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Daft idea: Offer state land to get Cordoba House to go away

Via TPM, I see that New York Governor David Paterson has hatched some sort of compromise scheme to get the builders of the Islamic center to move further away from Ground Zero.

The idea appears to be that government will find some state-owned property for the project if they agree to move. The governor said he supports Cordoba House and the right of the developers to build it on their chosen spot. But he added:

Frankly, if the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated, I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need.

How daft is this idea? Let us count the ways.

First, it puts Mayor Bloomberg in a weird spot. The mayor, you may recall, eloquently defended the religious freedom of the developers and stood up for their right to build on a site of their choosing in the face of withering national criticism. Now the governor's position is that, yes, there's something to that religious freedom thing, but let's give away some state land to make the whole mess go away? What is Bloomberg supposed to say in response? I'm told City Hall won't be commenting on the governor's idea.

Second, let's say for the sake of argument that the center's developers would support this scheme. Who gets to decide how far away from Ground Zero is an appropriate distance, and why should they be accorded that power? Should the governor appoint Sarah Palin or Abraham Foxman to a newly-created post of Mosque Exclusion Zone Czar?

Third, this sets an awful precedent. Other religious groups in New York will be asking why they aren't being given state land to build their own cultural centers. Will the state cheerfully throw free land at the next group whose plans spark controversy?

Separately, opponents of Cordoba House will no doubt be psyched by a new poll finding a majority of New Yorkers opposes the project near Ground Zero. But you know what? This is about protecting the rights of a minority. Polls, by definition, should have no bearing whatsoever on this debate. Unless of course the real goal of opponents is to score political points.

UPDATE, 6:43 p.m.: We have more items about the Cordoba House controversy in today's Happy Hour Roundup.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

I'm glad to see Gov. Paterson showing once again he is a lousy Governor.

Ignoring the First Amendment implication here can one of the move the community center somewhere else people tell me where in that community it should move. Do we not understand the concept of a community center. Move it a mile away and it's in another community. Move it near Central Park and it's in an even further away community. This center is for the community in lower Manhatten - do people understand that New York City is not one big community and you can therefore move it anywhere? So stupid.

And Governor Patterson is just as good as the ADL here. Minorities really should not come out against other minorities like this. Where you let them do it to any one group you give them the right to do it to any group. "When they came for _____ it was OK becasue I wasn't one...." they taught us this lesson in the New York City Public Schools and they taught this lesson in my Hebrew School - maybe it's time to send some of these politicians to New York City public schools to learn again. Especially the ones who aren't even from New York.

Posted by: zattarra | August 10, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Frum has an interesting take on this:

"The lower Manhattan mosque has provoked many doubts and suspicions. Here’s mine: the whole thing is a phony-baloney publicity stunt by a developer in search of project financing."

http://www.frumforum.com/is-the-911-mosque-a-publicity-stunt

Posted by: sbj3 | August 10, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I hear that Slavery and Jim Crow also polled well in the anti and post Bellum south...The Japanese internment was wildly popular in California...just sayin'

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Patterson is not running so I don't see the upside in siding with the Islamophobe bigots. I guess he doesn't want to work in politics again...

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Give me land in New York and I promise not to build a mosque anywhere, period.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 10, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Speaking of daft....

"This is about protecting the rights of a minority."

No, it isn't. The right to behave in a certain way or do a certain thing does not immunize the behavior or the thing from objection, critcism, or attempts to alter it.

You are either playing a propaganda game here or you are ignorant, pretending or actually believing that because the organizers of the mosque/islamic center/whatever have the right to build it, attempts to get them not to build it are somehow a violation of those rights.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 10, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3, you have got to be kidding me. I'm not saying that this minority has the right to do whatever it wants. I'm simply saying members of this minority group have the right to build a structure where they can study their heritage and worship -- even if it's two blocks from Ground Zero.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 10, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

scott,

pleople have every right to criticize the mosque. but governments shouldn't restrict the rights of citizens. rightwing republicans drone on and on about the primacy of local control and the supposed erosion of liberty they claim happened after they lost an election.

here is a perfect example of 'outside agitators' like palin and gingrich (hattip tpm) trying to trample people's rights and ignoring local control in the process.

but i guess it's okay when rightwing republicans do it, huh?


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Scott, I missed the point of your comment the first time around. What I object to are efforts to deprive this group of their right to worship and study their heritage in lower Manhattan. I also object to those who are supporting those efforts, or not defending this group from those efforts.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 10, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Does The 2012 GOP Convention Logo Include A Minaret?

"The RNC's 2012 convention logo features the Tampa Bay skyline and one of the buildings apparently represented in the logo is what was formerly the Old Tampa Bay Hotel, a prominent feature of the Florida city's skyline. What's interesting is that the Old Tampa Bay Hotel is a product of the so-called "Moorish Revival" architectural style. And the building is graced by six minarets, the small towers built around a mosque to call worshipers to prayer. The minarets even include the spires with half crescents, a well-known symbol of Islam.

So is it one of the building's six minarets in the RNC logo? Or is it one of the building's four cupolas? It looks to us like the minaret. But look at the picture and judge for yourself."


http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/does-the-2012-gop-convention-logo-include-a-minaret-or-is-it-a-cupola.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Does The 2012 GOP Convention Logo Include A Minaret?

"The RNC's 2012 convention logo features the Tampa Bay skyline and one of the buildings apparently represented in the logo is what was formerly the Old Tampa Bay Hotel, a prominent feature of the Florida city's skyline. What's interesting is that the Old Tampa Bay Hotel is a product of the so-called "Moorish Revival" architectural style. And the building is graced by six minarets, the small towers built around a mosque to call worshipers to prayer. The minarets even include the spires with half crescents, a well-known symbol of Islam.

So is it one of the building's six minarets in the RNC logo? Or is it one of the building's four cupolas? It looks to us like the minaret. But look at the picture and judge for yourself."


http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/does-the-2012-gop-convention-logo-include-a-minaret-or-is-it-a-cupola.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The larger point is that Islamophobes are using the argument that all Muslims are responsible for the acts of a few demented terrorists who happen to claim that it is their religious duty to kill and destroy as a justification for opposing Cordoba House.

Equating all Muslims with the 911 terrorists is the problem, the Cordoba House project is the vehicle that Islamophobes are using to get their warped and perverted message out.

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"But you know what? This is about protecting the rights of a minority."

Yeah, well, so is the filibuster.

What this should be about is, um, the rule of law. And there's this First Amendment thing in there . . . conservatives really want to start a precedent of getting the government to step in an prevent religiously affiliated community centers from building in certain areas?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"What I oppose is statements of support for the effort to block it."

You brought it up in the context of a poll finding that most people object to it being built. The clear implication ("polls should have no bearing") was that to merely object to it, as the poll responders did, is to somehow fail to protect the rights of minorities. Such a notion is, of course, utter nonsense.

Expressing dismay at, and trying to come up with ways to stop, the building of the mosque/islamic center/whatever in no way whatsoever implies a desire to violate the rights of the organizers. Your insistence on portraying this as nothing more than a rights issue is, again, either deceptive or stupid on your part.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "Third, this sets an awful precedent."

I'd venture a guess that a giveaway of public land to a private religious group would probably be unconstitutional.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Paterson is nuts. Give these people state property to build one of their murder chambers. What is wrong with you people? Don't you understand why they want to build a mosque by ground zero. They want a victory symbol you stupid basta_ds. They have been doing this kind of ritual for close to 2000 years. They consider taking down the towers as a victory for islam. Patserson is far from being a brain surgeon, but god almighty this move by the Iman is so obvious. As far as midget Bloomberg is concerned, his popularity right now is 10%. What a jerk he is. There are remains at ground zero that have not been identified and moved. To me, this is sacred ground and those muslim basta_ds that did this are eventually going to pay a big price.

Posted by: landrperite | August 10, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@swr3: "I hear that Slavery and Jim Crow also polled well in the anti and post Bellum south...The Japanese internment was wildly popular in California...just sayin'"

You're always citing these polls. What was the margin of error on those slavery polls, and what was the polling organization? And they polled Japanese Internment?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@ Kevin_Willis: "But you know what? This is about protecting the rights of a minority"........"What this should be about is, um, the rule of law."

It's interesting that you find these two things mutually exclusive. I look at the situation as protecting the rights of a minority as established by the First Amendment.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 10, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

BTW, in regards to defending the minority, there's 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. That's about 22% of the world's population.

Compared to, say, a total world population of 13,296,100 Jews (less than a tenth of the world population of Muslims), approximately. Now, there's a minority!

Speaking of under-represented minorities: in related news, Greg Gutfeld plans to open a Muslim-friendly gay bar next to Cordoba House:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/242916/greg-gutfelds-gay-bar-stephanie-gutmann

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Every time Newt and Sarah open their mouths they show they have no respect for our Constitution!!

What concerns me is that Sarah, Newt, Beck, Limbaugh and company are setting the tone. A mean, narrow minded and hateful tone!! They are dividing the country and they should be called on their words. If Sarah says she supports freedom of religion but "down the road" then I have to ask if she understands the thing she says she is trying to protect -- THE CONSTITUTION and the BILL OF RIGHTS. I think not - what she understands is the mob and she wants to control the mob.

Posted by: Freethotlib | August 10, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: The First Amendment covers minorities and majorities, however defined, equally.

The point being, when there is not a clear legal precedent that's been enshrined in our constitution since the beginning of our country, then, yes, perhaps, it would be about protecting minorities.

In this particular case, there is justification for preventing the construction of Cordoba house, mosque or community center, based on religious affiliation. The same would be true if it were a Christian church or a synagogue. The relative minority status of a given group is not the primary issue. In fact, given the whole first amendment thing, it seems odd to focus on it. To me. YMMV.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, in regards to defending the minority, there's 1.57 billion Muslims in the world."

I wasn't aware that the First Amendment applied all over the world.

There are no official statistics but the estimated % of Muslims in America is somewhere between 0.8% and 3%.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 10, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

* " there is *no* justification for preventing the construction of Cordoba house, mosque or community center"

One slip of the keyboard and I seem to be saying something entirely different. Kind of kills the momentum.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on Scott. this is some ridiculous parsing. I'm saying that polls should have no impact on whether we should block it. Jesus. I don't care if you think it's a bad idea. What I care about is whether government intervenes to block it.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 10, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis: "BTW, in regards to defending the minority, there's 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. That's about 22% of the world's population.

Compared to, say, a total world population of 13,296,100 Jews (less than a tenth of the world population of Muslims), approximately. Now, there's a minority!"

Yeah, yeah...but in the good old USA, Jews outnumber Muslims about 3 to 1. And we are talking about the USA.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: "I wasn't aware that the First Amendment applied all over the world."

It does not, alas. Were it that it was so!

"There are no official statistics but the estimated % of Muslims in America is somewhere between 0.8% and 3%."

Well, why do I have to stop at the borders when considering minority status? How is that different from establishing a Mosque Exclusion Zone? ;)

I still have a hard time considering 1.57 billion people a minority, even if there aren't a lot of them on this particular block, or in this particular neighborhood. I realize that's not the common understanding of minority, but still.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

the reason people object to the community center is bigotry and prejudice. they have a right to be prejudiced and bigoted but others have the right to condemn them for their bigotry and prejudice.

hypocrites like palin and gingrich should practice what they preach and respect the decision of the locals to allow it.

there are also other mosques in the area -- do you think they should be demolished next? if not, why not?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: "Yeah, yeah...but in the good old USA, Jews outnumber Muslims about 3 to 1. And we are talking about the USA."

Uh-oh. looks like we've got a Minority Calculation Exclusion Zone. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@blahgblogwordpresscom: "there are also other mosques in the area -- do you think they should be demolished next? if not, why not?"

You're going to have to clarify what you think I said, because I don't think I meant to say it.

There is (I repeat, apologies for an earlier typo) NO justification to prevent the construction of the community center/mosque. Period. Why would I be suggesting that anything should be demolished? That's crazy talk.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"The relative minority status of a given group is not the primary issue."

It may not be the "primary issue", but I have a hard time believing that if Muslims were a larger % of the population the debate would be playing out as it is.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 10, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@schrodingerscat: "It may not be the 'primary issue', but I have a hard time believing that if Muslims were a larger % of the population the debate would be playing out as it is."

I think the First Amendment would still apply, either way. It might play out differently, but the fundamental fact they are entitled to build (as approved by local zoning, etc) anywhere they please without government interference due to religious affiliation would not change.

But perhaps I'm just picking nits.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

okay, i'm glad you clarified your typo. so, you agree that government cannot prevent the community center. but do you agree with palin that it shouldn't be built anyway?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

scat: "It may not be the "primary issue", but I have a hard time believing that if Muslims were a larger % of the population the debate would be playing out as it is."

Look at the horrid crap being spewed about Mexicans and Hispanic immigrants. Yet, as of a couple of years ago, they were (roughly) 15% of the US population, and the fastest growing demographic still.... One would think there would be a bit more care taken in the the rightwing rhetoric...

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I honestly believe that MIchael Bloomberg, Republican Conservative, hasn't got a bigoted bone in his body, and would give everything he owns (a lot) if we could live peacefully as brothers or sisters, children of a "merciful God" (to use his words).

HOwever, it doesn't matter. Nor does it matter what Patterson says. The Community Board voted overwhelmingly in support of the mosque. They are Constitutionally protected.

Bloomberg should not comment on Patterson's offer. Patterson is governor of New York State, not mayor of New York City, and the environs are in an uproar. Best to leave it alone.

Though I do not support Mike Bloomberg's economic policies at all, did not vote for him even once, he is no idiot and he is no bigot, either.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | August 10, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@blahgblogwordpresscom: "but do you agree with palin that it shouldn't be built anyway?"

I think they have every right to build it. I don't think it's a sincere effort at outreach, at all, but they still have every right to build it. I would not protest it, despite my suspicions over their actual motivations for it's construction so near to Ground Zero.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Apparently it still needs NYPSC approval. So, it is NOT a done deal.

I watched the NYPSC debate a public utility takeover a few years ago. I can tell you they are (a) 110% political, and (b) can argue some really bizarre points.

This could get reeaally interesting.

Posted by: sold2u | August 10, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

bloomberg has been very supportive of the right of the muslim group to build the community center. he's been eloquent and thoughtful with his remarks about how rights apply to all of us equally. he made it very clear that he opposes the bigots on this issue.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

kevin: "despite my suspicions over their actual motivations for it's construction so near to Ground Zero."

Elaborate on your suspicions, please?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

why don't you believe them that it is an effort at reaching out and what, specifically, are your suspicions about what i take it you believe are their nefarious intentions?

your comments earlier about the number of muslims in the world and you most recent comment have the distinct whiff of islamophobia.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"I think the First Amendment would still apply, either way. It might play out differently, but the fundamental fact they are entitled to build (as approved by local zoning, etc) anywhere they please without government interference due to religious affiliation would not change. "

I agree with you on this. I think my point, which was probably inartfully stated, was that it's much easier to pick on minority groups because they often lack the political firepower - and in some cases, the courage - to fight back.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Moving the mosque across from the WTC site is their right. It's freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and its freedom from unwanted government intrusion into property rights.

My opinion however, is that this mosque is in poor taste. A mosque is inherently an exclusionary place. Its a place where muslim believers go to pray. That's it. That's the purpose. Unless the leaders of the mosque intend to loan it to Christians and Jews for services? I kinda doubt it.

I think overall from a PR standpoint (assuming it gets built) it will be an extraordinary bad PR move for muslims in the US. No good will come of this on any level. I feel sorry for the moderate muslims who will be forced to apologize for this thoughtlessness on the part of their muslim brothers.

That said, I can't see a reason for the government to get involved on either side. If they want to build a mosque, unless there is a zoning issue, they should be able to build the mosque.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | August 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

ombud,

it's a community center, including a mosque or mosque like area. they have stated, publicly and numerous times, that they want it to be open to all groups and plan to invite christians, jews and others to attend events. they said they wanted it to be like the ymca and jewish community centers.

so, no, it's not 'exclusionary' but explicitly inclusive.

what, exactly, is wrong with that?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"A mosque is inherently an exclusionary place. Its a place where muslim believers go to pray."

Seems you know little about what the Cordoba House actually is. It is a cultural community center that will be open to the public, and will include things like a swimming pool, basketball courts, a theater, a restaurant, and retail outlet. Oh, and yes, a prayer room for 1000 Muslims.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Bloomberg thinks, the billionaire who bought himself a mayorship? He will get over it. The will of the people certainly supersedes Bloomberg's grandstanding.

Posted by: 7891 | August 10, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

also, christian extremist terrorists have murdered numerous doctors who provide abortions. does that mean no christians should ever again build a church near a hospital?

i'm sure you'll say no, of course not. but why not?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take. A politician's concerns trumps the concerns of the people who vote him into office. I didn't know that was the American way.

~ Halli Casser-Jayne

Posted by: PolitiHAL | August 10, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis: Kevin,

I cited the polling for the internment on another thread where you questioned it. Do I need to find it again?

@KW: Those who've read my [David Neiwert's] book Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community are aware that not only was the evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans -- including some 70,000 American citizens -- during World War II an extremely popular measure, it was in fact avidly demanded by a near-hysterical public, particularly along the Pacific Coast, after Pearl Harbor.

Having a harder time with the Muslim roundup polling...But I think it is accurate or was just after 911.

"A summary of the Cornell survey, entitled “Restrictions on Civil Liberties, Views of Islam & Muslim Americans,” appeared on Dec. 17 on the Associated Press wire that “nearly half of all Americans believe the United States government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.”" --http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1818.shtml


So there is no "polling" showing the popularity of Jim Crow or Slavery in the south but I think that the civil war pretty well validates the idea that slavery was supported by the vast majority of southerners.

I assume Jim Crow was popular since the majority of voters in the south elected officials that supported and administered Jim Crow for the 100 years after the end of reconstruction.

Are you seriously doubting the popularity of segregation in the pre civil rights south?

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"The will of the people certainly supersedes Bloomberg's grandstanding."

And until you change the US Constitution, the First Amendment trumps "the will of the people".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 10, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Scott C said: "to merely object to it, as the poll responders did, is to somehow fail to protect the rights of minorities. Such a notion is, of course, utter nonsense.

Expressing dismay at, and trying to come up with ways to stop, the building of the mosque/islamic center/whatever in no way whatsoever implies a desire to violate the rights of the organizers. Your insistence on portraying this as nothing more than a rights issue is, again, either deceptive or stupid on your part."

For a person to express his/her opinion that he/she would rather not have any Jews living in their city is merely an expression of an opinion, though clearly a bigoted opinion.

But to actively work towards the elimination of any possibility that Jews are banned from the city through organized media appearances, letter writing campaigns, bullying politicians etc is obviously an instance of a real-world attempt to limit the rights of a religious minory, rights quite explicitly guaranteed by the constitution.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 10, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/happy_hour_roundup_69.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone wrote:

"A two-year study by a group of academics
on American Muslims and terrorism concluded
that contemporary mosques are actually a
deterrent to the spread of militant Islam and
terrorism. The study was conducted by
professors with Duke’s Sanford School of Public
Policy and the University of North Carolina. It
disclosed that many mosque leaders had put
significant effort into countering extremism by
building youth programs, sponsoring anti-
violence forums and scrutinizing teachers and
texts."

Nice sentiments, except for one small little detail
these apologists for Islam never seem to want
point out: Namely, that every last single instance
of radicalization has in every case almost without
any exception been centered around a mosque.

S D Rodrian
http://islamisbad.com


.

Posted by: sdr1 | August 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"to actively work towards the elimination of any possibility that Jews will be allowed in the city" that ought to have read.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

@kw:Well, why do I have to stop at the borders when considering minority status? How is that different from establishing a Mosque Exclusion Zone? ;)

Well Kevin, just because there are more Chinese than any other nationality, they are a distinct minority in the US (and were subjected to discrimination in housing, hiring, etc.) which is after all what we are discussing, the rights of minorities in the US. I don't see your point about Muslims not being a minority here because there are lots of them in Indonesia.

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

also, manhattanites narrowly approve of the community center. from the tpm article greg linked to:

'Fifty-three percent of Manhattanites side with their mayor in favoring the Cordoba Center's construction. '

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The NYS PSC review will be interesting. Their test is whether the mosque is in the public interest. I don't know if it will follow the typical review process for a public utility, but if it does, you can be assured it will be long, drawn out, public, and almost nothing will be left out.

There will be a public comment period, and an investigation, of which all will be public record, and very little is off-limits. We will hear who is behind it, who is funding it, where the money came from, etc. etc.

I think the last utility deal had 3000 pages or so of documents. and took two years. God knows how much this will entail. How many intervenors will decide to get involved? They have to review and enter into the record every single piece of correspondence. The poor staffers won't know what hit them.

This is going to get reeeaaally interesting.

Posted by: sold2u | August 10, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

sdr1 wrote: "Namely, that every last single instance
of radicalization has in every case almost without
any exception been centered around a mosque."

And how many assassination acts and attempts of abortion providers or "liberal priests" have not been centered around a Christian church?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 10, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, this issue sure explains why the number of atheists is growing in America.

We get so tired of these religious nuts yelling "My God's better than your God and we'll fight to prove it!"

So if you Christians REALLY believe Ground Zero is "sacred ground" and the Muslims are desecrating it, then go into your closet and pray, and your God will smite the Muslims, and we can move on to more important things (psst, Palin hates teachers!), right?

Isn't it time to face the facts that fanatical Muslims use their religion as an excuse to kill westerners and fanatical Christians are just as anxious to use our military to invade Muslim countries and even the score, and neither of their Gods does anything to stop it? All these millions of churches and mosques and temples in the world all teaching love but practicing hate, and God never appears, never steps in, never stops it.

Either there is no God or he hates us.

So stop the Cordoba House, and then get rid of ALL the other religious buildings in New York City. Call it a first step toward sanity.

Posted by: Trakker | August 10, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@trakker:Either there is no God or he hates us.

The great sky wizard could be laughing at us...

"So if you Christians REALLY believe Ground Zero is "sacred ground" and the Muslims are desecrating it, then go into your closet and pray, and your God will smite the Muslims, and we can move on to more important things "

I have been wantin' to see some smitin' on those false god worshiping evil ones. Now was they Christian or Muslim false god followers.....

Too good...

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Paterson said he expects the state Public Service Commission, which must sign off on the Corboda Initiative's project, to follow the law and not politics in its review.

Which means a full review. See everyone in 2012.

BTW, this is not a review of the constitutionality. Every utility merger they review is constitutional. That doesn't mean it gets approved. The test is whether this is in the public interest.

Posted by: sold2u | August 10, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

@swr3: "I cited the polling for the internment on another thread where you questioned it. Do I need to find it again?"

Then my abject apologies. I must have not gone back to that thread and seen it, or skipped over it somehow. My bad. I really thought you hadn't answered the original question.

"Are you seriously doubting the popularity of segregation in the pre civil rights south?"

No, not at all. If there *was* actual polling, though, I wanted to know about it.

Sorry for making you dig it up again, just because I missed it. My bad. Thanks!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg Gutfeld planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men.

"To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.

This is not a joke. I've already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.

As you know, the Muslim faith doesn't look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I'm building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world."

Posted by: Opinionator | August 10, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The daft idea was deciding to put it two blocks from Ground Zero in the first place. Reducing this to rights is a strawman; just because I can (legally) do a thing does NOT mean I should do that thing. There seems to be two different threads to this debate: public opinion and legality. Building this center is not illegal, nor should it be. But the choice of location was certainly insensitive, and sneering at people who are angry or upset with the idea smacks of liberal elitism. We would hardly expect people in Iraq to embrace plans to build a church or some other momument associated with the West at or near a site where thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed by American bombs. But the Arabs are allowed to be irrational because we all know they’re just not as civilized as we are, right?
And let's get one thing straight: peace and understanding cannot be shoved down people's throats, so if that is really their primary concern, it's off to an inauspicious start. If this debacle is typical, this is how it will go down: the mosque plans are announced, the nation gets pissed, the mosque gets built anyway, and meanwhile everyone on both sides continues on their merry way just as before. There are already dozens if not hundreds of these types of organizations all over the country, so let’s not pretend that this mosque is a potential silver bullet. If they had opted to build elsewhere in the city, they would have avoided this deplorable media circus. Since they decided to do what they have done, however, I'm afraid this will create more harm than good in the end because many people will think of this now as “the mosque at Ground Zero that nobody wanted” instead of an opportunity for learning more about a deeply misunderstood religion. ---Maire, MA Middle East Studies

Posted by: starrydreams2003 | August 11, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I decided to learn what Cordoba meant (as that is the name of the Islamic center proposed for NYC near ground zero)…

Straight from Wikipedia….

…DRUMROLLL…

It’s a city in Spain BUT…

“in the Middle Ages it was capital of an Islamic caliphate.”

“It was captured in 711[3] by a Muslim army: in 716 it became a provincial capital, depending from the Caliphate of Damascus”

“The Caliphate enjoyed immense prosperity throughout the 10th century. Abd-ar-Rahman III not only united al-Andalus, but brought the Christian kingdoms of the north, through force and diplomacy, under control.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%B3rdoba,_Spain

The stated goal of many Islamic sects (especially al Qaeda-Sunni) is to establish a global caliphate, this is also the stated goal of Ahmadinejad (Shia) whenever he refers to the hidden Iman (who will return and establish a global caliphate). A caliphate is a system of governance based on Islamic law (sharia), it is almost democratic in the election of its leaders… except only Muslims are allowed to vote.

So is building this ‘cultural center’ next to the graves of 3000 civilians an attempt at reconciliation and integration?

Or should we listen to what our enemies say when they insist Islam will engulf the globe?

Or should we selectively listen to the softer elements; who say they only want peace and acceptance…?

For a period Cordoba was the front line in the advance of Muslims into Europe (then representing the western world). Now the western world is equated with the United States and where lies its center?

Under a thinly veiled veneer of multiculturalism, the Islamic machine is quietly claiming the center of the modern world as a spoil of war, and their capital.

Posted by: canary2010 | August 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I am perplexed that David Paterson would suggest state land for the site. Whatever position one stands on the mosque issue, state land must not be used for its site.
Once again the incompetent Paterson proves he can not govern. But, then again Paterson could never really govern. “The Democratic Conference: Organizational and Operational Structure Report” is an eyewitness account of Paterson’s DYSFUNCTIONAL governing nature while Senate Minority Leader.

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM110_demreportfinal.html

Paterson’s office was criticized for PATRONAGE, LACK OF LEADERSHIP, INDECISIVENESS and INFIGHTING. Those interviewed in the report indicated that its chief of staff the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey had no management skills, would booze it up with staff, often coming in the office with a hangover, and should be fired.

Amazingly, for running such a DYSFUNCTIONAL CHAOTIC office, the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey was picked by Paterson to mismanage the Division of Minority & Women Owned Business Development (MWBE) at Empire State Development Corporation.

Now, that's the Paterson way, being rewarded for your incompetence.

Posted by: cleanupnynow | August 12, 2010 4:17 AM | Report abuse

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