock step with your mindless juvenile ideology are long gone my friend.

There are many more of us than there are of you, and I believe that really scares you. By 'us' I mean productive members of society who have jobs and real lives. Verses 'you' who are laid up on your parents couch eating their food and spending day after day online, half of the time spouting half truths and raving about the great society, and the other half of the time trolling free internet porn sites.

Real change is coming real soon starting this fall my friend. My advice is that you go out and get a job. Your ideology will definitely change once you are a contributing member of society.

Posted by: SayWhat5 | August 20, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

ksilton,

Why build the site?

Maybe because Muslims have lived and prayed in lower Manhattan over 100 years (e.g. the current WTC site is located in a part of the city that was known as "little Syria" in the 1880s).

Maybe because they want a community center where they live.

Perhaps they feel obliged to counter the prejudices against their religion that the 9-11 attacks engendered.

It's worth remembering that in the aftermath of the attacks, a lot of innocent people were harassed and targeted and some were killed simply because they looked a certain way. I remember after the 9-11 attacks how this issue came up when a bunch of college friends went up to New York to be with the family of a friend who we later learned was killed in the attack. There were concerns about one of our friends -- a completely secular, atheistic Iraqi -- traveling alone on the train by himself in that toxic environment after 9-11. I remember a convenience store where I once lived where the owners had to install huge flood lights in the parking lot because of death threats that they were receiving.

Even if the center is being built in a quixotic fight against the prejudice of some bigots, it's still very much an action in the best American tradition. People who haven't done anything wrong, shouldn't cower in the face of small-minded bigots. This is America after all.

If anyone is owed an apology, it's probably the millions of American Muslims who have no sympathy for Al Qaeda, and who had no involvement in the 9-11 attacks, but who are treated as if they are in some way responsible.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@solsticebelle:

You call it the "Bushington Post." Do you actually believe that the Post carries any right-leaning articles other than the tokens on the editorial pages?

Posted by: pyoung66 | August 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@zs: Do you even try to refute Krauthammer's point that a sizable minority of Muslims DO SUPPORT violent jihad?

What is a sizable minority? (3%, 5%)?

What is the dancing in the streets about? If the US wasn't supporting government that engages in the collective punishment and ethnic cleansing of a large muslim population in the middle east, and shields that country from any UN action to change that situation probably the US would have a better reputation in the Muslim world.

It might also help if the US didn't support some of the most corrupt "governments" (Egypt) and archaic monarchies (Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.) in the region and help them supress their own people...

Of course the real irony is that Al Qaeda has killed many more muslims than any other group and yet the rightwingnuts continue to imply that Islam somehow supports terrorism.

"Mauritania HAD FORMAL SLAVERY into the 21st century!"

And Somalia has no functioning government and the DRC has a violent rebel group that recruits child soldiers. So what? This has nothing to do with the US following its own laws.

And we're the ones with a tolerance problem? Give me a break -- the reason the Islamists hate us is precisely because we support tolerance and diversity.

If the "Islamists" (by which you mean the terrorists Al Qaeda operatives...again conflating the religion with groups that try to use religion to shield them from criticism--See David Koresh and Jim Jones for the Christianist equivalent) hate our freedoms, what could better than to rub more tolerance in their faces by building the Muslim Y on a building site in lower Manhattan?

Posted by: srw3 | August 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@srw3

"What is a sizable minority? (3%, 5%)?"

I'd say 80million is sizable...

"Give me a break -- the reason the Islamists hate us is precisely because we support tolerance and diversity."

No, they hate you because you are not Islamist. Simply that.

"what could better than to rub more tolerance in their faces by building the Muslim Y on a building site in lower Manhattan?"

You can rub tolerance in their face until they remove yours from your body..


Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

only we have politicians in Murfreesboro, Tennessee opposing a mosque there on the grounds that a mosque would undermine the moral foundation of the state. (I'm not making this up).

If someone made an argument like that to you and asked you to curtail your religious freedom out of respect for idiots, how would you feel?

We might as well just tell Muslims that bin Laden is correct, we do hate Muslims.

he hasn't been able to sell that message, so Gingrich, Palin, and Krauthammer are doing it for him.

Posted by: JoeT1
----------------------------------------
How come you left out Reid and Paterson off your list? Because they are Democrats? They are saying the same thing as Palin and Krauthammer (but not the same as Gingrich).

It is fascinating that those who ask us to distinguish between some Muslims and other Muslims, are totally unable to distinguish between some Republicans and other Republicans.

Gingrich compared Muslims to Nazis.

But, Palin and Krauthammer did NOT. If you do not see the difference then why do you expect others to see the difference between Osama bin Laden and Imam Rauf?

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If those opposed succeed in getting the mosque builders to move, they will claim: "See, they admitted they were villains and we chased them away." If the builders do not move, they will claim: "See we told you they are villains and they proved it by not moving." So this whole thing is not even an exercise in logic.

Posted by: scrub-brush | August 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

SayWhat5,

The truth is the truth.

You whine about the inequity of a major syndicated national columnist having his column rebutted on the Washington Post website. I mean come on. Ask yourself: If you had the chance to have a Washington Post blog, or a platform and paycheck based on a nationally syndicated column and nightly TV panel post, which would you choose?

As far as November goes, a GOP victory won't exactly be a vindication of anyone's intelligence -- except perhaps for the rich and well-connected who have purchased the GOP seats at all levels of government for the past 30 years.

As far as you being a "contributing" member" of society, you're giving yourself way too much credit.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So far, I haven't seen it explained how far away is far enough away. The neighborhood? The far end of the neighborhood? Ten blocks? Staten Island?
New Jersey? South Carolina?

Posted by: nadinem | August 20, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Since the number of 9/11 attackers was numerically insignificant given the millions of Muslims worldwide, and given that clearly they were Muslims in name only, and given that the builders and the potential users of the NY mosque have no identified connection to that handful of 9/11 attackers, the basis for anyone, 9/11 victims and families included, claiming "sensitivity" to the out-of-sight proximity of the planned mosque site to ground zero is simply a politically correct way of describing religious/ethnic/cultural bias and/or corresponding dislike and hatred for ALL Muslims.

Posted by: alvinwright | August 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse


To: SayWhat5 who wrote:
“…
There are many more of us than there are of you … Real change is coming real soon starting this fall …”
^^^^^^^^^^^^

If you’re trying to imply a Republican takeover, that wouldn’t be a change at all, that would be a return to same failed economic policies, and borrow and spend stupidity that got us into all this trouble in the first place.

Only a complete moron would think Republicans can do the same thing, the same way, and come up with a different result.

I don’t want those freaks back, and they certainly cannot get my vote.

If there really were as many of “you” as you pretend there are, McCain and Sarah "The Bimbo" Palin would be in office, and our troops would be in Iran.


Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse


Charles Krauthammer is a MD, Harvard medical school graduate, Pulitzer prize winner and syndicated columnist in hundreds of publications

Greg Sargent is a whining WaPo toady, minor minion at a dying Beltway rag that shrinks by the year. And oh yes, a blogger.

Greg Sargent the small fish in a small pond.


Posted by: screwjob19 | August 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If you oppose the Islamic center on the grounds that the people who attack claimed to act in the name of Islam, you are letting them appropriate control over the meaning Islam. You are letting them defame the hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans who follow Islam.

In short, you are letting the terrorists win while committing an injustice against fellow citizens.

If, as George W Bush infamously claimed, they hate us for our freedoms, you are proposing to weaken our freedom of religion.

You add evidence to the claims of Al Qaeda that we are at war with Islam.

Sometimes it is ok to accommodate a bit of prejudice when the costs are small. In this case the costs are too high. Let the center be built.

Posted by: j3hess | August 20, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

TO: nadinem who wrote:
“So far, I haven't seen it explained how far away is far enough away. The neighborhood? The far end of the neighborhood? Ten blocks? Staten Island?
New Jersey? South Carolina?”
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Cleveland.


Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Your arguments would be far more persuasive if you showed some knowledge of how Islam has, by it's constitution and it's history, acquired it's reputation as the most hateful and violent major religion in existence. It is not a republican fabrication. It's right there in the Koran.

Posted by: CorpusCogitosum | August 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Why won't the Post let people comment on Krauthammer's columns directly (anymore)?

Posted by: pyoung66 | August 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

A few observations, from someone who knew a passenger on the first plane, and who knows at least six people who missed being killed that day by accidents of timing.

1. The proposed building IS NOT A MOSQUE. The words only have one syllable. Do the opponents understand them?

2. I remember the expressions of horror and outrage from Muslims around the world. They began the morning of 9/11/01. I have spoken with Muslims, and read, heard, and seen interview with or speeches by them. As a religious culture, they were as angry about the attack as anyone here--except that it was THEIR religion that had been used to "justify" the attack, which made them even madder.

3. Yes, there were Muslims who celebrated the attacks. As a percentage they are about the same as the number of white, Christian Americans who celebrated the same event. No one seems to want to ban construction of Christian facilities.

4. Muslims were among the innocent victims that day. Saying the entire faith is at fault is as bad a piece of logic as saying that all white US Army vets are at fault for the Oklahoma City bombing.

5. Rather than express outrage about possible worship, several blocks away, by members of one faith that had innocent victims among the dead that day, why not push for the new WTC facilities to include houses of worship, meditation spaces, or other memorials that represent the faiths and ethnicities of all the victims?

6. This country is supposed to be an example of religious acceptance. The First Amendment declares it to be so. Instead of showing hate and division, try learning something about the group that is being demonized. Act like adults, will you?

Posted by: AndrewfromNH | August 20, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg is out of his mind. The whole Muslim world secretly, or in many cases, openly cheered these terrorist attacks until suppressed by their leaders who feared a backlash, i.e. PLO suppression of Palestians cheering and passing out sweets in response to these terrorist attacks. I don't believe that most Muslims are willing to commits these heinous crimes, but they support or condone them when they are done, usually by the small segment that is willing to undertake homicide/martydom operations. Bottom line, Charles is right!

Posted by: AmericanFirst3 | August 20, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What was the last words of those terrorists? Did they not do that in the name of their religion, which is Islam. Case closed.

Posted by: igrmlnt | August 20, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I quote "Here's the thing: If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks."

All of Islam is responsible because the 93% which is not radical does nothing to stop the 7% which is. It is not our responsibility in the West to correct the lunatics who commit such acts as 9/11, it is our responsibility to fight them. It is the responsibility of those within Islam to correct and even to imprison those within Islam who would commit such acts. However, as far as I can see, no one or no agency within Islam takes any such action to stop and correct those radicals. Consequently, all Islam is complicit and therefore guilty.


Posted by: dkmc | August 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks."

Here's Sargeant's dodge:

"How do you claim that the terrorists who ran planes into the buildings on 9/11 did it in the of Islam without claiming that Islam had nothing to do with running planes into buildings?"

Your difficultly is compounded by the fact that in the past 10-20 years, the amount of major terrorism inspired by Islam dwarfs all other types.

I think Krauthammer's task is significantly easier than yours.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | August 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

If those opposed succeed in getting the mosque builders to move, they will claim: "See, they admitted they were villains and we chased them away." If the builders do not move, they will claim: "See we told you they are villains and they proved it by not moving." So this whole thing is not even an exercise in logic.

Posted by: scrub-brush
-------------------------------
How do you know what they will say? Where can I buy a copy of your crystal ball?

If they move, is governor Paterson going to say, "See, they admitted they were villains and we chased them away"? Is THAT what Paterson is trying to do? Is that what Harry Reid is trying to do?

And note that what Palin said is NO DIFFERENT from what Paterson and Reid have said. But because she is Republican you are bashing her, without bothering to read what she actually said...

Ultimately, this whole thing does not have to do with the mosque but with the liberal hatred of Republicans.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for printing this repudiation of Krauthammer's phony argument. I have sent both along to my son as an object lesson in countering casuistry.

Posted by: mmurray2 | August 20, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that few of the hateful postings are by Muslims. The postings full of hate tend to come either from the right who are suspicious of Muslims or from the liberals who are using this occasion to vent their anger with Republicans.

But the attacks on Republicans could backfire because the majority of independents share the views of the moderate Republicans on this issue.
It is a delusion to think that the opposition is confined to those who are extreme right wing.

I doubt that it will help Democrats in November if they are seen as the party which does not care what the voters think.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Comrade Krauthammer knows that the vast majority of patriotic Americans don't support his intentions to drown us in debt for his foreign civil wars of Republican adventure in Iraq, Afghanistan, and if he can fool us, Iran.

So he comes up with side issues like this, to make us forget that most of our national debt, and our troubles are caused by all the troops, tears, and taxes wasted on his comrades call to waste our time in countries that ... not only don't have ANY al-Qaeda ... but in fact are known for KILLING al-Qaeda.

What an unpatriotic person, Charles Krauthammer is. That he is given a column in the Washington Post is a betrayal of people like my grandfather buried in Arlington National Cemetary, my dad who served in the USAF, and myself.

For shame.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Quoted from the website www.allaboutturkey.com/mosque.htm:

"Within few years after the death of Muhammad, mosques became such important symbols, that when Muslim conquerors established themselves somewhere, a mosque was put up first, and then the military camp was built around it."

Symbolism is very important in Islam.

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

####

Tbloom1: I dare you to name a territory anywhere around the world that was colonized by the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch that doesn't have a church in the middle of the largest town square.

Posted by: hoos3014 | August 20, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This might be a good time to pull out Occam's Razor and give Mssrs Krauthammer and Sargent a haircut, before their argumentation so obscures reality that it becomes impossible to see the hairdo for the hair.

A mosque in the vicinity of Ground Zero is unacceptable only if one accepts the premise that Islam becomes a terrorist religion and all Muslims become terrorists when terrorists attack "in Islam's name." Simply put, opposition to the mosque is based on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The more opponents attempt to argue this unfortunate logical imperative out of existence, the more they embrace it.

Beware of the supposedly magical "but" that, in the minds of mosque opponents, excuses their prejudice by shifting the subject to other grounds, as in, "Muslims may have the right to build, but they are hurting our feelings." Let's raise this argument to the highest plane of generality, and if mosque opponents would prefer, we can even ignore the fact that feelings hurt by the presence of a mosque must be nothing other than prejudice. Here is the point: The hurt feelings argument places inalienable human rights into conflict with the feelings of the majority. Let's not castigate these feelings as "prejudice," "hatred," "the tyranny of the majority," or even "irrational." Let's be nice to these feelings, and in a values-neutral way, simply call them "feelings." But let mosque opponents have the honesty to admit that they are choosing the majority's feelings over the right of religious free expression. This choice relegates inalienable rights as being something less than moral absolutes, antecedent and superior to all social institutions, to be enshrined in constitutions, and protected by governments as the very justification of their existence. Indeed, mosque opponents, who are otherwise happy to speak of immutable principles of liberty and wrap themselves in the Constitution, are even happier to espouse the feelings-over-rights argument, insisting that the mosque can be built, just not anywhere near Ground Zero. And PLEASE, let's not digress into the nonsense of arguing exactly how far from Ground Zero the mosque may be built, elaborated with monstrously stupid Nazi-shrines-at-Auschwitz analogies. Let's focus, because here again is the point: Mosque opponents recognize the "inalienable right" to build the mosque, but insist that this "absolute principle" must be compromised (yes, absolute principle compromised)in order to satisfy the majority's feelings. What mosque opponents demand (and logically there is no way out of this self-imposed trap) is the right to choose where mosques can be built. But it wasn't so long ago that such brilliant polemicists were happy to tell blacks that they had a right to use public transportation, as long as they sat where they were told. Mosque opponents may use this analogy free of charge, as it will prove a much more logical fit for their arguments than any of their "Nazi" stuff.

Posted by: consistentflatcher | August 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Hysterical to read Sargent taking on Charles. Like watching a kid jump in the ring with a heavyweight. Stick to licking your communist bud Robinson's boots, Greg. You're out of your league messing with Charles.

Posted by: PS7900 | August 20, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@hoos3014

Once again, the voice of the left makes my point even more eloquently than I...but do you understand what you are saying? Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it...

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So far, I haven't seen it explained how far away is far enough away. The neighborhood? The far end of the neighborhood? Ten blocks? Staten Island?
New Jersey? South Carolina?

Posted by: nadinem |
--------------------------
Someone suggested Brooklyn which is the actual residence of most New York Muslims.

I suggested Central Park since the MET is already there and the site could have a small garden around it for meditation and prayer.

But right now, what many people want is RESPECT. If Rauf and Khan move the mosque even ten blocks, they will HAVE SHOWN RESPECT, and that will make all the difference. I repeat, they would not be capitulating, they would be showing respect.

Of course if they did that, the dispute would end, and the opportunity for liberals to throw brickbats at the "right wing which does not respect the constitution" would come to an end.

They would have to find another hobby...

It is in the interest of Muslims and most Americans that the site move. Most Americans seek respect from Muslims for their feelings. Muslims also have an interest because the last thing they need is the backlash which would come if the project goes ahead at the present location.

There are lots of mosques in Texas. Are New England liberals or New Yorkers going to be able to protect those Muslims who worship in these mosques in Texas?

Get real for heavens' sake!!

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ah Cobra2 - which denomination does Wal-Mart belong to? I salute you for noting liberals were against a Wal-mart too near a Civil War battlefield but freedom of religion does not include Wal-Mart unless you worship at the doors of cheap merchandise - made in China.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 20, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand the idolization of the families of the 9/11 victims. On 9/11 these families were not attacked, America was. These families are involved by an accident of time and place.

I do not belittle them. They suffered a horrible tragedy that can not be wished on anyone. But they were also incredibly compensated for their loss - perhaps 50 times to amount given to surviving victims or families of victims of the Murrah Building bombing. Many, in fact, compensated several times more that their loved ones could have earned had there been no 9/11 and they lived out their lives normally.

While the loss of a loved one carries a pain that never goes away, it is not an extraordinary event in life. As bad philosophers say, we are born to die. It is the ultimate destination of human life.

Since 9/11 millions of people have died, most leaving behind grieving and injured loved ones. Just because this is a concentrated population from a specific geographical region, why is this group deified?

31,000 people died in 2008 from accidents on the nation's highways. This is 10 times the number that died on 9/11 and that is just from one year. Do we consult these victim's families when considering highway construction? Hardly!

By the same token, if the 9/11 families decided, for instance, that Sarah Palin has out lived her usefulness - a reasonable conclusion, i think - would we track her down and throw her in jail? Shoot her? Deport her back to Alaska?

I think the argument that the cultural center should not be done because it is insensitive to the 9/11 families is just dumb.

If we are going to claim we are better than the "radical islamics" we need to do more than posture. We have to actually BE better than the "radical islamics."

They would prevent us from building a Christian cultural center. Is that what we aspire to? Or are we, as a people, better than that?

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | August 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

A mosque in the vicinity of Ground Zero is unacceptable only if one accepts the premise that Islam becomes a terrorist religion and all Muslims become terrorists when terrorists attack "in Islam's name." Simply put, opposition to the mosque is based on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The more opponents attempt to argue this unfortunate logical imperative out of existence, the more they embrace it. Posted by: consistentflatcher
-------------------------------
May I point out that YOU are stereotyping everyone who is opposed to a mosque at this location? You don't know what they actually think, and you are probably taking extremists like Gingrich to be typical of the 68% who oppose the mosque.

But that is simply not plausble because 68% of Americans are NOT like Gingrich. So you do have to ask, "What ARE they thinking?" rather than make up your own, prejudiced answer.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

So many keep saying that that all Muslims are not the same, but that is exactly how many are blindly treating this issue.

It became an issue because of who these Muslims are, and do not drag out Sufi since every alcohol drinking Jihadi with a dispensation tells others they are Sufi.

These Muslims refuse to denounce Hamas, stated the USA brought 9/11 on itself, and have advocated for the spread of Sharia Law non-stop.

It is because all Muslims are not alike, that some 9/11 families who REMEMBERED and know what these SPECIFIC Muslims connected to the proposed Cordoba building are like that it first became an issue.

So before you say again that all Muslims are not alike which to many seems to mean give a free pass to all of them, remember you are supporting Hamas and Sharia Law with these.

-----------------
In his interview on Hadiyul-Islam by Sa’da Abdul Maksoud, Abdul Rauf was asked his views on Shariah (Islamic religious law) and the Islamic state. He responded:

Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more then just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Shariah that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed.

Posted by: Elisa2 | August 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If I was going to paint my house a certain color that was totally within the law, but the color was such that a sizable majority of my neighbors rose up and said "ick", I would reconsider. Then if one of my neighbors offered to help me pay for a better color, I would give it the utmost consideration because I care what my neighbors think. Muslims in Manhatten that truly care, would make every effort to find a happy compromise in the interest of peace and harmony. But like I said earlier, I think they wish to stir this pot...

Posted by: ksilton | August 20, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by TOMMYBASEBALL

I do not understand the idolization of the families of the 9/11 victims. On 9/11 these families were not attacked, America was. These families are involved by an accident of time and place.

I do not belittle them.
------------------------------
You just did.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@TOMMYBASEBALL

You, and those of your ilk, continue to play into the hands of the radical Islamists who, similar to how the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is attempting to gain power using democracy in order to institute Shariah, seek to use our (America's) democratic institutions against us.

I pray you, and those of your ilk, are indeed the minority you poll to be.

Posted by: Tbloom1 | August 20, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Muslims in Manhatten that truly care, would make every effort to find a happy compromise in the interest of peace and harmony. But like I said earlier, I think they wish to stir this pot...

Posted by: ksilton |
==================================
I don't think it is the Muslims. It is true that Rauf and Khan are being stubborn, but many Muslims are appalled that this duo has brought this trouble on their heads.

Another group which is stirring the pot is the liberals who never let go of an opportunity to "stick it to the right wing."

They are the major players, not ordinary Muslims who have no desire to diss their neighbours.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent wrote, "The question for Krauthammer and other foes is why lingering sensitivitives about 9/11 should take precedence over all the reasons proponents have given." My question is why SHOULDN'T lingering sensitivities about 9/11 take precendence over all the reasons proponents have given? Why are our collective feelings worth less than theirs? If the Muslim Mosque builders really want to do "outreach" why not build 5 mosques in 10 different places instead of one in a place where it harms the delicate healing that we have managed to obtain? I can't help but think that this is nothing more than an "in your face" action designed to show the world that Americans are so stupid and so wrapped up in the "right" of it all, that we can't see the forest for the trees. These mosque builders are not trying to "outreach" to us. They are "outreaching" to other Muslims who feel that disrespect for Americans is exactly what we deserve.

Posted by: cothink2 | August 20, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that there is now a liberal rebuttal column opposing Dr Krauthammer every week? I don't see a conservative rebuttal column opposing comrad Robinson or comrad Dionne. Yet another shining example of the unfair and unbalanced liberal rag called the Washington Post.

Posted by: Howsthathopeandchangeworkingforyou | August 20, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@ksilton,

Your analogy is a good illustration of why the Constitutional Framers did not address "house color" as part of the Bill of Rights. Some choices and actions are less fundamental expressions of individual liberty than others.

@rohit57,

There was an issue with a mosque construction on Staten Island just a couple months ago, so cross that off the list. The construction site has been under discussion for over a year now, it didn't become a national discussion topic until some right-wing bloggers and RNC-Fox News started pumping the story.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

cothink2,

Fundamental rights trump sensitivities.

As far as "collective feelings" go -- there are no unified set of "collective feelings".

A narrow majority of first responders say "No" to the construction; people in Manhattan say "yes" by a narrow majority; people in NYC say "No" by a majority. Some victims families say "yes", some say "no" some say "stop dragging our personal tragedy into public debates".

We don't put fundamental rights up to a vote. Technically you could amend the first amendment with something more than a narrow majority and abridge religious liberty, but I suspect most Americans would probably say no to that approach. There is no right in a free society to avoid all conflict or "insult" in public space -- especially the kind of "conflict" and "insult" that is largely the product of ones own personal prejudice.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee, this lightweight may want to pick someone other than Krauthammer to go head to head with in an intellectual duel. Perhaps he is better suited to argue with the mental giants at MSNBC or Huffington Post. Agree or not with Kraut, but he is a smart hombre!

Posted by: bgoff1 | August 20, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Gee, this lightweight may want to pick someone other than Krauthammer to go head to head with in an intellectual duel. Perhaps he is better suited to argue with the mental giants at MSNBC or Huffington Post. Agree or not with Kraut, but he is a smart hombre!

Posted by: bgoff1 | August 20, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
=========
I agree with Scott C that where the Muslim Center is located will make no difference to the Terrorists. They want to attack us, regardless of what is done, so I want to give Scott C. credit for having come up with another sound reason for not moving the proposed Center, since it will not make any difference to the real terrorists, where the center is opened.

==============

but it does make a difference to many Americans. but apparently you don't care about them. Perhaps you feel as CalID does that Americans are morons.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 20, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"As hard as this may be to accept, the more rational response is to support the project -- even if causes many people discomfort and even pain. This is discomfort and pain we must work through for our own good. Simply put, the cost of doing the alternative is unacceptably high. Opposing the center on the grounds that 9/11 was carried out "in the name of Islam," and is sacrilege towards hallowed ground, signals that our commitment to American values is not unshakable when maintaining it is emotionally wrenching. It legitimizes, unwittingly or not, the notion that it's valid to vaguely and irrationally conflate all of Islam with the attacks. In the long run, doing these things is worse for America."

Greg, you my friend are what is commonly referred to as a useful idiot. Our enemies love the way you think.

Posted by: gorams1 | August 20, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Greg Sergeant’s rebuttal is placed in a sieve, rather than a bowl. Every bit of his liberal whining runs through the sieve until the reader is left with nothing but air.

Sergeant’s basic premise, that all of Islam should not be viewed through the lens of September 11, is specious. The remaining 93 percent of Islam (the part that is not radical) has never stepped forward to condemn the cowardly and dastardly acts committed by suicidal members of the radical seven percent. Until that condemnation comes all of Islam should be viewed through the lens of September 11.

Until the “non-radical” 93 percent majority of Islam disavows the actions of the few at the World Trade Center a rational person can reach no other conclusion except the “moderates” must have approved of what happened. Sergeant would have us all overlook their arrogance by wanting to build a mosque so close to the site of the disaster they condone.

The opinions of the 9/11 families about the mosque are irrelevant. Thanks to Senator Clinton they have alread\y fleeced the public of millions. (What made them more special that the bereaved families of innocent victims in the Murrah Building?)

Finally, Sergeant invites all of us just to suck it up and let the project proceed. Heck, it’ll do all of us a lot of good to feel pain and discomfort as we watch these America haters thumb their noses at us be erecting this monstrosity. I am not willing to do that for the sake of political correctness.

Posted by: tom841 | August 20, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

What hyprocrates these Tea Partiers bee...

First they shout that they can't be held responsible as a group for what a few of their misguided but racist members do and say. "The NAACP called us all racists" - and then have to listen to - adnausem - their condemnations of the NAACP and all it stands for...

Now they are holding all of Islam, any and all Muslims responsible for the attacks on 9/11.

Life must be really simple for these morons - "Whens lunch mommy?" - it's all black (as in Obama) or white (as in Jesus) to them, no color, no shades, no nothing, you ether agree with them 100% or you are in cahots with the devil.

Posted by: alfa73 | August 20, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

We have heard from a number of the 30% of Republicans who still beleve that Obama is a Muslim today - whew where do they find these guys?

You are aware that there already is a mosque in the very same building now?

That there are also two more mosques in the same area??

You have heard of freedom of religon, and of property rights?

You all think we should model our society after Iran, or Saudi Arabia - where no religous fredom is allowed at all?

Washington, Jefferson, Adams, ... must all be turning over in their graves watching these bigots runing wild in America.

Posted by: alfa73 | August 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If we expand Krauthammer's logic than here are some interesting points:
1. The KKK acted in the name of Christianity. Therefore, no Christian churches or community centers should be built near areas where the KKK committed their crimes
2. The Branch Dividians killed government agents and David Koresh (spelling?) raped young girls in the name of Christianity. Should we not build Christian churches or community centers in Waco, Texas?
3. Near the site of the battles of Lexington and Concord a Catholic monestary was burned to the ground and nuns killed in the name of Christianity in the early 19th Century. Should we not build Christian Churches or community centers in Lexington and Concord
4. In Illinois, thousands of Mormans were massacred in the early 19th century in the name of Christianity. Should we not build Christian Churches and community centers near the site of these massacres?

The point is that ALL RELIGIONS have fundemntalist radicals who view thier version of their religion to be correct and therefore allows them to carry out extreme violent actions. Let us not forget that in the early 90s Prime Minister Rabin of Israel was killed by a Jewish fundamentalist radical because he felt Rabin was selling out the biblical home of the Jews.

We should be fighting against fundementalism not the religion.

Posted by: smith6 | August 20, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Although I suspect Krauthammer views Sargent as a gnat--if he views him at all--Sargent's points are, well, to the point. Bravo!

I will simply add that Howard Dean's comments last night on Olbermann's show were very interesting. You'd never get a 10 minute (or longer) discussion like that on Fox or CNN, or even PBS (PBS might be as long, but even with Ray Suarez doing the interview, it would be far less challenging than Keith was); it was very educational.

Dean thinks too many on the left have taken too narrow a view of the foundation of this argument. Granting that the Palins and Newts and all the other clowns have nothing to contribute, and should therefore be excluded, he argued that we should take the 60% seriously and, rather than fall into knee-jerk reaction to the rightie flame throwers, invite Rauf and his backers to sit with responsible parties like city officials and families of 9/11 victims and first responders to work out a mutually amicable compromise.

Keith objected that no one should compromise with the ugly lies, and Howard concurred; but he made a very solid case for using this as an opportunity to break the polarization the right has been working at establishing, primarily through Fox and talk radio.

I lean towards Keith's perspective, but appreciated Howard's.

What a great, civil conversation that was.

Posted by: abqcleve | August 20, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

So if I understand your logic, you are fine with a mosque actually on ground zero. And the Japanese flag flying over the USS Arizona. . . and anyone who thinks that is inappropriate needs to deal with it and get over it.

Posted by: sarno | August 20, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

bgoff1,

Intelligence comes in different forms. In Krauthammer's case, I suspect he is pretty "smart" in his area of expertise. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to write about those topics very often. The terms "useful," and "ideological" strike me as more apt descriptions of his approach to policy debates.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

sarno,

By your logic, you seem to be saying that Hitler should have won WWII and celebrated by wearing his favorite pair of leather boxers.

In other words, there is no proposal to build a mosque at ground zero. So your logic deals with irrelevant questions.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Greg, wise up man. Al Qaeda are Muslims too and they pray in some of the same Mosques as do "moderate" muslims. They are as devout maybe more so than those who do not believe in their terrorist methods. Those "radical islamists" who carried out the 911 attacks were recruited in a German Mosque which has since been closed. would you be in favor of this "community center"
if it were funded in part by Al Qaeda sympathizers? BTW Greg there are two other errors in your article.

Posted by: Jabber3 | August 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@JPRS
"@AmericanWithoutABrain,

What are you basing your numbers on? It seems like you basically pulled them out of your youknowwhat.

And why should we base reasoning on the basis of made up numbers?

Posted by: JPRS |"

Excuse me, can you please speak up? I can't hear you over the roar of moderate Moslems speaking out against radical Islam.

And I you can't get my name right don't address me. What does JPRS stand for, Jerk Praying the Right is Silenced?

Posted by: AmericanWithABrain | August 20, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Fail Machine CK thinks Greg is an "Obama sycophant." Proof positive he didn't even take the time to do a cursory overview of recent content here. Supporting Obama where he's right and challenging him where he's wrong is completely incompatible with sycophancy.

Waiting for the Krauthammer movie:

WAR FAP: Charles Krauthammer's Immeasurable Wrongness

Script: Bomb bomb bomb fap fap fap bomb bomb faaaaaaaaaaap bomb

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Apparently ALL CAPS is a great way to show you are very very serious and EVERYBODY DROP EVERYTHING AND READ MY COMMENT NOW!

So...

WHAT JACK STUEF SAID:

http://wonkette.com/417593/charles-krauthammer-criticizes-obama-for-not-being-as-brave-as-charles-krauthammer-on-mosque-thing

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

So if I understand your logic, you are fine with a mosque actually on ground zero. And the Japanese flag flying over the USS Arizona. . . and anyone who thinks that is inappropriate needs to deal with it and get over it.

Posted by: sarno
************************

No, a mosque near GZ, just as there currently already are; just as there currently already is a Japanese Shinto shrine within sight of the USS Arizona.

It becomes much easier when you view the world more accurately and truthfully, doesn't it?

Posted by: abqcleve | August 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

None of the project's opponents have specified how many blocks are need to buffer the WTC site from the insensitivities of Islam. I'm assuming 4 blocks, since that is how far the Masjid Manhattan mosque is from the site.

Posted by: squier13 | August 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Good article Mr. Sargent. Thank you for taking Krauthammer to task. His very thinly veiled belief that all muslims are responsible for the 9/11 attacks is so juvenile and vacuous that I'm surprised it was published.

For those who have commented that muslims in America bear some responsibility for terrorism by virtue of the fact that they don't loudly condemn it - I say that if I were a muslim in this country I would not loudly say anything or otherwise draw attention to myself. This fear-driven, angry, anti-muslim rabble is not open to any sort of dialogue from the "opposition".

Posted by: rgray | August 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Kraut uses the story of the Carmelite convent at Auschwitz as an example of a religius group "showing sensitivity" to the "feelings" of another. Can you do a post explaining why that story is NOT analogous to this mosque issue? As I understand it, that case was more about Polish nationalism than religion...the Poles did not (and still do not) appreciate groups from the U.S. and Israel coming to their land and telling them what they could or could not do.

If I see this excuse one more time in print I will scream.

Posted by: hoos3014 | August 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse
*******************************************

They differ in two very big ways.

1. That's Poland, not the United States. Certain rights here are deemed to be fundamental (See, Constitution), that's what makes this the U.S. of A. and not Poland.

2. The Pope is the absolute leader of the Catholic church. Islam does not have one single leader like the Catholic church does.

Posted by: nsu1203 | August 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Let us do a little arithmetic.

In 2008, 53% of the voters went for Obama. Today, 68% of Americans (and presumably 68% of voters) oppose the mosque at this site.

68+53 makes 121, and subtracting 100% from that we get 21%. What does that figure mean?

It means that at least 21% of Americans BOTH voted for Obama and oppose the mosque (at this location). So over 26 million Obama voters (at least) oppose this mosque.
Probably more since 52% of Democrats oppose the mosque.

Why is this important? For two reasons.

One is that we CANNOT characterize the opponents of the mosque as right wing bigots because they include 26 million Obama voters.

The other is that since the mosque is not opposed only by bigots, it is not a loss of face to compromise.

If the demand to move the site only came from bigots, it would be right to resist the demand.

But if it comes from a lot of Obama voters, then compromising makes far more sense.

Also, NOT compromising becomes more dangerous because if these 26 million are frustrated, some of them are likely to vote Republican, EVEN THOUGH they voted for Obama in 2008.

So people, do a little arithmetic and try to get a sense of balance.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Let us do a little arithmetic."

No.

Let's demolish the premise instead.

It's not a "mosque" any more than the 92nd St. Y is a synagogue.

There.

Posted by: mattintx | August 20, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@ JPRS

I am mildly offended that you would think I'm prejudice because I find the thought of a mosque so close to ground zero a slap in the face of all Americans. I am not prejudice. I just happen to find it very distastful in the same way that pissing on the grave of your enemy is distastful. (Please note that I said "distastful" and not "illegal".) I am all for the freedom of religion but find the insensativity of the proposed mosque a very telling story. Actions speak louder than words - wanna build a bridge? Move the mosque!

Posted by: cothink2 | August 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

None of the project's opponents have specified how many blocks are need to buffer the WTC site from the insensitivities of Islam. I'm assuming 4 blocks, since that is how far the Masjid Manhattan mosque is from the site.

Posted by: squier13
**************************

The question, of course, is unanswerable because the construct behind it is fatally flawed.

However, that doesn't stop the righties. Now, they've decided to quote Rauf out of context re: what contributes to Islamacist extremeism, and they won't let him build one as far away as LA....

This has nothing to do with "sensitivities," or reason or precedent or anything else other than introducing a wedge issue in election season. That's what Republicans do. It's one of the things that make them so disgusting un-American. Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Lee Attwater, Karl Rove: you name it; the lowlifes who specialize in tapping into the lowest common denominators of the American polity are all post-Eisenhower Republicans.

Posted by: abqcleve | August 20, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Let us do a little arithmetic.

In 2008, 53% of the voters went for Obama. Today, 68% of Americans (and presumably 68% of voters) oppose the mosque at this site.

68+53 makes 121, and subtracting 100% from that we get 21%. What does that figure mean?

It means that at least 21% of Americans BOTH voted for Obama and oppose the mosque (at this location). So over 26 million Obama voters (at least) oppose this mosque.....So people, do a little arithmetic and try to get a sense of balance.

Posted by: rohit57
**********************

Wow. A stunningly clear example of why Republicans all thought our economy's "fundamentals" were excellent going into late summer 2008.

Never, ever believe a conservative when he tells you he is qualified to create or manage a budget.

Posted by: abqcleve | August 20, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@rohit57

Your math is inaccurate. But more importantly, who cares how many Americans oppose this community center? Do you agree with something until a certain number of people disagree with it and then change your mind? You would suck on a jury.

Posted by: rgray | August 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"(Please note that I said "distastful")

Noted.

Posted by: mattintx | August 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

On September 11, 2001, America was attacked by a group of people who claimed to be acting in the practice of Islam - not a country or a political bloc - but Islam. If the majority of the Muslim community doesn't see it that way, then they should act accordingly and police their religion appropriately as the Catholics did at the end of the Inquisition.
As I see it, this isn't about supporting the freedom of practicing one's religion, this is about Americans (of any and all faiths) feeling affronted and offended by terrorists and not supporting the building of a church representing the religion that was used as the basis of the attack on us near the site of the attack.
Building a mosque anywhere near the old site of the World Trade Center can be viewed as nothing less than a victory of radical Islam.

Posted by: dschalton | August 20, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@ cothink2

Really? You are not prejudiced? You just equated the construction of a Muslim prayer center to pissing on the grave of an enemy. Either you know you are prejudiced and don't care - that makes you an a-hole - or you really believe you are not prejudiced which would make you a moron. Not sure which is worse.

Posted by: rgray | August 20, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Your arguments would be far more persuasive if you showed some knowledge of how Islam has, by it's constitution and it's history, acquired it's reputation as the most hateful and violent major religion in existence. It is not a republican fabrication. It's right there in the Koran.
Posted by: CorpusCogitosum

Except, you are historically wrong. Islamic countries were far more tolerant of Jews and Christians living in their midst than Christian ones. Mohammed himself forbade their forced conversion.

Reputations can be wrong, especially when they're the product of rumors spread by people with a chip on their shoulder or hate in their heart.

Posted by: j3hess | August 20, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Let us do a little arithmetic."

No.

Let's demolish the premise instead.

It's not a "mosque" any more than the 92nd St. Y is a synagogue.

There.
-----------------------------
Not really. In the first place I am fully aware that it is not entirely a mosque but a community center with an embedded mosque.

In the second place, none of my calculations depend on whether it is a mosque or a swimming pool or a shopping mall.

68+53 is 121, NO MATTER WHAT WE ARE taling about.

I wish you did not run off so quickly to a posting and took the time to think what I am saying.

If 26 million or more Obama voters are opposed to this structure, however you describe it, and they are frustrated, some of them WILL vote Republican in November, and thus the very group you hate so much will be stronger.


Note by the way that the first amendment does not mention community centers, so you cannot make BOTH the community center argument and the first amendment argument -the two are inconsistent. You could argue that a mosque is protected by the first amendment but you cannot argue that a community center is so protected.

Hope you grasped this point? If people brought less anger, less prejudice and more thought into this issue it would be nice.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sargent is essentially correct, but he and his opponents miss the most important context: the lack of a new building and monument to commemorate the WTC. It is a travesty these buildings haven't been completed. It shows how problematic our political system is. If they were already up and operating, people wouldn't feel so strongly about an Islamic center down the street. It would pale in comparison.

Critics of the center should simply ignore it and get to work having the other buildings constructed as soon as possible.

Posted by: kennedys | August 20, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Osama bin Laden had a list of grievances a mile long. Pro Western governments in Muslim nations bought off by oil money, irredentist Israeli land theft, Russians in Chechnya, India's threats toward Pakistan on and on quite a list. A valid list of grievances by any fair minded evaluation. Of course just having valid complaints does not authorize murder. Unless you are the USA, of course. Then you can use a valid complaint to attack the wrong country.

911 was couched in Muslim Fundamentalism, ie Onward Muslim Soldiers. This should ring a bell and actually garner respect from the world's most violent people (us.) Instead rednecks use any handhold for bigotry that is available.

Having attacked the wrong country as a knee jerk response, it's no surprise Americans now misaim their hate and bigotry. Swing for the fences, it's the American way.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | August 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Another idiot weighs in who can't see the forest for the trees......Stop the mosque, period.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | August 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't get into a tit-for-tat with Krauthammer, Greg. He's not a "juicebox" journalist like yourself.
----

Whatever his former profession, he's been nothing else but an opinionator for decades.

****
Sergeant’s basic premise, that all of Islam should not be viewed through the lens of September 11, is specious. The remaining 93 percent of Islam (the part that is not radical) has never stepped forward to condemn the cowardly and dastardly acts committed by suicidal members of the radical seven percent.
----

They have, many times, but you weren't listening. Saudi Arabia's leading clerics condemned Al Qaeda's terrorism and theology.

But this isn't about your opinion of Islam - it's about the rights of American citizens.

**************
So far, I haven't seen it explained how far away is far enough away.
Posted by: nadinem |
--------------------------

But right now, what many people want is RESPECT. If Rauf and Khan move the mosque even ten blocks, they will HAVE SHOWN RESPECT, and that will make all the difference. I repeat, they would not be capitulating, they would be showing respect.

Of course if they did that, the dispute would end,
----

Most of the disrespect has been going the other way. And the dispute would not go away.

Haven't you noticed how many of the comments are about the inherently evil nature of Islam or the dastardliness of Muslims?

California is not far enough - there's a protest over a proposal to build an Islamic community center in Temecula.

Posted by: j3hess | August 20, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I would love to get an explanation from all these brilliant mathematicians responding to me why 68+53 is not 121.

It is just a sign of how bad we have become at simple arithmetic.

I remember a long time ago, going into a hardware store and buying three screws each of which was (then) 7 cents.

I said to the clerk that the total amount was 21 cents, but he would not believe it. He had to put it into a calculator.

No wonder China produces 7 times as many engineers as the US does...

What a pity that Americans have become so ignorant that they do not understand simple arithmetic and let it be over-ridden by their passions and prejudices.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@JPRS

I am neither prejudice nor a moron. I did not equate pissing on the grave of your enemy to building a mosque. I simply said it was distastful in the same way. I'm sorry you failed to grasp that distinction. Why is it that this makes me a moron or an a**hole? Is it not entirely possible that I find the unwillingness of the people who claim to want to build a bridge to move said bridge a little hypocritical?

Posted by: cothink2 | August 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Haven't you noticed how many of the comments are about the inherently evil nature of Islam or the dastardliness of Muslims?
Posted by: j3hess
--------------------------
Yes, I have noticed that. But when I said that at least 26 million Obama voters oppose the mosque (center) I was pointing out that not all opponents are fanatics.

If the mosque is moved, the fanatics will still oppose it, but the non-fanatics will no longer oppose it and the opposition will lose the very strong force that it now has.

Incidentally, despite what Bush said, Islam is NOT a religion of peace. It is, most simply put, a religion of "fair war" where "fair" is defined by the Koran.

When Muhammad thought that a Jewish tribe had betrayed him, he had them massacred. Maybe he was right, but Jesus would not have done that.

From the Wikipedia,

"The Banu Qurayza tribe eventually surrendered and the Prophet deputized Sa'd ibn Mua'dh, chief of the Banu Aus (a former ally of the Banu Qurayza) who ordered (with the Prophet's assent) all the men beheaded and buried en masse in trenches in the market square (apart from a few who had fled and converted to Islam).[11]

The women and children were mostly spared and the Prophet had them enslaved instead."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu_Qurayza

So being violent or even murderous when YOU THINK you have been dissed is part of Islam. But when Muslims do not think that they have been dissed they are among the nicest people.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

WP bloggers seem caught in the same revolving door as their masters, Krauthammer and Sargent. Liberate yourselves by considering the following points.

1. The mosque controversy places inalienable rights in conflict with the feelings of the majority. To choose the majority's feelings over inalienable rights is to undermine the stature of rights to the point of making them something less than the absolute and immutable principles of freedom whose existence is antecedent and superior to all social institutions, including constitutions, governments, and laws. According to this view, rights are no longer unalienable, absolute, or immutable, but become something to bargain over, and perhaps bargain away. Rights become something that they are absolutely, positively NOT: rights become subject to compromise.

2. To allow that Muslims have the right to build a mosque, but not to build it near Ground Zero is to insist that Muslims should somehow compromise their supposed inalienable right of religious freedom in order to accommodate the feelings of the majority. What the majority is demanding, in actuality, is the right to tell Muslims where they can build.

3. The majority, who seem to view rights as favors granted by one person to another, and the abovementioned compromise as a suitable solution to the mosque controversy, might be surprised to see that it is advocating segregation. And yet I would not anticipate any change of position, resulting from sober self-criticism, at least not until the majority becomes the minority. Either way, the essential nature of rights is denied, and rights themselves annihilated.

Posted by: consistentflatcher | August 20, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Chuckie and all those hysterical tea baggers,slash patriots are a bunch of hypocrites that apparently have not read the constitution of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, somehow they have no problem building a 1776 feet tower with millions of square feet of retail,office and transportation on top of the "Sacred Ground" that to me is more sacrilege than a mosque 2 blocks away from the site

Posted by: corintonic | August 20, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

cothink2,

I'd have some sympathy for your argument if the people involved with the center were Wahhabi Muslims who were specifically trying to antagonize victims families by building a large Mosque at the WTC site. That's not what's happening here.

These are mostly Sufi Muslims who lived, worked, and prayed in Manhattan for years. They are as much victims of the 9-11 attacks as anyone. They did outreach with local religious groups over the past year to build support for the community center with other religious faith organizations in the city.

People who say we should treat these people -- American Muslims -- like terrorists seem to be operating from the premise that the enemy of my enemy is my enemy. That's a losing formulation.

Posted by: JPRS | August 20, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to remind Krauthammer that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a REPUBLICAN who approved building the mosque there in Mid Town Manhattan.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 20, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

1. The mosque controversy places inalienable rights in conflict with the feelings of the majority. posted by consistentflatcher
-----------------------------------------
In order to show that the statement above about inalienable rights is true, you should quote the actual text of the first amendment and THEN explain how the inalienable rights follow from that.

Oh, what the heck, I will quote it for you.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
-----------------------------------------
I can see how that justifies the right of Muslims to worship. I do not see how the right to have a mosque at a particular location follows from that. I would be grateful if you will please show me how.

Also, there is no inalienable right to a community center. So if you are claiming that it is actually a community center and not a mosque then even that weak argument disappears. For there is NO connection between the first amendment and a community center.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

rohit57,

With respect to your math exercise:

A poll of the general population will not give you the same population that voted for President in 2008. The results will break out quite differently.

Even a poll of people that are considered to be likely voters in the next round of elections will not be the right sample from which to extrapolate about Obama voters.

The only way you can say with any certainty how many people both voted for Obama and also oppose the Park51 community center would be to get a statistically valid sample of actual Obama voters and then pose the question to them.

I do agree that 3 x 7 = 21 and that it is sad that some American cashiers would need a calculator to confirm that. But I also think part of the reason that China is graduating more engineers is both because they have a much bigger population than the USA, and right now as an emerging giant they are building a whole lot of stuff really fast.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@liam-still

Krauthammer's birthday is March 13 (1950)
His address is 7416 Western Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

I'm with you on the bracelet. Maybe a rabies shot, too?

Posted by: raveldog | August 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey rohit57, take a course in comparative statistics or shut the heck up.

All you are doing is throwing numbers around with no conception of what they mean or even if they are connected - sort of like when John "Orange" Boehner or Mitch McConnell talk about the economy....

Get a clue!

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | August 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"I can see how that justifies the right of Muslims to worship. I do not see how the right to have a mosque at a particular location follows from that. I would be grateful if you will please show me how."

The project complies with the various requirements and has been approved following the due process that exists within lower Manhattan for building projects. If the project is somehow stopped now, solely on the basis of sentiment in the community that Islamic worship at a particular address is inappropriate, the right to freely practice religion is curtailed (guaranteed in the amendment which you quote), is indeed being abridged.

If a Catholic or Protestant church would receive a permit at the address, but Islamic worship is not allowed at the same address, that abridges freedom for a particular minority.

If you think freedom is not being abridged as long as Muslims may be permitted to build at some other address, you will need to explain how we arrive at the formula of which addresses are covered by first amendment rights for certain groups and which are not.

"Also, there is no inalienable right to a community center. So if you are claiming that it is actually a community center and not a mosque then even that weak argument disappears. For there is NO connection between the first amendment and a community center."

Out of curiosity, if this was an Islamic community center where people did not pray, would that be acceptable to you? Is it the saying of prayers and worship of God that is the offensive part of this project in your mind?

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Why must we so want to send a message to the Islamic world of our great tolerance when there is no compromise on the issue from Islam.
I tire of sending these type of messages as well as apologizing for every transgression as if some magically change feeling occurs.
The Uber left wants to apologize for slavery, Hiroshima, and everything else, none of which I, at my age was involved in. Would it be wrong to expect Islam to be apologetic or contrite for 7% of theirs?

The question for you and others is why lingering concerns about offending Islam should take precedence over the concerns of most Americans over 9/11.

Posted by: flyover22 | August 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

rohit57,

With respect to your math exercise:

A poll of the general population will not give you the same population that voted for President in 2008. The results will break out quite differently.
Posted by: Patrick_M
-----------------------------------
Patrick, let me assure you that I have taught math (and probability and statistics) for at least 50 years. And I know what I am talking about.

Your remarks about the poll are reasonable, but they do not invalidate my calculation. You do not actually carry out a calculation which yields a different result from mine, but only suggest that it would (or might). But different methods for arriving at something must yield the same result.

For instance you can measure the height of a tree by looking at the sun's angle and measuring the shadow of the tree.

Or you could climb the tree, drop down a rope to the ground and measure that rope.

But, BOTH methods would give the same results which is why we talk about the actual height of the tree.

It is the same with my calculation. There is NO way that 68% of the population can oppose the mosque without 26 million Obama voters being among these 68%.

If you actually carried out your calculation, you would find results consistent with mine. You have not actually carried out a calculation and merely THINK your result would be different. It would not be different.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Why must we so want to send a message to the Islamic world of our great tolerance when there is no compromise on the issue from Islam."

Because we like to our live our American values (like the Bill of Rights) whether it sends any "message" or not,and not enter a downward chase toward the lowest common denominator like, say, the intolerance of the Taliban.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The primary reality about this Islamic center is that it is a fifteen story Post Office and another roughly equivalent size building away from ground zero. Two Christian churches are closer to the site. Without the encouragement of the hate mongers, nobody is going to be aware of the existence of this center. There is certainly no legal basis for denying the Muslim's the right to build there. So regardless of all the political posturing, they will make up their own mind whether or not to proceed. One positive is that at least the Mayor is distinguishing himself by a rational attitude to this situation.

Posted by: dnjake | August 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The real issue here is this is a wedge issue that declares that the pot stirrer has no idea how to fix the mess this country is in.

From Jacqueline Salit, president of independentvoting.org,:

"I think people can't tell what's going on because the political environment is so polluted by partisanship," she said. "The parties are trying to change the subject from things they think can inflame voters on and win elections on. How does that help the country? That hurts the country. And that's what independents are deeply concerned about."

The more hate I see in the articles on this issue and the responses to it, the less apt I am to vote for the offending party.

Posted by: colonelpanic | August 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"You do not actually carry out a calculation which yields a different result from mine, but only suggest that it would (or might). But different methods for arriving at something must yield the same result."

I don't do that because there is no data --- that was my point.

Again, we have no way of knowing how many people in the Park51 poll voted in 2008, so there is no way to extract the overlap among Obama voters from that data. None, dude.

Yes, there are two (or more) valid way ways to determine the height of a tree. But there are zero ways to know how many Obama voters are opposed to Park51 unless and until you do a statistically valid poll of ~2008 VOTERS~ which is an entirely different universe of people than the random group of voters and non-voters that responded to the Park51 poll.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent seems to think "American values" consist of naivete, self-delusion, self-righteousness, and a deliberate ignorance or ignoring of a rapidly growing movement to use American freedoms to destroy the democracy from within. Mr. Sargent's political great-grandfather, Mr. Chamberlain, would be so proud.

Mr. Sargent will continue to use different words to make the same central point: "Trust me, my warm and fuzzy fellow lemmings, that is not really a cliff ahead. And even if it is, so what? It is better to die knowing how superior and good you are than to live with your eyes open."

Posted by: Sundown2 | August 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Also, there is no inalienable right to a community center. So if you are claiming that it is actually a community center and not a mosque then even that weak argument disappears. For there is NO connection between the first amendment and a community center."

Out of curiosity, if this was an Islamic community center where people did not pray, would that be acceptable to you? Is it the saying of prayers and worship of God that is the offensive part of this project in your mind?

Posted by: Patrick_M
--------------------------
Actually, I am not an opponent of the mosque as such. What I AM is an opponent of is liberal habit of turning every issue into a constitutional issue and denying the wishes of the American people. That habit goes against the whole principle of "consent of the governed."

If it turned out that most Americans supported the mosque (or center) that would be fine with me.

What upsets me is that even though most Americans are opposed to the mosque, liberals insist on making it a constitutional issue and claiming that what the public wants has no relevance.

I believe that the people's will should be paramount except when there is a clear conflict between the people's will and the constitution.

Naturally, if the public wants something different from what I want, what the public wants is what should be done. I am living in a democracy and I should respect my neighbours. I should ask the constitution to protect me ONLY when I am actually being oppressed. Moving the mosque a few blocks simply does not count as "oppression."

So, if there is no actual conflict between what the public wants and the constitution, which I believe is the case here, then liberals should gracefully give in.

Some Muslims will disagree but most won't. Muslims generally have more sense than liberals and are not nearly so anal (that is a Freudian term but you might know it.)

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Tbloom1 - you mean sort of how the republican party and your ilk has played into the hands of the aryan nation and the kkk?

Seems like you guys have made their agenda your agenda. How'd that happen???????????

For your information, since your understanding seems to be a tad limited: Indonesia is the 4th most populous nation in the world and is the most populous Muslim majority nation (approx 201,000,000 out of 234,000,000 people). Christianity is tolerated and the government has banned al-qaeda and has prosecuted islamic terrorists.

Not a perfect country by any means, Indonesia has friendly relations with almost all of its neighbors and, especially, the US.

Turkey is 90% Muslim but has no state religion. Christians are tolerated as are, at least officially, Jews. Turkey is a NATO member and is working to join the EU. Turkey has also cooperated with the US in combating terrorism and, specifically, al-qaeda.

Please explain how these nations, which house virtually a plurality of ALL Muslims in the world, fit into your small world view?

Or the equally small view of your ilk?

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy..." And thank God for that...

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | August 20, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

A review of the arguments spashed back and forth in these comments shows how shrill our political discourse has become. One cannot help to be sad about how this controversy has played out- it doesn't really show America at its best. My reading of commentators like Tom841 and others is to think that they would do better to try to think more deeply and inquire more fully into the facts. I am appalled at how many in the argument claim that Muslims have not condemned the 9/11 attacks or other terrorist acts. I can remember myself the many news accounts in the aftermath of this atrocity in which Muslims of all kinds were vehement in their opposition to such acts. Muslims have been condemning this violence ever since. As a middle school teacher, I see that even my 7th or 8th grade students who are Muslims feel compelled to voice their own, sincere, condemnations of such violence whenever they are pressed or taunted by their other American classmates.
The debate on this issue does not clearly track the liberal/conservative divide, it seems to me, but I think the conservative arguments in favor of the project's construction are the most clear and succinct:
A conservative tenet, I believe, is to limit the power of government over individuals and their property and that whatever government oversight or interference is deemed necessary is best supplied at the lowest/or local level wherever possible. This project to build a community center and mosque was proposed, considered and approved according to established rules governing construction and development at the neighborhood, borough and city level. It was treated like any other.
A conservative tenet that I believe is also that individual liberty and religious freedom are our most basic of rights and take precedence in every case where their exercise does not interfere with the rights of others. A look at the map and aerial views of the neighborhood seem to me that construction of the Islamic center and mosque would not be so visible or intrusive to those visiting the actual hallowed site where the greatest attack on our country took place that the right of those who would build and use the center and mosque should give way before it.
Most of all, a conservative tenet is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The Framers were adamant in their desire that religious beliefs would be free to all in our land- they knew about the violence, unrest and slaughter that had resulted from religious persecution and strife.
Religious liberty to exercise (not just believe in) your faith, local control over the decisions of government that affect individual citizens the most, and government respect for the rights of property free from government dictate and interference. It seems that our most bedrock conservative values are the best arguments to support construction of this project.

Posted by: MartyInFairfax | August 20, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"What I AM is an opponent of is liberal habit of turning every issue into a constitutional issue and denying the wishes of the American people. That habit goes against the whole principle of "consent of the governed."

If people are going to protest the building of a community center because within its walls is an Islamic place of worship, there IS a constitutional issue. Liberals don't have to "make" it out of thin air, it is right there under your nose. Muslims wish to build, city approves, then furor breaks out from the right because there will Muslim worship at a particular address.

And whether you like it or not, the whole idea behind having a bill of rights is to bestow up you, as an American citizen, certain rights that can never be taken away, no matter how unfashionable or unpopular it might be for you to exercise said rights.

The idea of the bill of rights is precisely to protect you FROM ever needing to seek the "consent of the governed" in order to exercise your basic rights.

This is not really about being conservative or liberal, and in fact a true conservative would understand that these liberties are inviolate. See Ted Olson, among others, for a rational analysis.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Here is information about the case of Maher Arar.

Maher Arar is a telecommunications engineer living in Ottawa, Ontario with his young family. He arrived in Canada in 1987 from Syria, where he was born, and became a Canadian citizen in 1991.

On September 26th, 2002 Mr. Arar was taken into custody by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at Kennedy Airport on his way home to Canada after visiting his wife’s family in Tunisia. He was questioned about his alleged links to al-Qa’ida for 9 hours without a lawyer and then removed to the Metropolitan Detention Centre in New York. After thirteen days he “disappeared” from U.S. custody. It was later determined that he had been deported to Syria without any hearing, and without the knowledge of the Canadian consulate, his lawyer, or his family.

Deportation to Syria, where torture and incommunicado detention are commonplace for political prisoners, exposed Maher Arar to tremendous risk. Expulsion in such circumstances, without a fair hearing, violates the U.S. Government's obligations under International law, specifically the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The U.S. also violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to inform the Canadian authorities of its intention to deport Maher Arar, thereby depriving him of the assistance of his consulate
----------------------------------
Now THAT is an outrage. Mr. Arar should never have been treated in this barbaric manner - the US should apologize and pay him compensation.

But when the liberals are making a big fuss about moving a mosque a few blocks, a completely innocent gesture which harms no one and will create peace between Muslim Americans and others, then their objections are simply insane.

This is what I find totally disgusting.

We do not protect people when they SHOULD be protected, and then we wrap ourselves in the constitution over completely trivial points.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"Some Muslims will disagree but most won't. Muslims generally have more sense than liberals and are not nearly so anal (that is a Freudian term but you might know it.)"

and Barry Goldwater said:

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

That used to be the conservative view on constitutional liberty.

By the way, you don't think there are any liberal Muslims in America...? Really?

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

MartyInFairfax is exactly right. It is impressive how many bedrock conservative principles are being trampled upon by the purportedly conservative politicians trying to exploit this issue.

"Now THAT is an outrage. Mr. Arar should never have been treated in this barbaric manner - the US should apologize and pay him compensation."

We have common ground on that issue, rohit57. And since there are apparent war crimes involved, we should open a criminal investigation and follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse


Answer is simple:
Krauthammer carries the title, given in Israel, of

DEFENDER OF ZION. He is Israeli first, or maybe Jewish first. He never differs one iota from

whatever Netanyahu wants. Run through his columns.

And while doing so, look at his posters.
And see whether you can possibly posit

that they'd ever see anything Ismal, any Muslim or Arab as an equal. Or even as
something to be given human dimentions.

The rabid, hateful, Israel first. To hell with America is a daily rant.
When has it varied? For any reason?

Then there's his splendid stuff on Fox.

Posted by: whistling | August 20, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Some Muslims will disagree but most won't. Muslims generally have more sense than liberals and are not nearly so anal (that is a Freudian term but you might know it.)"

and Barry Goldwater said:

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

That used to be the conservative view on constitutional liberty.

By the way, you don't think there are any liberal Muslims in America...? Really?

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

------------------------------
I am afraid I had expected better from you. I know several liberal Muslims and even some people born Muslim who are atheists.

But the typical Muslim is not a liberal. Note that in 2000, 80% of Arab Americans voted for Bush. And being gay is a crime in many Muslim countries.

Why don't you try to understand rather than make trivial points?

Did you REALLY think I thought that there were no liberal Muslims?

As I said in another posting, not being handed over to Syria to be tortured is an important constitutional liberty and should be protected with the full force of the law.

Being "protected" from moving a mosque a few blocks, that is just BS.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Greg seems to think it's OK to hurt others for his psychic benefit.

So, an invitation to Greg, let me waterboard you for a couple of hours.

It'll definitely make me feel better, and it will teach you what "hurt" is all about.

Let me call Charles. He'll live to hold your legs down with his wheelchair.

Posted by: muawiyah | August 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse


Krauthammer isn't the worst of the DUAL LOYALISTS, perhaps...

in their fealty to other than America which they use rather more than embrace.

That prize goes elsewhere, perhaps Bill Kristol's father, Irving, who once protested that he was against more additional money for arms for America,

except that ISRAEL needed them.

And there's congressman Jane Harmon, caught

BY THE FBI TAPE trying to get the American spies for ISRAEL
(officials of AIPAC) off their INDICTMENTS .

Janie, on the intelligence committee in the House (AIPAC fought tooth and nail to make her chairman) was successful. The
indicted NEVER CAME TO TRIAL.
The other person indicted, of course, went to jail.

The story never got much space in the zionist media. SHE, like KRAUTHAMMER,
on on with their tactics.

But the Muslims musn't even have a building. Right?

Posted by: whistling | August 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington ~ this is the very site where Mohammad Atta's plane STOPPED.

The undercarriage with tires, AND an engine, PLUS all the gore the craft gathered as it ploughed through office space as it went through the WTC.

Yeah, this IS GROUND ZERO.

Why did you think these pukes wanted to stick a mosque on it?

Posted by: muawiyah | August 20, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Let's just take the 7% figure provided by Krauthammer to be true. I would guess that the % of Republicans who think Obama was born in Kenya is at least 7%. Yet, they are labeled as a fringe group and largely discounted. However, when it involves 7% of Muslims that fringe is justification for opposing a place of worship and used to color any discussion of the remaining 93%.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | August 20, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

"But the typical Muslim is not a liberal. Note that in 2000, 80% of Arab Americans voted for Bush. And being gay is a crime in many Muslim countries."

Dude, YOU wrote the following words: "Muslims generally have more sense than liberals..." which implies that Muslims, by definition, are an entirely different subset of human beings than those who are politically liberal. Since you like to play games with statistics, you might look into the question of how many of America's Muslims voted for John McCain in 2008.

I don't really care how many Arab-Americans voted for Bush ten years ago. 2000 was a long time ago, and it might interest you to know that all Arab-Americans are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arab-American.

Yes, being gay is a crime in some Muslim societies, but it is not a crime in America. Is it conservative to wish it were a crime? That's really what you are saying?

Among Americans that practice the Muslim faith, there are not both politically liberal and politically conservative people. That's the point.

"Why don't you try to understand rather than make trivial points?"

I was responding to your words, my friend, so that is how I found myself on the road to triviality.

"Being "protected" from moving a mosque a few blocks, that is just BS."

Again, if there is a certain distance from the perimeter of the WTC site where the First Amendment does not apply to a particular religion, please let us not the precise area of that zone, and exactly how the area is computed.

Funny, but I don't find such exception zones mentioned in my copy of the US Constitution, or anywhere else in American law, and my understanding is that the rights bestowed therein apply throughout the country, at every address, all of the time, for everybody.

If the fact that a constitutional "right" is indeed a "right" that cannot be taken away is BS or trivial to you, then I think you should further ponder the meaning of the word.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse


Careful, careful, good Greg,

Krauthammer and George Will (and Diehl and
Cohen and and and...

write now and always for the zionist newspaper WaPo, bought by the current publisher's great grandfather, Eugene Myer,
durng the period he was
helping found Israel with the Rothchilds and other such..

It's always been an Israeli propoganda
sheet, more or less at times, but always.And miserably obviously so now.

Tho we haven't had a Lally Weymouth 'interview' with whatever Israeli leader or spokesman lately. Those were classics.

Posted by: whistling | August 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent wrote:
"Here's the thing: If you believe that it is 'provocative' to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are inescapably legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks."

This is poor reasoning. If the center is devoted to "all of Islam," then it is devoted to every part of Islam. To claim that the center is 'provocative,' one need not suppose that every part--"all"--"is somehow responsible for, or should be vaguely associated with, those attacks." It is only necessary that a part of Islam be of this character. For devotion to the whole includes devotion to this one part.

As an exercise in logic, therefore, Sargent's argument fails. And he himself identifies it as the crux of his position.

But the truly significant question is whether there is such a part. Krauthammer presents what is, by the standards of opinion columns, a mountain of evidence that there must be some such thing.

And indeed there is, even if we are too timid to name it. One part of Islam--a far from negligible part--is the ambiguous and flexible doctrine of jihad. It has a long history--some of it all too recent--of responsibility for, and thus more than vague association with, violent aggression. This fits the bill.

Sargent will no doubt reply that this is a perversion of true Islam. But what makes you so sure of this? Are you an expert on the topic? Do you know the history of the doctrine of jihad, both as understood and practiced, well enough to judge whether it is a perversion or merely one of several widespread and competing versions?

Those of us who are not, and who possess the intellectual honesty and the courage to admit it publicly, will refuse to rush to judgment on this point. We will refrain from allowing our feelings of goodwill towards Muslims of goodwill, and our desire for Islam to be a uniformly and unequivocally peaceful and tolerant creed,to blind us to the possibility that things are not as we would wish them to be.

Given this ambiguity and uncertainty, it is perfectly understandable that Americans, while giving full recognition and respect to the civil rights of their Muslim fellows, find the juxtaposition of the center with Ground Zero a painful and provocative one, that they object to it, and that they propose constructive alternatives.

Refusing to recognize the validity of such sentiments and insinuating that the real source of the objections lies in ill-will does not "build a bridge between Muslims and the West" but instead deepens the moat.

Posted by: hohoros | August 20, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@rohit57:

"But the typical Muslim is not a liberal."

89% of America's 2008 Muslim voters voted for Obama, according to a poll taken for the The American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections.

http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=3203

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

But the Muslims musn't even have a building. Right?
Posted by: whistling
---------------------------------------
You do not understand. Just recently, Netanyahu came to US and instead of taking him to task for grabbing Palestinian territory, Obama swore eternal loyalty to Israel.

That counts, and it was a slap in the face of a large number of Muslims.

But this proposed building has no real purpose for the Muslims. It would serve the purpose of service just as well, or even better, if it were located in Brooklyn where a large number of Muslims actually live.

This whole fuss is about liberals making use of Muslims to stick a finger in the eye of the "right wing".

And that is actually harmful to Muslims because it will surely make the Republicans stronger and it will also create a lot of resentment against Muslims.

Why do you want that?

Remember, a foolish friend is worse than an enemy and while most of the "right wing hating" posters here may imagine that they are pro-Muslim in fact their antics will only do harm to Muslims.

It is just about your vanity and your precious bill of rights - interpreted in an insane way.

Posted by: rohit57 | August 20, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I think Krauthammer is being paid by foreign agents to fomment dissension in US. The CIA should look into this matter.

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | August 20, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Is the Beltway an entirely different country than the rest of America? No matter how you sugar coat it the American people (68%) do not agree with this mosque! We do not want it!! Why are you shoving it down our down our throats!!!

Posted by: gen_coz | August 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This is more and more typical of the far left. It is getting soooo difficult to defend Obama's missteps so the libs attack conservatives to detract from Obama's incompetence. Read Eugene Robinson's post if you want a laugh at the expense of a koolaid drinker who rarely lives in reality. Will we ever see articles of how well anything Obama has done has been good for the economy, employment or the country? Not so far. Every bill that has been passed has been a negative for employment/economy and even finance reform (which most agreed to) still lets the banks leverage 25-1. That's what happens when you pass bills based on rhetoric rather than reading them. This is far and away the most incompetent administration ever. They couldn't even find 3 Americans who weren't felons during their unemployment extension.

Greg, you attempt to hammer Charles but can't even tell your audience where Obama stands on this issue. Liberals are too funny. Journolist must be filled with WaPo writers.

Posted by: Tostitos | August 20, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Is the Beltway an entirely different country than the rest of America? No matter how you sugar coat it, the American people (68%) do not agree with this mosque! We do not want it!! Please stop shoving it down our throats!!!

Posted by: gen_coz | August 20, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@rohit57

"This whole fuss is about liberals making use of Muslims to stick a finger in the eye of the "right wing"."

No, it ~about~ an already approved Isalmic community center in lower Manhattan, and the insistence of some ~outside the community~ who wish to interfere with a local government's completed decision. "Liberals" didn't start any controversy. If it were not for Newt and Palin and their ilk, the project would have quietly proceded and none of us would be aware of it at all.

"And that is actually harmful to Muslims because it will surely make the Republicans stronger and it will also create a lot of resentment against Muslims."

Exactly. That's why Republican politicians from outside New York decided to exploit the issue...to make themselves stronger through a wedge issue. Terry Schiavo all over again. Oh wait, that one blew up in Republicans' faces after they overplayed their hand by nationalizing an issue. Is that what you want?

"It is just about your vanity and your precious bill of rights - interpreted in an insane way."

Yes, the Bill of Rights is precious (those freedoms are the very the essence of what it means to be an American), and the only "insane" interpretation of those rights would be to ever deny them to anyone in America, in any place or at any time.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 20, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

It's funny Krauthammer talked of myopia. I think this whole debate is myopic in the sense that we're losing sight of some the bigger picture in history. Here in 2010, we recoil at the persecution of Protestants, Jews, or other religious groups over the past few centuries. "How could such things have been tolerated?" we enlightened 21st century folks wonder.

Perhaps is started with episodes like this one. "The Siege" is a remarkably prescient (pre 9/11) film about the slippery slope to which anti-Muslim rhetoric can lead. This is a land of religious freedom. Let's keep it that way.

As a moderate conservative, I'm getting really concerned about the Palinization of the party.

Totally unrelated note: Way too many typos there, Sargent.

Posted by: CTSavage | August 20, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

You might want to be very careful of debating Dr. Krauthammer.

He usually has facts!

Posted by: dgra | August 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

A main thrust of 9/11 that is unhealed for me is the duplicitous nature with which krauthammer and his cabal of neocons aided and abetted the curtailment of the effort of tracking down and bringing to justice the real culprits but instead, to further their unhinged effort, went after Saddam instead (cost of krauthammers folly is well docuemnted elsewhere). That is the aspect of 9/11 that for me is unhealed. And reading anything by krauthammer is picking at the scab that he represents. His opinions are a festering pustule on my psyche and are as irrational and odious as they have always been.

Thanks for fine efforts at taking this major dumb bozo on. Hopefully you won't get Weigled for your efforts.

Posted by: mickster1 | August 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Charles K wouldn't be Charles K as we all know him if he were ever to apologize for any major error as in this case. His choice of emotive words reflect his prejudice against the Islamic faith. The proposed developers of the Community Centre have less to do with 9/11 than the parents of Tim McVeigh or those behind the Columbine massacre or Hitler! At least the last two are related by blood!

America will be better of without the likes of Charles K and that brainless evil-in-chief, Pamela Geller, along with all white supremacists. Just look at the evils the latter have perpetrated against honest law abiding Americans!

Do not forget that throughout the ages many evil things were and still are being done in the name of Christianity.

More honest people such as Greg Sargent should speak out against the prejudice and bigotry coming mainly from the conservative side.

Posted by: e_ssy | August 20, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Why a Muslim mosque so near ground zero....in fact so close that the building they want to replace was struck by a wing of the airplane of the Muslim terrorists.....Are the Muslims so insensitive or do they have an ulterior motive.....I am convinced that a mosque in this location will be viewed as a great achievement by all Muslims everywhere......a great achievement for Muslims.....not America. Ask yourself why they would choose this place to build a mosque....a place Muslims, supported by many of their faith, defiled.... I believe it will be a monument to the Muslim murderers....true followers of Mohammed.

Isn't it interesting we hear nothing from American Muslims.....As Americans are they not sensitive to the feelings of those thousands who lost loved ones....or perhaps their religion takes precedence over our American values.

A little honesty in this discussion would be welcome..............

Posted by: Keeptrying | August 20, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

dgra posted: "You might want to be very careful of debating Dr. Krauthammer.

He usually has facts!"

No, he usually shows his prejudice and bigotry.

To the point, what facts really?

The only undenial fact is the Constitution. Every thing else is pure emotion, prejudice and bigotry.

Either you honor the Constitution or you don't. No buts!

Sensitivity is a double edged sword. It can work both ways. It is the most irrational and unintellectual reason for subverting the Constitution. It stirs and stokes a lynch mob euphoria.

Posted by: e_ssy | August 20, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Enough already! If the majority of Americans don't want the mosque there be graceful and move it somewhere else!

Posted by: voice02 | August 20, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The opponents of the mosque keep saying, "Please be sensitive to our feelings. This is hallowed ground. Please be respectful of our feelings and move your mosque far from hallowed ground."

The Muslims reply: "Please be sensitive to our feelings. This mosque is hallowed ground. Please be respectful of our feelings, of religious freedom and the law and quit protesting our planned project."

I stand with the Muslims, for they have the weight of our defining values, our Constitution, and our laws on their side, sensitive feelings being equal. I disdain the bullying Republicans are engaging in and I am glad the Muslim leaders are not backing down, for to do so would only serve to strengthen and spread the false idea that the Islam faith is essentially a terrorist religion. The mosque and community center should be built, as planned, and the churches, strip clubs, adult lingerie shops, and butcher shops within that same area should be allowed to stay where they are and we should all strive to put our religions into practice, with a heavy emphasis on loving, peace, and harmony. If the planned monument at ground zero isn't meant to help bring us all together, then building it is a waste of time.

Posted by: jim32 | August 20, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

dgra: ["You might want to be very careful of debating Dr. Krauthammer.

He usually has facts!"]

Oh? What "facts" are you referring to this time? The laughable "fact" that he *really really really* isn't conflating all of Islam with the extremist fringe, perhaps?

Krauthammer is a war-mongering bigot. There's a real fact for you.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 20, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

AmericanFirst3,posted: "The whole Muslim world secretly, or in many cases, openly cheered these terrorist attacks ... Charles is right!

Assuming such outrageous and baseless statement to be true, is that a valid reason to subvert our Constitution?

Who was it who said"

"America is a beacon to the world"?
"We are a nation of laws"?
"We have a Consitution"?

Posted by: e_ssy | August 20, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Entirely too many posts where someone is trying to come up with a charge of "hypocrisy".

After a while you notice that both Lefties and Moslems just love to do that ~ it's almost their signature.

On this thread, though, it looks like most of the folks into this are Moslems and that concerns me because it was Mohammad himself who said: "Kill the Hypocrites".

So, guys, let's put it this way, telling us that you think it appropriate to have the death sentence for a public discussion of the errors in your religion really isn't nice ~ it's actually very, very impolite and it will eventually turn off even your Leftwing syncophants and enablers.

It's long overdue for the big boys to get together and reopen the Sharia and to recast the Koran in modern terms ~ those 100+ threats to murder people in there have got to be brought up to date with nicey-nicey stuff, or we will quit inviting you to our drawing rooms ~ we might even put our whole country off limit to you!

So say, what about it, reform Islam and cut out the death threats. They are so tiresome ~

Posted by: muawiyah | August 20, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Will switching to GEICO save you up to fifteen percent?

Will a mosque two blocks from ground zero cost Islam decades of American distrust and the Democrats millions of votes?

Build it. BUILD IT!!

Posted by: jimhill1 | August 20, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Will switching to GEICO save you up to fifteen percent?

Will a mosque two blocks from ground zero cost Islam decades of American distrust and the Democrats millions of votes?

Build it. BUILD IT!!

Posted by: jimhill1 | August 20, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@rohit57:

There are 310,000,000 people in the US. 68% of 310,000,000 is 210,800,000. Obama received 66,760,924 votes. 66,760,924 plus 210,800,000 is 277,560,924. 33 million shy of the actual population of the country. The mistake in your math is assuming 100% of the people in the US vote. They don't.

It is obvious from these numbers that it is mathematically possible for none of the people who voted for Obama to be opposed to Park51.

You sure were confident of your math for someone with such an obviously flawed premise.

Posted by: joshpitt | August 20, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Reality check: the Koran commands that unbelievers be either killed or subjugated wherever possible, and that Islam has the right to dominate the whole world. This was the command that the 9/11 attackers were trying to put in practice.

Is it possible to be a fervent Muslim and refuse to accept these parts of the Koran? Certainly. But that means being, effectively, a "Muslim heretic": a New Muslim. If the Muslims behind this mosque are truly New Muslims, willing to disavow what for almost 1400 years (since 622) has been an essential teaching of Islam, then by all means let them build their mosque near Ground Zero as a sign of solidarity; but they MUST proclaim their rejection of Old Islam openly, loudly, and unashamedly. If they do not, then - whatever their real intentions - the wrong message will be sent to America and to the Islamic world.

Posted by: FlameoftheWest | August 20, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer has it right.

Posted by: Robert2008 | August 20, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

pace Santayana:

Those who failed to read Hohoros, @ 7:23pm above, are doomed to swoon for Greg's spun emo, and repeat clown-car sideswipes at the Krauthammer armored/up HUMV clarity.

Carry on & enjoy.

Posted by: tao9 | August 20, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The title of Dr. Krauthammer's Op-ed piece "Moral Myopia at Ground Zero" is
unintentionally ironic. His analogy to a Japanese memorial at Pearl
Harbor is flawed. The attack on Pearl Harbor was the official policy of
the Japanese government. Was the 9/11 attack the official policy of
Islam? As Mr. Sargent points out Dr. Krauthammer answers this question by applying guilt by association. Dr. Krauthammer should know better. Shame on him.

Posted by: bozothehammer | August 20, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Mosque opponents would have to violate Amendment I. The opponents would have to set an awful precedent about external interference into internal municipal affairs, a grossly inadequately addressed issue, especially at the State level. When you cannot win, you P & M, as we say down here in Texas.

Posted by: Martial | August 20, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The net is that Krauthammer is a Professional Jew, apologist, and bigot.

Posted by: ssterno | August 20, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Once we're done with this one, I recommend Greg, with his biting hyperlogical wittiscisms.. the obvious paragon of taste and class, to, with the same energy and verve, back a brand new, 10 story American Cultural Center two blocks from the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima with pools, seminars, etc on American customs and beliefs. Now is the time.. more than enough when you think about it. What could be a more perfect place?

Greg can help the Japanese understand that the civilians who worked there, that were nuked, were partially complicit in their nuking.. but that also, American's came in peace on that 5000 degree day to promote better understanding. Yeah, pretty much main takeaway from that Hiroshima thing -- we should really be there, in their face, boots on the ground and pushing. Greg -- find the loophole and make it happen, bud!

Actually, Greg you are a small, yappy attack dog that has the pathetic job of putting what would appear to be your brand new, green-behind the ears little liberal arts degree to work against columnists you couldn't even understand. Is this what WP now sicks on the heavyweights they don't like, say 2s after the column hits- the summer intern writers? Anyways, its been fun listening to all of the little barking and whining. Write a good trip report when you go back to class.

Posted by: jleibund1 | August 21, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

This guy and his neo-con friends are succeeding in getting us into yet another war to save Israel. Remember the U.S.S. Liberty!

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | August 21, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Muslims are the new Jews.

Posted by: witsendnj | August 21, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Delusional Greg! If you think its tough being Krauthammer who 76% of the People living in Manhattan agree with and 71% of the Country’s citizenry agree with; how tough must it be - to be you Greg? – Someone with a mere 26% of American's Agreeing with you on the mosque? On top of that you must really be confused now that supreme elitist leftists "Hooray" Dean and Dingy Harry have come out against it! Even worse, it must have been devastating for you to have slobbered about how great Obama's decision to address the mosque issue was, just to have him come back the next day and reverse his original stupid position, the one you had originally creamed in your knickers over. Embarrassing!
What up, you are my favorite delusional Leftist, but Greg, you are really starting to sound a bit like as 12 year old. You really need to perform some independent research and not rely exclusively of what you hear on MSNBC,

Posted by: Cris1 | August 21, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Cris1, this may come as a shock to you, but the Bill of Rights remains in place in spite of any numbers in opinion polls.

Part of the meaning of a "right" is that it is not poll-driven. If you don't think the First Amendment should apply everywhere in America, start a movement to amend the Constitution so that freedom to practice religion can be abridged whenever opinion polls are in favor.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 21, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I am with Charles. Sargent is a lightweight compared to Charles.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | August 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Why must everything we do me viewed through the lens of how the 'rest of the world' would like?

Why can't we simply respect those firefighters and others killed on that day to move the mosque further away from the site?

Like it, acknowledge it or not, many Muslims will view this act, building the mosque so close to ground zero, as thumbing it's eye directly into open, free, democratic society.

I strongly believe that building the mosque will incite further terrorist acts, because as a 'reward' to muslim extremists, they knock down a couple of buildings and get a mosque built. That is how they see it, arguing about 'religious freedoms' is naive.

For once, we need to PROTECT our religious freedoms - and safety - by insisting this mosque is moved away from the ground-zero site, or risk future attacks by islamic terrorists that want mosque's built in L.A., Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, etc...

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | August 22, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

It is no more anti-Muslim to criticize Cordoba's choice of locations than it would be anti-American to oppose a YMCA being built at the site where America dropped a nuke on Nagasaki.

Posted by: wingracer1 | August 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It is no more anti-Muslim to criticize Cordoba's choice of locations than it would be anti-American to oppose a YMCA being built at the site where America dropped a nuke on Nagasaki.

Posted by: wingracer1 | August 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's why Sargent is a credulous sap:

"If you believe that it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the study of all of Islam near the site of the attacks, then you are ... legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is somehow responsible for ... those attacks."

"...devoted to the study of all of Islam..."? Says who? I wouldn't take the word of Rauf and his ilk for anything -- least of all for the truth about what this thing will be "devoted" to.

There's every reason to suspect that the proposed construction is actually intended as a monument to Moslem triumphalism and will play exactly that role for its founders, for those who will administer it and for 9/11 triumphalist Moslems all over the world.

Moslem triumphalism isn't against the law, but let's not get taken in by the pronouncements of those whose agenda it is to proclaim 9/11 as a victory to be reveled in by way of a $100 million erection (so to speak).

Posted by: Jeroboam | August 22, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The same document that porvides rights for Mr. Sargent to criticize a fellow-employee (Mr. Krauthammer) of the Washington Post is the document that gives the Muslims the right to build the mosque on land that they own -- provided they are within the codes of local law.

Legally, it's their right. Do I like? Absolutely not. Insensitive, arrogant, deceptive, high-handed, are just a few words that I believe describes their attitude.

SO, let them build. But woe be to them if they start calling for the overthrow of the US government from that location. We have laws about that also !!

Posted by: moafu | August 22, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Having read Mr. Krauthammer's and Mr. Sargent's pieces together, I have to say K makes a far better case. His point that violent, radical Islam is a "powerful strain" within mainstream Islam simply reminds us why we cannot automatically assume the two are entirely distinct.

The ground zero Imam has had every opportunity to denounce terrorism, refusing again and again. But, considering what radical Islam has done *recently* in the name of Allah, we Americans would be foolish to consider a Mosque at Ground Zero absent his complete repudiation of those acts. Mainstream Islam's refusal to reject radical Islam merely underlines a fact most ordinary people know, but Sargent can't seem to accept (all evidence aside).

I must comment: how poor is the reasoning in this article! Is there one fact to buttress any claim, or is this just Sargent's opinion from his armchair? Astonishing! How is it one makes a living selling his ideas, void any whiff of sensibility or reason, and unwilling (apparently) to do research? I'll remember not to waste my time on Sargent again!

Posted by: Andy37 | August 22, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

This syndrome has been with us forever. People like Ninnyhammer, Joe McCarthy and the Miami Mafia need something evil to validate their positions and to maintain their power. If that evil force disappears, they lose power, so they have to keep it going. That's why Ninnyhammer will always do whatever he can to empower al Qaeda as he is doing by giving them a propaganda victory. He can't afford to see it disappear.

Posted by: dkmjr | August 23, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

"it is "provocative" to put a center devoted to the ***study of all of Islam*** near the site of the attacks"

The problem is ALL of Islam ends in Sharia law- which is contrary to the Constitution of the United States and basic human rights!

Look at our "ALLIE"??? Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam which all Muslims bow to 5 times per day. There are no rights for women, who must wear the burqa and always be accompanied by a man. No freedom of speech because you can't criticize Islam publicly-can not build a church or acknowledge the existence of any other religion. They kill adulterers, marry 14 year old girls as Mohammed did.

How can any Liberal Democrat or even ANY citizen of the United States support a political ideology (masquerading as a religion) that works daily to take away our constitutional freedoms and basic human rights? It's absolute lunacy!

I urge everyone to go learn more about Islam. Read the Quran, Sharia Law, Hadith and history of Mohammed's violent campaign against non-Muslims! The more you learn, the more you will be shocked and disgusted by what it has done to others and seeks to do to us!

Everyone WAKE UP and stop the spread of this dangerous meme.

Posted by: Resist_Sharia_law_it_opposes_human_rights | August 23, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Any news junkie, who read news and knows about 9/11 commission report, would know, it was more about Territory of Arab land, than about Islam. Charles Krauthammer is a BIGOT. No matter, what we Muslims do, he would hate us, PERIOD. He is a smart man, but BIGOT. I read his articles regularly and he is a bigot and ISLAMOPHOBIC.

Posted by: AdamRahman | August 23, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

In Bangladesh ( where I came from ), we have many many YMCA. I went to one of them to learn English. It is pathetic to see how Christian American Mullahs spread lies and low IQ people dig that.

Posted by: AdamRahman | August 23, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Sargent dismisses the sensitivities of 9/11 victims as a pivotal factor, but we take actions based on sensitivities all the time: removing the Stars and Bars from state flags, removing Nativity displays from public properties, banning prayer in public schools---all done in the name of not offending people. It is indeed amusing to see the spastic reaction of liberals on this issue, who have suddenly discovered a religion they like.
Personally, I find some of the tenets of Islam and Islamic laws repugnant, xenophobic, suffocatingly patriarchal, and even barbaric. Their right to worship isn't being challenged, but governments can and do make decisions on land use all the time which take into account public sensibilities.
We've bent over backwards as a society and government to assuage Muslim sensibilities. It's high time they learned how to reciprocate. Move this monstrosity one mile and the problem goes away. It shouldn't be that hard for "The Religion of Peace" to figure this out.

Posted by: dpinillinois | August 23, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Quislings like Greg have apparently been in a coma (both before and after 9/11) since they appear to think 9/11 was the only incident of Muslims attacking non-Muslims. If they weren’t in a coma, there’s no excuse for such gross stupidity.

Muslims must take some responsibility for their global jihad when thousands of their co-religionists over the past two decades kill thousands of innocents of every religion around the world; and when they deprive non-Muslims of their human rights in 57 of 57 Muslim governed countries.

Look. American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for folks to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Muslims than disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia tradition, as practiced in Iran, Gaza, Kashmir, Malaysia, the Paris banlieue… and (pointedly) Cordoba House in NYC.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the vast majority of (allegedly) “peaceful” American Muslims supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists… but don’t hold your breath.

+15K deadly Islamo-supremacist attacks since 9/11 don’t lie. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Don't parrot the propaganda lies of Islamo-supremacists your whole life, Greg.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Krauthammer misses the point of a discussion. The site of the WTC is GROUND ZERO. The churches across the street are not, the office buildings across the street and a block away are not. The building proposed for this community center is an abandoned piece of real estate as a result of the debris that fell, but the event and the feeling of loss did not occur blocks from the site. The debris field extended far and wide, so does that mean that all of Lower Manhattan is in Ground Zero? NO. Not every family who lost someone in the attack would deny the community center being constructed. All of this commotion is being fostered by a few people who have the ear of some media that wants to bash Muslims. Come on, people, that is not what we are all about. Take on the faction of Islam that did this, not the religion itself. This rant and these demonstrations make us all look small and bigoted. And to make things better, ALL POLITICIANS SHOULD BUTT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ronjeske | August 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Nobody seems to have noticed that the Imam of the Park51 community center is Sufi. The Saudis and Al Qaeda are Wahabis. Sufis are like the Episcopalians of Islam and the Wahabis are like the Spainish Inquisiton of Islam. The Wahabis (in the form of Al Qaeda) kill Sufis whenever and wherever they can. There are NO Sufi mosques in Saudi Arabia, just as there are no Christian churches.

Posted by: dickdata | August 24, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Nobody seems to have noticed that the Imam of the Park51 community center is Sufi. The Saudis and Al Qaeda are Wahabis. Sufis are like the Episcopalians of Islam and the Wahabis are like the Spainish Inquisiton of Islam. The Wahabis (in the form of Al Qaeda) kill Sufis whenever and wherever they can. There are NO Sufi mosques in Saudi Arabia, just as there are no Christian churches.

Posted by: dickdata | August 24, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Muslims have the legal right here in the U.S. to build a cultural center/house of worship. That right is testimony enough to our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom. Ironically, such rights are not extended to all religious groups in most Muslim countries. We have nothing to "prove" to them or the rest of the world on this matter.

The issue, rather, is whether Rauf and his group should choose to exercise that right by building their community center/mosque at a site which would cause pain and offense to so many. It may be considered bigoted for a non-Muslim to ascribe malice to them for this choice. But consider the comments of two members of the Canadian Muslim Congress, Raheel Razah and Tareek Fatah, in the Ottawa Citizen:

"[W]e Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel... The proposal has been made in bad faith. Do [organizers] not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?”

If Rauf and his supporters truly are interested in fostering peace and understanding between Muslims and the rest of the world, they would accept the New York governor's offer to help them find a different site for their project. Such respect and sensitivity would go a long ways toward healing the wounds of 9/11.

Posted by: Erehwon | August 24, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
Excerpt from your Article: "Claiming that the attacks were carried out "in the name" of Islam is a transparent way to dodge that simple truth."

Are you implying that the claim itself isn't true? It's hard to tell. You could have created the same line of logic by writing: "Stating that the attacks were carried out "in the name" of Islam is a transparent way to dodge that simple truth."

Krauthammer is not basing his logic on a "claim" as you put it. The attacks were carried out in the name of Islam -- don't try to slide by that fact. Thanks.

Posted by: mbeaulieu | August 25, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

The problem is: we don't know who is moderate and who is not. Who is going to admit to being a secret radical.

Posted by: boblee1 | August 25, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Once again we're treated to the low risk - high reward diet of labeling people with different perspectives as phobic or irrational. This is the line the left has to resort to when they've got nothing left in the tank. It's the "because I said so" line a parent feeds a child when the parent can't come up with a more compelling case.

Yes, traditionally, it's the left that trots out a series of victims, feeds them a few emotional lines and declares their position unassailable due to their victim status.

In this particular instance, without acknowledging the pain of the 9/11 families, much of the left has decided that it is the Muslims who are the victims and that the 9/11 families ought to just shut up and get with the program without further objection.

Let them build their mosque or their monument, whatever they want to call it. I'm fine with it, but, don't be so ignorant as to believe that it's going to build good will and be a source of outreach.

Posted by: rlofland | August 26, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

This quote says it all"


"Building it would send a strong signal about American democracy and religious tolerance to the Muslim world. Moving it would give terror recruiters a potent symbol to foment anti-American sentiment."

Since this seems to be the point of the pro-mosque crowd, that this is an ultimately moral and American thing to do, then why be 2 blocks from Ground Zero? Propose building the damned thing ON GROUND ZERO! Right in the freakin middle of it. then we can really show what a wonderfully tolerant an good country we are.

Absolutely anything to stick it in the eye of anyone who believes that maybe MUSLIMS should show just the slightest sensitivity?
Americans have given mass blood and treasure to help people all over the world, to be American or tolerant does not mean you surrender the most hallowed of ground to prove it. We have done enough.

Posted by: dm112 | August 26, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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