Free Markets, Free People

Coming down on the side of bigotry

This “Ground Zero” mosque controversy has begun to rankle me. It is my understanding that those who want to build the "ground zero" mosque own the property there.

Secondly, it really isn’t adjacent to the old World Trade Center site, but a few blocks away.

Even if it is adjacent, however, if the first part is true, then it is theirs to build what they wish. I may or may not be happy about it, but they are the property owners and what is built there is their business.

The Anti-Defamation League seems to understand that as well, however, under the guise of "doing what is right" it acknowledges the mosque builder’s rights but then dismisses them in favor of the bigotry of those who oppose them. In a statement they said:

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right. So the bigotry expressed in this is "unfair, and wrong", but to hell with rights, we’ll side with the arbitrary and subjective "what is right".

An amazing statement coming from a group which was founded to fight bigotry against Jews.

Thankfully not all Jews feel that way.  They also understand how profoundly wrong headed the ADL’s statement is.  From J-Street:

The principle at stake in the Cordoba House controversy goes to the heart of American democracy and the value we place on freedom of religion. Should one religious group in this country be treated differently than another? We believe the answer is no.

As Mayor Bloomberg has said, proposing a church or a synagogue for that site would raise no questions. The Muslim community has an equal right to build a community center wherever it is legal to do so. We would hope the American Jewish community would be at the forefront of standing up for the freedom and equality of a religious minority looking to exercise its legal rights in the United States, rather than casting aspersions on its funders and giving in to the fear-mongerers and pandering politicians urging it to relocate.

Exactly right.  Another way of saying all of this is “grow up”.  You either have religious freedom and ownership rights or you don’t.  It isn’t a “right” if it can be selectively applied under the arbitrary rubric of “what is right” fueled by bigotry.

And, as inevitable as the rising sun, you can count on politicians gearing up for a run for office to grab the populist opportunity to chime in and side with the bigots because it is the popular thing to do.  Newt Gingrich issued this statement:

Throughout its nearly 100 year history, the cause of religious tolerance has had no better friend than the Anti-Defamation League.  The organization’s stand today in opposition to the proposed 13-story Islamic Center near Ground Zero is entirely in keeping with that tradition.  They recognize the provocative nature of the proposal, that its construction will only result in more pain for the families of 9/11 victims and fan the flames of inter-religious strife.  Abe Foxman and the leaders of the Anti-Defamation League deserve praise for taking such a careful look at this issue and arriving at the right conclusion. 

And Gingrich’s spokesman had this to say:

Newt Ginrich’s spokesman told Salon in a phone interview today that building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a statue of Mussolini or Marx at Arlington National Cemetery."

That’s pure crap unless you want to make the same comparison to, oh I don’t know, a Catholic church in Spain following the Inquisition.

Look, this is manufactured “outrage” and pure and simple bigotry.  We are either a nation of religious tolerance and property rights or we’re not.  There’s no in-between.  It’s like every other right – you may not like all of what it brings, but that’s just the price of freedom.



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27 Responses to Coming down on the side of bigotry

  • Jihadists have property rights, too.

  • McQ you are reaching here.
    You, I hope, do distinguish between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.  A right is enforceable via law.  The set of things that are right to do is often not  coincident.
    J Street is a  very dangerous bunch with which to side.  In every possible way in which one could take that.
    You last ‘graph is, itself, a tour de force in intolerance.  And it is simply wrong.  The is a fundamental difference between trying to persuade…by any legitimate means…the Cordoba House planners to rethink their project on one hand, and denying them any right under either property or religion.  Compulsion is the delineation point.
    Finally, your Inquisition parallel was just dumb.  Not up to you usual high standards at all, either rationally or historically.

    • A better analogy would be having fanatical followers of the Emperor build a Shinto shrine on the edge of Pearl Harbor DURING WWII.
      Yeah…  That would fit pretty well.

      • Westboro Baptist Church building next to Arlington National Cemetary!—-CONEY

  • This is more complex than a yes/no case of religious liberty. Andrew McCarthy, author of “The Grand Jihad,” explains.

  • Property rights aside, a community has a responsibility to decide how they want their land and neighbors to behave within reasonable limits. These guys want to build a victory monument yards from the greatest terrorist attack in American history, I suppose that’s their RIGHT but its also the right of everyone else to object and what’s more dignity, honor, and a sense of propriety would compel anyone with a shred of ethical validity to not build that edifice in that place.

  • As noted above, there is a difference between one’s legal rights and what is socially acceptable. The question is not “can” but “should”. I don’t think you can blandly categorize people’s opposition as bigotry. This is a very emotional issue for some. The opposition is asking reasonable questions. Why here? Why now? It’s not like this is a small group of believers responding to a local need. “Let’s pool our resources and build a place of worship to fill our local need.” This is a high dollar investment, a major undertaking, where the builders have declined to identify the source of the funds. Would it change things if we discovered that the money was to be provided by “The Wahabbi Construction Trust of Riyadh” as opposed to 10 million pledges of $100 from Muslims from around New York.
    Legally, the city is required to treat this as no different from the construction of any other religious house. But there is no requirement for Mayor Bloomberg or any other politician not to say “This is a bad idea at a time like this.” One of the requirements of a civil society is mutual respect. This is another example of how the idea of mutual respect has been wielded as a weapon, rather than acknowledged as part of the social contract. The public has been told numerous times throughout the past 50 years that they have no right not to be offended. Yet there are numerous examples of when a protected group has exercised a veto over some activity because their culture is perceived to be degraded. In this case a group of people who have suffered a real, grievous offense is now being told that they have no legal or moral right to exercise the same veto power granted to protected groups. This is another indication that some animals are more equal than others.

  • We are either a nation of religious tolerance and property rights or we’re not.  There’s no in-between.  It’s like every other right – you may not like all of what it brings, but that’s just the price of freedom.

    >>>> You’re right but saying it leaves an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. Even when you see our enemies taking advantage of our laws to advance their soft jihad against us.  One of the GOP empty suits running for Governor has made the mosque a campaign issue. He promises to use “eminent domain” to stop the project, and that’s even more wrong.

    My real issue is with the community board who approved this. THAT is where it should have been stopped, where it could  have been stopped.

    But lets all be clear here. We know exactly what this is, and what it is meant to represent. It is the work of our enemies. Never lose sight of that.

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will accidentally burn down. 

  • I can’t agree with you on this one McQ and find your choice of words suprising.
            Bigot—One who is strongly partial to ones own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
    I think this is a term better applied to Islamist. While I believe the radicals are a small minority, they could not exist on the level they do if they were not tolerated by the majority. If you’re going to play the bigot/bigotry card then apply it equally.——-CONEY

  • I think the ADL is dancing around the issue. I don’t believe the ADL is motivated primarily by sensitivities to the feelings of victims.

    Rather, the ADL, like many of us, does not want to deal with the reality that regardless of the motivations of the individuals who will visit the Mosque, al-Qaeda and Islamists will portray the Mosque complex as the final conquest of The World Trade Center.

    The thought of Adam Ghadan, or Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Osama bin Laden issuing a video or audiotape crowing about the ultimate victory, is too much for most Americans of all religions to bear.

    The people behind and supporting the Cordoba Mosque surely know that it is not about religious freedom. No one is preventing the building of Mosques in New York City.

    At the end of the day, we as a free society must err in favor of allowing the building of religious institutions anywhere religion-neutral laws allow. But that does not change the truth of what is going on with the Cordoba Mosque.

    They should have picked a different location. Because respect is not a one-way street.

    I refer you to my post near the top of this thread.  This is not merely about religion, as though this was a Scientology edifice.  We are at war with a systematic, integrated ideology…much like the Shinto religion presented in Japan during WWII.  That analogy is quite apt, and I invite anyone to debate it.

  • Agree totally with McQ.   Well said and well thought out. 

    I suspect he, like me, doesn’t like the fact they are doing it.  Maybe opposition groups should buy the property next to the planned mosque/cultural center (or whatever it is) and put up their own cultural center that rankles the s*^t out of the folks putting up the ‘whatever it is.”  A dose of their own medicine.  

    Yep they have their rights as well.

    • So you think anyone who expresses displeasure with a Mosque being bulit at “ground zero” for obvious propaganda reasons is a bigot?——CONEY 

  • … aaaaand here’s #2. One does not apply equal protection of the laws to those that intend to enslave us. You cannot see this. You are, de facto, a traitor: giving aid and comfort to the propagandists of the pedophile prophet.   With opponents like you, the neo-Nazis actually start sounding reasonable.

  • I agree with Bruce. A right is a right.
    Having said that, we also know that our rights are subject, at times, to laws of society, for example zoning restrictions. I don’t know New York very well but I suspect that this mosque will not be visible from ground zero provided that  it is in fact a few blocks away. If it were to be visible, I presume that the zoning commission for the area would have decided that it would be inappropriate to build a Mosque on that site.
    Question, if the mosque had already existed prior to 9/11, would these same people be demanding that it should be ttorn down? 

  • J-Street is a bad group to quote from. They represent a minority of american jews, are extreme in their ignorance and hate jews who don’t agree or believe differently.

  • This is certainly not in line with what we would have seen out of Americans during world war two or immediately thereafter, and in that sense Gingrich and his comments are spot on.  It is, however, spot on with a political and social mindset that has our left including those occupying the White House currently spending a good deal of time and effort apologizing to every nation on the planet for American exceptionalism.
    I’m not convinced that this can be considered bigotry .  Might we expect the same kind of concessions from the world of Islam , say setting up a Jewish temple in the middle of Mecca?  I tend to doubt it.  And the current tussle over Jerusalem would seem to answer that question before it is fully uttered.  I don’t seem to recall anybody accusing Islam of bigotry there, can you?  Jim makes a good point , asking what would happen if that mosque and preexisting.  That to my mind is the real question in terms of measurement of bigotry .  I doubt anyone would be talking about tearing such a mosque down , post 9/11.
    I wonder a bit at the dependence on law and government, here. If there are many here who claim the title of “libertarian”. Martin mentions the fine line between legalities and social correctness.  I’m usually not much on social correctness, but I am less enthralled with dependence on legalities.  Trying to dance the line between those two we invariably end up with the kind of situation being described in the article.   And certainly, such a dance is not inspired by the fundamentals of libertarianism.   The entire question surrounding whether not something should or should not be the legal in this case strikes me as not being in keeping with the libertarian mindset.  Because something is legal doesn’t make it the right thing to do.  Or, so I have been told several times over the years.
    They may well have the right under law to do as they propose.  That said,  might we at least agree that it is a singularly insensitive and provocative act?

  • I lost someone in the 9/11 attacks.
    I will never forgive, and never forget.  And if that’s bigotry, I’ll wear it.
    My tolerance extends only so far as not calling for every one of the murdering sons of Satan to be put to the sword, and their property taken, plowed under, and sown with salt so that nothing will grow there for a thousand years.
    Until then, they need tread softly with me.  Because I will not so much as piss on one of their children if they are burning to death unless I am absolutely required by threat of the loss of life or freedom to do so.

  • No one that I know of has said as property owners these people don’t have the legal right to build.   What upsets people is the appropriateness of building on that site.   It’s not like there are not hundreds of other vacant properties available in Manhattan.
    I can legally carry and or fly a confederate flag on my vehicles & my property.  But I don’t.  Simply because it is offensive to others.
    One could come to the conclusion that the Muslims pushing this are all democrats since they have been playing the race card and calling all who oppose bigots.   The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz writes that opposition to the mosque project has put the “full force of politically correct piety” on display, manifest in “the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters.”   One of their spokesmen was on one of the Fox News shows last night and he said all who oppose are bigots & racist.  Sounds like a democrat to me.
    BTW – I don’t buy their statements that this cultural center is being built to “bring people together”.   I just don’t buy it.  Will a mosque that close to ground zero really foster healing?  Really?

  • When president Barack Hussein Obama was swore in he said he would, Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States. I would like to see him put his hand on the Koran and swear he will Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States.