Patterico's Pontifications

7/28/2010

Conor Friedersdorf’s shallow defense of the Ground Zero mosque

Filed under: General — Karl @ 5:04 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Although I have recently spent far too much time reading and examining the work of Conor Friedersdorf, his Forbes defense of the planned mosque at Ground Zero is so shallow — and so emblematic of his approach — that it warrants further effort on my part.

Friedersdorf starts with a stunningly inapt analogy:

You’ve probably heard about “The Ground Zero Mosque,” an Islamic community center planned in Lower Manhattan. But I bet you haven’t heard of The Ground Zero Strip Club.

There are actually a couple of adult entertainment venues that show up on Google Maps if you search around the former site of the World Trade Center. Internet reviewers seem to like New York Dolls best, due to its sexy, disproportionately Russian staff, mirrored stage and purportedly high-quality lap dances.

As yet, I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground. It would be a bizarre complaint: It’s Manhattan, where you can find anything mere blocks from a given location. The closest strip club to Ground Zero happens to be two blocks away, a fact that has nothing to do with our reverence for the place where so many Americans were killed by terrorists. As you’ve probably noticed, it doesn’t even make sense to call it The Ground Zero Strip Club.

But it makes no less sense than naming an Islamic community center “The Ground Zero Mosque”–as much of the media have done–because it’s going to be located a couple blocks away.

Aside from the fact that the New York Dolls club predates 9/11 (and is thus not similarly situated legally), James Poulos demolishes the comparison:

Cordoba House isn’t called the Ground Zero Mosque because it’s close to Ground Zero. It’s called the Ground Zero Mosque — I think — because it’s as close to Ground Zero as the Cordoba Initiative could possibly get, and because the Cordoba Initiative is building it as close to Ground Zero as it can get explicitly to advocate “for Islam” in a specifically “post-9/11 environment.” The idea is simple, if controversial: there ought to be a very large building, very near to Ground Zero, full of people dedicated to helping Americans understand that they should think well of Islam and of Muslims, precisely because Ground Zero is currently such a painful and potent source and symbol of American ill will toward Muslims who, as a matter of religious doctrine, wish harm on America and death on Americans.

Indeed, the Cordoba Initiative specifically chose the property it did because a piece of the wreckage fell there.

In his response to Poulos (in comments), Friedersdorf responds that the subject of his column is the anti-”Ground Zero Mosque” ad produced by the National Republican Trust PAC, which unfairly lumps the Cordoba Initiative with supporters of al Qaeda. That charge is unfair, based on the current evidence. However, it is also unfair and hypocritical that Friedersdorf, by the end of his column, refers generically to all opponents of the planned mosque as “judging people they’ve never met on the basis of their religion, treating all Muslims as enemies of America, and allowing emotional prejudice to dictate their opinion.” In fact, many opponents of the planned mosque seem to know a lot more about the project and its sponsors than Friedersdorf does.

Friedersdorf vouches for the project and its sponsors from authority:

Jeffrey Goldberg, as staunch an opponent of radical Islamists as you’ll find, posted recently on the controversy over this cultural center, having interacted with the folks who are attempting to build it, and reported that they are peace-loving people intent on marginalizing extremists inside their religion.

Friedersdorf has objected to this form of argument by reputation in the past. But if we’re playing that game, I can point to leading moderate Muslims who think the mosque is a bad idea. On the merits, Goldberg bases his opinion on his particpation in a panel co-sponsored by Cordoba last year. The issue, then, is whether what the Cordoba crowd says on panels with Goldberg should be taken at face value.

Imam Feisal Rauf, the central figure behind the mosque project, has a public image as a devotee of the “contemplative” Sufi school of Islam, but his writings directed at Muslims are full of praise for Wahhabi fundamentalism. He has refused to “repudiate the threat from authoritative sharia to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims,” a pledge issued nine months ago by ex-Muslims under threat for their “apostasy.” He refused to describe Hamas as a terrorist organization, and will not talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. He is an open proponent of integrating sharia into the law of Western countries. When speaking to Arabic audiences, he discounts the idea of religious dialogue. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Rauf said, “The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets.” Many people convincingly argue that Dresden and Hiroshima were military targets, but more important in this context is that neither was ordered on the basis of Christian theology. Regarding 9/11 specifically, Rauf told 60 Minutes in September 2001 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”

Rauf is a permanent trustee of NYC’s Islamic Cultural Center. The ICC employed Imam Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, who claimed that ”only the Jews” were capable of destroying the World Trade Center and added that ”if it became known to the American people, they would have done to Jews what Hitler did.” That was bad publicity, so he was replaced by Imam Omar Saleem Abu-Namous, who opined that “we don’t have conclusive evidence that the World Trade Center attack was waged by Muslim elements.” He further stated that ”nobody would support Osama bin Laden” in the Muslim world, which gives one an idea of the sincerity of the people installed by Rauf.

In fairness, I note that so far, there is no suggestion that Rauf follows the teachings of someone like Sayyid Qutb (faint but significant praise, that). Moreover, the FBI tapped Rauf to provide post-9/11 sensitivity training for the bureau. However, one hopes that the feds entered the relationship with more open eyes than Friedersdorf has in his column.

Then there is the naming issue. Friedersdorf does not like the name “Ground Zero Mosque,” so let’s consider that the planned mosque’s original name was Cordoba House (and that it remains a project of the Cordoba Initiative). Raymond Ibrahim provides some background:

The very name of the initiative itself, “Cordoba,” offers different connotations to different people: In the West, the Andalusian city of Cordoba is regularly touted as the model of medieval Muslim progressiveness and tolerance for Christians and Jews. To many Americans, then, the choice to name the mosque “Cordoba” is suggestive of rapprochement and interfaith dialogue; atop the rubble of 9/11, it implies “healing” — a new beginning between Muslims and Americans. The Cordoba Initiative’s mission statement certainly suggests as much:

Cordoba Initiative aims to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.

Oddly enough, the so-called “tolerant” era of Cordoba supposedly occurred during the caliphate of ‘Abd al-Rahman III (912-961) — well over a thousand years ago. “Eight hundred years ago,” i.e., around 1200, the fanatical Almohids — ideological predecessors of al-Qaeda — were ravaging Cordoba, where “Christians and Jews were given the choice of conversion, exile, or death.” A Freudian slip on the part of the Cordoba Initiative?

In fact, the true history of Cordoba, not to mention the whole of Andalusia, is far less inspiring than what Western academics portray: the Christian city was conquered by Muslims around 711, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of Cordoba — the namesake of the Ground Zero mosque — was built atop, and partly from the materials of, a Christian church. Modern day Muslims are well aware of all this. Such is the true — and ominous — legacy of Cordoba.

Ibrahim adds that “though many Christian regions were conquered by Islam prior to Cordoba, its conquest signified the first time a truly ‘Western’ region was conquered by the sword of Islam.”

In sum, there is a rather substantial body of evidence suggesting that Rauf and Cordoba are not nearly so peace-loving or intent on marginalizing extremists inside their religion as Friedersdorf claims. Moreover, a few minutes with a search engine would reveal that many of the mosque’s opponents outside the National Republican Trust PAC are well aware of this evidence, even if Friedersdorf was not.

Furthermore, when confronted with some of this material in the comments to the Poulos posting, Friedersdorf’s response was to regurgitate some of the Imam’s friendly statements meant for Western consumption (when Rauf’s sincerity and possible taqiyya is at issue, based on the evidence just presented) and to persist in accusing opponents of tarring all Muslims (when their concerns are directed specifically at Rauf and Cordoba).

Perhaps the saddest aspect of Friedersdorf’s misrepresentation of the parties involved is that it was so unnecessary. There is a principled, small-government case to be made on behalf of the mosque project, based on the protection of property rights and the free exercise of religion. However, that argument is not self-evident. Friedersdorf — at Forbes and in the comments to the Poulos posting — merely assumes that the Constitution forbids anyone from stopping the mosque. If the Constitution was so clear cut, there would have been no point to the passage of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (based on the spending clause, not the first and fourteenth amendments) and similar state laws (the interpretation of which is still being litigated in a number of courts). NYC is not all that friendly to property rights, and opponents of the mosque have every right to petition the government to have the building at issue designated a landmark as part of the 9/11 debris field. Furthermore, even if opponents fail to stop the mosque, they have every right to inform the public that the agenda behind the Cordoba Initiative may well be more ugly and intolerant than Friedersdorf imagines.

Friedersdorf’s apparent inability to process the evidence that challenges his opinion is not surprising. Friedersdorf admitted upfront to Poulos that, in his view, the real subject of his column was the National Republican Trust PAC ad. Friedersdorf could not help but focus on the sideshow, even if he wound up suggesting that all of the opponents of the project lump all Muslims into a monolithic bloc of al Qaeda supporters, ignoring the disturbing background of the project and its main proponent, and assuming away the thorny legal issues at stake. His modus operandi here is entirely consistent with his defense of Dave Weigel’s distorted coverage of the Right.

Contrary to many on the Internet, I accept that writers like Friedersdorf and Weigel intend their continuing attacks on elements of the Right as part of an effort to reform and improve it (as opposed to simply taking the center-left’s money for trying to divide the Right). Where they go wrong is in pursuing that sort of political agenda with so little application of the basics of politics and persuasion. Sure, William F. Buckley, Jr. did the Right a favor by helping marginalize groups like the John Birch Society — but he had been one of America’s most prominent conservative thinkers for over a decade when he did it. Today’s Friedersdorfs and Weigels do not have a fraction of that credibility or stature within the movement, which — fairly or unfairly — causes many conservatives to tune them out. Their options, then, are to either complain about “epistemic closure” or to earn the sort of respect that allows someone like Charles Krauthammer to freely criticize Republicans and conservatives without being dismissed. I am told by people I respect that Friedersdorf and Weigel come across much better in person than in text, so perhaps they will eventually grasp the degree to which their overall approach ends up alienating the very people they purportedly hope to persuade.

–Karl

99 Responses to “Conor Friedersdorf’s shallow defense of the Ground Zero mosque”

  1. Karl, you’re right that there is a better argument to be made for the Cordoba than this demonization of those who are bothered by the transparent message of the Mosque. And it’s good to give some of these people more respect than they are ordinarily given.

    Imagine if the BATF put a museum to their accomplishments a mile from the Branch Davidian disaster.

    Personally, I’d love such a museum. It would help remind people that the BATF made a horrible mistake. Similarly, this Mosque is a slap in the face and an affront, but at least it will (if built) become a symbol of the serious and long term submission conquest that is only in a new chapter.

    It’s a real shame we haven’t rebuilt the site, and that it probably will never regain the glory of the original twin towers. That’s the symbolism America ought to show the world. Build them back, taller than ever.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Kind of off-topic, but I saw in a blurb about Weigel being hired by Salon that he is considered to be an expert on the conservative movement.

    JD (d55760)

  3. Karl – Who is Conor Friedersdorf and why should we care? The only times I see him come up is making an *ss of himself trying to build up his cred through punching above his weight by picking fights with people who humiliate him, like yourself and Mark Levin.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  4. We should just shoot all the goddamn Muslims and be done with them. The cultists.

    JEA (458ea7)

  5. JEA, there is a faction out there who your snark would actually apply to. Do you know what faction that might be?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. Do you usually argue with the voices in your head, JEA?

    JD (d55760)

  7. Anyone care to take on the assertion that some have made that “once a mosque, always a mosque”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f0ce5a)

  8. daleyrocks,

    Mostly because Friedersdorf, Weigel, etc., are hustling to become the voices to whom we get subjected for thenext 30 years or so. If this is who we get stuck with, I would prefer that they raise their game.

    Karl (12dcea)

  9. Karl – Lord help us all if that becomes the case.

    JD (d55760)

  10. Don’t be asking these tough questions of poor JEA. Don’t you know that feelings, not facts are what matter ?

    It was interesting to see in Istanbul the dismantling of the plaster which the Muslims used to hide the beautiful mosaics of Hagia Sophia, Constantine’s church. Of course, the Sultans thought the mosaics had been destroyed before the plaster was applied. Instead, what had happened was the craftsmen, all “converted” Christians, had carefully preserved the mosaics with straw over which they applied the mud base for the Muslim calligraphy. Now, at least five years ago when I was there, the plaster is being removed so tourists can see the beautiful mosaics beneath. The radical Turkish government may hide them again, or even destroy them at last, but they need the tourist money so they may yet survive.

    Those Christian workmen had faith that someday those mosaics would again be seen.

    Even the “Age of Translations,” the great accomplishment of Harun al Rashid and his son, was accomplished by forcefully “converted” Christian scholars who spoke Greek and Arabic. The Arabs were totally dependent on the Christian wold for intellectual accomplishments. Later, he Sultans were similarly dependent on the Greek “Levantines” for science and finance.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  11. AD, if Christians adopted the principle, we’d be at war with Turkey for the return of the St Sophia basilica.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. They should allow the mosque only
    when Christians can build churches
    in Saudi Arabia, in Mecca.

    Lets see some religious tolerance
    in the Muslim world, in 2010,
    before we extend them any more
    tolerance here. Enough is enough.

    It isn’t a phobia if the fear is
    rational.

    Jack (e383ed)

  13. That caricature that JEA painted is really quite fascinating. It is a routine leftist meme.

    JD (d55760)

  14. Comment by SPQR — 7/28/2010 @ 6:50 pm

    OK! That works for me.

    But, seriously, I have seen it advanced that within the tenants of Islam there is a provision calling for jihad against any who destroy a mosque –
    no matter the reason it was torn down.
    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to discuss such things before the Manhattan authorities actually sign all the permits?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f0ce5a)

  15. AD, that’s a very reasonable point. I guarantee it wouldn’t be taken that way, but the idea that this is a permanent fixture, by threat of violence, is a legit point that ought to be discussed.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. I would think that even in the most positive light, a thoughtful person would advise the people behind this mosque idea that their intention to promote understanding is a wonderful idea, but is more likely to offend than be of a help. If they still want to go through with it, then they are “really tone deaf” or not at all voicing their true intent. If one wants to promote understanding, I would think it starts by understanding what would be a welcomed approach. “Promoting understanding” by focusing on what you want to explain (and give a defense for) sounds more like propaganda to me.

    Along with Dustins’ analogy, how about a Christian Church with prominent American flags and a model of the Enola Gay at ground zero in Hisoshima? Not a so hot idea?

    I eagerly confess I know little of Islamic culture and history, but I have also heard it said that erecting a mosque and establishing a Muslim presence has a degree of political and military claim associated with it. This seems quite expected to the degree that Islam joins religion and government in a way very different from Judaism or Christianity. As an explorer would erect a flag of their sponsoring country, Muslims erect mosques. (At least, this is what I understand to be the case).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  17. __________________________________

    Imam Feisal Rauf, the central figure behind the mosque project, has…has refused to “repudiate the threat from authoritative sharia to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims”…. He refused to describe Hamas as a terrorist organization, and will not talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. He is an open proponent of integrating sharia into the law of Western countries.

    Say no more.

    Moreover, after getting some insight into the history of Islam’s founder, who was a vengeful, ruthless warrior into assassinations, my cynicism and skepticism of the religion rooted in Mohamed skyrocketed.

    So-called moderate or non-extremist elements within Islam may be rather similar to the notion of moderate or non-extremist elements within the world of Communism or Nazism.

    Mark (411533)

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    1. At least five hundred dollars for a first violation.

    2. Twice the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this subsection if the person was previously subject to an assessment pursuant to this subsection.

    E. A court shall collect the assessments prescribed in subsection D of this section and remit the assessments to the department of public safety, which shall establish a special subaccount for the monies in the account established for the gang and immigration intelligence team enforcement mission appropriation. Monies in the special subaccount are subject to legislative appropriation for distribution for gang and immigration enforcement and for county jail reimbursement costs relating to illegal immigration.

    F. This section does not apply to a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.

    G. Any record that relates to the immigration status of a person is admissible in any court without further foundation or testimony from a custodian of records if the record is certified as authentic by the government agency that is responsible for maintaining the record.

    H. A violation of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor, except that THE MAXIMUM FINE IS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND FOR a FIRST violation of this section is: THE COURT SHALL NOT SENTENCE THE PERSON TO MORE THAN TWENTY DAYS IN JAIL AND FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION THE COURT SHALL NOT SENTENCE THE PERSON TO MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS IN JAIL.

    1. A class 3 felony if the person violates this section while in possession of any of the following:

    (a) A dangerous drug as defined in section 13-3401.

    (b) Precursor chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in violation of section 13-3404.01.

    (c) A deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument, as defined in section 13-105.

    (d) Property that is used for the purpose of committing an act of terrorism as prescribed in section 13-2308.01.

    2. A class 4 felony if the person either:

    (a) Is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this section.

    (b) Within sixty months before the violation, has been removed from the United States pursuant to 8 United States Code section 1229a or has accepted a voluntary removal from the United States pursuant to 8 United States Code section 1229c.

    Sec. 5. Section 13-2928, Arizona Revised Statutes, as added by Senate Bill 1070, section 5, forty-ninth legislature, second regular session, as transmitted to the governor, is amended to read:

    13-2928. Unlawful stopping to hire and pick up passengers for work; unlawful application, solicitation or employment; classification; definitions

    A. It is unlawful for an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway or highway to attempt to hire or hire and pick up passengers for work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.

    B. It is unlawful for a person to enter a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway or highway in order to be hired by an occupant of the motor vehicle and to be transported to work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.

    C. It is unlawful for a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.

    D. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION.

    E. IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION, AN ALIEN’S IMMIGRATION STATUS MAY BE DETERMINED BY:

    1. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO IS AUTHORIZED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO VERIFY OR ASCERTAIN AN ALIEN’S IMMIGRATION STATUS.

    2. THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

    D. F. A violation of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor.

    E. G. For the purposes of this section:

    1. “Solicit” means verbal or nonverbal communication by a gesture or a nod that would indicate to a reasonable person that a person is willing to be employed.

    2. “Unauthorized alien” means an alien who does not have the legal right or authorization under federal law to work in the United States as described in 8 United States Code section 1324a(h)(3).

    Sec. 6. Section 13-2929, Arizona Revised Statutes, as added by Senate Bill 1070, section 5, forty-ninth legislature, second regular session, as transmitted to the governor, is amended to read:

    13-2929. Unlawful transporting, moving, concealing, harboring or shielding of unlawful aliens; vehicle impoundment; exception; classification

    A. It is unlawful for a person who is in violation of a criminal offense to:

    1. Transport or move or attempt to transport or move an alien in this state, in furtherance of the illegal presence of the alien in the United States, in a means of transportation if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered or remains in the United States in violation of law.

    2. Conceal, harbor or shield or attempt to conceal, harbor or shield an alien from detection in any place in this state, including any building or any means of transportation, if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered or remains in the United States in violation of law.

    3. Encourage or induce an alien to come to or reside in this state if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that such coming to, entering or residing in this state is or will be in violation of law.

    B. A means of transportation that is used in the commission of a violation of this section is subject to mandatory vehicle immobilization or impoundment pursuant to section 28-3511.

    C. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY NOT CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES OR ARIZONA CONSTITUTION.

    D. IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION, AN ALIEN’S IMMIGRATION STATUS MAY BE DETERMINED BY:

    1. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER WHO IS AUTHORIZED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO VERIFY OR ASCERTAIN AN ALIEN’S IMMIGRATION STATUS.

    2. THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

    C. E. This section does not apply to a child protective services worker acting in the worker’s official capacity or a person who is acting in the capacity of a first responder, an ambulance attendant or an emergency medical technician and who is transporting or moving an alien in this state pursuant to title 36, chapter 21.1.

    D. F. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of at least one thousand dollars, except that a violation of this section that involves ten or more illegal aliens is a class 6 felony and the person is subject to a fine of at least one thousand dollars for each alien who is involved.

    Sec. 7. Joint border security advisory committee; membership; duties; report; delayed repeal

    A. The joint border security advisory committee is established consisting of the following members:

    1. The president of the senate or the president’s designee.

    2. The speaker of the house of representatives or the speaker’s designee.

    3. Two members of the house of representatives who are appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

    4. Two members of the senate who are appointed by the president of the senate.

    5. Six members who are appointed by the governor.

    B. Committee members are not eligible to receive compensation for committee activities but may be eligible for reimbursement of expenses pursuant to title 38, chapter 4, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes.

    C. The president and the speaker of the house of representatives shall each appoint a cochairperson of the committee.

    D. The commission shall meet on the call of the two cochairpersons, but no more frequently than monthly.

    E. The committee may:

    1. Take testimony and other evidence regarding the international border with Mexico.

    2. Analyze border crossing statistics.

    3. Analyze related crime statistics.

    4. Make recommendations designed to increase border security.

    5. Make other recommendations deemed essential by the committee.

    F. The committee may use the services of legislative staff as required.

    G. Beginning November 30, 2010 and each month thereafter, the commission shall submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate and the governor. The commission shall provide a copy of the report to the secretary of state.

    H. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the committee may vote to go into executive session to take testimony or evidence it considers sensitive or confidential in nature, which if released could compromise the security or safety of law enforcement or military personnel or a law enforcement or national guard law enforcement support operation.

    I. This section is repealed from and after December 31, 2014.

    Sec. 8. Immigration legislation challenges

    A. Notwithstanding title 41, chapter 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, and any other law, through December 31, 2010, the attorney general shall act at the direction of the governor in any challenge in a state or federal court to Laws 2010, chapter 113 and any amendments to that law.

    B. Notwithstanding title 41, chapter 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, and any other law, through December 31, 2010, the governor may direct counsel other than the attorney general to appear on behalf of this state to defend any challenge to Laws 2010, chapter 113 and any amendments to that law.

    Sec. 9. Conditional enactment

    Sections 11-1051, 13-1509, 13-2928 and 13-2929, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act, do not become effective unless Senate Bill 1070, forty-ninth legislature, second regular session, relating to unlawfully present aliens, becomes law.

    APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR APRIL 30, 2010.

    FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE APRIL 30, 2010.

    JD (d55760)

  19. OOps, wrong thread …

    JD (d55760)

  20. Karl,

    I appreciate the effort you give the issue, but anyone thinking that building a mosque so close to the scene of Islamic mass murder is just nuts. Even if the idea was put forward by the most peace loving, open-minded Muslims (um…ok) does anyone think the place won’t be taken over by villianous scum by the time the carpet is installed?

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  21. this is silly. are you really arguing that only people we agree with should have the right to build places of worship? how does it harm anyone to build the mosque there?

    jc (bbca08)

  22. No, jc. I do not think that anyone is arguing that only people we agree with should have the right to build a place of worship. Not even remotely.

    JD (d55760)

  23. if you think the builders of the mosque have done something criminal, then prosecute them. otherwise, it seems like you disagree with their view on islam. but that’s not a (good) reason to prevent them from building a house of worship wherever they can purchase property to do so. let’s hear a better reason than “we disagree with their view of islam.”

    jc (bbca08)

  24. jc, it harms the memory of people murdered by Islamofacism for someone who wants to impose sharia law on Americans to build a Cordoba Mosque.

    It’s like building an enola gay monument at Hiroshima. It’s obviously incendiary.

    Liberals have remarked that people should be sensitive to others sense of offense. it’s just a matter of good sense. No one is arguing that it should be illegal to build this here. they are arguing that it’s an affront and an insult and a very bad decision.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. jc is not worth your time, Dustin. It is arguing against positions that people here are not taking.

    JD (d55760)

  26. Here are a couple more analogies that may help jc understand:

    1. If the Serbian orthodox church wants to build a cathedral in Bosnia, should they build it in Srebrenica, where (at least nominally) Christian Serbs slaughtered 8,000 Muslims? If they did so, wouldn’t it look like a slap in the face to the relatives of the murdered men and boys?

    2. I’m sitting just a few miles from the Museum of Frontier Culture, a fine establishment which celebrates the lives and achievements of early European settlers in America. Suppose someone proposed building such a museum at Wounded Knee. Can you think why that might be a bit of a problem? I think it would be an obvious slap in the face to every American Indian. A museum that is perfectly innocuous in itself would become incredibly offensive just by its placement.

    Dr. Weevil (e89946)

  27. Imagine if some Christianist terrorist* managed to blow up Mecca and kill thousands of Muslims.

    I am sure the left would not complain about an effort to build a church there, right? They would think that was perfectly reasonable.

    *lol

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. Imam Feisal Rauf, the central figure behind the mosque project, has…has refused to “repudiate the threat from authoritative sharia to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims”…. He refused to describe Hamas as a terrorist organization, and will not talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. He is an open proponent of integrating sharia into the law of Western countries.

    Proponent of Sharia? Hamas not a terrorist group? Geez, can the red flags be any more alarming? It’s telling this young turk Friedersdorf didn’t do his homework before spouting off.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  29. Not surprising though, his father was a mid level
    figure in the brotherhood, Hamas is the Jordanian and Egyptian branch of same, his last book published
    abroad by two front organization, the IIT and the ISNA

    ian cormac (e46147)

  30. The naivete of Liberals is stunning. Just ask the Lebanese Christians what was the result of their good intentions toward such nice people. It is so obviously a stab in the back (even Juan Williams said it was in poor taste) and these people want to offer their backs first.

    mbabbitt (424211)

  31. jc,

    Note that I wrote that “opponents of the mosque have every right to petition the government to have the building at issue designated a landmark as part of the 9/11 debris field.” That last bit is key. The gov’t can’t discriminate on the basis of religion. However, opponents have the right to inform people about Rauf & Co.

    My exposition on Rauf & Co. is there because Friedersdorf chose to paint the controversy as “intolerant right-wing bigots” vs. “peaceful Muslims,” when the facts of the case are more complex than that. I fault him for approaching the case that way, writing that it was utterly unnecessary to a defense of the project.

    He could have written a piece examining Rauf & Co., then arguing that even if there are red flags in his background, they ought to be able to build the mosque because the opponents can’t make a good case for landmark status. He didn’t do that because he was really only interested in attacking the easy target of the PAC. In turn, for the purposes of this discussion, I’m actually less interested in what NYC does in this case than in pointing out Friedersdorf’s agenda, and how it caused him to produce a really shoddy column.

    Karl (12dcea)

  32. > The naivete of Liberals is stunning.

    Never let it be said that they didn’t fully and completely deserve the term “Useful Idiots“.

    That Islam is finding them no different a collection of fools than the Soviets is not the least bit surprising.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (79d71d)

  33. Karl,

    This is a very frustrating piece. I wrote my column against a high profile advertisement made against the Islamic mosque and community center. As such, I argued against the folks who made the ad. I have never claimed that everyone who objects to the construction of the mosque is a bigot. I do think the advertisement I cited as the basis of my column was bigoted.

    You also seem to miss the fact that the “ground zero strip club” portion of my column wasn’t intended to serve as an analogy for the whole project. It was offered to make two narrow points: 1) that the city blocks surrounding the former site of the World Trade Center aren’t considered hollowed ground when it comes to other establishments that people would normally object to. 2) That the “Ground Zero Mosque,” contra the implication of that moniker, is neither located at the WTC site nor overlooking the pit, but a couple blocks away.

    I am happy to engage critics of my work, especially about substantive disagreements, but I am far less inclined to do so when I think that the critic is egregiously misrepresenting my work, and is more interested in scoring rhetorical points and writing a take down than getting to the root of our disagreement.

    I certainly don’t have time to engage in a lengthy back and forth with you about the history of the Iberian peninsula, but thankfully, a commenter at Hot Air has already corrected the most important of your mis-impressions.

    Finally, if you think that opponents of this project are earnestly concerned about historic preservation — as opposed to trying to find any legal excuse to prevent this mosque from being built — I suggest that you talk to some of them, as I have.

    Conor Friedersdorf (d87fbd)

  34. AD, if Christians adopted the principle, we’d be at war with Turkey for the return of the St Sophia basilica.

    Comment by SPQR — 7/28/2010 @ 6:50 pm

    That’s been settled, some treaty signed in the 1920s.

    We’re idiots to fight over these things. The Muslims own the ground, if they build according to zoning and building codes, wadda …? What law stops them? And would you want those kind of laws?

    nk (db4a41)

  35. I agree with daleyrocks @ #3. Friedersdorf seems to spend a lot more time picking fights with more prominent conservatives, the classic “punching up” strategy to get your own name noticed, than attacking leftist policies and practices. I’ve yet to see the kid win one of these dust-ups, but perhaps the fact he is still around is a victory of sorts for him, since he offers nothing of value to the reader.

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  36. Conor’s article reads like a reply to all opponents of the Mosque who make reference to 9/11, not just this one advert, which he used to generalize the entire opposition. Read it yourself. This ‘egregious mis-characterization’ is hard to accept.

    And the CK Macleod comment I assume he’s referring to was responded to by Karl… but why not point out exactly what he’s talking about? I think Karl’s right that the name choice’s meaning is significant. Quibbling about the accuracy of the history is a red herring. The meaning is intentional, and doesn’t change based on how realistic someone’s memory was.

    If Conor really is insisting on only responding to the “bigots” and the least reasonable, but has no time to have a back and forth with a thoughtful opponent, then yes, Karl’s absolutely right that he’s being too shallow. Reply to the best arguments, Conor, not the easiest to rebut.

    Also, citing the strip club that predated 9/11 was also lame. And a strip club is actually a good fit for the area that terrorists tried to force into submission. The freedom of New Yorkers to do things that are contrary to various religions is exactly what so angered them. These strip clubs don’t share the sacred sense of New Yorkness that got thousands murderedt.

    We’re idiots to fight over these things. The Muslims own the ground, if they build according to zoning and building codes, wadda …? What law stops them? And would you want those kind of laws?

    Comment by nk

    I see this more as a ‘fight bad speech with more speech’ kind of thing. True, it’s wrong to ban something on the basis of religion, but this specific Rauf character, with this specific Cordoba mosque, is something a lot of people find incendiary.

    There are some unreasonable voices on the ‘no Mosque’ side of things. Apparently, those are the ones Conor is most comfortable taking his time to refute, and this post, with its thoughtful documentation of points and intelligent arguments, is something Conor is much less comfortable engaging.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. Dustin,

    I am refuting the opponents of the mosque that are calling on the government to stop its construction, because I care about property rights and the guarantees of religious freedom embedded in the first amendment.

    When high profile politicians like Newt Gingrich and well funded ad campaigns call on the government to do something it isn’t permitted to do, I speak up. That is why I’ve engaged those mosque opponents, not the fact that their arguments are the weakest.

    If all anyone ever said was, “I’m against this mosque, but they have the right to build it,” I never would have written about the issue at all.

    Conor Friedersdorf (d87fbd)

  38. Seeing as the community board refused to actually examine the arguments, Sarah and Newt’s complaint
    seems a reasonable path. The concern is another
    Finsbury Park Mosque funded from abroad, unaccountable to community interests

    ian cormac (e46147)

  39. Sorry, that’s supposed to say “can be found here” with the link. The [object] appeard instead of the word “here”. I hate html.

    Stoutcat (27f923)

  40. Some amazing revisionist history there from Conor.

    Karl (12dcea)

  41. Revisionist history is usually better described as lying. Conor and Weigel and their ilk seem to be incapable of having an honest discussion.

    JD (d55760)

  42. He like Weigel now, are Sullivan’s retainers, following the Journolist ‘dead parrot’ memes against
    Palin, Israel, for the health care plan

    ian cormac (e46147)

  43. “JEA, there is a faction out there who your snark would actually apply to. Do you know what faction that might be?”

    Yes, I do. That would be folks like Pamela Gellar, Newt Gingrich, Michele Malkin, Peter King, Glenn Beck, Dove World Outreach Center, Temecula (Calif) Teabagging Society, Tenn Lt Gov Ron Ramsey, and Robert Spencer.

    And the general sentiment of Muslim hate shared by many posters to this site, Hot Air, and Ace of Spades.

    I don’t hate Muslims. I hate terrorists. Evidently that distinction is too subtle for conservatives to grasp.

    JEA (dffa7e)

  44. ^cite examples of such or else stop emitting from that ginormous blowhole. Either put up or STFU.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  45. No we hate Salafi like Imam Rauf, who upbraided the Christian community in Malaysia, for using the wrong word so their churches burned down. or Quradawi, who proclaimed a Fatwa upon Sadat, who supported suicide bombers in Iraq, who is behind
    a similar project in London

    ian cormac (e46147)

  46. You also seem to miss the fact that the “ground zero strip club” portion of my column wasn’t intended to serve as an analogy for the whole project. It was offered to make two narrow points: 1) that the city blocks surrounding the former site of the World Trade Center aren’t considered hollowed ground when it comes to other establishments that people would normally object to. 2) That the “Ground Zero Mosque,” contra the implication of that moniker, is neither located at the WTC site nor overlooking the pit, but a couple blocks away.

    Comment by Conor Friedersdorf — 7/29/2010 @ 12:37 am

    1) Conor, your “Ground Zero Strip Club” remarks are egregiously intellectually dishonest.

    You know good and well that the New York Dolls club pre-dated the terrorist attacks. The effectiveness of writing “I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground” relies on the reader’s presumption that your analogy is sound. It is not — it is fatally flawed.

    2) Your other “narrow point” about “Ground Zero Mosque” being a fallacious description of the proposed building similarly falls apart upon quick investigation. You likely are aware that the property is on the site of what previously was a Burlington Coat Factory store. Unlike New York Dolls, the store closed for the last time on September 11, 2001, having suffered enough damage from falling debris sufficient to project a full year before re-opening. Of course, it never did.

    Being “a couple of blocks away” didn’t save the Burlington store, and, as Karl mentioned above, the fact that it was damaged in the Islamist attacks is largely the reason the location was valued. Daisy Khan, the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and a board member of the Cordoba Initiative, said as much in an AP story published May 7, 2010:


    “We want to create a platform by which the voices of the mainstream and silent majority of Muslims will be amplified. A center of this scale and magnitude will do that,” Khan said. “We feel it’s an obligation as Muslims and Americans to be part of the rebuilding of downtown Manhattan.”

    (snip)

    The Muslim organizations plan to announce the groundbreaking later this year, possibly to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the attacks …


    However, Conor, it’s clear you refuse to even take the location into consideration! As far as you’re concerned, even if the imams did want it right across the street from the pit, and “Ground Zero Mosque” was a completely fair and accurate description, you would still have no problem with it. Right?

    L.N. Smithee (1da1b7)

  47. Has Conor Googled businesses in the area of the proposed Cordoba that are purveyors of pork products, liquor, dog grooming services, charge interest on financial transactions or searched for any enterprise that caters to the freedoms enjoyed by the better half of our population?

    Cordoba ignores these very services and rights which are anathema to Islam; hence, their objectives are suspect to say the least and hypocritical in the extreme.

    Islam is not a religion, it is a political system. Cordoba is planned to subvert our culture and values and not to serve as a bridge to other religions or cultures. We ignore the potential damage at our peril.

    jhstuart (fc7432)

  48. “JEA, there is a faction out there who your snark would actually apply to. Do you know what faction that might be?”

    Yes, I do. That would be folks like Pamela Gellar, Newt Gingrich, Michele Malkin, Peter King, Glenn Beck, Dove World Outreach Center, Temecula (Calif) Teabagging Society, Tenn Lt Gov Ron Ramsey, and Robert Spencer.

    And the general sentiment of Muslim hate shared by many posters to this site, Hot Air, and Ace of Spades.

    I don’t hate Muslims. I hate terrorists. Evidently that distinction is too subtle for conservatives to grasp.

    Comment by JEA — 7/29/2010 @ 5:56 am

    Evidently, you don’t know the difference between strong opposition and genocide.

    I don’t know about all the names you listed, but I do know that neither Gingrich, Malkin, Beck, or King have suggested “Shoot all the g—amned Muslims.” If you can show me where they have, feel free. But until you can do that, I will go with my first instinct upon seeing your words, and say you’re an idiot.

    But I don’t hate you because you’re an idiot, I pity you — and anybody who takes you seriously.

    L.N. Smithee (1da1b7)

  49. No, they haven’t said ‘shoot the Muslims’. But they have enthusiastically encouraged the hatred, whether it’s geniune hatred/fear, or just to get ratings.

    “Cordoba is planned to subvert our culture and values and not to serve as a bridge to other religions or cultures. We ignore the potential damage at our peril.”

    This comment, jhstuart, is exactly the hate inducing type of comment I’m talking about. It’s born of xenophobia and paranoia. I have yet to see an example of any Muslims in the United States ‘subverting our culture’ or ‘bringing in Sharia law’.

    JEA (dffa7e)

  50. I have yet to see an example of any Muslims in the United States ’subverting our culture’ or ‘bringing in Sharia law

    if you’re going to
    Dearborn Michigan be sure
    wear flowers in hair

    ColonelHaiku (ac3c3c)

  51. I was going to comment about conor’s mendoucheityand JEA’s continued argument with voices in his head, but LN said it better than I could. So, ditto. Off to close on my house. Hopefully.

    JD (6ca166)

  52. Thanks, JD. Happy housewarming!

    L.N. Smithee (1da1b7)

  53. This comment, jhstuart, is exactly the hate inducing type of comment I’m talking about. It’s born of xenophobia and paranoia. by JEA

    No, my reaction results from a historical perspective and knowledge of the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira.

    The principle objective (as well as obligation of Islamic adherents) associated with Islam: submit to Islam, pay the jizya (tax) or be conquered. Peace will reign only when Allah has been accepted by all and Sharia reigns.

    That is not hate but reality.

    jhstuart (fc7432)

  54. JEA, in his usual astonishing ignorance wrote: “I have yet to see an example of any Muslims in the United States ’subverting our culture’ or ‘bringing in Sharia law’.”

    Exhibit 1 of just how willfully blind JEA is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  55. I am refuting the opponents of the mosque that are calling on the government to stop its construction, because I care about property rights and the guarantees of religious freedom embedded in the first amendment, thanx.

    Susan (05fd95)

  56. Susan, still waiting for that refutation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. Even a refudiation would be good.

    Karl (f07e38)

  58. lol, Karl

    ian cormac (e46147)

  59. Congratulations, JD.

    As for Susan’s principles, they sound great to me, and yet there are other factors.

    There is a sincere concern for the historical nature of this area. It’s a testament to the things that Islamofascism strives to kill us for… be that sexual liberation or various financial instruments or American freedom more generally. Or, to put it bluntly, not practicing Sharia law and living in submission.

    There are good arguments that are ignored by simply screaming ‘religious bigot’. It’s a great refutation against one argument, the easy one.

    I also wouldn’t want a Church of Scientology next to a mental institution, or a violent cult next to a weapons depot. I don’t know that I could justify that kind of thing legally every time, but that’s only part of the argument.

    This mosque is a transparent slap in the face. Arguing that it isn’t, while denying that anyone concerned with the historical nature of this site, demands a willingness to ‘take the time’ to respond to criticism.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. : submit to Islam, pay the jizya (tax) or be conquered. Peace will reign only when Allah has been accepted by all and Sharia reigns

    They ain’t doing so well….On the other hand, if you know that the Gospel said to spread the word of Christ, you might see the conquering of two Muslim countries as a good thing.

    I mean, you could, if you reduced religious faiths and their doctrines to a level of a boogeyman, but no serious person feels a church at Ground Zero is more threatening than an airstrike on a village.

    Onward Chrsitian Soldiers….

    timb (449046)

  61. 1) that the city blocks surrounding the former site of the World Trade Center aren’t considered hollowed ground when it comes to other establishments that people would normally object to.

    Too soon, man.

    el duderino (fedc3d)

  62. Dammit “refudiation” is a made up word by Sarah Palin.

    Chris Hooten (047ade)

  63. But you know that.

    Chris Hooten (047ade)

  64. For a fellow with a funny name, Mr. Hooten sure likes to think he can snark toward other people. I guess it is part of that “atmosphere of civility” he tried to tout when he first started posting here—until daleyrocks uncovered his really nasty posts elsewhere.

    Eric Blair (d7ba5c)

  65. There’s a lot of evidence of even terror ties underneath it all. But let’s cut through all that clutter.

    We are in a war against an ideology that states it is the true Islam, etc. We have a compelling interest in preventing what even might be misperceived as a sign of victory for them, or surrender by us. And that is more than sufficient, in my book, to prevent a ground zero mosque.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  66. What was JEA’s reaction when Christians were arrested for advocating for their religion near a Muslim festival in Michigan?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  67. “Conor, it’s clear you refuse to even take the location into consideration! As far as you’re concerned, even if the imams did want it right across the street from the pit, and “Ground Zero Mosque” was a completely fair and accurate description, you would still have no problem with it. Right?”

    Were it overlooking Ground Zero, I’d still argue that they have every right to build a mosque if they own the property, and that they shouldn’t be subject to any restrictions beyond what any other business or individual would face.

    Conor Friedersdorf (d87fbd)

  68. Susan says …I care about property rights and the guarantees of religious freedom embedded in the first amendment

    In accordance with the tenets of Islam, half of the Muslim population (women) do not have any religious freedoms or many other freedoms, as a matter of fact.

    We must remain vigilant about threats to our culture and values, and the Cordoba House is not being proposed to complement our way of life.

    jhstuart (fc7432)

  69. I don’t think we need to restrict religious practice to ‘complement our way of life,’ jhstuart.

    but this is a special location. It really is pretty historical, even if the history includes a strip club (again, what a sad attempt to prove something can’t be sacred! More in line with religious zealots than the people being accused of bigotry!). This is a special location with historical status. The only rebuttal to this is ‘you probably aren’t earnest!’. No, we’re earnest.

    It’s lazy to pretend freedom of religion is an absolute. It is not. There are special cases. People have every right to find this mosque to be a sick and twisted slap in the face without being called bigot.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  70. People have every right to find this mosque to be a sick and twisted slap in the face without being called bigot.

    No, I misspoke. I have no right to not be insulted by Conor, even if he’s making stuff up about my earnestness because that’s an argument he can’t win.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  71. Maybe, if the structure had been damaged by the landing gear that Rauf’ colleague refuse to admit
    that Wahhabis were responsible for. Recall that Hamid Gul, who has been shown to be supporting the
    Taliban, spread similar rumors right after 9/11

    ian cormac (e46147)

  72. Man, I don’t like this Connor guy. He is way too rational and he isn’t nearly afraid of the Muslims as is typical in these comments. Connor, you can’t convince these people that there ain’t some Islamo guy hiding under thier beds, ’cause they know it’s true.

    You can’t convince them that building a church is a bad thing when the people building the church believe in a different religion! Everyone here knows the Constituition protects only Christian and Jewish folks.

    To put it mildly, Connor, you’re just not as entertaining as these Fox news shut ins. Their opinions are much, much more comical.

    timb (449046)

  73. timb, someone who sees the right in the way you do has every reason to nod their head at Conor’s article.

    You obviously think the average conservative our there is an irrational nutcase. However, your sarcasm isn’t an argument. This isn’t a contest to prove who is least afraid of things like Sharia law.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  74. Conor

    What you fail to understand is that this country has an interest–a compelling interest–in telling the world that it is not going to just surrender.

    Of course if we were really interested in sending that message, we would be discussing the actions of President Guiliani, but i digress…

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  75. Ah, an “inter-faith learning center”, forsooth!

    Looking forward to when they dedicate a synagogue and a church in that building. For the dialogue, don’cha know.

    Frank Drebbin (8096f2)

  76. Frank Drebbin, someone already asked a spokesman about that … guess what? No church or synagogue allowed.

    See Clifford May’s posting here.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. Dustin, I could buy the argument that there’s something different about the WTC site (although my prejudices would say that it’s different in a way which makes it more important that it be used as a shining symbol of the freedom we believe in – eg, that the difference make it more important that we allow a mosque there, not less) and that different rules should apply than they would in normal places.

    But things like this make it harder for me to believe that the objection is about the specialness of the area immediately surrounding ground zero. It seems to me that mosques are regularly subject to protest, wherever anyone attempts to build them … which suggests that there’s a broad opposition to them in general. And that broad opposition is, I believe, inconsistent with our commitment to freedom of religion.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  78. aphrael

    mosques are regularly protested? wtf are you talking about?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  79. aphrael, I know you would intelligently rebut me if I generalized like that. I could just say ‘I know some Muslims are monsters, look at this link to one you can’t let murderers into your town!!!’ It just seems strange that people arguing that we shouldn’t treat all Muslims the same as the worst would then treat all opponents as though they are responsible for the nuttier examples.

    And broad opposition to mosques is unfortunate in many ways, I agree, but it’s not a violation of our commitment to freedoms… it’s just another freedom being exercised. It’s not contrary to the US Constitution for people to condemn a religion. Misguided? I think so. I know a lot of really great Americans who are Muslims.

    Like someone else said, I would think an Enola Gay trophy at Hiroshima would be ugly, despite my love for the Chair Force.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. Dustin: My comment was a bit milder than that – what I’m saying is that the existence of broad opposition to mosques makes me more skeptical / suspicious of claims that this particular case is different.

    I would disagree, though, that a broad opposition to mosques anywhere is not a violation of commitment to freedom of religion. It’s certainly not contrary to the Constitution, but it is contrary to the belief that people should be free to follow the religion of their choice, and that they should not be interfered with in so doing.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  81. Aaron – I just posted a link to a case of a mosque being protested in Temecula. It’s not all that uncommon.

    Here are some more, with the link delinked to keep me from falling into the spam filter:

    http://www.dnj.com/article/20100714/NEWS01/100714028/Video-March-and-protest-on-proposed-mosque-construction-in-Murfeesboro – Murfeesboro,
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-07-03-mosque-protest-tennessee_N.htm – Tennessee,
    http://politifi.com/news/Sheepshead-Bay-Residents-Protest-Mosque-Employ-Virulently-Racist-Rhetoric-897680.html – Sheepshead Bay.

    There are even activists calling for protests against all mosques entirely:

    http://www.resistnet.com/profiles/blogs/citizens-protest-all-mosque

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  82. Dustin: My comment was a bit milder than that

    Oh, I know, I know. Not trying to be harsh with you by any means.

    As to the idea that people should not be interfered with in practicing their religion: I think that’s incorrect. In fact, it’s not even possible. Both Christianity and Islam are evangelical and conflict a great deal. In particular, Islam demands a certain kind of government. That’s why Rauf wants to impose Sharia law. That kind of religious practice is something you oppose and interfere with, by logical extension of what you’re saying about freedom from government oppression.

    It’s just not a black and white issue. There is some point at which we should interfere with religious expression, despite the absolutist nature of how rights are most beautifully expressed. I wish there was some way to completely let people do whatever they want, say whatever they want, etc. I don’t want power over other people’s choices like that. Because Rauf wants power over me, at some point I have to take a stand.

    I think it’s hard to say exactly where. Insisting on this site being taken and changed in a way that is harmful to the remembrance of what happened there is one legitimate place to make a stand, though.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  83. Aaron – I just posted a link to a case of a mosque being protested in Temecula.

    At the end of the article you linked to, it said that residents had also protested the Mormon center there. What’s your point?

    Some chump (e84e27)

  84. That kind of religious practice is something you oppose and interfere with, by logical extension of what you’re saying about freedom from government oppression.

    Sure. But at the same time, if members of religious group [x] want to have a religious law which applies to them only and which is enforced through their own enforcement structures, as long as those enforcement structures don’t involve death and dismemberment, and as long as there is a mechanism for voluntary withdrawal from coverage of that religious law, I don’t see a problem with it.

    Which isn’t to say that the state should take on enforcement of such law (it shouldn’t).

    I don’t want power over other people’s choices like that. Because Rauf wants power over me, at some point I have to take a stand.

    I think it’s hard to say exactly where.

    I think that’s entirely fair.

    I don’t know where that line is either.

    But I think the Temecula case is clearly on the wrong side of the line.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  85. aphrael, has not the name of the “Cordoba Initiative” puzzled you? Cordoba was the site of a Christian visigoth church that was razed for a mosque during the Moorish conquest,and then converted back to a cathedral upon the reconquista.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  86. Comment by nk — 7/29/2010 @ 1:27 am

    Kelo v. New London comes to mind as to how to stop them, particularly since NYC is a very strong eminent domain city.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3c90d0)

  87. SPQR: I’ve been to that Cathedral.

    The thing is, that Cordoba could mean many things, and while I take the point that I can’t assume that it means what western liberals tend to assume it means (a reference to the al-Andalus caliphate which was one of the most religiously tolerant states of its time), I also can’t assume that it means what western conservatives tend to assume it means (a reference to the forcible conversion of the Visigoths). It could also be a reference to the dynastic claims of the Ummayads (and therefore ultimately reflective of a split within Islam similar to the shi’a-sunni split).

    But the details of their religious beliefs are irrelevant to me: they have a right to practice their religion, so long as they don’t try to deny other people that same right … and simply seeking a place to worship, however much people might not want them to be allowed to worship, doesn’t stomp on the free exercise rights of others.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  88. I also wouldn’t want a Church of Scientology next to a mental institution

    Some would say that they are one and the same.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3c90d0)

  89. AD – ahh, but the good people of New York aren’t opposed to this, and so the odds of the New York city government using eminent domain to prevent it are close to zero.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  90. Comment by Dustin — 7/29/2010 @ 10:51 am

    timb is a product of PE.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3c90d0)

  91. Comment by aphrael — 7/29/2010 @ 12:53 pm

    If you want the water to boil, all you have to do is increase the heat.
    The Ruling Class in NYC may at this time not be receptive to stopping this mosque, but can they resist the pressures that are surely being generated from the police and fire unions?
    If the muni unions come out forcefully against the mosque, the pols will cave, and will figure out some “more socially acceptable use” for this land.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3c90d0)

  92. timb needs to get some advice on his stalking techniques from OJ.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  93. I’m kind of surprised no one has mentioned that there is a difference between a sex club built near Ground Zero and a mosque: the former has nothing to do with what happened on Sept 11, the latter a great deal. The World Trade Center was not destroyed by jets hijacked by strippers.

    BeckoningChasm (c9d928)

  94. “I would disagree, though, that a broad opposition to mosques anywhere is not a violation of commitment to freedom of religion. It’s certainly not contrary to the Constitution.”

    aphrael – Moral suasion can be a powerful tool and as you point out, it is not counter to the Constitution. Absent granting landmark or other historical type status to the land, people are certainly free to use whatever public protest or persuasive powers at their disposal to persuade applicable zoning, building or other city authorities to deny permission for the project or even persuade the land owner to locate the mosque someplace else. To argue otherwise as you and Conor seem to be doing is a complete red herring.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  95. BeckoningChasm = Do you know definitively that the Al Qaeda members who hijacked the planes were not male strippers?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  96. the details of their religious beliefs are irrelevant to me: they have a right to practice their religion, so long as they don’t try to deny other people that same right … and simply seeking a place to worship, however much people might not want them to be allowed to worship, doesn’t stomp on the free exercise rights of others.

    Comment by aphrael

    But that is one of the things at issue, aphrael. it is my understanding that many mosques are being built and supported with money from Saudi Arabia and they teach an extreme Wahhabist (word?) form of Islam. So, if inherent within the group’s “worship” is teaching that Islam needs to take over the world and punish the infidels, including those next door, things become more problematic. I think typically there is a big division between talk and action, but if the talk goes on for 20 yrs to shape an entire generation of youth, when the action comes things may get messy.

    I’m not eager to define what is or is not “legitimate worship activities”, I’m just saying ideas matter, and I’d rather have the nieghborhood children taught about the Golden Rule than how the Jews and Christians are inferior and need to be conquered.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  97. try building church or
    synagogue on Arab land
    Colonel dare you to

    ColonelHaiku (ac3c3c)

  98. One point: the so-called “National Republican Trust” is really a vest-pocket operation run by one Scott Wheeler. It raised several $million for “independent expenditures” in two NY special elections to Congress, and a small amount for the MA Senate election. The ad the NRT wants to run is a ridiculous bit of Moslem-baiting, intended to draw donations from angry conservatives.

    The “Cordoba House” project is a bad idea for many reasons, but the NRT’s claim that it would be “a shrine to the 9/11 terrorists” is a lie.

    97 Colonel Haiku: Depends on the Arab country. Lebanon is an Arab country with a large Christian population. Syria’s loathsome dictatorship is secular – suppresses Islamists internally, and protects its Christian population. Saudi Arabia OTOH bans all non-Islamic religion.

    Rich Rostrom (42578d)

  99. Syria is a predominantly Sunni country run by a small Alawite clique, which has given sanctuary to
    Salafi elements like Hamas, PIJ, Shia splinters like
    Hezbollah, curiously the former has not struck out
    at Assad for the better part of 20 years,

    ian cormac (e46147)


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