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The bigger Ground Zero issue

My post this morning wondering “where is Rudy Giuliani?” in this whole "mosque" debate set off quite the conversation on my Facebook page. Some were happy the former mayor has been pretty much absent. One asked why Park51 was even an issue and slammed the right for making it one. “Either we have freedom of religion in this country or we don't,” wrote Joseph Ferraro. “If only conservatives could bring the passion they have for the Second Amendment to the rest of the Bill of Rights.” You know, that’s a pretty good point.

Another good point came from my H.L. Sudler, who moved beyond the current controversy to focus our fleeting attention on the fact that nearly nine years after terrorists took down the towers at the World Trade Center site, the redevelopment of Ground Zero is mired in progress-choking bickering.

One of the things to ponder in all this is the excessive political hubbub over a mosque to be erected near Ground Zero (or the World Trade Center Memorial Park), which in and of itself remains unconstructed due to ceaseless greed and litigation. If politicians wished to be proactive and productive, I'd urge them to throw their weight around to get this project (for lack of a better term) off the ground. This would serve as a better memorial for the lives lost at that site than the endless, pointless bickering over territory which neither productively serves the memory of those individuals lost on that day nor the supposed belief that we Americans espouse: freedom.

Until life returns to Lower Manhattan with the vibrancy it had on Sept. 10th, the memorial Sudler and New Yorkers long for will never be complete.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 17, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Top 10 Things Rudy May Be Doing Instead of Spouting Off Against the Mosque (That Isn't a Mosque):

10. Bailing his daughter out of jail.

9. Standing inside an empty Yankees Stadium, waiting for "God Bless America" to begin

8. At the gym, hoping to meet his next ex-wife

7. Drafting a glowing letter endorsing Bernie Kerik's candidacy for Prison Library Cart Attendant

6. Watching hours and hours of Sarah Palin video and regretting his restraint

5. Heading to Topeka, to enlighten the Greater Midwest Bath Fitting Manufacturers' Association to the news that, "On Theptember Eleventh, everything changed" (and pocket a cool 50 grand)

4. Wishing he could join the Tea Party, but Italians prefer espresso

3. Considering offer to become Emperor of Staten Island

2. Watching NY governor's race and thinking, "Sandra Lee's kinda hot"

1. On hold for Lorne Michaels, wearing a dress

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 17, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Capehart you are living in fantasy land ...So if the turban fits the building sits ? This building is an affront to all victims of 911 and the Muslims will use it as a sign of Victory and Domination.... The building will be filled with terrorists making their next moves...then journalists like you will say "We just didnt know, we never realized, we thought we were doing the right thing.... but it will be too late.. This is as idiotic as Obama giving millions to Palestinians and Muslims in hopes that they will understand us and like us more .... they use the money for weapons and teach their children to hate us and Israel and we keep on giving...

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | August 18, 2010 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Its intolerance, ignorance and xenophobia against the Bill of Rights. Its the Reptilian brain, the limbic, against the modern brain, the neo cortex. Its conservatives against liberals. Its hate against reason. Its American against American and we cannot allow our darker side to win.

Posted by: tryreason | August 18, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

There is a mosque in the Pentagon that Bush and his wife went to every year during the Muslim holy days to show that we were not at war with Islam. Wasn't the Pentagon also attacked on 9/11? Have any new attacks been hatched out of this Mosque?

Posted by: rlritt | August 18, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

This was never about religious freedom. Obama has no interest in religion or freedom except to exploit it for political gain.

He wants to divert public attention away from the failings of the last 18 months, his utter contempt for fiscal restraint, and the BP oil catastrophe.

Get all the WAPO columnists to jump up and down and wrap their cynicism in the U.S. Constitution to blame the opposition. Obama could care less about freedom or religion.

Posted by: alance | August 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

A pbs program on WWII shows during 30's , NAZI youth camps were allowed to exist in New Jersey in which the youth ( believed to be American of German decent) dressed and sang exactly like in the nazi camp in Germany. I don't think such camps were allowed to exist after the German submarines have sunk hundreds of American ships on the Atlantic ocean

Posted by: ypcchiu | August 18, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It is likely that supporters of terrorism will fund this building.

It is likely that speakers who support terrorism will be invited to this community center.


Posted by: FrankOC | August 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the liberalist naivety I hear from Americans.
This has absolutely nothing to do with religious tolerance, so people that should know better should stop muddying the waters.
Get to know your enemy, because an enemy of the west and its christian beliefs is what we have here...make no bones about it.
Read the Koran and see for yourselves the true face of Islam. It is taught for example that it is perfectly acceptable to smile at the Infidel, to shake his hand, but to curse him and hate him in your heart.
Even JC resorted to a bit of violence when it was deemed necessary. This triumphalism must not be allowed to proceed. Let them build a mosque elsewhere...death valley perhaps.
The USA may well be the last bastion of christianity, don't let the rest of us down....in Europe it is already too late, bar WW111.

Posted by: alan2000 | August 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Can we get back to the real world for a minute here?

If this was a group that wished for peace and had been vocal in the denunciation of Muslim terrorist’s, maybe things would be viewed differently, but alas this is not the case.

If this was an Imam who had spoken in support of everyone’s religious freedom and supported the United States against terrorists, maybe things would be different; but again that is not the case.

If this was truly meant as a community center as has been claimed, perhaps they would wish to build it in or near a residential area and not in he middle of an office complex. However once again that is not the case. Not even when offered property closer to the largest Muslim community in New York City by the Mayor himself FOR FREE!

If it was meant to foster peace and understanding maybe they would not have given it the name Cordoba House, which is a reference to the building of a mosque in Cordoba, Spain to celebrate the great Muslim victory there, and which even today symbolizes the height of Muslim rule and the conquering of nations. But, they did give it that name assuming (and rightly so it would seem) that most Americans would not understand the significance.

Posted by: robinTX54 | August 18, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Cordoba House says it all. The original Mosque in Cordoaba Spain was built on the site of the Muslim Victory over the residents there. It was built on a church.The new Cordoba House will be another monument to a Islamic Victory, and it's name was chosen on purpose. The is nothing but an outright and purposefull insult to the people of the United States. It has nothing to do with religion at all.

Posted by: Pilot1 | August 18, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

To continue to claim that Muslims have the right to build - which NOBODY disputes - and than repeatedly ignore the insensitivity of the plan - shows their tone-deafness and stupidity. Even many Muslims recognize the insensitivity !

Liberals ignore their own hypocrisy. When have liberals defended property rights ?

When have they defended religious esp. Christian rights to pray ? freedom of conscious ?

Where is the liberal outcry over New York blocking the re-building of the Greek orthodox church at ground zero ?

Liberal supporters IGNORE the fact that the builders COULD have built a memorial or an ecumenical center but chose NOT too. They could have built it ANYWHERE in New York !

Liberal supporters IGNORE the fact the Iman is in support of misogynistic (women-hating) Sharia law... partly blames America for 9/11 and is ambivalent towards terrorist Hamas. That he is now in Saudi Arabia seeking funding !!

Liberal supporters IGNORE the fact that radical Muslims will cheer the building of a VICTORY Mosque over the site of their greatest victory ! That Hamas this week ENDORSED the Mosque project ! Hows that for tolerance ? Supporters now have Jew-hating and American-hating pro-terrorists on board !

Instead liberal supporters accuse their opponents of bigotry and intolerance. UNBELIEVABLE !! Freaking UNBELIEVABLE !

Clueless Nancy-lets-investigate-the-opponents-funding, terrified-of-unemployment-Harry Reid opposing it, and feckless-Lets-Be-Clear-but-vote-PRESENT President Obama are reminding all Americans how out-of-touch they and Washington Democrats and the liberal media really are.

The collapse of the Democratic party this summer is frightening. Disconnected from most Americans these out-of-touch elitists are heading off a cliff !!

Posted by: Petras123 | August 18, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"This was never about religious freedom. Obama has no interest in religion or freedom except to exploit it for political gain.

He wants to divert public attention away from the failings of the last 18 months, his utter contempt for fiscal restraint, and the BP oil catastrophe"

WHAT???? Obama didn't bring this up... He barely commented on it at all and what little he did say the right is trying to crucify him for it. What is this comment??? This BETTER be a troll...

Posted by: Patzer111 | August 18, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The Cordoba Mosque was built atop a Christian Church, which was built atop a Roman temple, which was probably built atop an Iberian temple, which was most likely built atop previous sacred sites going back to the Neanderthals.

Posted by: wlgiii | August 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have the basics right:

1. This is a private development site.
2. Local authorities have reviewed and approved whatever zoning and permitting is required.

It appears to me that the more strident voices opposing the project are calling for some sort of government intervention to stop the developers from proceeding. Aren't these the same factions so adamantly opposed to government intervention in the free market, the same factions who believe that government is the problem, not the solution, and the same factions who advocate for strict interpretation of the Constitution?

One can reasonably oppose the building of this project, but ultimately it is up to the owners of the property, as it should be, bounded by the legitimate zoning and building regulations.

Polling results and simplistic questions obscure the facts. One can simultaneously oppose the building of the project and absolutely defend the right to build it. That is, in fact, a simple explanation of what makes America different and special.

Posted by: sail83 | August 19, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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