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'Provocative' -- and wrong -- argument against the 'mosque'

Park51, the Muslim community center mistakenly known as the Ground Zero “mosque,” has people losing their minds. Everyone says they support a bedrock principle of this mighty nation -- freedom of religion. But because 19 fanatics killed in the name of Islam these same people have no problem broad-brushing an entire religion as a violent theology that can turn Muslims into Allah-seeking sleeper cell terrorists. This is wrong. This is un-American. This has got to stop.

Some have tried to finesse this pernicious view. Charles Krauthammer gives it a good shot in a column today that reads like it was written just a notch away from the usual cauldron of rage reserved for most, if not all, issues involving President Obama.

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

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

No, what’s insensitive and provocative is the argument pushed by Krauthammer and others. Greg Sargent at The Plum Line offers the perfect rebuttal.

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

As yesterday's editorial argued, “The hurt feelings must reflect misunderstanding or prejudice on the part of the objectors, and the right response to misunderstanding and prejudice is education, not appeasement.” For far too many ignorance is bliss.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 20, 2010; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

I'm starting to believe, quite adamantly, that politics within organized religions may be the heart of the problem. When looking at the vocal segments within each group, what emerges is the face of politically driven religious zealots who wish to maintain a stranglehold on their respective belief system. We have a struggle for power in controlling the masses within each congregation. The Vatican has its College of Cardinals. The Mormons have their Apostle. Franklin Graham is trying to maintain his hold on his father's followers. And there are the Mullahs and Osama bin Laden who try to influence the Muslim community. Then there is the Saudi Royal Family. They use Islam to maintain their own enormous economic power in the Middle East. Yet their private actions are the antithesis of Mohammad's teachings.

Meanwhile, the faithful blindly follow believing that their rewards shall be delivered in the afterlife. How profoundly sad. One need not defer to death to reap Divine rewards. We've been given free will. We can be the masters of our personal destinies. We need to reject the teachings of the politically motivated in religion and return to reading the Words for ourselves.

Posted by: SilasKain | August 20, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart you jejuene fool. The backers of the Mosque wanted to break ground for the project on 9-11. They also named the facility Cordoba House. Cordoba refers to the caliphate in Spain under Muslim rule. To Muslims it symbolizes tolerance. A reading of history indicates just the opposite. Christians and Jews were tolerated but they had to pay a special tax and could not build new places of worship. Don't you think these facts are "provactive" and amount to a middle finger from them to us? Given that the "moderate" Rauf refuses to refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization and has stated that the US was complicit in 9-11 I really believe that the name, date and placement of this Mosque is a calculated act of Islamic triumuphalism.

Posted by: jkk1943 | August 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart you jejuene idelologue. The backers of the Mosque wanted to break ground for the project on 9-11. They also named the facility Cordoba House. Cordoba refers to the caliphate in Spain under Muslim rule. To Muslims sympathisers it symbolizes tolerance. A reading of history indicates just the opposite. Christians and Jews were tolerated but they had to pay a special tax and could not build new places of worship. Don't you think these facts are "provactive" and amount to a middle finger from them to us? Given that the "moderate" Rauf refuses to refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization and has stated that the US was complicit in 9-11 I really believe that the name, date and placement of this Mosque is a calculated act of Islamic triumuphalism.

Posted by: jkk1943 | August 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

jk,

care to provide any links that support your claims? please provide credible examples that back up your claims.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Yet another liberal commentator desperately trying to shut down a debate which liberals are losing hands down.

On the contrary, Mr Capehart, the opposition to this structure does NOT have to stop. That's because it articulates the offense and disgust of a free citizenry, who, despite your best efforts, can make up their own mind, thank you.

Now, as for your points about Islam: if the attacks of 9/11 had so little to do with Islam, then why were they celebrated and cheered by Muslims around the world?? From the Romford Road Mosque in London to the banlieus of Paris to the streets of Jakarta, many, many Muslims cheered the deaths of innocent civilians in America. It's documented. And you wonder why the American people resent this attempt by muslims to appropriate the symbolism of 9/11!! Howard Dean is right about liberals here, and you, sir, are a disgrace.

Posted by: nyadrian | August 20, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

nay,

i'll ask you the same question: how about some evidence to support your claims -- quotes, links...

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Capehart has lost all credibility and is now a joke and a tool of the Obama administration.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

ER, WHY DON'T YOU ASK YOUR "MODERATE" MUSLIMS WHETHER THEY ARE "FOLLOWERS OF MUHAMMAD? WHY DON'T YOU ASK THEM IF THEY BELIEVE IN SHARIA LAW?

YOU ARE SO NAIVE TO BELIEVE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "MODERATE" AND "EXTREME" ISLAM! IT IS WHAT IT IS!

THE MODERATES MULSIMS ARE SIMPLY PEOPLE WHO EITHER DO NOT REALLY KNOW WHAT MUHAMMAD TAUGHT OR THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT. AND IF THEY CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT, THEN THEY SHOULD STOP CALLING THEMSELVES A MUSLIM!

Posted by: fortitude | August 20, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

for,

i'm guessing that you ignore a hell of a lot that's in the bible. do you call yourself a christian?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | August 20, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

LET'S ASK EX-MUSLIMS WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS MOSQUE DEAL: CLICK HERE:

http://www.islam-watch.org/

Posted by: fortitude | August 20, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I must have missed it. " Moderate" Iman Rauf must have came out and very strongly condemned the Islamic terrorists (craven murderers) who killed the ten aid workers in Northern Afghanistan on August 8 (Muslim violence against Christians). Most certainly, he must have come out and condemned the suicide bomber (another craven murderer) who killed over 50 and injured over 100 persons (Muslim violence against Muslims)in Iraq on August 17.

Posted by: kevinrodden | August 20, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

to Mr Capehart; ALL,

when there is a MILLION MUSLIMS MARCH FOR PEACE on the mall in Washington, DC, demanding that ALL of their co-religionists:
1. lay down their arms,
2. openly CONDEMN the Islamofascists, terrorisrm & violence,
3. ACCEPT Israel as a PERMANENT/legitimate nation in the Middle East
AND
4. allow the opening of a Christian cathedral and a Jewish synagogue in MECCA, then
PERHAPS i'll believe that they are SERIOUS about being a PEACEFUL religion.

until then, spare me your lame/stupid/fact-FREE comments about "freedom of speech & religion", under the First Amendment to the BoR.

just my opinions.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 20, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

This is all a Republican, white, KKK plot. Muslims did not fly planes into the twin towers..it was Jews and the CIA.

And good Muslims don't send bombs into markets to kill hundred of people, nor do good Muslims kill teachers or burn girls' schools. The Christians and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists and Taoists, and Shintoists, and Animists and Catholics and Orthodox and xxantrists do that, so they can denigrate Islam.

Posted by: wjc1va | August 21, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Capehart and Sargent prove the theory that two brains are NOT always better than one.

Especially, 2 liberal brains...

Posted by: Nicher | August 21, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

it seems childish to debate legitimacy of
mosque business before knowing all masterminds involved
in the design and execution of 9/11 .
the wounded zone we all know is still bleeding
lack of compassion to profit from the desecrated site
ceceitful to 'do it' in the name of the divine..
the sharkpromoters in some emails exchange gleefully
acknowledged the 'chosen' building had been touched by 9/11
c'mon move the medina ailleurs dudes..

Posted by: manittou | August 21, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan Capehart: Special Correspondent for Defending the Indefensible

Posted by: elgropo1 | August 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

For those who consider all of Islam to be bad, based on the actions of a TINY fraction of people falsely claiming the blessing of their faith, a suggestion.

We have many young men and women returning from Iraq. Perhaps you know someone. Ask them, if all Muslims are evil, or are most just trying to live their lives as anyone would.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Whenever a commentator takes it upon himself to define what is "Un-American", they have lost the argument.

Capehart is not the arbiter of American values, and his shallow defense for the building of the mosque is ludicrous. I would be more persuaded, if Capehart would seek out Imam Rauf and present to the Imam all of the arguments against the building of the Mosque and listen carefully while the Imam makes the case for the project and the location.

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

I've gradually come to believe that all religions are cancers but that Islam is like one of those cancers that, once diagnosed, means it's all over.

Capehart may think some are trying to finesse the issue, but there's no finessing by me. To me, Islam fosters hate, oppression, and violence. It fosters a sense of superiority and entitlement that accepts no compromise. No other religion in today's world causes so much misery and controversy.

Posted by: RMS70 | August 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The voices opposed to Mr. Capeheart are adamant,strident and full of righteous indignation. So I am sure that they will understand, more than most, my feelings regarding Mr. Beck's and Mrs. Palin's plans to hold a gathering on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary date of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The crassness of such a spectacle must be obvious to anyone. Whereas Dr. King sought to lift up and unite these two only seek to pull down and divide. It is repulsive to me in every way.
They have the right to speak, they should just have some respect for others feelings.

Posted by: stevepj | August 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The building of this mosque has nothing to do with the free exercise of anyone's religion. Those who claim it does are either mistaken or intent on misleading others.

Muslims are already free to practice their religion in the United States. By the way, what have those who are so worried about Muslims being free to practice their religion in the United States had to say about Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus etc not being free to practice their religion in one Muslim country after another? You can bet little or nothing.

Posted by: kflb | August 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Mr. Capehart and liberals today is that they do not believe in anything. They have reached a level of cynicism that leaves all feeling behind. They cannot understand "sensitivity to" or understand the profound respect due a site such as ground zero.

They love the words of Lincoln, how they sound and flow like poetry, but they cannot appreaciate the poetic meaning of "hallowed ground."

Ultimately they lack an understanding of patriotism. It become simply jingoism; words they must mouth to win elections, but then gargle out their best taste.

That is why everything about the mosque is reduced to insentivity or prejudice.

Maybe we could live with a mosque, but we cannot live with an Islamic "multi-culture" center. Any memorial, any "cultural center" must be American in origin and devoid of any group's ownership.

This is why the Federal government should, and Congress can, declare a national historic site within six blocks around the center site of the World Trade Center blocks. Then the government could regulate the type, style and nature of buildings in the zone.

Of course, there is also an element of partisanship to Mr. Capehart's columns, because he does not condemn Democrats like Harry Reid: he understand the need for Reid's re-election.

Posted by: krush01 | August 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

To repeat, yet again and again...

* Park51 is NOT a mosque. It will be a cultural center (think YMCA type facility) with an Islamic prayer room. It will also have other meditation rooms, and is planned to be a performing-artsnd and recreation center for all faiths.

^ Park51 is NOT at "Ground Zero." It is 2 1/2 blocks north of the former Trade Center site.

Calling this facility "the Ground Zero mosque" is purely an exercise in fiction, fearmongering and divisiveness.

I don't know about you, but I am pleased that I live in a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural pluralistic secular republic, and not a fundamentalist-Christian authoritarian theocracy, which is what the United States would be if the ascendant voices of the far right wing had theit way. You people scare me more than Islamic extremists do.

Those of you screaming "take our country back" are welcome to do so, as long as you all keep your damn hands off NY country!

Posted by: SportzNut21 | August 21, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It is the height of hubris that Capehart and his ilk charge that the 70% of Americans who fail to agree with them are somehow "ignorant," or worse, bigoted and hateful. They cite one another's views as validations of their own unmitigated arrogance. Capehart calls Sargent's shallow and thoughtless opinion "a perfect rebuttal" simply because they agree and use the same faulty reasoning.

There are many things that we have the perfect "right" to do which we do not do because they are inappropriate, possibly even obnoxious Part of being a functioning member of a civilized society is knowing when to restrain oneself so as not to offend those whom you respect. Even if you do not respect them personally, the greater society holds that you should. Therefore there are many things deemed simply unacceptable.
Someone has a right to don Klan robes and walk up and down the sidewalk in front of Capehart's home all day, every day, but that person should not and overwhelming majorities of us would agree. We see easily what Capehart and his fellow blind men refuses to see.

The very reference to Cordoba is deeply offensive to those who understand its cultural meaning. It may mean nothing to the secular left just as the n-word may mean nothing to some non-American English speakers. Both examples shows a limited cultural consciousness. Exactly whom are they calling "ignorant"?
If the small minority of leftist elites in this country don't understand this, perhaps they should ask themselves why they are so wildly out of step with the common decency so easily understood by most Americans.


Posted by: parkbench | August 21, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The insults to the intelligence of the American people just keep coming from the hysterical supporters of the Ground Zero mosque.

Well over 70% of all Americans in all political parties, not just the Gingrich, Palin, and Franklin Graham opportunists understand that 9/11 and the killing field for the 3,000 plus innocents is not the proper place for a narrow religious group to promote it's political agenda.

Sincere Americans of all religious persuasions and those without any understand clearly why an in-your-face mosque on this site is wrong.

The common sense majority need to educate the minority who want to use Ground Zero for their own narrow interests. They are truly too blissfully ignorant.

Posted by: TomMiller1 | August 21, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Funny how people never demanded that Christian churches and Christian leaders and Christian congregations apologize for the acts of Timothy McVeigh, yet demand that Muslim mosques and Muslim leaders and Muslim believers apologize for the nutjobs that perpetrated 9/11. Ah, xenophobia! It's an American tradition!

Posted by: Scapula | August 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The 9/11 terrorists were following Islamic teachings and law, more so than any 'moderate'.
If Tarek Fatah, Zuhdi Jassar, or Irshad Manji can start a brand new Islamic sect, and convince millions of other Muslims to follow their lead (or even a majority of American Muslims), then this article might make a good point. But they haven't, and it doesn't.

Posted by: jhimmi | August 21, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart is right. Blind, uninformed hatred should never decide any issue. We are a nation of reason. Unreasonable hissy fits by idealogues should not have the power to move buildings. From the guy who said the CIA did 9/11 to the various conspiracy theorists worried about Islamic fundamentalists being right about how to interpret the Koran, please get a grip on reality. Start accepting plain facts, starting with the plain fact that you are not Islamic scholars. Ending with the fact that emotional reactions brought on by politically motivated hate-mongers have made a dupe of you.
As for the horrors of an uncompassionate Sharia law. I would love to see it stamped out all over the world. But that's not in my power. I can only add my voice to decry its establishment in my own country in the guise of a shrill Christian self-righteousness that seeks its own way without regard to the rule of law.

Posted by: kbachus7 | August 22, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. 19 Arab Males subscribing to the Religion of Islam have tainted the entire Muslim world. But thousands of White Clad Christian men (and probably women and children) do not taint the Christian Religion. It is not OK for Muslims to worship near the 9-11 attacks, but it is OK for KKK and White supremist to march in Afro-American neighborhoods.

Posted by: Cajun52 | August 22, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"SilasKain" I want to tell you that your analysis is 100% accurate. I am happy to see someone like you posting here because most of the people have no clue and they want to destroy their freedom/liberty by making wrong choices.

Posted by: sean11 | August 23, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

This controversy actually makes me proud to be an American. Our founders knew that majorities could be stampeded into bigotry by irresponsible demagogues. So they put in place Constitutional protections that make it hard to take away the most important rights of minorities. There is no real arguing with people so deluded that they see Park51 as any kind of threat or offense. No doubt these are the same people who once believed that Iraq was behind 9/11 (a large majority, once, too, proving that majorities can indeed be wrong - even about pure facts). But our Constitution puts up a firewall against what a wise founder called the "tyranny of the majority." That's the kind of freedom we're fighting for against true enemies like al Qaeda - the freedom to be right even when large majorities hate you for it. If you love America, I don't see how you can't love that. Even now, when it seems like an awfully large number of Americans are tired of freedom and want to beat a cowardly retreat into fascism to better defend against a foe that is actually strengthened by our intolerance, our Constitution helps people of principle to take unpopular stands for freedom. God bless America, and the Constitution that keeps us strong - sometimes despite ourselves.

Posted by: NomoStew | August 23, 2010 6:01 AM | Report abuse

One idea to consider: what if we had built our memorial already? I think a lot of the rage directed at this idea is based on the frustration that its been 10 YEARS and we don't have the memorial yet. But now to introduce a "memorial" to Islam, which most Americans link with 9-11 seems like a slap in the face. I don't think it really has much to do with the mosque itself but more that we are so frustrated with the fact that 10 years ago we were attacked and we still don't understand why and how. After standing in an airport security line, having my things thrown away because they are the wrong size, watching my teen daughter get looked at semi naked but men for security purposes,etc, etc I think we just can't take anymore! The idea that all people who follow Islam are terrorists is absurd, but so is the fact that after 10 years the average American has NO IDEA what Islam is and stands for. So our only exposure is this mosque, and that seems weird.

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | August 23, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

This is dog-whistle politics at its worst. The manipulators of public opinion are Republicans who don't give a whit about an Islamic center two blocks from the WTC. This is all about obscuring the unpopularity of the few policies they have going into November elections.

If voters focused on their intent to protect and extend tax-cuts for rich people while cutting and/or privatizing benefits for the poor and middle class, they'd have a harder time winning. Far better to throw the anti-Islamic red-meat into the ring, and shame on an electorate (and our media) for chasing the dog-food.

Posted by: glenerian | August 23, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart once the Muslims get a foot hold in our country gays like you will be one of their first targets. Its amusing that you continue to cheer them on considering how they feel about women, gays and Jews. Try entering one of these Mosques and you will see what they filmed inside one of them in London- it was not amusing.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | August 23, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart: You miss the biggest objection: Imam's vow to bring Sharia Law into this country. I do not want anyone to come here and tell me that they intend to change the constitution to reflect stonings; beheadings; violence toward women; etc. There is nothing peaceful, God-like, or Christian about Sharia Law. It is violent. Those who practice must be seen as equally violent, especially toward women.

Imam vowed to bring Sharia Law. You might want to research the person you are supporting.

Posted by: DrSheila1 | August 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

No. I am not legitimizing the idea that all of Islam is responsible for 9/11. I'm not. I'm not. I. Am. Not. Quit saying I am. Quit calling me a bigot. You have no grasp on the nuance of the debate. How you can be so condescending while failing to see the argument in which opposing the mosque is not akin to scapegoating Islam is beyond me. It can only be explained by your hatred of me and 70% of America. Shame on you. Shame on you for seeing the worst in Americans.

Posted by: shecallsmemoe | August 23, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The Christians who so stridently object to an Islamic community center 2 1/2 blocks from the former WTC need to look within Christianity a little more. If 3,000 murders committed by a group that claims to be Islamic should stain the reputation of that religeon for at least a decade, then what should we say about a religeon that was claimed by people who committed 6,000,000 murders? Live that down, then tell us about Islamic criminals.

And in what delusional state would anybody suggest - even half-seriously - that Sharia law would have any effect in the USA? Muslims are about 1% of the population and nearly all of them want nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Rozinante2 | August 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The Christians who so stridently object to an Islamic community center 2 1/2 blocks from the former WTC need to look within Christianity a little more. If 3,000 murders committed by a group that claims to be Islamic should stain the reputation of that religeon for at least a decade, then what should we say about a religeon that was claimed by people who committed 6,000,000 murders? Live that down, then tell us about Islamic criminals.

And in what delusional state would anybody suggest - even half-seriously - that Sharia law would have any effect in the USA? Muslims are about 1% of the population and nearly all of them want nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Rozinante2 | August 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse


The Christians who so stridently object to an Islamic community center 2 1/2 blocks from the former WTC need to look within Christianity a little more. If 3,000 murders committed by a group that claims to be Islamic should stain the reputation of that religeon for at least a decade, then what should we say about a religeon that was claimed by people who committed 6,000,000 murders? Live that down, then tell us about Islamic criminals.

Posted by: Rozinante2

*******************************************
Really, one doesn't have to go back more than half a century for such an example. Reliable estimates put the number of deaths, maimings and displacements resulting from our heinous war in Iraq at one million. A war waged under false pretenses by our good Christian president George W. Bush and his good Christian supporters.

Posted by: Reason7 | August 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This isn't the first time 70% of the American public is on the wrong side of an issue, and it won't be the last. In fact, history suggests that 70% of the U.S. public winds up on the wrong side of issues repeatedly.

Don't forget that 70% of the U.S. public supported the invasion of Iraq on entirely fabricated premises, and we all know how that turned out.

There simply is no reasonable case to be made against the cultural center. If you're one of those out there waving a 'No Shariah' sign, then you're either a bigot, a shill for bigots, or an unwitting dupe of the bigots & shills. You are the contemporary equivalent of the angry white suprematists who screamed monstrous things at black children in the South when they were integrating the schools 60 years ago. And it is precisely the colossal ignorance behind your bigotry that dooms your Islamophobia to the dustbin of history.

Thank you Mr. Capehart for a thoughtful analysis.

Posted by: lowereastsider | August 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, as usual, speaks with the voice of reason.The "ground zero mosque" is a non-issue drummed up by Palin and her ilk for their own political gain. The building plans for this community center should move ahead as scheduled.

Posted by: John_b4 | August 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse


Sure! Let'em build the thing. So long as they don't squawk when I rent a big billboard directly across the street from it where I can display the political cartoons depicting Allah with the nuclear turban that received so much attention a while back that they caused riots in the "Muslim World". If they feel that my billboard is offensive to their oh so delicate sensibilities they have they right to say so, but hey: This is the United States of America. Blasphemey is not a crime. All the parties in this fracas need to Man-up and get used to the hurly-burly that Freedom brings!

God, Yaweh, and Allah bless America!

Gordon B. Abel
Minneapolis, Mn.

Posted by: grdnabel | August 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse


Sure! Let'em build the thing. So long as they don't squawk when I rent a big billboard directly across the street from it where I can display the political cartoons depicting Allah with the nuclear turban that received so much attention a while back that they caused riots in the "Muslim World". If they feel that my billboard is offensive to their oh so delicate sensibilities they have the right to say so, but hey: This is the United States of America. Blasphemey is not a crime. All the parties in this fracas need to Man-up and get used to the hurly-burly that Freedom brings!

God, Yaweh, and Allah bless America!

Gordon B. Abel
Minneapolis, Mn.

Posted by: grdnabel | August 23, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your position on this issue, but WHERE ARE THE MODERATE MOSLEMS? Where are the good, honest hard working Moslems who just want to be left alone to practice their religion, and will SPEAK OUT against terrorism? I haven't heard from them, or all too little, since 9-11. Why don't they just hold a news conference and tell us how they feel (and I don't mean to complain about not getting their rights)?

Most Americans are poorly informed or not informed at all about the history of religions, and how religions have played a part in World history, but I think an even bigger blind spot exists for Moslems.

And furthermore, Mohammed and his immediate successors are probably throwing up over the current extremist movement, and the idea that old men can send their teenagers to die in suicide bombings. How can anyone condone killing for God?

Most Americans do not know that at about 1000 AD, while Europeans were trembling in dirty, smoky castles, the Arabs were inventing Algebra, and keeping learning alive with scholarly copies of Greek and Roman libraries. These Arabs, including Mohammed, made many ecumenical and tolerant gestures towards Christian religions, even as they Crusaded against the Moslem world, unlike this current band of gangsters who cut off women's noses...........

Mohammed would be ashamed.

The Good Moslems need to speak out, and soon.

Posted by: whitehed | August 23, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused; not all Germans were Nazis -- not all Germans ARE Nazis. But suppose a perfectly innocent German club wants to paint a counter-clockwise swastika (originally regarded as a good-luck symbol) on its clubhouse that is next door to a synagogue or a Christian church? Even though the Nazi swastika was a clockwise swastika, would not such a painting be considered insensitive?
So why is it not insensitive to have an Islamic center at the WTC site?
A holocaust survivor once said of his death camp memories, "If you could lick my heart, it would poison you."
I would not blame a bereaved person whose loved one was killed in the WTC holocaust for feeling the same way if an Islamic Center were built near that site.
If the Muslims were to ask, or to try to discuss the matter or come to some agreement or compromise, I would be willing to listen and consider it. But to proceed as if it were an in-your-face fait accompli doesn't sound like bridging any chasms; it sounds like rank insensitivity.

Posted by: fionalowther | August 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

In the end the only thing that matters is the feelings of those that lost loved ones at Ground Zero. No one else has, in my opinion, the right to pontificate over the rights and wrongs of building this mosque, not the President, not the Mayor not a journalist.

If just one relative is anguished by the idea of a symbol of murderous intent so close to where someone dear to them lost their lives, that should be enough.

This is not about Islam, this about them.

Posted by: stephenr1 | August 23, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I too think that these MURDEROUS SC*M should be able to build their Mosque. Maybe Patterson could offer them a suitable site? Perhaps next to the WASTE TREATMENT PLANT? Or someplace where we BURN GARBAGE? Or throw USED CONDOMS?
I wonder how you 'supporters' would feel about a JAMES EARL RAY Church being put up next door to where MLK was shot dead? I could start a Religion where people who think that James Earl Ray was sent by GOD, to do what he did, could come and worship him.
How about a HITLER Religion? Is that all right? We could put up a HITLER Church in Crown Heights. After all...Freedom of Religion.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is THE LEFT. This is your DEMOCRAT PARTY.
If they want to 'BUILD BRIDGES', how about building a Bridge back to whichever backward STINK HOLE they came from? If ISLAM is so Great and Wonderful, why are they HERE? Go back to your Middle East CESSPOOLS, and wallow in your 7th Century FILTH.
Islam is RACIST, MISOGENYSTIC, HOMOPHOBIC, INTOLERANT OF ANYONE WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE, and they BUTCHER and KILL what they can't compete with or CONVERT.
You wanna build a Shrine to THAT?
Put it in the SEWER. Where it belongs.


Posted by: GoomyGommy | August 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The more they push to build this mosque where they want it, the more they prove themselves intolerant of the feelings of those who mourn. While Capehart speaks of those who implore or insist the mosque be built elsewhere as intolerant, it really is the muslim faith that is either intolerant or blind to the intolerance and hatred of many of their brethren.

If the mosque gets built where they want it, rest assured that its presence there will give great inspiration to the intolerant hate-mongers that represent a minority of that faith. It will be seen as evidence that they are winning. If the mosque is built elswhere, it will be used as a recruiting tool for those that hate as they decry America's discrimination and hatred for muslims. So it's win-win for the muslims either way. Having said that, we should be depriving them of their trophy mosque location.

By the way, Imam Rauf's organization had $18,000 in the bank last year. Just what is the benevolent source of the funding for this mosque?

Krauthammer has it right, and Capehart, as usual, needs a glass bellybutton to get a clear view of the world we really live in, not the one he he thinks we live in. Because if the Taliban ever took over here, he would be one of the first whose head they would chop off.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | August 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The majority of Whites living in the deep South during the 1950's objected to the government coming in and telling them that they had to allow black children into their previously all-white schools. Many people feared that mixing the two races together would harm their children. Many feared blacks in general and others believed blacks were inferior and didn't deserve equality? Were these emotional arguments logical? Of course not. We can't allow the Constitution to be subservient to emotional feelings, no matter if they are grief, anger, or even fear. The families of the victims of 9/11 have a right to feel anger toward Al-queda and others who helped perpetrate that horrendous atrocity. They have no logical reason to be angry at Muslims in general. Any anger directed to the Sufi sect members involved in this controversy is misguided and misplaced.

Posted by: CMAN27 | August 23, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart: You miss the biggest objection: Imam's vow to bring Sharia Law into this country. I do not want anyone to come here and tell me that they intend to change the constitution to reflect stonings; beheadings; violence toward women; etc. There is nothing peaceful, God-like, or Christian about Sharia Law. It is violent. Those who practice must be seen as equally violent, especially toward women.

Imam vowed to bring Sharia Law. You might want to research the person you are supporting.

Posted by: DrSheila1 | August 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Quislings like Capehart have apparently been in a coma (both before and after 9/11) since they appear to think 9/11 was the only incident of Muslims attacking non-Muslims. If they weren’t in a coma, there’s no excuse for such gross stupidity.

Muslims must take some responsibility for their global jihad when thousands of their co-religionists over the past two decades kill thousands of innocents of every religion around the world; and when they deprive non-Muslims of their human rights in 57 of 57 Muslim governed countries.

Look. American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for folks to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Muslims than disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia tradition, as practiced in Iran, Gaza, Kashmir, Malaysia, the Paris banlieue… and (pointedly) Cordoba House in NYC.

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

Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the vast majority of (allegedly) “peaceful” American Muslims supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists… but don’t hold your breath.

+15K deadly Islamo-supremacist attacks since 9/11 don’t lie. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Don't parrot the propaganda lies of Islamo-supremacists your whole life, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Capehart has the audacity to climb up on his hind legs and howl about (alleged) “ignorance” after his Leftist ANSWER co-conspirators spent the last decade goose-stepping at kristallnaght-style gutter riots (masquerading as “peace” protests).

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

So, when is billionaire progressive George Soros financing the unhinged Leftist 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, Capehart.

Rage against the machine, Quislings!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 23, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

DrSheila1 says:
Mr. Capehart: You miss the biggest objection: Imam's vow to bring Sharia Law into this country. I do not want anyone to come here and tell me that they intend to change the constitution to reflect stonings; beheadings; violence toward women; etc. There is nothing peaceful, God-like, or Christian about Sharia Law. It is violent. Those who practice must be seen as equally violent, especially toward women.
Imam vowed to bring Sharia Law. You might want to research the person you are supporting.
-------------------------------------------
This is just one example of some of the postings that have been all over the WaPo message boards since this whole "discussion" began. Those of you who are tossing such hyperbole around as fact, please tell us where you're getting your "information" from. I think I already have a very good idea, but it would be nice to see if my suspicions are correct.

Posted by: bienefes | August 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how many times I need to repeat the message before it sinks into the thick skulls of Capehart (and his Quisling toadies here)-- but my patience is spent with these lying, slandering idiotarian Quislings.

This has NOTHING to do with intolerance of mosques and everything to do with the apartheid Islamo-supremacism of Cordoba House, in particular. Somehow, I think Greg (and his Quisling toadies) wouldn't support neo-pagans' "right" to erect eternal Crann Tara monuments next to MLK memorials.

But when patriotic Americans object to stealth jihadists-- and (yes) that accurately describes the Cordoba House cabal-- opening a 9/11 snuff porn vendor emporium (and jihadi recruitment center) on the hallowed graves of Ground Zero-- Quisling hypocrits shriek with indignation!

American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Americans 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 @
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.

When will Quislings support Secular Islam advocates' right to live free from the sharia law intimidation of Cordoba House Islamo-supremacists?

Be advised these sharia-fascists have their eyes on your throats, too.

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

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I’d also like to point out how bigotted, ignorant and intolerant it is of Quislings (in both parties) to condemn the spiritual commitment of Muslims who faithfully obey Islam by observing “honor killing” fatwas.

By what authority do Quislings excommunicate (takfir) devout jihadists when they advocate “honor killings”, support Hamas, and enforce the multitude of oppressive sharia fatwas, endorsed by the Corboba House sharia law advocates?

Again, the prerogative to issue apostacy fatwas is granted only to Islam’s prophet, or authoritative representatives of the Ummah— which are these ignorant Quislings invoking?

Have Cordoba House’s handlers in the Apartheid Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the Muslim Brotherhood approved any of the Quislings' ignorant anti-sharia fatwas?

Don’t take my word for it: “Honor Killing” is absolutely Islamic.
http://www.islam-watch.org/SyedKamranMirza/honor_killing.htm

Own it, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst must have learned a new word recently. Congratulations. Now please, don't bore everyone to death by repeating it all the time

Posted by: Reason7 | August 23, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that not only has President Obama used Imam Rauf as an informal "ambassador" to Arab and other Islamic countries, but that he apparently got the idea to do so from President Bush -- who used the Imam for precisely the same purpose.

None of the claims (of the ones I've seen) that the opening was set for 9/11 has provided a link or any other evidence. I've searched high and low, and everything I've found contradicts that allegation.

It's also interesting that the Imam follows the Sufi tradition -- itself persecuted within Islam, by some.

As for the argument that 2/3rd's of Americans are against this, the majority doesn't rule when it comes to the Constitution.

And as for the proximity factor, well, I guess that's why this anti-Muslim stuff is going on in places such as Florida, Tennessee, Texas -- my home state -- Ohio, California, etc. Apparently anywhere on U.S. soil is "too close to Ground Zero." Or something like that.

About 300 of the victims of 9/11 were Muslim, some of them American citizens, and some of *those* were *born* here. But I guess their deaths and memories don't count.

Yes, it's great to be an American, a citizen of "The Land of the Free" -- free, that is, as long as you're not "other," and even if you aren't "other," only so long as you agree with -- okay, *obey* -- me.

After another article I read a day or two ago, a reader wrote an apt comment: "Mount Rushmore is in tears." Another after the same article wrote, "The 'shining city on the hill,' denied a minaret on its skyline, is a sham."

Well said, both.

Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | August 23, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

stephenr1 writes:

In the end the only thing that matters is the feelings of those that lost loved ones at Ground Zero. No one else has, in my opinion, the right to pontificate over the rights and wrongs of building this mosque, not the President, not the Mayor not a journalist.

If just one relative is anguished by the idea of a symbol of murderous intent so close to where someone dear to them lost their lives, that should be enough.

This is not about Islam, this about them.
___________________________________________

Obviously, you've never stepped foot in NYC, pal, or you'd realize what a ridiculous statement that is. There are millions of people living & working in NYC, and probably a million or more circulate daily near the WTC site. So what you're saying is that the most bigoted 2nd cousin of a 9/11 victim could say they find the mosque offensive, and we should all jump to cater to their prejudices? Has it occurred to you that hundreds of Moslems were killed on 9/11 too? If one of their survivors said to demolish a local synagogue, would you let them? Or is this just another typical right-wing double standard?

Frankly, after 10 years of letting the WTC families get whatever they want, it's time for the rest of us to put our foot down. WE don't want religious bigotry in our city, period. I don't care anymore who they lost; what they need is therapy, not the eternal right to decide who gets to build what near the WTC.

Posted by: lowereastsider | August 23, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Children...children...children. Let's remember who we are, where we are, and what we are. We are a nation of laws, all of which must conform to a document known as the Constitution of the United States.

The very foundation of our Nation is the principle known as Freedom of Religion. Many of the first settlers came to this continent to practice their form of religion and not be persecuted for so doing.

Islam is different from Christianity, but it is a religion and as such is fully protected under our Constitution.

For those who choose to denigrate all followers of Islam; your ignorance astounds me...are you not aware that Muslims have served in our Armed Forces for decades - have served with distinction and have died defending the rights we profess to hold dear!

For those who can't understand how the actions of the United States may have helped precipitate 9/11 - I suggest you read "The Ugly American" (written over a half century ago, by an American...but largely ignored.

We profess to be Christian; yet where is the forgiveness, understanding, and love? Where and how in this huge debate are we following the Commandments?

I believe that a few self-motivated, selfish, politicians are turning this into an issue purely for the sake of gaining votes.

I believe in America, our Constitution, and (hopefully, the basic honesty, fairness, and charity) of my fellow Americans. If we are Christians...let's be Christian in our acts! If we are Americans...let's follow the law!

Posted by: vagaf31 | August 24, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

[Reason7 sneered: "learned a new word"]

*pffl* I'll make Quislings a deal. When the Quislings stop their orchestrated campaign of slandering patriotic Americans-- as racists, fascists, Islamophobes, xenophobes, neanderthals, bigots, etc., ad nauseum (the tired Star Wars cantina of boogeymen)-- then I'll stop reminding them that they are (in fact) behaving like Quislings for Islamo-supremacists.

Quislings don’t confront real evil; and hate those who do. You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or out of fear that the one who confronted the bully will provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does.

Quislings can't contain their contempt for those of us who take a hard line with Islamo-supremacists. It’s ever our fault for provoking the sharia bullies. Better to remain supine while the sharia law advocates satisfy themselves raising money for terrorists; tormenting American widows and orphans at Ground Zero; erecting their monument to Islamo-triumphalism.

The Quisling answer: Attack patriotic Americans... and hope the crocs eat them last.

There’s a word for that: Cowardice.

Own it, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 24, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

[lowereastsider spat: "Frankly, after 10 years of letting the WTC families get whatever they want... I don't care anymore who they lost"]

Here we find a perfect specimen of the apathetic Quisling. "I don't care."

Guess what? Nobody cares about your whining bedwetting problem. But thanks for illustrating (once again) the Quislings' raw hatred for those of us who stand up to Islamo-supremacists.

Patriotic Americans are encouraged to Enter the “Quisling Hall of Shame” and recall what Quisling-fascism looks like.
http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

Own it, Quislings.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | August 24, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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