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Krauthammer: Government regulates liquor stores, so why can't it block the "Ground Zero mosque"?

For some time now, many of the "responsible" opponents of the Islamic center near Ground Zero have employed a clever little dodge.

They've criticized the project as a moral wrong, arguing that the developers aren't showing sufficient respect for 9/11 or that building a center devoted to Islam is needlessly provocative and undermines the center's goal of reconciliation. But they've carefully avoided addressing whether government should or shouldn't use its power to somehow block the project.

Today, however, Charles Krauthammer boldly strides into new territory, suggesting (without quite saying) that government does have the authority to block it. And his argument is a curious one. After claiming that Ground Zero is "sacred" and questioning the motives behind the project, he then invokes government's right to zone against liquor stores and strip malls:

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want -- but not anywhere. That's why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn't meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz -- and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

This argument seems a bit confused. For one thing, the United States Constitution does not expressly forbid government zoning against liquor stores or strip malls. However, it does expressly forbid government interference with "the free exercise" of religion.

Nor does the comparison to building a tower "over" Gettysburg or a convent "at" Auschwitz make any sense. The Islamic center would not be built "over" or "at" Ground Zero. Rather, it would be built more than two blocks away in a crowded urban neighborhood.

The comparison is also problematic in another way. While zoning codes do prohibit liquor stores and strip malls in some cases, the location for the Islamic center isn't zoned against such projects; and it has already been green-lighted by the city Landmarks Commission. So by what mechanism should government block this project? Krauthammer doesn't say. He doesn't even quite say that government should block the project, let alone how this should happen. Because doing so explicitly would require him to clarify where the authority to do this comes from.

Indeed, it's not quite clear what Krauthammer is arguing here. He's saying the center shouldn't happen because government validly sets limits on our freedom in other cases. Which raises a straightfoward question for Krauthammer: Should government have the power to limit the freedom of the developers to proceed with the project? Yes, or No? If so, from where is that authority derived? If not, who granted you the authority to set those limits, other than the other-worldy being or force that decreed Ground Zero sacred?

UPDATE, 11:31 a.m. Let me try to frame the question another way: If government doesn't have the authority to limit the freedom to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero, where does the authority to limit this freedom come from, other than whoever or whatever decreed Ground Zero sacred and decreed that a nearly Islamic center would amount to sacrilege?

UPDATE, 10:59 p.m.: Obama has now come out and voiced strong support for the project

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

"""the United States Constitution does not expressly forbid government regulation of liquor stores or zoning against strip malls. However, it does expressly forbid government interference with "the free exercise" of religion."""

The Constitution... it just ain't their bag.

Pretty amazing since the Establishment Clause really couldn't be any clearer.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 13, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Good old Krauthammer:

He now equates Islam with Booze.

Pretty soon he will be trying to arrange local chapters of Islamics Anonymous, where all Muslims can be sent to dry out.


Mr. Krauthammer appears to have forgotten how his own people were treated, by Christians, just because supposedly some "Jews killed Jesus"

Jews in Rome, were rounded up, and locked in to a gated ghetto by a Pope, just because of that claim.

Now Krauthammer wants to treat Muslims very much the same way.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

At least according to Jon Stewart, there's been a Mosque only 4 blocks away from Ground Zero for over 40 years.
.
Anyone back that up? because if that's true I'm amazed it hasn't been mentioned to shut these morons up.

Posted by: rpixley220 | August 13, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

There is a Mosque in the Pentagon. You know, another location that was hit on 9/11. Muslim members of the Military pray there every day, and they have done so for the past several years.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Can Krauthammer not already know that zoning that prevents any mosques near ground zero, but allows the many other nearby houses of worship to exist, would violate the Bill of Rights?

There is zoning in lower manhattan of course, and it permits this use, I understand.

It won't be long before he's calling for muslim internment camps like for the japanese in WWII.

Posted by: Milo_A_Wendt | August 13, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@rpixley220 - yes, that's true, there's another mosque 4 blocks from Ground Zero, i posted a link in the plum line comments yesterday showing where it is:

http://milowent.blogspot.com/2010/08/truth-about-burlington-coat-factory.html

Posted by: Milo_A_Wendt | August 13, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

First off, I just wanted to point out the absurdity of Mr. Krauthammer's bringing Auschwitz into the argument. Last I checked--and I did try to visit there in 1992, but the train wasn't running there from Krakow that day (yes, I understood the irony at the time)--Auschwitz is in Poland. Poland is, again last I checked, distinctly NOT in the United States of America. So what is built at the site of the Auschwitz death camp is utterly irrelevant to zoning in the USA.

Also, is Mr. Krauthammer so crass to believe that "[n]o liquor store near a school" is "for reasons of aesthetics"? I always understood it as a matter of safety for the children; perhaps Mr. Krauthammer is too distant from his child-rearing years to be aware of that.

And again, who declared Ground Zero "sacred"? And how much area is covered by that "sacred" designation? And if Ground Zero is "sacred", then for the government to remain neutral, there should be NO construction whatsoever on the site (or near the site, if the Cordoba Initiative's Park51 project is not deemed to be on "sacred" ground), and thus all buildings in the vicinity should be kept as is into eternity so that there will be no construction that could offend the sensibility of anyone that might be tangentially connected, as participant or observer, to the attacks that resulted in the amorphous "sacred" designation.

Last: "Build it anywhere but there." Let's see Mr. Krauthammer argue forcefully in every forum he inhabits that the mosques and cultural centers should be allowed to be built everywhere else in the country, including Murfreesboro, Tennessee and suburban Los Angeles. Let's see him take on Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and uncategorically state that this is not about being anti-Islam but merely respectful of those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Let's see Mr. Krauthammer take on Liz Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and all the others and "refudiate" their arguments. Then I might actually believe the sincerity of Mr. Krauthammer on the issue, though I will disagree with his opinion on the matter with my entire being.

Posted by: TexasSkeptic | August 13, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why Greg hasn't commented on Obama's dishonest and McCarthyite attack on Citizens for Prosperity.


. . . or on how hypocritical it was, coming from the "citizen of the world" who campaigned in Germany, swept up illegal foreign contributions by the boatload, and is propped up by the Soros propoganda empire.

This clownish president supports unchecked illegal immigration and campaigned on appeals to world opinion but falsely denounces an American citizen group as a criminal foreign front group . . . and Greg and his minions have nothing to say about this dictatorial assault.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Krauthammer's argument also begs the question of how close in proximity is "too close" and how far away is "acceptable." Two blocks away is too close, but what about three blocks? I can understand where the man is coming from, but "anywhere but here" is not a rational solution. It's the knee-jerk reaction of a pundit and political party.

Posted by: lakewoodohio1 | August 13, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This article and those responding supporting it make me sick. Quick to forget the blood that was paid on 9/11.

Posted by: zap123 | August 13, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Krauthammer is just pandering to his audience. He can't let the other illuminaries such as Newt or Sarah become more relevant to the faithful that he is dependent on.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | August 13, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Amazing WAPO tactic here. Having a resident Liberal hack do an immediate critique of the reigning Conservative's column. If this was happening the other way around too, that would be an interesting approach. But, since it's a one-way-street , as usual, I'm again glad I no longer have to pay to support the Ultra-Liberal stance.

The Washington POSt: If you don't get it .. You Got It!

Posted by: MDDem1 | August 13, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Whence" means "from where." "From whence" would mean "from from where."

If you're going to employ archaic words to try to sound particularly smart, you'd be advised to use them properly. Otherwise you just end up sounding less smart than if you had said "from where" all along.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, there are places where there are liquor stores near schools, and strip clubs not all that far away from churches. It does happen, if not often.

But, again, there is no legal basis to prevent the construction of a Muslim Community Center, and it's already been approved locally, so . . . I get thinking that it's intended to be divisive, or that it's kind of obnoxious, but there's simply no grounds for keeping it from being built.

And it's an excellent opportunity (see Greg Gutfeld's gay bar) to work to "expose" and perhaps moderate the more radical elements of Islam, or to try to grow the more moderate and tolerant branches of Islam. We may not get a Martin Luther style reformation, but anything that might soften the hard edges should be welcome. In my opinion.

Central to the debate seems to be freedom of religion, and states and local rights, and in both cases the consistent conservative position would be to allow the mosque to be built, irrespective of what you thought about it.

The State Department paying for Feisal Abdul Rauf's vacations in the guise of diplomatic missions, I can see objecting to that. I heartily agree. Nothing in the constitution protecting the State Department funding bs junkets for well-heeled "diplomats", although there is certainly long precedence.

On the other hand, citizens of the United States building a religiously affiliated community center--I'm pretty sure that's protected in the constitution, and in most cases (recent Arizona law, anybody?) conservatives would suggest the State and the City had made its decision, and it's not the Federal Government's business. And disciples of the free market should just assume the free market should decide what kind of support a Muslim Community Center, or the gay bar next door, should get, no matter where it was located.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the fix, the thinking man's man.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Why would one feel the need to respond to Krauthammer? That is like howling at the moon. The guy is not to be taken seriously.

Posted by: youfunny100 | August 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Retail Sales

http://www.hiddenlevers.com/hl/choicetrade/landing?leverid=17&l2=&q=&cw=455&ch=247&t=&dv=&w=c&o=1&ne=&tx=

GREAT chart.

Check out how retail sales -- while ping-ponging a bit the last year -- are back up to basically pre-recession levels.

Note also that we're not only back to pre-recession levels, but we're actually pretty consistently beating the 2001-2003 recession.

Pretty awesome how fast retail sales climbed out of the ditch. Nothing even remotely like it in the last 10 years.

So, when you think about the economy, think about it from more than just the unemployment number. We ARE going to be okay.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 13, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Greg...I am pleased that you put these thoughts and points into writing. Krauthammer's writings are routinely specious while in full denial of fundamental realities. Why is he even still in print?

Posted by: DrLou1 | August 13, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"It won't be long before he's calling for muslim internment camps like for the japanese in WWII.

Posted by: Milo_A_Wendt"

That is precisely what should and will be done in the future.

Posted by: garrafa10 | August 13, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@ThinkingMan: "From whence" is the most common phrase to include the word "whence". And it's hardly settled that "from whence" is grammatically incorrect, or a sign of poor thought or grammar.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-fro2.htm

Where such usages are cited as Psalm 121: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help” and Mark Twain "He traveled all around, till at last he came to the place from whence he started", as well as Shakespeare, Dickens, Defoe. A veritable who's who of literary giants have used "from whence", and in a manner completely lacking irony.

I wouldn't accuse Mark Twain or William Shakespeare of using words in order to "appear smart". I mean, if it were me.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

How long would Charles Krauthammer keep his job on the Post, if he had called for the Government to treat Churches and Synagogues as if they were Liquor Stores.


Personally, I think all religions are just a lot of irrational superstitious nonsense. I stay away from all of them, but since this country has a freedom of religion clause, then Muslims are entitled to equal protection.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

greg,

thanks for, again, framing the issue starkly:

"Should government have the power to limit the freedom of the developers to proceed with the project? Yes, or No? If so, from where is that authority derived? If not, who granted you the authority to set those limits, other than the other-worldy being or force that decreed Ground Zero sacred?"

in answer of your revised phrasing in the update, i'd say the bigots hope it comes from the all too human propensity to scapegoat and demonize a selected minority.

extra judicial second class citizenship. the nativists and know nothings *never* go away.


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Aren't they building a new giant office complex "at Ground Zero"? How is that allowed on such "sacred ground"?

I swear sometimes I am ready to move to a country that has a smarter, more enlightened population.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@TheThinkingMansMan:

Please see the usage note provided by dictionary.com with its definition of "whence":

"Although sometimes criticized as redundant on the grounds that 'from' is implied by the word whence, the idiom from whence is old in the language, well established, and standard. Among its users are the King James Bible, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Dickens: Hilary finally settled in Paris, from whence she bombarded us with letters, postcards, and sketches. From thence, a parallel construction, occurs infrequently."

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My opinion is 100 percent with Greg Sargent.

If Krauthammer has a valid point, he needs to actually make it and stand behind it with facts, and not obfuscate all around it. This goes for a lot of other people also.

Posted by: scrub-brush | August 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Should government have the power to limit the freedom of the developers to proceed with the project? Yes, or No?"

Well, liberals are usually quite fine with eviscerating economic liberties for any government or societal whim. Since the New Deal, government has been allowed to infringe economic liberty so long as the government has any "rational basis" for undertaking the action that would conscribe the economic liberty. If you frame the issue as one of an economic liberty, as you have here, then the government would almost certainly have a rational basis in seeking to honor 9/11 victims and protect their families, friends, and New Yorkers from harm.

Also, I know there are "time, place, and manner" restrictions on First Amendment rights in various situations. I'm not sure if this would fall into that category, but it might.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 13, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

kevin,

i note again that your comments seem to betray islamophobia (sorry if you responded when i first noted this -- i lost track of the thread). do you have similar suspicions and fears regarding other religions or do you focus your fear solely on islam?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@Greg: "If government doesn't have the authority to limit the freedom to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero, where does the authority to limit this freedom come from?"

========

"Zoning laws constitute an exercise of the police power—that is, the authority inherent in state governments to enact laws in furtherance of the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare. ... Most states... have adopted “enabling acts” which delegate such authority to designated municipalities. The authority of a municipality to enact a zoning ordinance therefore is limited by the terms of the enabling statute. It is also limited by constitutional considerations, for many courts have ruled that the United States Constitution prohibits the enactment of zoning ordinances that are unreasonable, discriminatory, or arbitrary... a municipal zoning ordinance to be valid must in fact further the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare. Further, zoning ordinances that restrict the location of churches in certain areas must not run afoul of the constitutional guarantees of assembly and the free exercise of religion."

"...New York adheres to the majority view that religious institutions are beneficial to the public welfare by their very nature. Consequently, a proposed religious use should be accommodated, even when it would be inconvenient for the community... In order to deny a special use permit for a religious use as “detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare,” it must be “convincingly shown that the [proposed use] will have a direct and immediate adverse effect upon the health, safety or welfare of the community.”... Every effort must be made to accommodate the religious use subject to conditions reasonably related to land use."

http://www.churchlawtoday.com/private/library/pcl/p11e.htm

I suppose Kraut could argue that the Islamic center would have an adverse effect on the community...

Posted by: sbj3 | August 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"in answer of your revised phrasing in the update, i'd say the bigots hope it comes from the all too human propensity to scapegoat and demonize a selected minority.

extra judicial second class citizenship. the nativists and know nothings *never* go away.


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom "

You are a mongoloid. There is hardly any need to "demonize" your Muslim friends. The Salafists are their own best publicists. Do you even now this term?

Posted by: garrafa10 | August 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

If only you leftist liberals could imagine that the terrorist wanted to buy an abortion clinic anywhere in America, and turn it into a mosque!

No amount of money would make you liberals happy about that transaction, because it would be against your religion. Liberals think that they are God because liberals take the life of the most innocent among us, and piss their pants if they are forced to look at a picture of OBL.

The rest of Americans who are not afraid of Osama say to his supporters,"You cannot build a mosque at ground zero"

Just because you liberals are afraid of terrorist, there a some Americans who are not!


Posted by: JeffreyM23 | August 13, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Should government have the power to limit the freedom of the developers to proceed with the project? If so, from whence is that authority derived?"

Which government? New York State? I don't know. I'm not familiar with the New York state constitution. Are you?

If this is, in fact, not a mosque, and a "community center," then it is presumably an economic entity. Presumably New York state has the power to regulate commerce or economic activity to some extent. If so, that probably would be a source of authority, particularly if your characterization of the building as a community center, rather than a mosque, is accurate.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 13, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"but it might". That is what all your thinking has brought forth!

Even an unthinking Mama Grizzly could have tweeted that out, without thinking about it, for even a nano second.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I've already made it clear to Krauthammer what I thought of his latest Friday rant: I smell bigotry!

Posted by: repmisc | August 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Places of worship are like liquor stores? Hey, now, I like this reasoning: finally, we can tax churches, then? Maybe people shouldn't be able to go in until they're 21?

It would all be funny, if it weren't so sad: the knee-jerk pandering to fear-mongering and hate is all the Republicans have left to offer, it seems, having sold out all their other ideals (like, balanced budgets and personal freedom....)

Ah, where is William F. Buckley when you need him!

Posted by: thompst1 | August 13, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

What about the Muslim prayer center in the Pentagon. It is up and running now, and has been for several years. The Pentagon was also hit on 9/11, so why aren't the Islamophobes going berserk about that?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@garrafa10: Wow. The internment of the Japanese is an often overlooked black mark in America's history, and now you suggest we repeat the same historic mistake?!?! Wow.

You know, eventually we wised up and let the Japanese fight for us in the European theater. See medal of honor winner and Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye.

Posted by: biochemist | August 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The analogy that made me think most in Krauthammer's piece was his comparison of the Cordoba Center to a Japanese Culture Center at Pearl Harbor. I think that's the closest analogy that he provides. Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were traumatic attacks on this country that launched wars. It would be wrong to blame modern Japanese for the decisions of Imperial Japan, like it would be wrong to blame Islam for the actions of a few extremists. Discrimination based on nationality is nearly as bad as infringement on the freedom of religion.

So that got me to thinking: Would anyone really object if Japan wanted to build a cultural center two blocks from Pearl Harbor?

Personally, I doubt it.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Bigotry pure and simple. According to Krauttie, all Muslims are dirty and cannot tread on this "sacred" ground. They are all terrorists.

How proud I would be of our country and how strongly would it show our love and respect for the Constitution if this Mosque were built. I can think of no better monument to the fallen than such a palpable demonstration of our belief in religious freedom.

Posted by: joebanks | August 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still:

I identified the issue that this could fall within a well-settled exception to the First Amendment. Nobody else has done that.

I don't know the precise contours of the exception, and I didn't purport to, as that would be dishonest. I am merely aware of the existence of that exception in various circumstances. You, or others, can research it if you're curious.

Were you aware of the existence of a "time, place, and manner" exception to the First Amendment before I told you about it? Didn't think so.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 13, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about Krauthammer personally, but his writings have, for a long time, been extremely bigoted against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims. That is where he believes that he derives the authority to determine what can be built in any location.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 13, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"What about the Muslim prayer center in the Pentagon. It is up and running now, and has been for several years. The Pentagon was also hit on 9/11, so why aren't the Islamophobes going berserk about that?

Posted by: Liam-still"

Is it too difficult to understand that some of us are not at all afraid of the Salafists, but instead, want to speak to Islam and its followers in the only language they understand?

Posted by: garrafa10 | August 13, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Zap123 wrote "This article and those responding supporting it make me sick. Quick to forget the blood that was paid on 9/11."

Blood of all races and creeds was spilled that day, including the blood of muslims. It included the blood of Sal Hamdani, a police cadet, EMT, and muslim who died at Ground Zero responding to the emergency.

You dishonor those who died on 9/11 with comments like yours, zap.

Posted by: Milo_A_Wendt | August 13, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Where is all the "state's rights" rhetoric?

The city of New York in the state of New York has deliberated and decided the zoning and building of the Islamic Center within its jurisdiction. That should be the matter settled for the rest of us who are not residents of NY, NY.

Consistency of right-wing ideology has been one of the most significant casualties of all this partisan bickering.

Posted by: Raiche58 | August 13, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Zoning isn't intended to prevent an affront to "the sacred". Zoning keeps usage (such as street traffic) coherent. The proposed Center is compatible with the area.

Posted by: Maezeppa | August 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"@garrafa10: Wow. The internment of the Japanese is an often overlooked black mark in America's history, and now you suggest we repeat the same historic mistake?!?! Wow.

You know, eventually we wised up and let the Japanese fight for us in the European theater. See medal of honor winner and Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye.

Posted by: biochemist"

It is exactly what I am proposing. A mistake? Whose black mark? Your feelings were certainly not shared by contemporaries. Is it your belief that without Japanese-Americans The Allies would not have triumphed in Europe?

Posted by: garrafa10 | August 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent debating with Charles Krauthammer? Kind of like a contestant in 'Last Comic Standing" competing with Milton Berle.

Posted by: chatard | August 13, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"If government doesn't have the authority to limit the freedom to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero, where does the authority to limit this freedom come from, other than the other-worldy being or force that decreed Ground Zero sacred and decreed that a nearly Islamic center would amount to sacrilege?"

Easy, Kelo v. City of New London. Seize the site and give it to Pfizer. Problem solved.

Posted by: ath17 | August 13, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I like to think I'm a fairly open minded, generally tolerant person. Live and let live. If, to paraphrase Jefferson, does not pick my pocket or break my leg, what concern is it of mine. I am a bit conflicted on views concerning rights of Islam is the U.S. In Islamic countries from where many of our fellow Islamic citizens come, Christian churches, Jewish Synagogues, Hindu temples, or other structures to practice a faith are strictly limited. Defenders say it's a "cultural tradition" we must respect. Here, those same defenders accuse those who question the placement of Mosques are accused of being racists zealots by the same people who defend "cultural traditions." I frankly don't know what to make of it.

Posted by: logan303 | August 13, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@TheThinkingMansMan:

The "time,place and manner" exceptions are part of the freedom of speech caselaw. To my knowledge, they aren't usually applied to freedom of religion analysis. Also, "time, place and manner" regulation of speech needs to be based on generally applicable rules. The state can't constitutionally use those rules to target a particular idea or religion that it finds offensive.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

You are a mongoloid. There is hardly any need to "demonize" your Muslim friends. The Salafists are their own best publicists. Do you even now this term?

Posted by: garrafa10 | August 13, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse
------------------------------

and you're a perfect example of the type of nativist know nothing rube krat's pandering to but is embarrasses to be seen in the company of.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis:

Shakespeare and Jane Austen also used "them" as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun and and "their" as a gender-neutral, singular possessive adjective. That doesn't make them correct.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 13, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

garrafa10 is a troll. don't feed him.

Posted by: Milo_A_Wendt | August 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@TheThinkingMansMan

Ok. So you don't accept William Shakespeare or Jane Austin as authorities on the proper usage of archaic English terms. Fair enough.

How about the King James Bible?

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

You can't have a needle exchange for AIDS infected patients in Kindergarten classes, so why can't they just stop the mosque at ground zero.

Sheesh. This is so simple guyz!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 13, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The really tragic thing is that so many Americans are utterly incapable of keeping 11 Sept. in any kind of perspective. It should not have changed our basic values in any way. It wasn't a "threat" to our nation's existence; only our politicians can change our way of life by overreacting and undermining our rights and freedoms in the sick perversion called "keeping us safe at all costs." Those responsible for 11 Sept. couldn't have cared less about "our freedoms"...too bad our own politicians show such little regard for them.

With comments like "muslim internment camps like for the japanese in WWII" are "precisely what should and will be done in the future"...and the writings/speeches of people like Krautheimer, Gingrich, Palin, et al -- we've clearly hit rock bottom. Put 1.5 million American Muslims in internet camps...sure, that really shows American "values."

We've let fanatics/radicals numbering in the low thousands almost completely panic supposedly the most powerful country in the world...a nation of some 300 million. We're chasing our tails around the world with a completely unachievable goal: not one country in history has ever stopped all acts of terror...and we won't either.

My advice to those like garrafa10: get a backbone and stop acting like this country is a banana republic of simpletons.

Posted by: Rigged | August 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@mikefromArlington:

Right. Because all Muslims are like "AIDS infected patients" and the rest of us are all like "Kindergarten" children.

Thanks for making it simple for me.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. K has simply said, very clearly, that those building the mosque should show more sensitivity, and that by not doing so he questions their motives. He did not say that government on any level should act.

"The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf's ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer."

Posted by: viennatrip | August 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I should have added /snark off after that.


:)

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 13, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Bartlett, as Caribou Barbie would say, a (former) republican with cojones. (Is that the proper use of the term thinkingman? Did I spell it correctly?)

On the question of where I place myself on the political spectrum, I will have more to say as time goes on. In my own mind, I have the same political philosophy I've always had--basically libertarian but tempered by Burkean small-C conservatism. But I am no longer a member of the Republican Party and no longer consider myself part of the "conservative movement." That's not because I changed, but because I believe that they have. The Republican Party of today is not the party of Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan that I was once a member of; it stands for nothing except the pursuit of power as an end in itself, with no concern whatsoever for what is right for the country. In a recent interview with The Economist magazine, I characterized the Republicans as the greedy, sociopathic party. I stand by that.
As far as the conservative movement is concerned, I think Russell Kirk and Bill Buckley would be absolutely aghast at the things it stands for today and the people that are acclaimed as its leaders. When clowns like Glenn Beck are its leaders and right-wing bigots pander to ignorant yahoos about a planned mosque in lower Manhattan, I want to be as far away from any such movement as I possibly can. And readers of this blog know what I think of the know-nothing tea party movement, which conservatives have latched onto en masse.

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1899/am-i-right-or-left

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why Krauthammer is undermining the message from his messiah, George W. Bush, that this is not a war against Islam, rather against al Quada. Now Krauthammer want to reframe it as the haloed ground battle site of a war against Islam.

My question to you Krauthammer, is this a war against Islam or is it not?

Posted by: abigsam | August 13, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Language usage evolves and changes.

Pompous Language Usage Police, never do.

Thinking Man's Thinking Man: Hah!

He is a legend in his own mind.

Lock him in a padded celled, and feed him nothing but Joyce, and he will short circuit within the first twenty four hours.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Logan303, are you saying that (as Newt Gingrich has implied) is that we need to have the same level of religious liberty as Saudi Arabia? It's like China saying its oppression of the Tibetans is justified because Americans did the same to the Indians. We're supposed to be "the shining city on the hill" (to paraphrase Ronald Reagan quoting John F. Kennedy quoting John Winthrop quoting Jesus Christ).

Garrafa10, I'll see your Salafists and raise you a Westboro Baptist and Eric Rudolph.

Fundamentalists of ANY religion are dangerous, which is precisely why we need to stand up for our Constitutional principles and encourage moderates to practice their religion in peace as part of a greater American community, not as a marginalized minority. The strongest defense we have against Muslim extremists are Muslim moderates who are loyal to America and its ideals.

And I say that as a devout Christian.

Posted by: JamesK1 | August 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

All this hullabalou over a building two blocks away.

What is going to happen when this new building is constructed at ground zero? A commercial building. Will we go through the same folderol having fake moralists from the right deciding who or who can't occupy office space in the tower? Will a Muslim businessman even be allowed to enter the building? It wouldn't be unheard of for busy businessmen to set up an office to pray when they feel they will not make it to the mosque.
Even putting aside the religious silliness. How about Playboy magazine wishes to open an office in the new tower? What then?
When rightwing freaks try to sidestep the Constitution they end up stepping out of this country.

Posted by: TexasMike | August 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Once again Mr Sargent uses his liberal peanut gallery like tools. Once again, the bell rings and Sargent's dogs provide the appropriate pavlovian response.

Don't you folks have any self respect?

Did you bother to read Mr Krauthammer's essay? Did you read Mr Sargent's "analysis" of same?

if you did, perhaps you missed this little gem:
"suggesting (without quite saying)"

In everyday parlance, this is called a "smear" Mr Sargent. You're simply making things up now to suit your needs. And your needs are, apparently, a lot of hits to your blog. Why else would you engage in this low form of "journalism"?

What does seem clear is that left is no longer interested in any form of dialog. Look at the comments here as proof of that contention. Name calling, ad homs and ignorance all on display from the left.

Kinda makes you proud of Keith Halloran, doesn't it folks?

That is the standard of practice at the WaPo is a disgrace

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, perhaps you should actually read what the constitution says, specifically, the 1st amendment to the constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

The key words there being "Congress shall make no law..." In this case, Congress is making no law prohibiting the free expression of religion. We're talking about local government, which has this right according to 10th amendment, which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Sorry guys, but Krauthammer is right, but you'd know that if you had actually bothered to read the constitution.

Posted by: WalkTheLine | August 13, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I will also expect the frightened Republicans to go to war once something is built at "Ground Zero". If this is so sacred then no one can actually use it for something as terrible as making money or having a coffee ON THE SITE ITSELF. I mean if this is sacred, that a church-like attitude needs to be maintained then basically it can be used on SPECICAL occasions but not for every-day life. I'm waiting to hear that come up in discussion.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | August 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is writing specifically for his audience, mouth-breathers and knuckle-draggers, not to persuade anyone with half a brain. His columns are predictably full of extreme ideas and extreme rhetoric.

Posted by: Observer001 | August 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

How about this for an ad hominem skippy -- I think Krauthammer is one of those terrorist anchor babies Louie Gohmert is screeching about. He was born in New York but raised in Montreal -- the FRENCH part of Canada.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, perhaps you should actually read what the constitution says, specifically, the 1st amendment to the constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

The key words there being "Congress shall make no law..." In this case, Congress is making no law prohibiting the free expression of religion. We're talking about local government, which has this right according to 10th amendment, which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Sorry guys, but Krauthammer is right, but you'd know that if you had actually bothered to read the constitution.
Posted by: WalkTheLine
_____________________________________
Silly tea-bagger/Republican, you are forgetting the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Duh dude read the Constitution before spouting off in defense of the indefensible.

Posted by: Observer001 | August 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@WalkTheLine:

Keep reading your copy of the U.S. Constitution. If your copy is up to date, you'll eventually get to a part titled: "Amendment XIV." In the first section of that part, among other things, you'll find these words:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

According to the United States Supreme Court, those words mean, among other things, that most of the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights, including Freedom of Religion, are imposed upon the States. The legal term for that is "incorporation".

I also suspect, if you research, you'll find that the Constitution of the State of New York protects the freedom of religion of its citizens as well. I haven't checked, so I can't be certain, but I believe that most state constitutions do.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I see the Fright-wing is out in force today.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

skippy: "That is the standard of practice at the WaPo is a disgrace."

And yet here you are (again!) supporting this blog with a multitude of clicks. You realize this is a commercial venture and page clicks count, right?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Greg. But there's an even easier rebuttal to Krauthammer's latest tendentious screed: Ground Zero is NOT a sacred site, any more than the American flag is a sacred relic.

Victims of all faiths, and none, died on 9/11. So it is completely inappropriate to bar Muslims or any other religious group from commemorating it.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | August 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@mikefromArlington:

After posting, I guessed that you were snarking. I hope you'll regard my response as simply building on your snark.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@WalkTheLine: No, no, the 10th Amendment decidedly does NOT give state governments the right to prohibit the free exercise of religion. That is an absolutely absurd argument. The Bill of Rights is applied to the states by the 14th Amendment.

Do you actually think that a state could constitutionally decide that only Christians can live there? You seem to clearly skipped over the "not prohibited by it to the states" part of the language you quoted.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | August 13, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1 (re skippy): shhhhhh!

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sargent the typical leftist. There's never a war worth fighting. If you are in a war, it is never worth winning. All, the problems of the world are caused the policies of the USA, Israel, and the republicans. Iran kills its citizens, there is no freedom for women in the Arab world, Africa is a mess. But of course Muslim feelings are the only ones to be respected. The day a clown like Sargent ever gives a damm about an American's feeling will be a first. But this is the new journalism of the future. People who wouldn't make it as cub reporters on the Daily Planet, with no useful work experience, having lived privleged lifes, have the audacity to believe that they should lecture us on what is right. How sad that the Post should give a voice to these pathetic individuals.

Posted by: MrRealistic | August 13, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

It's very simple really - The law does not allow us to prevent this group from building their center wherever they want to.

The issue here stems from this Islamic Group's tone-deafness and utter insensibility to the families of the victims, to the City of New York, and the Nation as a whole.

We don't have the right to stop them, but they should never have tried to do this - as a simple matter of respect and courtesy. That they have tried to do so anyway - suggests an ulterior motive or at the very least utter miscalculation.

Posted by: cerebus-72 | August 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@garrafa10 "It is exactly what I am proposing. A mistake? Whose black mark? Your feelings were certainly not shared by contemporaries. Is it your belief that without Japanese-Americans The Allies would not have triumphed in Europe?"

I was simply suggesting that it was a mistake to take AMERICAN BORN Japanese into internment camps, when they clearly could contribute to society.

I would hazard to guess that your contemporaries are much different than mine, and that saying that Japanese internment was not a mistake is ludicrous. Watch any world war II documentary or read any textbook about the war.

Posted by: biochemist | August 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

What a nutty comparison--mosques and liquor stores. Everyone knows that Moslems don't drink spiritous liquors. Now a more apt comparison might have been between mosques and hog farms. The government can be quite restrictive when you want to site a hog farm in a populated area--public nuisance and all that. But no! Moslems don't eat pork, so there goes that comparison out the window also.

Posted by: sim55 | August 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

quitealarmed, not to worry, skippy is entrenched, and has been for awhile! :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you cmccauley60 for proving my point.

All those years ago William F Buckley (dona eis requiem) got it exactly right.

"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views"


Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer's zoning argument is weak-sauce, and you clearly point out why: the project has been green-lighted.

But let's step back. What if it had not been green-lighted? It's likely that the moment the project was proposed, and paperwork filed with the City, it would be legally difficult to strip the owner of a right to build something they assumed would be permissable when the purchase was made.

This happened in my hometown recently. Even though the City Council down-zoned an industrial parcel, in an attempt to stop a trash transfer station, the developer filed paperwork to "freeze" the industrial zoning. As long as he is the owner, the parcel will remain Industrial.

Posted by: adam16 | August 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Think I'll take my own advice and ignore this story from here on out. As I've said from the outset, before the Plum Line became the All-Downtown-Islamic-Center-All-the-Time blog, this strikes me as pretty purely a local zoning issue that the city of New York seems to have already weighed in on pretty emphatically. And it's pretty hard to imagine any other governmental entity trying to exercise any jurisdiction in the matter, let alone any that could survive a court challenge.

Now if the city had turned down their permits I'd say hell yeah, lets go march in the streets. But since the good guys seem to have pretty much won this one by a KO in the first round, then how exactly it benefits anyone but the scraggly voices of intolerance like Krauthammer, to reward their small-minded mewlings with links, page views for their advertisers and the attention they need to keep the story alive an extra day or two, is a question I can't answer.

Posted by: CalD | August 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

thanks, skippy, for proving mine! LOL

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

All, on another note, a top House GOP candidate declined to endorse Boehner for speaker:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 13, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Greg Sargent debating with Charles Krauthammer? Kind of like a contestant in 'Last Comic Standing' competing with Milton Berle."

-----------------

I assume you're equating Sargent with 'Last Comic Standing' and Krauthammer with Berle. If so, I like the comparison, because neither Krauthammer nor Berle is to be taken seriously.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 13, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
===========================
And yet here you are (again!) supporting this blog with a multitude of clicks. You realize this is a commercial venture and page clicks count, right?

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

Suzie you are just sooooo cute.

Among the reasons I visit here:
(1) Hone debate skills
(2) Understand my enemy
(3) Get a good laugh from the angry left.
(4) Learn to counter the "debate" tactics of the left.

(4) above really isn't working out too well. Since most of the "debate tactics" the left relies upon are ad homs, there's really not much to learn.

Once you've called me a racist, bigot, homophobe for no apparent reason the last shreds of your credibility are gone anyway.

Still you sound soooo cute. Especially when you're engaged in name calling.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the support for the proposed
mosque at Ground Zero by Mayor Bloomberg and other New York politicians has more
to do with guaranteeing the security of lower Manhattan (Wall Street, the future
"Freedom Tower", etc.) than it does with concerns about religious freedom.
While I agree that building a mosque on or near sacred ground is, at best, poor
judgment, do you think the real motivation for permitting it to be built at
Ground Zero is that its presence would possibly deter future attacks in the area
as Islamists may not be willing to damage the $100 million cultural center (or
as some have argued "victory monument")? Please understand, I am not advocating
this approach, but it does seem to be a factor that is generally ignored in the
media.

Posted by: jasonNJ | August 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@blahgblogwordpresscom:

"i note again that your comments seem to betray islamophobia (sorry if you responded when i first noted this -- i lost track of the thread). do you have similar suspicions and fears regarding other religions or do you focus your fear solely on islam?"

You're going to have to actually quote what lines that I wrote that you're asking about, because I'm not exactly sure where you're coming from. I don't think the State Department should pay for Feisal Abdul Rauf's vacations (or Billy Graham's, for that matter). That makes me Islamophobic in your book? I could keep guessing, or you could be more specific.

I'm pretty sure I've never said anything (at least on purpose) that a person (lacking, of course, an agenda-drive axe to grind) should interpret is Islamophobic, although I am not, admittedly, particularly Islamophilic (to coin a phrase).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

RLUIPA Act of 2000. Brought to you by the same conservatives all atitter about this mosque. Hypocrites one and all, big and small.

Posted by: Alsatian1 | August 13, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"(1) Hone debate skills"

LOL. Skippy, go back to high school and learn debate skills. You have none. You never bring any facts to debate, just fright-wing talking points.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@ThinkingMan: "Shakespeare and Jane Austen also used "them" as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun and and "their" as a gender-neutral, singular possessive adjective. That doesn't make them correct."

While it doesn't make them technically correct, I think they both chose the best path available to a gender-neutral construction. As I have used "them" and "their" in exactly this way before, I've got to side with Jane Austen and Shakespeare--and the thousands of other writers who have also used "them" and "their" as gender-neutral for "she" and "her" (and for their possessives). Strunk and White might not approve, but I'll take Austen and Shakespeare's endorsement, and continue to use them thusly, when necessary.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Once you've called me a racist, bigot, homophobe for no apparent reason the last shreds of your credibility are gone anyway."

I'VE never called YOU any of those. Nice try, though. The only thing I've ever called you is SKIPPY! :o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

please substitute the word "one" for the word "you".

Skipsailing28 regrets the syntax error.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Chuckie's scribblings fact-checked EVERY time he publishes a column? They ALL contain such falsehoods, inaccuracies and straw man arguments.

Posted by: whirlwind81 | August 13, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The conservative crowd thinks that if they say something with enough conviction, then the authority follows. In other words, if they want it, they have the authority. It's like a child thinks.

Posted by: gtinla | August 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well you can build it there;
But some stupid red neck will probably blow it up and then we will see back and forth bombings between Christians and Muslims Like the Shiites and Sunnis do over there.

Posted by: rexreddy | August 13, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

If hypocrisy where a bodily disease, diehard right-wing demagogues like Charles Krauthemer would have been long dead.

These people shamelessly and pitifully speak from both sides of their mouths without ever caring to note that the rest of us remember what they have previously said and done. They bellicosely tell us that states and localities must have the ultimate right to determine what they want but quickly abandon this principle when an issue arises that is not to their liking. They preach to the world about the right of the individual to determine his or her own fate but are quick to prescribe external intervention when they know they will not otherwise like the outcome. Does anyone remember the Terri Schiavo case in March 2005?

Posted by: erickaba | August 13, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@ Lemon7221: Yes, good point. If Ground Zero is sacred, then how could any "Christian" allow a money-making activity there? Didn't Jesus throw the vendor and the money-changers out of the temple? Granted, this may not sway Mr. Krauthammer, but this is the savior subscribed to by Palin, Gingrich and most other vocal critics, and wouldn't they want to follow His example?

Of course, the location of Park51 is not at the site of Ground Zero but was merely collateral damage nearby. So we need to know: how much area of Lower Manhattan is "sacred"?

What if the Cordoba Initiative didn't have a specific area set aside for prayer? Would the vocal opponents accept the project if the operators merely set aside a room with no furniture but with several small rugs? Maybe they should declare what they are actually FOR so that we can get a sense of what (if an.ything) WOULD be acceptable in their eyes

Posted by: TexasSkeptic | August 13, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

A RESPONSE TO: rprieto’s post:
Rprieto wrote: “Listen very carefully: Judeo/Christians do not want to help propagate foreign religions! There, I've said it! We are a Judeo/Christian country and we don't want mosques at ground zero or anywhere else in the US!”

Ah the so-called Judeo/Christians are at it again. They use religion to justify everything - like they did to justify slavery. They killed thousands of black slaves and freed-slaves by lynching. They (for example, the Southern Baptist Convention) joined with racist groups (like the Ku Klux Klan) to exclude Black Americans from attending schools and universities and from eating and staying at certain “white-only” locations. To this day, they [the KKK] use the Judeo-Christian religious symbol, namely the Cross, to intimidate non-whites (and sometimes Jews) and drive them away from neighborhoods they believe only whites should inhabit.

The Judeo-Christina organization referred to as the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa (also known at the time as the Gereformeede Kerk and the Hervormde Kerk) provided justification for the barbaric practice of apartheid by citing (or interpreting) the Calvinist principle (to mean) that God intended for the races to be separate and that God created all the other “dark races” to serve the “superior light” (white) race”.

The Judeo-Christians, executing the principle of Manifest Destiny, killed (at times by poisoning) millions of native American Indians and other indigenous peoples as they expanded westward and southwest into what is today Texas, California, etc.
hypocricy
Another Judeo-Christian, Adolf Hitler, believing that God created the white race to be the dominant and superior race on this earth, set out to “implement and perfect” this belief by aiming to create a truly “pure white race”. And thus we had War World II that resulted into the deaths of millions of people, including at least 6 million Jews who were systematically and purposefully rounded up, put in concentration camps and gassed to death.

The same Judeo-Christians concocted a bunch of abominable lies about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s involvement in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and took this country to a needless, senseless and costly war that took the lives of more than 4,000 American service persons and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

A Judeo-Christian named Timothy McVeigh, believing in the righteousness of his twisted anti-government cause, took the lives of about 168 innocent people (including 19 children at a daycare) when he blew up the Alfred T. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on June 19, 1995.

I could go on and on forever. But in the interest of brevity I will stop here.

Posted by: erickaba | August 13, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"First off, I just wanted to point out the absurdity of Mr. Krauthammer's bringing Auschwitz into the argument."

You're reading Krauthammer. The Holocaust, anti-semitism, and the 3rd Reich are the crutches he uses to support his arguments against anything he disagrees with. Apparently it passes for critical thinking in some circles.

Posted by: divi3 | August 13, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Building a mosque (or church or synagogue, for that matter) at ground zero is a good way to fan the very flames of hatred that provoked the 9/11 religion-induced mass murder in the first place. The New York government has every interest in keeping their cities peaceful, and this plan would certainly increase tensions between religious groups. (Would you put an Orthodox Christian church on top of a mass grave of Muslims from the Bosnian War? No, not unless you want to start another war.) It's time to move past this silliness.

Posted by: RJ24 | August 13, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

in reseponse to this:
============================
So we need to know: how much area of Lower Manhattan is "sacred"?
================================

That's an easy question to answer: the public will debate it, just as we are debating it now.

This difference now is that those who oppose the new Mosque are raising solid arguments. And the liberal haters are simply slinging pooh. As usual.

Instead of leveling ad homs why not try to raise a valid argument? Why not try to show your much vaunted tolerance and seek to understand a different point of view.

Nah, that would require some effort, right? and it is Friday, right?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

There are two Mosque's on Manhattan Island already and six in Western Brooklyn.

Building elsewhere is an option.

The grieving has not ended yet.

No respect is being given to those who may still be grieving from this event.

Posted by: gr8gozo | August 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"After claiming that Ground Zero is "sacred" and questioning the motives behind the project, he then invokes government's right to zone against liquor stores and strip malls."

Then I guess Mr. Sargent is making the point that ground zero is common ground then. Kind of like a dog park or a city dump.

Posted by: gr8gozo | August 13, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

An old Burlington Coat Factory building is sacred? Yes, I know it's two blocks from where the World Trade Center was but I am not at war against Islam. Are you? Bin Laden would like you to be and opposing this reasonable and legal request is playing into his hands.

Two blocks is too close? We'll what's too close? Ten blocks, fifteen blocks?

We are constantly asking Muslims to "get over" the Crusades like 'it's no big thing and it was a long time ago.' We should allow the building of the community center. It's the legal and right thing to do.

Religious freedom is religious freedom for everybody. We must show the world we are better than the Bin Laden types.

Posted by: cfeher | August 13, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

This writing is the main reason I am distancing myself more and more from Liberal democrats. They refuse to take into account the significance of this issue. They keep arguing that Americans are intolerant against Islam. They believe that Americans owe something to the muslim world. And finally they think that constructing this mosque will improve US relationship with the the muslim world. Most of these arguments are either unfounded or stupid.

And Sargeant your argument is also confused so please shut up.

Posted by: trumeau | August 13, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent...."Mosque-keteer!" What Greg and the rest of the apologetic left doesn't factor in, is what about the impact to all the Kosher deli's in the surrounding area? 15 stories full of angry Mohammedens can't be good for business.

Posted by: luca_20009 | August 13, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

it was your comments about having suspicions that the building the mosque had some kind of nefarious intentions rather than outrage as they have stated. you also ruminated about the worldwide muslim population as a reason not to think of them as a minority here. as with red baiters in the past, you seem to harbor dark fears concerning islam and muslims.

i was simply wondering if you feel this way about all religious adherents or only muslims.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again. The only way to prove patriotic Americans aren’t crushing the 1st Amendment is to calmly support neo-pagan KKK demands to emolate Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials.

The only way to prove we’re not xenophobes is to remain coldly apathetic over Marxist demands to erect Stalin’s bust next to the D-Day memorial.
http://stalinstatue.com/

Apparently, the 1st amendment is now an invitation to shut up, bend over and grab your ankles? Not in my America, Jack!

Why are areligious Quislings– who reflexively vomit over school (*gasp*) Christmas pageants– suddenly the arbiters of what’s reasonable at Ground Zero?

Submissiveness to Imam Rauf’s Islamo-supremacist demands sends the message that Americans are Quislings and cowards.

Are American Quislings (in both parties) prepared to let Cordoba House intellectually bully them into accepting Imam Rauf’s false assertion– that sharia law advocacy is (somehow) representative of moderate Muslims?

American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for secular Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Cordoba House jihadists than insincere bromides and disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia law, as practiced by the Cordoba House cabal and their financial sponsors.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the sharia law vendors of Cordoba House supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists– but don’t hold your breath.
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

“Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!” [Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

oops: 'rather than *outreach* as they claim

the outrage here is being cornered by the american taliban, as demonstrated on this very thread.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I heard they we're getting ready to build the largest Japanese restaurant in the world in Pearl Harbor. I also heard that they we're considering building all prisons in the US in the shape of a swastika. These are no more ridiculous than building a mosque at ground zero. But build it if you must we'll simply burn it to the ground.....The fact that this is even being considered is unthinkable.

Posted by: askgees | August 13, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Simple solution (to many ills): End all tax exemptions for religions. Take the profits out of prophets.

Where is Voltaire when we need him? Tom Jefferson?

That said, Krauthammer is so loony on so many issues that there's no need to pay much attention to him on this either.

Posted by: bobskis | August 13, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"This writing is the main reason I am distancing myself more and more from Liberal democrats. They refuse to take into account the significance of this issue."

The people who LIVE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD debated the issue for hours and in very public fashion over the course of weeks and months. In the end, the people who LIVE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD approved the mosque.

Why are conservatives such unabashed hypocrites? Local people made their decision about their neighborhood, and rightwingers cry and moan for the govt to overturn what they decided. What happened to the evils of big govt controlling our lives?

For Christ's sake, please try and be more consistent!

Posted by: divi3 | August 13, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Leftist-fascists in NYC agencies don't hesitate to obstruct construction of houses of worship-- at least NON-Islamic ones.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/nine-years-later-church-at-ground-zero-still-not-rebuilt-but-mad-rush-to-build-islamic-supremacist-m.html

These same Quislings would sell your Catholic mother's grave to support a scatologists right to squat and plop a steaming pile of free expression.

But when patriotic Americans object to jihadists opening a 9/11 snuff porn vendor emporium (and recruitment center) on the hallowed graves of Ground Zero-- and Leftists shriek with indignation!

"Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!"
[Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I am out of that area and not privy to the zoning hearings. What was the argument for placing it there in the first place?

I do question the tact of such a request and understand why it would be an affront to some. I think the best way to handle this is to take it out of local or national politics and have a city wide referendum.

I also believe that the financing needs to be more transparent. If the House of Saud, or Hamas might be funding this, then I definately have a problem. At this point, disclosure has been refused and the Imam is on a State Department sponsored trip to the Middle East. Can we say fund raiser??

Posted by: therapist11 | August 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer shouldn't be allowed within 2 blocks of a keyboard

Posted by: dt776 | August 13, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I am an Italian citizen working in the US for an international organization in Washington, DC not far from the target of the 4th hijacked aircraft. Cannot believe how some people can be so obtuse and intolerant and blindly anti-Islamic that they are unable to distinguish Al-Qaeda from Islam. Americans must really take a stance for the values their country stands for and counter the irrationality of voices like Krauthammer's.

Posted by: gzanini | August 13, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

[gzanini sneered: "they are unable to distinguish Al-Qaeda from Islam."]

Here we find the silly “tiny minority” fallacy again. Pernicious nonsense!

The Tiny Minority Fallacy is as much use in understanding crime as it is in understanding cancer. I weigh about 85kg, 5% of which is 4.25kg. If my doctor told me I had cancer of the bowel, lungs, and brain but that the total weight of all tumorous tissue in my body was no more than 4.25kg and that there was therefore no particular cause for alarm, I would find a different doctor. To imply that cancer needs to be something other than a tiny minority of one’s body weight before it constitutes an existential threat would be to misunderstand cancer. So it is with crime and criminals.

These Quislings 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 @
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

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/

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"So that got me to thinking: Would anyone really object if Japan wanted to build a cultural center two blocks from Pearl Harbor?"

Do you think anyone would have objected in 1946?

Posted by: asoders22 | August 13, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@ZAP you are the one who makes us all sick...you forget the blood that has been shed over two centuries now to preserve religious freedom.

I serve on the Planning Commission in my city. I am fairly familiar with land use designations, zoning, concurrency etc.

Krauthammer's article if for the morons like ZAP who lack intellect or experience. If Krauthmammer really believes that steaming pile of poo he published then he is a true IDIOT!!!

Yes the Mosque could legally be prevented through zoning...but that of course would also mean that NO OTHER HOUSES OF WORSHIP could be built. The instant a municipality wrote a zoning law that prevented only ONE religion from building they have VIOLATED THE FREAKING CONSTITUTION.

Does the fright wing not pay attention during school and civics classes...ohhh sorry I forgot mama grizzley has shown us time and time again the fright wing HATES THE CONSTITUTION AND HATES AMERICA.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 13, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Sargent (maybe buck private by now) you are so full of yourself. You have no respect for human endeavor and the protection of the American Way...which does not include the building of edifices in any place the builder wants. Zoning, best use, and other laws are on the books.

You disgust me with your insincerity towards 3,000+ martyrs and their families.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | August 13, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

If its so sacred, why is there a Burger King at Ground Zero? I'm not a Democrat but Republicans seem to have lost their minds!

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | August 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding7: Leftist-fascists in NYC agencies don't hesitate to obstruct construction of houses of worship-- at least NON-Islamic ones.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/nine-years-later-church-at-ground-zero-still-not-rebuilt-but-mad-rush-to-build-islamic-supremacist-m.html

Quislings like you wouldn't dream of selling your mother's grave to support a scatologists "right" to squat and plop a steaming pile of free expression.

But when patriotic Americans object to jihadists opening a 9/11 snuff porn vendor emporium (and recruitment center) on the hallowed graves of Ground Zero-- the Quislings shriek with indignation!

"Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!"
[Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

What's next for Krauthammer?Perhaps he will advocate that all Muslims be forced to wear a large yellow crescent moon badge? Such an ID would be quite in keeping with his warped understanding of "freedom of religion."

Posted by: gargoyle22 | August 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

On a purely academic level, Islamophobia exists in North American whether one likes it or not. And it exists because some very violent and murderous people wrap themselves completely in the Muslim religion and justify their actions by quoting their holy book. Yes, they are terrorists and in reality, little more than petty self-important cowards, but they are also loudly and proudly Muslims. And, in part, because there is no single Muslim leader (a la Pope), there really hasn't been any viable condemnation of Islamic terrorism by Muslim leaders or indeed, any efforts whatsoever on the part of Muslims to bring to justice those who would hijack their religion. In fact, many North American Muslims continue to financially support organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah under the guise of "charitable donations." So it isn't a stretch for the regular guy on the street to assume that all Muslims are in agreement with terrorist ideals - and that includes killing as many Westerners as possible. People are afraid, and not without some reason. And if they don't trust the words of those Muslims who purport to be attempting to build bridges, frankly who can blame them? I'm not much for declaring Ground Zero as holy ground, but Muslims who want to build a mosque there are only poking sticks into the eyes of Americans who still weep for the thousands of innocents lost that day. It seems to me that if you really want to build bridges, you should first and foremost be sensitive to the anguish of those who you want to build bridges with.

Posted by: bobdog3 | August 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"....The fact that this is even being considered is unthinkable.

Posted by: askgees | August 13, 2010 3:35 PM"
------------------

-- would you like to sign your real name to that threat of violence if you don't get exactly your way?

you are an coward and you stand in opposition to the rights and freedoms listed in the constitution.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@divi3

I am not crying for the government to do anything. I wish the developper will stop and build the mosque somewhere else.

As for the local people in manhattan, this issue is beyond their control. Americans from Hawaii to Florida have been sent to war because of 9/11 and the government is giving more money to NYC for security because of 9/11. So the issue will not be solved only by the people of Manhattan. It affects everyone in the US whether you like it or not.

Posted by: trumeau | August 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The Constitution can't stop Islamists from simply BUYING America piece by piece - can it?

Posted by: asoders22 | August 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Americans slag the Islamofascists for the alleged cowardly murder of 2,000+ human beings at the WTC, yet they easily shrug off the hundreds of thousands of human beings killed by smart bombs and American bullets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq. 2,000+ vs. 1,000,000+. Well at least we are winning the body counts. If they are gonna put Nine Eleven on Buses in NYC, then they should put photos of civilian collateral damage so Americans can see what's been done in their name! regards

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | August 13, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer, like all good reactionary Republicans, will use government to enforce religious orthodoxy and whim, in society. Though he will rail against government when it regulates commerce and industry.

Ground Zero is NOT a sacred place, as he claims. Sacred is a religious attribute. And Krauthammer does not have the credentials to confer it on the site.

But there are other reasons to question, and oppose, the placing of an Islamic mosque so close to the site that was destroyed by Islamic ferment. Why are those who want to build this mosque so adamant about this location? They cannot clothe the apparent hostility of such an act with humanitarian rationalization. Hostility is a good word for the pain it will cause all those people who were, and are still affected, physically or in their hearts, by the atrocious attack on the World Trade Centers, and against the United States.

I sympathize with those people who are asking for the mosque to be relocated to a non-controversial site. If such a simple action would bring peace to this issue, then let there be peace.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | August 13, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the hunt for the Nine Eleven Conspirator UBL? I question what the Government told us about the Attacks, The War in Iraq for WMD, the War in Afghanistan for UBL?? Equating Holy Islamic Warriors with the War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom, was a mistake. These terrorists are thugs, and you give them too much credit calling them Warriors. Anyway, we'll never win. We'll just end up like the USSR, with both parties to split the blame.

Posted by: BornAgainAmerican | August 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

At least according to Jon Stewart, there's been a Mosque only 4 blocks away from Ground Zero for over 40 years.
.
Anyone back that up? because if that's true I'm amazed it hasn't been mentioned to shut these morons up.

Posted by: rpixley220

That IS the mosque being relocated---it's been there for at least 30 years that I know of---amazing how Republicans demand strict adherence to the Constitution except when they don't like the consequences. Or they babble like Gingrich and demand we act like Saudi Arabia---a truly irrelavant comparison as a standard to which WE ought to adhere.

How exactly does the construction of a house of worship desecrate or demean "holy ground"? and exactly how is something 2 blocks away an "intrusion"? When will the bloviators realize the common ties and origins extant in all 3 monotheistic religions--and that they worship the SAME GOD? Either this country stands for tolerance and UNIVERSAL freedom, or we should should stop pretending we are that "shining city upon a hill"....and at that point, the terrorists will have won.

Posted by: bklyndan22 | August 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@trumeau | August 13, 2010 4:05 PM: "As for the local people in manhattan, this issue is beyond their control. Americans from Hawaii to Florida have been sent to war because of 9/11 and the government is giving more money to NYC for security because of 9/11. So the issue will not be solved only by the people of Manhattan. It affects everyone in the US whether you like it or not. "

that is unadulterated bs. nice try, but only sort of, at explaining the frightwing republican hypocrisy.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why Greg hasn't commented on Obama's dishonest and McCarthyite attack...
is propped up by the Soros propoganda empire.. clownish president... falsely denounces an American citizen group... and Greg and his minions have nothing to say about this dictatorial assault.

Posted by: quarterback1
===========================================

Well, after reading this pointless (as well as fact-light) diatribe, I am still wonder what this has to do with the article about trying to stop a building project two blocks from ground zero?

If you just felt the need to vent your spleen, next time, stick your head in bucket of water and don't subject the rest of us to your ranting.

TY

Posted by: jayjordan | August 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I swear sometimes I am ready to move to a country that has a smarter, more enlightened population.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 13, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

*************

Please!!!! And take all of your smart and enlightened liberal friends with you! Don't let the door hit your butts on the way out.

Posted by: Howsthathopeandchangeworkingforyou | August 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This article and those responding supporting it make me sick. Quick to forget the blood that was paid on 9/11.

Posted by: zap123

Not to stress your little brain too far, but it's clear you don't seem to understand that Muslim NY'ers died in the WTC that day as well. Or did you think only Christians died?

Posted by: bklyndan22 | August 13, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I would think that Krazyhammer is Fred Hiatt's greatest source of embarrassment if I believed Hiatt was capable of embarrassment.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | August 13, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This article and those responding supporting it make me sick. Quick to forget the blood that was paid on 9/11.

Posted by: zap123

Not to stress your little brain too far, but it's clear you don't seem to understand that Muslim NY'ers died in the WTC that day as well. Or did you think only Christians died?

Posted by: bklyndan22

Not to stress your little brain too far, but it's clear you don't seem to understand that all of the 9/11 attackers were muslim.

Posted by: trumeau | August 13, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Rational arguments has never been one of Krauthammer's strengths.

Posted by: dnice2k | August 13, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"In response to this:
============================
So we need to know: how much area of Lower Manhattan is "sacred"?
================================
That's an easy question to answer: the public will debate it, just as we are debating it now.

This difference now is that those who oppose the new Mosque are raising solid arguments. And the liberal haters are simply slinging pooh. As usual.

Instead of leveling ad homs why not try to raise a valid argument? Why not try to show your much vaunted tolerance and seek to understand a different point of view.

Nah, that would require some effort, right? and it is Friday, right?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 13, 2010 2:57 PM"

Skip, I'm glad to see you advocating civility and openness to other points of view. Maybe you could lead the way by demonstrating those admirable traits in your own contributions, instead of saying things like "The liberal haters are slinging pooh, as usual." (And the word is spelled "poo," by the way.)

But to quote you, "Nah, that would require some effort, right?"

In addition, the only solid arguments in this debate are coming from those who believe the First Amendment means what it says: Proximity to Ground Zero does not vitiate freedom of religion, even for Muslims.

And, as I commented in my own posting, the answer to the question about how much of Lower Manhattan is sacred is "None." Which means there is no basis whatsoever for banning a mosque from opening its doors there, let alone two blocks away from the site.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | August 13, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@trumeau | August 13, 2010 4:25 PM

and it has been only christianist american talibans who have murdered doctors who provide abortions. should we not allow any chrisitian churches in a 5 (or whatever) block radius of hospitals?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@KadafiDelendaEst: "The Tiny Minority Fallacy is as much use in understanding crime as it is in understanding cancer."

So your position is that religions must be held accountable for the actions of their members even if those actions are taken by a small minority whose beliefs are expressly disavowed by the mainstream.

Fair enough. Using that reasoning, let's ask the Cordoba House to relocate, but won't we also have to ask every Christian Church to relocate more than two blocks away from any residential neighborhoods? After all, some Christian priests in the Roman Catholic church sexually molested minors. By your reasoning, this makes all Christians guilty of pedophilia. We can't allow churches full of those Christian pedophiles anywhere near our children, can we?

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 13, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a lawyer, for good or bad, and I'm quite conservative. Of course the building of a mosque or religious center cannot be constitutionally prohibited on that basis. Really. It is quite clear. If zoning laws permitted the prohibition they may be subject to challenge on the basis of a constitional argument as well. But even in this case, the zoning laws permit the building so there can be no legitimate legal beef with the project. Even though I am a "conservative" I simply can't stand the moral police because I am never sure where their "authority" comes from. Terrible opinion piece by Krauthammer. I think the Ground Zero mosque is a monumentally bad idea by its sponsors and that they are utter fools for suggesting it, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to do so. This is America after all. The NYC government has done the right thing to approve the project. And those seeking to persuade the mosque proponents to reconsider where they build are also doing the right thing - they just can't do it through the law.

Posted by: JohnGaltIsHere | August 13, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The city of New York could and should reverse it voting decision.

This mosque is not the free exercise of religion. It is the free exercise of arrogance and a thumb in the eye on all Americans.

Mr. Krauthammer’s morality argument is valid. If these Islamists had and sense of decency they’d drop their plans.

Building the mosque there is a disgrace.

Posted by: tom841 | August 13, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@blaghblog: "it was your comments about having suspicions that the building the mosque had some kind of nefarious intentions"

I'm sorry, all of Islam is building the community center? Or just a select group of people who, based on their public personas and ruminations, I don't think are serious about "outreach", and I consider to be moderate apologist for radical Islam. I'm not sure how that's phobic. But okay.

"rather than outrage as they have stated."

I'm assuming that's a Freudian slip.

"you also ruminated about the worldwide muslim population as a reason not to think of them as a minority here"

It's interesting how we consider certain heavily populous groups minorities by how we demarcate boundaries. With careful enough demarcation, anybody becomes a minority. I'm not drawing any broader conclusions based on that. It's just an observation.

"as with red baiters in the past, you seem to harbor dark fears concerning islam and muslims."

And you've come to this conclusion based on what?

"i was simply wondering if you feel this way about all religious adherents or only muslims."

I don't think I've got specific feelings about all of Islam in the aggregate, except that perhaps it did us a favor when it got Cat Stevens out of making music.

Specific people and specific incidents, I may like or dislike, but all of Islam is a very big brush, and "all religious adherents" is a huge brush, because that includes almost everybody. Even atheists have their rites and orthodoxies.

I'm not sure I'm up to having coherent feelings and opinions about 1.5 billion people at a time, or the entire thousand-plus year history of Islam.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@trumaeu: "Not to stress your little brain too far, but it's clear you don't seem to understand that all of the 9/11 attackers were muslim."

All the attackers were also young men. They also all had a fondness for clubbing, apparently. Etc., etc. I understand there is a value to profiling, but trying to create reverse causal relationships--the 9/11 attackers were all Muslim men, thus all Muslim Men must be 9/11 attackers--simply isn't true.

For example, most of the liberals here talk as if every conservative supports the government intervening and preventing the construction of the mosque, whereas in punditry circles, it's pretty much a 50/50 split. It should be a 99/1 split in favor of letting people build a community center where they want, but still . . . just because a guy in a red coat robs a store doesn't mean that everybody who wears a red coat robbed or will rob a store.

I will refrain from commenting on the size of anybody's brain.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 13, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

[QuiteAlarmed sneered: "So your position is that religions must be held accountable for the actions of their members even if those actions are taken by a small minority whose beliefs are expressly disavowed by the mainstream."]

Another Quisling mistates my position as well as the cited evidence. Allow me to restate the obvious.

American Quislings (in both parties) 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 @
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

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/

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Greg - the guy who's championing this mosque believes that the United States is responsible for 9/11. You're right, we absolutely should reward that line of thinking. Were you even alive on 9/11?

Posted by: BillyBob7 | August 13, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Be gone Dr. Krauthammer before someone drops a house on you.

Posted by: the1joncook | August 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

After reading both this and Krauthammer's opinions I would say that the analogy appropriate for Krauthammer would be if al Queda wanted to build a cultural center at Ground Zero. In that case I would support his argument with his analogies. As Krauthammer points out in his piece only a fraction of Muslims are militant. To ostracize an entire religion that has as many interpretations as Christianity does is just wrong.

Posted by: MJett | August 13, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Krauthammer is a well educated man and he knows very well that his argument is specious and, from a logical point of view, incoherent. Why would he do this? Would he traduce his own honor over a mosque in New York? This seems unlikely. Mr. Krauthammer is one of a group of people grouped loosely around The Wall Street Journal and Commentary magazine that is seeking to involve the United States in a war with Iran. Their first loyalty is not to this country. It is to Israel. This unfortunate fact must always be kept in mind when when considering what motivates them.

Posted by: mmurray2 | August 13, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

billybob, care to provide any evidence backing up your claim?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

kevin,

well, you're not repeating rabid prejudice or threatening to burn down the center like some of the others opposed to building. but your suspicions about nefarious plots and global population figures don't paint you in an all together flattering light. you act taken aback, but i suspect that is disingenuous and i think you are not really attempting too forcefully to deceive even yourself about that.

and yes, perhaps it was freudian. but, as i already wrote, it is the american taliban who are spouting outrage.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

[Kevin_Willis sneered: "All the attackers were also young men."]

It's a good thing today's Quislings weren't calling the shots when Shinto-fascist youths attacked Pearl Harbor. Judging strictly from the peaceful nature of Shintoism, the Greatest Generation didn't flatter themselves by imagining those head-hacking, suicide bombing youts weren't representative of some "tiny minority" of Shinto-fascists.

But these are the strange delusions today's Quislings indulge when confronting the global jihad of apartheid Islamo-supremacists.

Not surprisingly, a tiny minority of secular Shinto-Americans served honorable in our armed forces against their co-religionists; just as a genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found today @
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

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 be an apologists for Islamo-supremacism your whole life, Quisling.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Westerners are all for reconciliation. Here's a good place to start. Muslims should first be required to return Muslim-occupied Cyprus and the Hostage Ghost City of Famagusta (home of the desecrated St. Nicholas Cathedral)— then Islamo-supremacists of Cordoba House (and their Quisling allies) can howl about their alleged “right” to desecrate Ground Zero.

St. Nicholas (aka, Santa Claus) called— he’d like his Muslim desecrated cathedral in Cyprus returned;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nicholas_Cathedral_Of_Cyprus

...and his Muslim destroyed cathedral at Ground Zero rebuilt.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/nine-years-later-church-at-ground-zero-still-not-rebuilt-but-mad-rush-to-build-islamic-supremacist-m.html

VIDEO: Famagusta, The Hostage Ghost City of Europe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcfBJ7DimB8

Don’t be apartheid Islamo-supremacism advocates your whole lives, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

bobdog3 wrote: Islamaphobia exists in North America "because some violent and murderous people wrap themselves completely in the Muslim religion and justify their actions by quoting their holy book. Yes, they are terrorists...but they are also loudly and proudly Muslims.... In fact, many North American Muslims continue to financially support organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah under the guise of 'charitable donations.' So it isn't a stretch for the regular guy on the street to assume that all Muslims are in agreement with terrorist ideals - and that includes killing as many Westerners as possible."
___________________________________________

What an incredible comment. Nice for you to speak for every "regular guy on the street"...fortunately, you don't. To assume that all American Muslims (1-3 million or more) support terrorism (based mostly on actions of 19 non-Americans)...you have to be extremely IQ-challenged.

You must figure every Catholic...oh, and Protestant...is a "terrorist" too for the actions of their co-religionists in Ireland; Americans have been contributing to the IRA and to Protestant groups for many decades.

How 'bout the Jews? Your description could have fit in the 1940s. If it were not for acts of terrorism against the Brits, the State of Israel almost certainly would not have been established as soon as it was. Google "King David Hotel 1946" (the Jerusalem hotel blown up by a Jewish group, killing 91 people) or "Lord Moyne" (the British minister assassinated by another Jewish group in 1944). An openly avowed leader of a Jewish terrorist group...Menachem Begin...was Israeli prime minister 1977-1983 (I lived in Israel when he was a leading politician and proud of his actions against British military and civilian personnel).

Or the Sikhs and Hindus in India? Or....

Point is: "terrorism" is not unique to ANY religion, sect, nationality, or anything else...it's just a "weapon" used by those who feel desparate enough in wanting to get their point across or express their perceived grievances. There have been those using acts of terrorism for at least 2,000 years.

You should do some research on Hezbollah and Hamas...they are "not" trying to kill "as many Westerners as possible." That is not their philosophy or goal. (Hezbollah carries out extensive charity/humanitarian work for the Lebanese, for one thing.) The Palestinians are desparate for a homeland...just as the Jews were. That similarity gets obscured, because "winners write history"...but it's just historical fact.

Sadly, fanatics/radicals using acts of terror (a few thousand at most) have aleady "won"...turned so many Americans into cowards without a backbone, unwilling to stand up and say: nothing can or will stop us from adhering to our most fundamental values. "Tarring" millions of Americans as "terrorists" based on complete ignorance is not an American "value" that I was familiar with.

Posted by: Rigged | August 13, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

[Rigged sneered: "nothing can or will stop us from adhering to our most fundamental values."]

*pffl* Here we go again. The only way to prove patriotic Americans aren’t crushing "our fundamental values" is to calmly support neo-pagan KKK demands to emolate Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials.

The only way to prove we have "a backbone" is to remain coldly apathetic over Marxist demands to erect Stalin’s bust next to the D-Day memorial.
http://stalinstatue.com/

Apparently, the 1st amendment is now an invitation to shut up, bend over and grab your ankles? Not in my America, Jack!

Why are areligious Quislings– who reflexively vomit over school (*gasp*) Christmas pageants– suddenly the arbiters of what’s reasonable at Ground Zero?

Submissiveness to Imam Rauf’s Islamo-supremacist demands sends the message that Americans are Quislings and cowards.

Are American Quislings (in both parties) prepared to let Cordoba House intellectually bully them into accepting Imam Rauf’s false assertion– that sharia law advocacy is (somehow) representative of moderate Muslims?

American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for secular Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Cordoba House jihadists than insincere bromides and disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia law, as practiced by the Cordoba House cabal and their financial sponsors.

A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.
http://secularislam.org/blog/post/SI_Blog/21/The-St-Petersburg-Declaration

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the sharia law vendors of Cordoba House supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists– but don’t hold your breath.

“Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!”
[Matthew 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe President 7 Iron and Michelle in Mourning could give us an opinion on this?

Posted by: robtr | August 13, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

bklyndan22, I take exception to your statement that the three great monotheistic religions pray to the same God. The God of the Jews does not have three parts. The God of the Christians does not call on the faithful to convert the infidel or kill him (Spanish inquisition notwithstanding). The God of each of these three religions has glaringly different attributes, and is not the same.

Posted by: sim55 | August 13, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought bobdog3 was "IQ-challenged"...and now KaddafiDelendaEst puts him to shame. Would just note:

- I lived on Cyprus for 3 years...it is NOT a "Muslim-occupied" island. Turkish Cypriots (whose roots on Cyprus go back many centuries), with Turkish troops for support, occupy about 1/3rd of the island. Greek Cypriots occupy the other two-thirds. How that relates to any of this is a complete mystery...known only to the conspiratorial mind.

As far as the rest of your posts, they are so out-of-your-mind irrational as to be laughable: but it was a good laugh. Thanks

Few "calmly support" any KKK demands; Stalin's statue in rural Virginia is hardly an issue of more than marginal interest (to me, anyway...my father died in the Philippines fighting the Japanese); and using "bend over" in reference to the 1st Amendment...total bonkers.

Posted by: Rigged | August 13, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

[Rigged lied: "I lived on Cyprus for 3 years...it is NOT a "Muslim-occupied" island."]

Since the Turkish occupation and ethnic cleansing of Greek Cyprus began in 1974:

* at least 55 Greek churches have been converted into mosques

* another 50 Greek churches and monasteries have been converted into stables, stores, hostels, museums, or have been demolished

* the cemeteries of at least 25 Greek villages have been desecrated and destroyed

* innumerable icons, religious artifacts and all kinds of archaeological treasures have been stolen and smuggled abroad
illegal excavations and smuggling of antiquities is openly taking place all the time with the involvement of the occupying forces

* all Greek place names contrary to all historical and cultural reason were converted into Turkish ones.

Why doesn’t rigged howl about the cultural rape and occupation of northern Cyprus? Priceless antiquities have been pillaged; Greeks have been driven out of their homes; ancient churches have been converted into mosques; and the thriving resort of Famagusta transformed into a ghost town. Nobody cares.

Instead, Quislings obsesses over the trumped-up plight of Cordoba House— apartheid Islamo-supremacists committed to opening a 9/11 snuff porn vendor emporium (and jihadi recruitment center) on the hallowed graves of Ground Zero.

VIDEO: Famagusta, The Hostage Ghost City of Europe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcfBJ7DimB8

Don't be an apologist for aparthied Islamo-supremacism your whole life, Quisling.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

[Rigged admits: "Few 'calmly support' any KKK demands"]

quod erat demonstrandum

/checkmate

Grade: F- (miserable failure)

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Examine the authors’ “sacrilege” objection in light of Cordoba House sentiments;

“Muslims are the vilest of animals…”
“Show mercy to one another, but be ruthless to Muslims”
“How perverse are Muslims!”
“Strike off the heads of Muslims, as well as their fingertips”
“Fight those Muslims who are near to you”
“Muslim mischief makers should be murdered or crucified”

Hate speech? Incitement to violence? Sounds like it to me; but a knowledgeable Muslim would have to disagree.
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Articles/Quran_Hate.htm

Why would Cordoba House Muslims not consider this to be hate speech? How is it that I can post these quotes with full certainty that Cordoba House won’t be contacting WaPo Editors (or Congress) with wild-eyed accusations of Islamophobia?

Don’t be apologists for Islamo-supremacism.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer is a hard core ZIONIST.He is spreading hate and lies against all muslims to please his masters in Israel.These are the people who pushed us to the unnecessary wars which hurt us so badly.He keeps advocating for a third
war against Iran.He is in the same league
as Richard Perle, Bill Krystal, Feith and
Paul Wolfowitz etc.Their main job is to propagate hate and lies against Muslims and fool the American people.Now look where we are. we have become a beggar nation.Just the Iraq war is going to cost
us about 3 TRILLION dollars plus over 4000
American dead and more than 30000 injured
We have to take care of these injured people for a very long time.
Mr Krauthammer should not forget that it was Muslims who saved and gave refuge to his people when his '' FRIENDS '' christians were Killing them on mass scale.
People like him will fight to the last American and spend the last cent to please
Israel.


Posted by: swasimjafry | August 13, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Are Leftist idiotarians prepared to let Cordoba House intellectually bully them into accepting the false assertion that Imam Rauf's sharia law advocacy is (somehow) representative of all Muslims?

Muslim victim of 9/11: 'Build your mosque somewhere else'
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/06/AR2010080603006.html

/absurdity on stilts

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

[swasimjafry spat: "Krauthammer is a hard core ZIONIST.He is spreading hate"]

Quislings have the audacity to climb up on their hind legs and howl about (alleged) patriotic American "hatred" after their Leftist co-conspirators spent the last decade goose-stepping at kristallnaght-style gutter riots for Islamo-supremacism (masquerading as “peace” protests).

Patriotic Americans are encourage to Enter the “Leftist-fascist Hall of Shame” and remember what Islamo-supremacism advocacy looks like.
http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

So, when is billionaire progressive George Soros financing the unhinged Quisling rent-a-mob rally against ObaMao’s summary execution of three (un-Mirandized) Somali teens at sea? Afterall, that tactic was clearly more “fascist” than our patriotic moistening of KSM, et.al. The one year anniversary of ObaMao’s high seas shooting spree has already passed. Get busy, Quislings.

Rage against the machine, man!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 13, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

NOTICE HOW LIBERALS ARE ALWAYS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF EVERY ISSUE? MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WERE AGAINST THE HEALTH CARE BILL. LIBERALS SUPPORTED IT. MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT SB1070 IN AZ. LIBERAL ADMINISTRATION HAS SUED THE STATE OF AZ. MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE AGAINST SAME SEX MARRIAGE. LIBERALS SUPPORT IT. AND GREG, HOW EMBARASSING FOR A LIGHT WEIGHT LIKE YOU TRYING TO GO TOE TO TOE WITH CHARLES. PLEASE.........THAT IS LIKE BARRACK OBAMA TRYING TO GO UP AGAINST THE LIKES OF A MARK LEVINE. NO CONTEST. STAY IN YOUR LANE BOY. LIBERALS SUCK.

Posted by: Cobra2 | August 13, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

What an unbelievable steady stream of misrepresentation, hyperbole, red herrings and ad hominems from one ridiculous rightwing mouthpiece who appears to have decided to hijack this discussion with his conspiratorial idiocy. The intent may be to sound broadly informed, but it's a thin veneer across the fact that all these references come from nutjob agenda websites and youtube videos. Not a respectable reference in the lot.

Posted by: scabby | August 13, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Krauthammer loves big government. But where you and I want big government to help Americans, Krauthammer wants big government to oppress and discriminate against minorities.

Posted by: blazertaco | August 13, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Sargent, I'm sorry but there are no degrees or versions of Islam. There is no middle ground. Islam is by the book, all or nothing. Your opinions are obviously based on "the Idiot's Guide To Islam" PC English version. There is no such thing as moderate Islam. That's not to say that there aren't people who claim to be Muslims that disagree with parts of the Qur'an but in the eyes of the true believers they are not Muslims. This is why you will rarely see any Muslim speak out against terrorist acts. To do so would make them the enemy of Islam.
Islam is not now nor has ever been a religion of "peace". It's doctrine is one of intolerance and unconditional surrender or death to any that don't follow their beliefs. And while all religions are simply a system to subvert the will of the masses to those who wish to be in power, Islam is far more " do or die" than any other. Islam owes it's success mainly to one factor, Ignorance. According to UNESCO and backed up by Islamic Research Foundation International, a group that promotes Muslim education, 62% of Muslim worldwide are illiterate. This is 40% higher than worldwide average. Muslims in fact account for slightly over 90% of the illiterates on the planet. Is it no wonder that fundamentalist Imams have such an influence on the populations when the majority of Muslims are not capable of reading the texts that they base their lives on. Education is discouraged and in many cases forbidden because it is the antithesis of fundamentalist Islam. And this fundamentalist teaching is going on in the majority of mosques worldwide, including those here in the U.S. Until this changes, which sadly is not likely to happen short of a world war against Islam, they will continue to look at the rest of the world as an enemy that needs to be conquered.

Posted by: jm125 | August 13, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

No doubt the Imam pushing this project hopes he can attract some "Big Arab Money", but maybe he can't.

Still, we might want to call the Saudis and others who might be interested in financing this building that if we were discussing placing a "ground zero" near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, they'd probably be as outraged as the opponents in New York are to this one.

Just some things shouldn't oughta be

Posted by: muawiyah | August 13, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer has lost his mind.

Posted by: blazertaco | August 13, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Not only should there be a mosque near Ground Zero, but Krauthammer should break ground himself with that beak-shaped puss of his.

Posted by: blazertaco | August 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst: As I said, I've actually been to Cyprus...and lived there. The YouTube piece you cite is just one side of the issue...but since the other side of the issue belongs to the Turkish Cypriots, and they're mostly Muslims, and thus not actual people to you, I'm sure you'll just continue to spout your irrational nonsense.

You haven't heard the endless stories we heard from Turkish Cypriots about their treatment by Greek Cypriots for decades prior to 1974: having their families ordered off beaches by Greek Cypriots just because they were Turkish Cypriots; women and children being made to stand in the hot sun for hours at Greek Cypriot checkpoints set up between Turkish Cypriot communities; living in essentially segregated communities; etc etc. We lived among Greek Cypriots for 3 years, and sincerely sympathized with their issues...but the Turkish Cypriots have their issues too.

The YouTube piece is pure Greek Cypriot propaganda...actually the narrator sounds like a Brit. His nonsense about how the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots lived and worked together so wonderfully prior to 1974 is just that...nonsense. And then a Greek Cypriot junta that overthrew the government of Archbishop Makarios in 1974 wanted to join Cyprus with Greece...which the Turkish Cypriots feared (with considerable justification) would diminish their standing even more. Thus, the Turkish Army invasion in support of the Turkish Cypriots. One doesn't have to condone that action, but it is useful (to normal people at least) to at least know even a bit about the circumstances.

As a historical fact: Cyprus was occupied by the Ottoman Turks in the 1570s and held for 300 years. The Famagusta Cathedral was converted to a mosque four centuries ago. And, if you knew anything at all, you'd know that only one section of Famagusta is a "ghost town"...what is called Varosha. Famagusta itself is NOT a ghost town...we've been there several times. The YouTube piece intentionally obscures that.

Try to understand this one: The Turkish Cypriots actually voted in favor of a UN proposal to end the island's division several years ago...but the Greek Cypriots voted it down. Look it up.

Do you have the same feelings about the Arab properties that were taken over in Israel by Israelis when most Arab residents (with roots back centuries in some cases) were driven out at Israel's independence? Probably not since it involves Muslims...but then again, if you knew anything at all, you'd know a lot of Palestinians (like 25 percent) are Christians.

Your unintelligible rantings are so low, I wouldn't even give them an F-. Just mindlessly ranting against anything Muslim...that's pretty bright. Muslims represent, what, one-quarter of the world's population?

Posted by: Rigged | August 13, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

If "ground zero" is so sacred, why has it been allowed to remain a giant ditch for nearly nine years? Yes, people can go there for spiritual reasons, but it's still a hole. And, when finished, it will be an office building with some places for remembrance, but still an office building. If the place is so holy, there should have been religious institutions there already. There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy in the talk about the place. But for the purpose of this comment, let's assume virtue on the part of the millions of people who are so upset.

Look on the bright side. If the mosque really becomes a Moslem version of a "Y", then tremendous strides will have been made in interfaith relations. Best of all, our democratic institutions will have been validated.

On the other hand, the people planning the mosque, the leaders, showed a great lack of understanding about American feelings regarding ground zero, hole or not. They should have had the common sense, the courtesy, the decency to reach out. Either that or they did understand and decided to be utterly tactless and insensitive.

The leadership of this group is, at bottom, what concerns me; it's also a major point made by Krauthammer. All religions have had their rabble rousers in this country. Consider Father Coughlin in the '30s. He finally had to be stopped by the Catholic hierarchy - to their credit. The leaders of polygamous groups are moral reprobates; efforts are made to stop them. Ditto the leaders at Waco. Or the crazies in the wilds of our western states.

What are the values of the leadership of the mosque? How will they guide their flock? What hierarchy would stop a Moslem rabble rouser? Would we, as a society, have the courage to close them down ourselves?

I am concerned. But I'm also willing to let the mosque be built. Give them a chance to assimilate. It's the American way.

Posted by: victoriafalls100 | August 13, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

To everyone here who thinks it is fine and all good in the name of religious freedom to have a mosque built within earshot of Ground Zero, try to look at it from another perspective outside your childish american POV. You may believe in religious freedom - but the very religion you're defending (Islam) DOES NOT!!! You are going to give your own executioner the rope to hang you with. You obviously don't know what the koran says - it says that all non-muslims must either A)convert to Islam or B) be killed. I have no problem saying this: we shouldn't defend the "rights" of a religion or a people who would take away those very rights if given the chance. You have to draw the line somewhere - just like it is illegal to scream "fire" in a movie theatre, just like it is illegal for neo-Nazis to incite violence against with hate speech... why would you promote a religion that explicitly states that the world should be ruled by Islamic law (sharia) when sharia states it is illegal for any non-Muslim religion to be practiced.

Posted by: 75Ranger | August 13, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Sargent in WaPost: "However, it does expressly forbid government interference with "the free exercise" of religion."

Are advocates of a state religion entitled to First Amendment protections against federal government interference in a 'foreign’ government's religious activity? There are rumors that the funding for this building follows a similar pattern of Iranian government/religious acquisition of large buildings all over the world, including one already acquired (and seized) near Central Park. Why does a government supported 'religious' activity need 15 stories when there are no 'mosques' in Iran of equivalent size? First Amendment protections for a state religion are a stretch.

Posted by: arjay1 | August 13, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Any celebration of Islamobarbarism in the vicinity of Ground Zero is a profanity shouted against all who suffered on 9/11. It is proffoundly indecent, insensitive, and cowardly to support this monstrosity perpetrated against those who will suffer for their rest of their lives from the grief of the loss of loved ones.

Yes, there can be nobility in forgiveness. But no nobility whatsoever can be found in forcing further pain on those who have suffered so immensly. Further, the islamic world has yet to atone for its sins, and indeed it is unlikely to ever do so. But forgiveness, without atonement, is not nobility. It is surrender.

This is not the time for surrender to the Islamic threat. It is the time to press home our advantage, and to eliminate it.

Posted by: lowfinance | August 13, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

To all of you who blame all Muslims for 9/11.... Timothy McVeigh was a Christian and we don't hold all Christians accountable for the Oklahoma City bombing. So your hatred of all Muslims attitude is retarded and bigoted.

Posted by: zosodave | August 13, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

P.S.....All organized scares me for it is the root of all evil.

Posted by: zosodave | August 13, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

P.S.....All organized religion scares me for it is the root of all evil.

Posted by: zosodave | August 13, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

P.S.....All organized religion scares me for it is the root of all evil.

Posted by: zosodave | August 13, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, they're looking at building a Wal-Mart on part of the Chancellorsville battlefield where over 30,000 Americans were wounded or killed, or roughly 300K in today's terms adjusted for population.

I suspect this qualifies as "sacred ground".

Never mind that Wal-Mart is looking at building physically ON the battlefield; not near or adjacent to the location -- but physically on the space.

The liquor store, religious space regulation argument is even more absurd. IF there was some zoning law stating that no religious institutions could be built on this "sacred commercial space" -- hard to envision, but if this happened -- it would mean tearing down St. Peter's Church and any other religious institution near the site as well (St. Peter's is actually adjacent to the site, so it would fall within a "2 block radius" rule).

Al Qaeda must be loving this debate. Wingnuts like Krauthammer basically want to turn one of the world's oldest and the largest organized religion into some kind of a monolith defined exclusively by its most extreme elements. Never mind the significance of the name "Cordoba" in the context of western civilization. Krauthammer's line of argument represents a significant symbolic victory for Al Qaeda against American Constitutional traditions. Essentially K seems to be saying our fears should trump our values -- even fears based on a completely irrational and insane foundation.

Posted by: JPRS | August 13, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I just recently had reason to take some one to task for giving credence to another Muslim Hating pundit from the UK (Condrell. His video article can be accessed on Google) The point is still a current issue it would seem.
Please see my retort @ http://www.jamesconvey.com/uploads/3/3/8/3/3383644/no_mosqueatgroundzero.pdf

Posted by: jmconvey | August 13, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I just recently had reason to take some one to task for giving credence to another Muslim Hating pundit from the UK (Condrell. His video article can be accessed on Google) The point is still a current issue it would seem.
Please see my retort @ http://www.jamesconvey.com/uploads/3/3/8/3/3383644/no_mosqueatgroundzero.pdf

Posted by: jmconvey | August 13, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Trying to explain why Krauthammer is wrong is like trying to explain why water is wet.

Posted by: trippin | August 13, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments of this blog sound more like the behavior of a pack of ravenous Wolves, who can make no choice except to rip things up, from bad to worse! Every time!
It also doesn't sound like we have any "builders" making comments: where a great deal of effort including public hearings to evoke anyone's displeasure for the project! Tried building anything, any place, lately?
More simply than anything, is that it happened to be Muslims who attacked and whose ilk are at the base of every war currently going on in the world! The US (that's us)is the "number one" prize to be brought down. Not even the Christian church group has been given permission to replace damaged property near ground zero, that was damaged at 911.
Mr. Sargent, if you believe that a $100 million dollar "erection" of un-identified money..., handled and headed by a Muslim leader who is openly Anti-American is beyond question: you dull our senses with your blather. Unless I see something more constructive / positive out of either you or your following, you may not have put your name on a "no fly zone" but you certainly come close and are suspect of left-leaning idocy!

Posted by: davidwe9 | August 13, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

@TheThinkingMansMan

"Shakespeare and Jane Austen also used 'them' as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun and and 'their' as a..."

When one is trying to make others look foolish through definitions of "proper" English, one should keep track of how many conjunctions one is using. To lose track of such should be, it seems to me, rather mortifying for a member of the language police.

Posted by: BSDetector | August 13, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, well its clearly impossible to understand anything that Krauthammer - any of the words individually, or assembled into sentences or portions thereof - said, so scorching the delicate ears of obtuse, hyperactively logical, freakout-session liberals on this board. For that obtuse mass of humanity and its rabble-rouser, I think Krauthammer's point is its tasteless. I know that phrase is anathema, liberals. I expect a flurry of "oh I couldn't possibly understand this 'taste' thing and what the boundaries are and from whence in the Constitution one might transmogrify the authority to even think such thing." Taste, you goofy liberals. I know all of your taste is probably in your mouth as anyone might gauge by the gaudy bumperstickers lining your cars - making sure all know, typically in a crass or simulated-clever fashion, exactly what your version of truth or ignorance or reality or annoyance or whatever is.

Taste.

Posted by: jleibund1 | August 13, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

To those of you who are invoking "time, place, and manner," such restrictions must be "content neutral." That means that you cannot restrict the time, place, or manner of a viewpoint based upon the *content* of that viewpoint. I don't have the right to hold a Muslim prayer service in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, but I don't have the right to hold a Catholic Mass there, either, or a pagan sacrifice, or a meeting of the ACLU. What you can't do is say that "Christian, Jewish, and Hindu places of worship are ok near Ground Zero, Muslim ones aren't." This is settled constitutional law.

Posted by: guez | August 14, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

@davidwe9,

St. Peter's Catholic Church is still in operation. This idea that repairs caused by falling debris on 9-11 couldn't be done for XYZ reason is complete b.s. The repairs HAVE been done and the church has daily services.

This speaks to part of the challenge in dealing with this issue. A person like you touts completely bogus information on the basis of who knows what. You don't even seem to know what denomination the church is, which perhaps makes it easier for you to be played like a sucker and investigate the claims for yourself. St. Peter's Parish (Catholic Church) Manhattan -- look it up. Give the church a call for yourself if you don't believe me (212-233-8355).

With respect to the construction of the Cordoba House the idea that it could be blocked based on grounds of religious prejudice is unlikely to pass any kind of Constitutional muster -- even for judges who might have sympathy for some of the first responder's families who object to the construction (it's worth noting that there are people who lost family members who are on the exact opposite side of this issue).

19 people practicing an extreme form of Islam attacked the WTC, Pentagon, and failed on one other flight on 9-11 -- that represents less than 0.0000000001 percent of those who practice the faith. Your beliefs applied consistently would argue for blocking the construction of Christian churches on the basis that extreme far-right terrorists like McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, and the Tiller Killer on the grounds that the acts of a few fanatics are representative of an entire religious faith. Thankfully most Americans are able to make a distinction in those cases. The fact some aren't able to in a parallel case involving a different religious faith speaks more to the fears born of ignorance and the immoral cowardice of small minded people than it does to the reality of the situation.

Posted by: JPRS | August 14, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Please read this! I know it's long- I avoid them usually too! This is what's odd in all this: most everyone where I live (AZ) is focused on illegal aliens, worried about Mexicans and people from even farther south. I've met many people from those nations who I respect and think well of. I don't speak Spanish, and I have a hard time sometimes understanding things they try to say in English. I've also met plenty of Hispanics- 2nd/3rd generation- who speak perfect English and don't know Spanish anymore. That's probably what it took for any other previous immigrant group to "fit in". I'm glad that Obama is focusing on throwing out the criminal element that crossed our border from the south, and working on stemming the tide into our country from there. This country has absorbed as many as it can accommodate at this time in our history. Those Hispanics already here will soon change the nature of our country, but I accept that (the Dutch DESPISED the arrival of the English). But there's all this focus now on building a mosque at Ground Zero, which is clearly very rightly protected by the Constitution. There are millions of Muslims living in America now who make little attempt to fit in to this society, some of whom would even kill any of their children who went too far in trying to do so, other than to learn English and get a job (another completely overlooked issue, despite it's huge hoopla in the anti-Mexican campaign). There must be a good number of Muslims who sneaked in here (also largely ignored); and even more who are here legitimately because they are refugees of politics this country should have stayed out of. But America didn't, because YOU who are reading this can't get off your tush to turn off totally unneeded lights and gizmos in your house, and can't be satisfied with impressing people with a home to die for- you also have to have a huge vehicle (to keep your kids safe, of course) or a magic zoommoblie or two. Or ten. Ride a bicycle to show off that you keep physically fit, but God forbid you use it to get to work in conjunction with public transit-or decide between relocating somewhere closer to your workplace or changing jobs. Because of our collective unwillingness to do such things, we've purposely let in people who REALLY don't belong here (not in these numbers, anyway); and it can all be explained by one word: oil (big surprise). But the problem is people are making an issue of the wrong thing- all so they can go ZOOM. I'm sure the vast majority of Muslims in America are very fine human beings who mean no direct harm to this country or government, I just don't see why a fish wants to be out of water if it doesn't want to grow legs. But a mosque at Ground Zero would certainly show Muslim nations what this country is all about and help alter the mindset of the Muslims already here, since I can't see the likelyhood of anyone leaving the USA for giant sand dunes, tidal waves or the whims of emirs.

Posted by: psst_limbaugh_keep-ranting_satan | August 14, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

How can anybody compare any religious object to liquor store?
So far what ever Krauthammer and his pets like Sean Hannity try to compare this Islamic Centre with government regulations, it affects everybody an dthat is good, nobody wins, but if you block Muslims you could block Christians, Jews, Hindus, Budhists and every other single religion AND THAT EXACTLY WHAT GOVERNMENT WOULD LIKE. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR SACRED LAND AND SITES.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | August 14, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sargent makes some great points here, but I think that there's a more basic flaw in Krauthammer's "zoning" argument: the analogies he draws on - Civil War Battlefields, small Polish towns, and so on - simply aren't relevant to Lower Manhattan. Assuming for the sake of argument that, for example, the campaign against commercialization near Gettysburg was the right thing to do, it's ridiculous to think that a similar course of action should be taken near the WTC site. I tried to expand on that logic here:

http://gonorthyoungman.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/mosque-controversy/

Posted by: ms-in-nyc | August 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

If places of worship were like liquor stores, wouldn't the rates of attendance be much higher?

Posted by: Lynnehs | August 15, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Still hoping for some thoughts regarding my earlier post. Does anyone think the support for the proposed
mosque at Ground Zero by Mayor Bloomberg and other politicians has more
to do with guaranteeing the security of lower Manhattan (Wall Street, the future
"Freedom Tower", etc.) than it does with concerns about religious freedom?
While I agree that building a mosque on or near sacred ground is, at best, poor
judgment, do you think the real motivation for permitting it to be built at
Ground Zero is that its presence would possibly deter future attacks in the area
as Islamists may not be willing to damage the $100 million cultural center (or
as some have argued "victory monument")? Please understand, I am not advocating
this approach, but it does seem to be a factor that is generally ignored in the
media.


Posted by: jasonNJ | August 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jasonNJ | August 16, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent is misframing this subsidary question as severely as President Obama misframed the original issue. Obama chose to engage in the infantalizing discourse of "rights-talk" instead of the more resonant one of propriety and respect for the feelings of people and a city that suffered the 9/11 calamity. Disappointing I suppose, but not really surprising. Since becoming President, Mr. Obama has not really connected with nor apparently understands anyone outside his base (which is not as large as it used to be -- but that's another matter).

Mr. Sargent leaps to discussing "the" government, meaning how the U.S. Constitution applies to the rights being assumed here. The first amendment simply enjoins government from having a state church, from favoring some religions over others. Even the expanded notion of "the free exercise" of religion does not make his case here.

No, the government and therefore the laws in question are not those of the U.S. national government but rather those of New York City. New York has long maintained expansive zoning, rent control, and other heavy handed administrative ordinances designed to give it much to say about land use. New York certainly cannot enjoin the Muslims for building a masque or community center. But the city certainly has all the legal machinery it needs to forbid them from doing so in places so long as reasonably accommodative alternatives are made available to them.

If there is still a lingering belief that the U.S. Constitution or laws impede New York City from doing so, I remind the reader of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London that largely gave Carte Blanche to local governments in their use Eminent Domain to transfer property from one private property to another if that local government deemed it in it's best interest. All New York City would have to do is seize the property and transfer it to a strip club owner that would surely pay more in local taxes to the city.

Personally, I disagreed strongly with that decision; and I also do not wish the quality of this public debate to sink any lower than it already has. Therefore I think the wisest course of action is 1) for the President to remain silent on this until he learns to speak beyond his liberal base and biases; 2) for Mr. Sargent to drop his equally irrelevant critiques; and most important 3) for the Muslim backers of this facility to take up the gracious offer to find a more suitable location for their project.

A majority of New Yorkers -- people not accustomed to being influenced by the "vast right-wing conspiricy" -- are not fooled by the subterfuge, nobody else should be either.

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

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